NAAMJP v. Holder Opposition to Motion to Dismiss Analysis

This writing assignment is from my Intro to Judicial Clerkships class. The prompt was to summarize the facts and legal arguments of the pleading in 2 pages as if I were a clerk for a judge.

The case was 14-cv-02110-RJC, NAAMJP v Eric Holder. The Opposition to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss can be found here.

            Plaintiffs in 14-cv-02110-RJC, NAAMJP v. Holder, have filed a brief in opposition to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss. Plaintiffs request oral argument on the motion.

            Plaintiffs assert that they have standing because Local Rule 701 is discriminating against non-Maryland attorneys. They argue that even if Plaintiffs were to apply to the District Court of Maryland bar, they would be denied because Local Rule 701 is a monopoly designed to protect the interests of Maryland attorneys.   

            Plaintiffs reenforce their first claim that Local Rule 701 Violates 28 U.S.C §§ 2071-72, FRCP 83, and FRCP 1, by asserting that it violates the Judicial Improvements and Access to Justice Act of 1988. The key provision Plaintiffs rely on is 28 U.S.C. § 2071 (a): “The Supreme Court and all courts established by Act of Congress may from time to time prescribe rules for the conduct of their business. Such rules shall be consistent with Acts of Congress and rules of practice and procedure prescribed under section 2072 of this title.” (Emphasis added) Plaintiffs allege that Local Rule 701 is not inline with the Acts of Congress.

            Plaintiffs reassert in their second claim that Local Rule 701 Violates the Supremacy Clause because Local Rule 701 adopts Maryland state bar requirements. Plaintiffs reassert the Supreme Court’s ruling in Sperry v. Florida that federal courts may not adopt state licensing requirements. Plaintiffs allege that Local Rule 701 impose additional conditions not contemplated by Congress and that these additional conditions are opposed to the Rules Enabling Act, Sections 2071-72.

            Plaintiffs assert, for their claim that Local Rue 71 violates the First Amendment, that litigation is a form of expression and that judicial conduct is subject to First Amendment scrutiny. Plaintiffs assert that Local Rule 701 is overbroad because Mothershed v. Justices of the Supreme Court of Arizona, 410 F.3d 602 (9th Cir. 2005) says that the right to hire and consult an attorney is protected by the First Amendment.  According to the Plaintiffs as well, Local Rule 701 is an unlawful content and viewpoint restraint because it is not a time, place, or manner restriction and denies non-Maryland attorneys the same rights as Maryland attorneys. Plaintiffs also reenforce their claim that Local Rule 701 is a prior restraint because it denies admission on motion in favor of forcing experienced attorneys to take an entry level test. Plaintiffs compared Local Rule 701 to Jim Crow era literacy tests. According to Plaintiffs, Local Rule 701 is forced association because it compels them to become members of the Maryland Supreme Court Bar. Plaintiffs further allege that Local Rule 701 denies them the right to petition because it interferes with a client’s ability to find counsel outside Maryland.

            Plaintiffs assert that Local Rule 701 violates the Fifth Amendment because it creates a monopoly on the judicial process. They reallege that the Equal Protection clause has been violated because the rule treats non-Maryland differently from Maryland attorneys thus violating the Privileges and Immunities clause.

            Plaintiffs do not address Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Due Process claim or claims against Attorney General Eric Holder.

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