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News & Press: State Bar News

Court approves bar dues increase for active, inactive members

Wednesday, February 21, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joe Menden
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The Montana Supreme Court has approved the State Bar of Montana’s request for a dues increase for active and inactive members.

Under the court’s Feb. 20 order, dues for active attorneys will increase from $200 to $300, and dues for inactive attorneys will increase from $125 to $190. The change takes effect for the 2018-19 fiscal year and is reflected on dues notices that will be mailed on March 1.

The court decided not to increase dues on senior members as had been requested in the bar’s petition. Justices cited concerns that a dues increase could be a hardship on senior members who no longer have income from practicing law and could discourage some from maintaining their memberships.

Justices voted to approve the increase at a public meeting on Feb. 13. Justices agreed that the bar had demonstrated in its 2017 Special Report to the Court that a dues increase is necessary for the bar to continue to run its mandated programs and services.

The bar petitioned for the dues increase in September of 2017, at which time the court opened a public comment period. The court received only 10 comments about the proposal, which were split between supporters and opponents, with others objecting to details of the proposal.

The bar publicized the dues request and the court’s comment period in the Montana Lawyer, in the Bar Briefs email newsletter, through outreach from Board of Trustees members, on the bar website and on social media.