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Seventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Lawsuit Against Indiana Bar

John J. Otrompke intends to seek admission to the practice of law in the State of Indiana. He filed suit against the Bradley Skolnick and the Indiana State Board of Law Examiners apparently accusing them of violating his first amendment rights. Otrompke was concerned that, if he were to apply for admission in Indiana, he would be rejected because of his strong advocacy for certain political beliefs. The Seventh Circuit explains:

Section 3 of Rule 12 of the Indiana Rules for the Admission to the Bar and the Discipline of Attorneys states: “No person who advocates the overthrow of the government of the United States or this state by force, violence or other unconstitutional or illegal means, shall be certified to the Supreme Court of Indiana for admission to the bar of the court and a license to the practice of law.” The plaintiff intends to engage in “revolutionary advocacy,” as by distributing theCharter of Carnaro (Gabrielle d’Annunzio’s constitution, combining proto-fascist, anarchist, and democratic ideas, for his short-lived rule over Fiume in 1920), and Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto, and he is concerned, he says, that his actions will be deemed to violate Rule 12(3).

Unfortunately, because Mr. Otrompke has never actually applied to be admitted to the practice of law in the State of Indiana, his lawsuit was dismissed as premature. In other words, because Mr. Otrompke has not sought admission, he cannot claim that admission was denied him because of his political beliefs.

Edward X. Clinton, Jr.

Source: OTROMPKE v. Skolnik, Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit 2016 – Google Scholar