SECOND, our state bar here in Wisconsin opposes our proposed change to ethics rule 1.9 -- color me surprised. Our bar collects our dues and is supposed to be working for us, yet has chosen to "protect" the public from lawyers' discussion of public information, rather than protecting our basic free speech rights. If the Wisconsin bar has its way, we lawyers will still be prevented from talking about even the public aspects (e.g., published appellate court decisions) of our former clients' cases -- also known as our cases. This is clearly unconstitutional, but our bar and other mandatory bars love to be perceived as protecting the public at its lawyer-members' expense.
THIRD, Wisconsin's mandatory bar can get away with taking our money and then working to violate our basic constitutional rights because it's an entrenched bureaucracy that we are forced to join. But the bar ought to rethink its position, because it might not enjoy this insanely privileged status forever. In Arizona, for example, the Irreverent Lawyer is leading a movement to dismantle the mandatory bar and turn it into a voluntary organization. If he is successful, their state bar bureaucracy would shrivel up faster than a grape in the southwest desert summer sun. (That is, few lawyers would join if they're not forced to do so.) Good luck, Irreverent One! Why don't you take care of business in Arizona, and then come to Wisconsin and take on our mandatory bar? Knightly offers his assistance in the fight for freedom of speech and freedom of association.