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Class Action Suit Against Puerto Rican Bar Association for Mandatory Life Insurance Purchase

By FindLaw Staff on July 26, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Brown v. Colegio De Abogados De Puerto Rico, 08-2432, concerned a class action suit against the integrated bar association of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, arising from the organization's activity of requiring members to purchase life insurance in order to practice before Puerto Rican courts. 

As stated in the decision: "After Romero, Colegio did not fully advise its members that they no longer had to buy insurance, threw obstacles in front of those trying to opt out, and delayed refunds.  In fact, it moved to disbar one member who refused to pay the portion of his dues attributable to the program.  This sorry record answers claim of mootness and also defeats any claim that the district court abused its discretion on the separate issue of whether as a matter of discretion an injunction was warranted."

Thus, the court affirmed the district court's denial of defendant's motion to dismiss the case as moot and the district court's declaration of liability and its grant of injunctive relief.  However, the court vacated and remanded the award of damages for the district court to allow notice to be given to class members including their right to opt out of the class.

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