In a move that has bar members buzzing, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the organization responsible for providing CLE classes to more than half Pennsylvania’s lawyers, filed suit against the Pennsylvania Bar Association last week after a series of negotiations between the two fell flat. The PBI suit claims that the PBA has continually made extraordinary financial demands that not only drove CLE costs up for lawyers over the past few years but also could force the PBI into insolvency if they remain unchecked.

PBI’s board of directors is asking for a declaratory judgment that it is acting in the best interest as a fiduciary of the PBI, as well as an accounting of the PBA and Pennsylvania Bar Foundation’s expenditures. Though Judge Frank X. O’Brien of Philadelphia County’s Orphans’ Court has not officially denied the PBI’s request for an emergency injunction to preserve the jobs of PBI’s board, O’Brien has not found emergency circumstances regarding the request.

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