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 Rule 1.7 (Conflicts of Interests: Current Clients) of the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California

BACKGROUND:

By statute, the Board of Trustees (“Board”) has the authority to adopt amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California that are binding upon all members of the State Bar once those rules are approved by the California Supreme Court. (Business and Professions Code sections 6076 and 6077.)  The Board has assigned the Commission for the Revision of the Rules of Professional Conduct (“Commission”) to conduct a study of the Rules of Professional Conduct and to recommend comprehensive amendments. It is anticipated that this project will be completed by March 31, 2017.

DISCUSSION/PROPOSAL:

At the Board’s Nov. 17, 2016 meeting, 36 proposed rules were adopted and 34 proposed rules were authorized for an additional 45-day public comment period. The 45-day public comment period ended on Jan. 9, 2017. The Commission met on Jan. 20 and 21, 2017 to consider the comments received.  Following review, the Commission made further substantive amendments to proposed Rule 1.7 (Conflicts of Interests: Current Clients), and determined to seek authorization for a third public comment circulation.

At a Feb. 2, 2017 meeting, the Board Committee on Regulation and Discipline (RAD) considered the Commission’s recommendation and authorized a 30-day public comment circulation for further revised proposed Rule 1.7.

The comprehensive set of 70 proposed new and amended rules, that includes Rule 1.7, will be considered for adoption by the Board at its March 9-10, 2017 meeting.  If adopted by the Board, they will be prepared for transmission to the Supreme Court by March 31, 2017, for final approval.

Attachment 1 provides the full text of the proposed Rule 1.7.    
Attachment 2 provides the Commission’s report and recommendation in the form submitted to the Board Committee on Regulation and Admission for the Board’s Feb. 2, 2017  meeting (RAD Agenda Item II.A. 2-2-17).

Comments are only being accepted on Rule 1.7 at this time.

ANY KNOWN FISCAL/PERSONNEL IMPACT:

None

ATTACHMENTS: 
Attachment 1: Proposed Rule 1.7 (Conflicts of Interests: Current Clients) of the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California

Attachment 2: Commission’s Memorandum to the State Bar’s Board Committee on Regulation and Discipline – RAD Agenda Item II.A. 2-2-17

SOURCE:

Commission for the Revision of the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California

DEADLINE FOR COMMENT:

March 6, 2017

DIRECT COMMENTS TO:

Comments should be submitted using the online Public Comment Form. The online form allows you to input your comments directly and can also be used to upload your comment letter and/or other attachments. However, if you cannot use the online form, comments may be submitted by mail to the address indicated below.

Audrey Hollins
Office of Professional Competence, Planning and Development
State Bar of California
180 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94105-1639
Phone: 415-538-2167
Fax: 415-538-2171
Email: audrey.hollins@calbar.ca.gov