Bar Exam

Out-of-State Law Grad Settles Suit Over Wis. 'Diploma Privilege' for $7,500

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After more than three years of litigation, an out-of-state law graduate has apparently tired of pursing a onetime federal class action over Wisconsin’s so-called diploma privilege, under which graduates of the state’s two law schools are automatically admitted into the Wisconsin bar.

Hence, Christopher Wiesmueller accepted $7,500 last week to settle the constitutional case on behalf of himself and his wife, who is scheduled to take the Wisconsin bar in July, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Although he has scored two victories in the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals during the court battle, a judge’s decision not to allow it to proceed as a class action counterbalanced these wins.

In exchange for the $7,500 payment, the Waukesha practitioner and his wife agreed to drop their commerce-clause claims against the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Board of Bar Examiners and not to make similar claims on behalf of anyone else.

Meanwhile, however, the issue still is still there if another attorney wants to take up the litigation battle, Wiesmueller tells the Journal Sentinel.

The state supreme court hasn’t yet responded to a petition filed last year by more than 70 lawyers in Wisconsin.

They asked the court either to offer automatic bar admission to graduates of all American Bar Association-accredited law schools or require graduates of the two Wisconsin law schools, at Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin, to take the bar along with their out-of-state colleagues.

Earlier coverage: “Judge Certifies Non-Wisconsin Law Grads, Axes Bar Admission Class Action”

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