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MCLE Self-Assessment Test

Your feedback sought on attorney discipline system, sanctions

Road to Resolution graphicThe State Bar is seeking formal public comment on what would be the first substantive changes in nearly 30 years to the discipline standards for attorneys. In addition, the attorney discipline system is the focus of two public hearings this month.

The standards, originally adopted in 1986, help determine the appropriate sanction in a particular misconduct case and ensure consistency in how cases are handled.

After the standards underwent a general cleanup and reorganization last year, the Board of Trustees appointed a Discipline Standards Task Force to look into the need for more substantive changes.

Learn more about the proposed changes to discipline standards

Want to weigh in on the disciplinary process? Find out when and where.
The task force held a series of public meetings since May and developed a number of proposed revisions. Among them, the task force suggests creating new standards for conflicts, breach of confidentiality, fee-splitting with non-lawyers and filing frivolous litigation. They also propose adding aggravating factors for misrepresentation and in cases when victims are especially vulnerable. Written comments are due Jan. 16 and should be directed to Veronica Li in the Office of General Counsel, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105.

In addition, every December attorneys and the public have an opportunity to weigh in on disciplinary procedures, attorney competency or admissions procedures at a series of public hearings. Anyone who would like may sign up to speak and/or present written materials.

The San Francisco hearing is at 10 a.m. on Dec. 3 at the State Bar’s offices at 180 Howard St., 4th floor. The contact is Sabrina Johnson at 415-538-2216. The Los Angeles hearing is at 10 a.m. on Dec. 11 at the State Bar’s offices at 845 S. Figueroa St., 2nd floor. The contact is Seana-Rae Pasco at 213-765-1504.