Law: The Fee Fracas

The rumbling from Washington has been growing louder for months. "These fee arrangements," said Bruce Wilson, the Justice Department's No. 2 antitrust man, "can be viewed as little more than cartels." Added Keith Clearwaters, a deputy assistant attorney general: "There are no defenses that will save them." The target of that legal wrath is the practice among many state and local bar associations of establishing "minimum fee schedules." Now the warnings and threats have ended in action: the Justice Department has charged the Oregon State Bar Association with an illegal conspiracy "to raise, fix, stabilize and maintain fees charged for rendering...

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