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National Association for Advancement of Multijurisdictional Practice v. Roberts
United States District Court, District of Columbia
April 14, 2016
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF MULTIJURISDICTION PRACTICE, JOSE JEHUDA GARCIA, MARINNA L. CALLAWAY and HERBERT HOWARD DETRICK, II, Plaintiffs,
RICHARD W. ROBERTS, EMMET 6. SULLIVAN, COLLEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY, ELLEN S. HUVELLE, REGGIE B. WALTON, JOHN D. BATES, RICHARD J. LEON, ROSEMARY M. COLLYER, BERYL A. HOWELL, ROBERT L. WILKINS, JAMES E. BOASBERG, AMY BERMAN JACKSON, RUDOLPH CONTRERAS, KETANJI BROWN JACKSON and ERIC H. HOLDER, JR., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Nathaniel M. Gorton
This case involves allegations that a local rule of a district court (i.e., Local Rule 83.8(a)(2) of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (''D.D.C.")) unlawfully restricts the admission and membership of certain attorneys based upon their status as active members in good standing of the Bar of the states in which they maintain their principal law offices.
After the Court ruled largely in defendants' favor, plaintiffs filed motions to recover their attorney's fees. For the reasons that follow, those motions will be denied.
The facts of this case have been described at length in a previous Memorandum & Order C'M&O") issued by this Court (Docket No. 46). The following are the salient facts for the purpose of this M&O.
Plaintiff National Association for the Advancement of Multijurisdiction Practice C'NAAMJP") is a public benefit corporation that advocates for the reciprocal admission of all lawyers to all jurisdictions. The other individual plaintiffs are attorneys who have been precluded from admission to the D.D.C. Bar by the challenged local rule.
In December, 2013, plaintiffs initiated this action against the active judges of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and the United States Attorney General by filing a complaint. At the time, D.D.C. Local Rule 83.8(a)(2) provided that:
Admission to and continuing membership in the Bar of this Court are limited to attorneys who are . . . active members in good standing of the highest court of any state in which the attorney maintains his/her principal law office and is a member in good standing of a United States District Court that provides for reciprocal admission to members of the Bar of this Court.
Plaintiffs alleged in their complaint that the
''principal law office" and reciprocity requirements in the then-existing version of the rule violated federal statutory and constitutional law.
In June, 2014, defendant-judges approved an amended version of D.D.C. Local Rule 83.8(a)(2) which provided that:
Admission to and continuing membership in the Bar of this Court are limited to . . . attorneys who are active members in good standing of the Bar of any state in which they maintain their principal law office ....
Plaintiffs responded to the removal of the reciprocity requirement by amending their complaint to reflect the change in the rule.
In December, 2015, this Court granted defendants' motion to dismiss the amended complaint, denied plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and, accordingly, dismissed the case. Plaintiffs filed the ...