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The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a Wisconsin district court judge and said an attorney can continue seeking class certification for out-of-state law students in a lawsuit that claims it’s illegal to allow graduates of Wisconsin’s law schools to skip the state’s bar exam while requiring out-of-state students to take it. Christopher Wiesmueller sued the state’s Supreme Court and its board of bar examiners last April, saying it was a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause that only students who graduate from the state’s two law schools are able to begin practicing law without passing the bar exam. Wiesmueller last year filed a motion for summary judgment and the defendants moved to dismiss the case. After U.S. District Judge John Shabaz in the Western District of Wisconsin denied the motion for summary judgment, but before he ruled on dismissing the case, Wiesmueller filed a motion for class certification. Shabaz ruled that the class certification question was moot after he granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case. Judge Richard Posner, writing for the 7th Circuit, said that not only is the class certification not moot as a result of the judge’s dismissing the case, it is also not moot now that Wiesmueller has taken and passed the Wisconsin bar exam. The plaintiff must be allowed to argue the motion for class certification on behalf of other class representatives and the judge must rule on the merits of the motion, Posner said.

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