California Legal Ethics Overhaul Brings State Closer to National Standards

After many years and an unsuccessful multi-year attempt that ended 2014, California has extensively revised its Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers, bringing them more closely in line with the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct (“Model Rules”), which have been adopted to some degree by every other state in the country. On May 10, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued an order approving 69 new rules that will govern the state’s 250,000 licensed attorneys starting November 1, 2018. According to a press release from the California State Bar, this is the first large-scale revision to the state’s ethics rules in almost 30 years. A previous effort to revise the rules, which took roughly a decade, was ultimately rejected by the California Supreme Court in 2014. The new rules include 27 that were approved as submitted by the State Bar, and 42 that were approved as modified by the…

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