California Supreme Court adopts new Bar ethics rules which (mostly) follow the ABA Model Rules
Hello everyone and welcome to this Ethics Alert, which will discuss the California Supreme Court’s recent Order implementing new Bar ethics rules which are substantially patterned after the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The California Supreme Court Order approving 69 new rules (42 of whi
Summary of New California Bar RulesOn May 10, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued an order adopting a new set of California Rules of Professional Conduct patterned after the American Bar Association*s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which were first published by the ABA in 1983. California will now join the other 49 states which have adopted ethics rules patterned after the ABA Model Rules. California lawyers are also governed by the California Business Code. The new California Bar rules will take effect on November 1, 2018.
The new California Bar rules are not identical to the ABA Model Rules; however, and the new rules do not adopt Model Rule 1.14, which sets forth the obligations of lawyers who are representing clients with diminished capacity. The new Bar rules implement streamlined advertising rules which substantially track the rules proposed by the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL).
A table comparing the new California Bar rules with the ABA model rules which was prepared by the California Bar is here: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/0/documents/ethics/2D_RRC/2017_CrossReferenceChart%20RulesByNumbering-v.2-031717.pdf
Back Story of RulesAccording to media reports, there is also back story related to the substantial efforts to align the California Bar rules with the ABA model rules (as well as the rest of the country). An article published by the ABA/BNA Lawyers* Manual on Professional Conduct in April 2017 outlines the history of *California*s multiyear initiative to update its standards governing lawyer conduct* to align with the ABA Model Rules templates. That article is here: https://www.bna.com/fate-california-rule-n57982086261/
Bottom LineAfter a long effort by California lawyers, the state has now joined the 49 other states (including Florida in 1990), which have adopted versions of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Responsibility.