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Challenge to State Bar's Use of Mandatory Dues, Plus Criminal Case

By FindLaw Staff on September 10, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

US v. Szymuszkiewicz, 10-1347, concerned a challenge to the district court's denial of a defendant's motion for acquittal, in his prosecution under the Wiretap Act for intentionally intercepting his supervisor's electronic communication.  In affirming the judgment, the court held that the district court properly rejected defendant's attack on the sufficiency of the evidence as he had both motive and opportunity.  The court also held that the Wiretap Act's definitions treat the acquisition of emails as an interception.


Kingstad v. State Bar of Wisconsin, 09-4080, involved an attorneys' challenge to the Wisconsin State Bar's use of their mandatory dues to fund a campaign for improving the public's perception of Wisconsin lawyers.  The cour affirmed the district court's decision upholding an arbitrator's ruling in favor of the State Bar as, to withstand scrutiny under the First Amendment, State Bar expenditures funded by mandatory dues must be germane to the legitimate purposes of the State Bar.  Here, the public image campaign at issue in this case is germane to those constitutionally legitimate purposes.

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