California
Attorney Ethics Counsel

Current and Timely Information and Analysis About California Attorney Ethics in Practice

September 30, 2020

12 Steps to a Healthier Law Practice in 2020: Step 9 – Location Matters

Fall is here, but most of us are still at home … many of us with our kids! After months of sheltering-in-place and social distancing, I think we can all agree that location does matter. In November 2018, 69 new or amended California Rules of Professional Conduct (“CRPC”) were thrust upon California’s more than 250,000 […]

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August 24, 2020

12 Steps to a Healthier Law Practice in 2020: Step 8 – Communication is Key

How is summer over already? In November 2018, 69 new or amended California Rules of Professional Conduct (“CRPC”) were thrust upon California’s more than 250,000 lawyers. These rules were renumbered and reorganized to align with the American Bar Association’s (“ABA”) Model Rules and replaced the 46 ethics rules that California lawyers had been following for nearly 30 years.  Despite […]

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July 20, 2020

12 Steps to a Healthier Law Practice in 2020: Step 7 – the Practice of Law is Not a Dating Service

Happy July! In November 2018, 69 new or amended California Rules of Professional Conduct (“CRPC”) were thrust upon California’s more than 250,000 lawyers. These rules were renumbered and reorganized to align with the American Bar Association’s (“ABA”) Model Rules and replaced the 46 ethics rules that California lawyers had been following for nearly 30 years.  Despite each […]

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June 25, 2020

12 Steps to a Healthier Law Practice in 2020: Step 6 – Advise on the Law

California Rule of Professional Conduct 1.2.1 permits lawyers to provide advice to clients on how to comply with state law without the lawyer being subject to the specter of discipline for unavoidably facilitating the violation of federal law. Without legal representation, those who want to engage in conduct that is permitted under state law, but illegal under federal law, may not fully understand their rights, duties, and liabilities. Prohibiting lawyers from representing clients who seek advice in an effort to comply with a state law that conflicts with federal or tribal law, would deprive many California residents, consumers and businesses from essential legal representation. As emphasized in the State Bar of California's Formal Opinion No. 2020-202, engaging in such legal services is undoubtedly not without its perils, so it is essential that both the lawyer and the client enter into such a relationship with their eyes wide open to the details of the conflicting laws, as well as the inherent risks and potential consequences.

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May 22, 2020

12 Steps To A Healthier Law Practice In 2020: Step 5 – Sharing Is Caring

This article comprehensively explores California's Rule of Professional Conduct 5.4 and the access to justice debate in California and around the country concerning whether lawyers should be permitted to share legal fees and law firm ownership with nonlawyers as highlighted by the recent California litigation involving LegalMatch.com and the antiquated rules and regulations of lawyer referral services.

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