California Bar Journal
CBJ - December 2009 #03.
35 revisions of professional conduct rules win approval
California Bar JournalDecember 200935 revisions of professional conduct rules win approvalAfter nine years of work by its Rules Revision Commission, the State Bar Board of Governors has approved 35 revisions of the California Rules of Professional Conduct on issues ranging from lawyers as third-party neutrals and fees to communication with a represented person and competence.
"Approving the first batch of new Rules of Professional Conduct is an important step towards finalizing the process," said Michael Marcus, chair of the Discipline Oversight Committee. "All California lawyers owe a debt of gratitude to the Rules Revision Commission for its years of hard work."
For easier reference, the numbering of all the new rules are being changed to conform to the numbering system and subject area of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
At its November meeting, the Board of Governors approved rule revisions that:
Require an attorney serving as a third-party neutral to explain the difference between an advocate and third-party neutral to someone unlikely to be aware of the distinction. (Rule 2.4) Retain California's current standard prohibiting, for disciplinary purposes, an "unconscionable fee." The commission had been considering adopting the ABA's standard that prohibits an...