CPIL's Bob Fellmeth OpEd on California Bar Split Published by The Recorder

CPIL's Bob Fellmeth OpEd on California Bar Split Published by The Recorder

San Francisco (April 13, 2016) – USD School of Law Professor Robert Fellmeth's OpEd on why the bar should split its regulatory work from its advocacy activities was published by The Recorder. 

In the article, Fellmeth argues that the phrase "unified bar" has a positive ring. Who is not for joining together for the good of all? Likewise, "segregated bar" has a negative connotation. So why should the California State Bar end its "unified" structure, combining its public regulatory functions and its trade association activities, and move to a "segregated structure?" 

Another set of terms also has emotional resonance: "checks and balances," "restraints of trade" and "a government of the people." It is understandable for the bar, as with all of the profession and trade licensees, to view its own control of regulatory agencies with beneficence. But should people in the very group this public agency regulates not just influence the bar, but actually constitute it?

Fellmeth argues that the issue is basic. We do not have socialism, where the state owns the means of production. Nor do we have industrial socialism, where the means of production own the state. The American model rejects both, positing an independent state controlled by the citizenry.

According to the article, there is an underlying imbalance in all of government borne of the rise of thousands of trade associations dominating information and lobbying to public officials. In regulatory law, the problem has crossed another line, with the public entities directly controlled by those in the profession regulated.

Read the full article on 

Read Professor Fellmeth's OpEd on

About Professor Fellmeth

Robert Fellmeth is the Price Professor of Public Interest Law at the University of San Diego School of Law, where he teaches and writes in the areas of children's rights, regulation, antitrust, and consumer law. Professor Fellmeth is also the executive director of both USD’s Center for Public Interest Law and Children's Advocacy Institute.

About the University of San Diego School of Law

The University of San Diego (USD) School of Law is recognized for the excellence of its faculty, depth of its curriculum, and strength of its clinical programs. Each year, USD educates approximately 900 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 81 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 23rd worldwide in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.

Price Professor of Public Interest Law Robert Fellmeth

Post Contact

Katie Pinto
(619) 260-4207

Contact Information