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New professional conduct rules
go to the Supreme Court

The State Bar has submitted to the Supreme Court 67 proposed new Rules of Professional Conduct that offer a behavioral roadmap for attorneys and provide guidance in particular areas that have been confusing or controversial.

Because California is the only state whose professional conduct rules are not adapted from the ABA Model Rules, the revisions reflect a reorganization and renumbering to align California rules with the Model Rules. Last comprehensively revised in 1987, the rules mark the culmination of nearly 10 years of work by a special commission and a year of work by the board of governors. 

Due to the volume of background material surrounding the proposed new rules, the bar submitted six particular rules to the court in a format suggested for consideration of the remaining 61 rules, which will be submitted later. The bar also asked that the current 45 rules be repealed.

The new rules will not take effect until they’re approved by the Supreme Court.

The six rules contained in the July 20 submission to the court are:

  • Rule 1.0 ― Purpose and Scope of the Rules of Professional Conduct
  • Rule 7.1 ― Communications Concerning the Availability of Legal Services
  • Rule 7.2 ― Advertising
  • Rule 7.3 ― Direct Contact with Prospective Clients
  • Rule 7.4 ― Communication of Fields of Practice and Specialization
  • Rule 7.5 ― Firm Names and Letterhead

The complete text of the proposed rules is posted on the bar’s website.