PLEASE NOTE: Publication for public comment is not, and shall not, be construed as a recommendation or approval by the Board of Trustees of the materials published.

SUBJECT:

Proposed amendments to the State Bar rules regarding 1) member record; 2) minimum continuing legal education; and 3) providers of continuing education services

BACKGROUND:

The Office of General Counsel has reviewed all State Bar Rules to determine whether there are any material inconsistencies with the related statutes and Rules of Court. This proposal contains proposed amendments to remedy inconsistencies in State Bar Rules regarding 1) member record; 2) minimum continuing legal education; and 3) providers of continuing education services.

DISCUSSION/PROPOSAL:

1. Member Record (Title 2, Division 1, Rule 2.2)

Business and Professions Code section 6002.1 states, in part:

(a) Official member records include: . . .

(3) any other jurisdictions in which the member is admitted and dates of his or her admission.

California Rules of Court, rule 9.6, states that official membership records:

must include the information specified in Business and Professions Code section 6002.1 and 6064 and other information as directed by the Supreme Court.

Rule 2.2 covers the public information that must be contained in a member’s record.  That rule states, in part:

A member record contains public information, including the following: . . .
(F) places and dates of admission in other jurisdictions before admission in California;

Proposed Rule Amendment

Section 6002.1(a)(3) provides that the official membership records include any other jurisdictions in which the member is admitted but the State Bar Rule applies only to admission in other jurisdictions before admission in California. The rule and statute should be made consistent by deleting “before admission in California” from the rule.


2. Minimum Continuing Legal Education (Title 2, Division 4, Rules 2.54(A)(3) and (A)(4))

Business and Professions Code section 6070(c) provides the following MCLE exemption for state employees:

Full-time employees of the State of California, acting within the scope of their employment, shall be exempt from the provisions of this section.

Rule 2.54(A)(3) provides the following MCLE exemption for state employees:

those employed full-time by the State of California as attorneys or administrative law judges on a permanent or probationary basis, regardless of their working hours, who do not otherwise practice law;

California Rules of Court, rule 9.31(c), provides the following MCLE exemption for federal employees:

full-time employee of the United States Government, its departments, agencies, and public corporations, acting within the scope of his or her employment.

Rule 2.54(A)(4) provides the following MCLE exemption federal employees:

those employed full-time by the United States government as attorneys or administrative law judges on a permanent or probationary basis, regardless of their working hours, who do not otherwise practice law.

Proposed Rule Amendment

Rule 2.54(A)(3) is inconsistent with the statute and Rule 2.54(A)(4) is inconsistent with the rule of court for the same reason. The statute and rule of court provide an exemption for all full-time employees, but the State Bar rule restricts that exemption to those who are employed as attorneys or administrative law judges. The situation should all be clarified, simplified, and made consistent with the language of the statute and rule of court by amending Rules 2.54(A)(3) and 2.54(A)(4) to delete the statement that full-time employees be employed “as attorneys or administrative law judges.”


3. Providers of Continuing Education Services (Title 3, Division 5, Chapter 1, Rule 3.604)

Business and Professions Code section 6070(b) states, with respect to certification of approved MCLE providers:

The certification may be revoked only by majority vote of the board, after notice and hearing, and for good cause shown.

Rule 3.604 provides

The State Bar may suspend or revoke a provider’s approval at any time for failure to comply with these rules or the terms of any applicable State Bar agreement.

Proposed Rule Amendment

The rule is inconsistent with the statute because:

(1) The statute refers only to revocation, while the rule gives the State Bar the power to suspend or revoke a provider’s approval.

(2)  The statute states that certification may be revoked only by majority vote of the board, after notice and hearing, and for good cause shown, while the rule states that the MCLE provider approval can be revoked at any time and does not provide for majority vote of the board, after notice and hearing, and for good cause shown.

As proposed to be amended, the language of State Bar Rule 3.604 would follow the language of Business and Professions Code section 6070(b).

ANY KNOWN FISCAL/PERSONNEL IMPACT:

None

ATTACHMENTS:
Admissions and Education Committee – Nov. 17, 2016 – Agenda Memo

Admissions and Education Committee – Nov. 17, 2016 – Agenda Memo – Attachment A

SOURCE:

Admissions and Education Committee

DEADLINE:

Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017

DIRECT COMMENTS TO:
Saul Bercovitch
The State Bar of California
180 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
Email: Saul.Bercovitch@calbar.ca.gov