California’s New Rules of Professional Conduct: What You Need to Know [LGE 017]



I’m diving into the changes that came about with the new revamp of the California Rules of Professional Conduct. Several years ago, the California Supreme Court convened a commission to work on bringing California’s Rules into alignment with the ABA Model Rules. The Commission’s Rules were recently adopted by the Supreme Court and they go into affect later this year in 2018.

In this episode, I’m breaking down what California lawyers need to know about the changes and how they impact their law practices.

What I Explain In This Episode:

  • California still hasn’t adopted the Model Rules; they simply amended California’s existing rules
  • The way the rules are numbered have been completely revamped and they’re a bit confusing
  • California is finally aligned with best practices when it comes to advance fees and now require that lawyers deposit those fees in client trust accounts
  • What about sex with clients? When can a lawyer have sex with his/her client?
  • The new client communication rule (CA New Rule 1.4) requires lawyers to advise their clients and manage their expectations as they relate to a lawyer’s conduct and capabilities
  • What should a lawyer do when a client is engaging in conduct that is legal under California law but not legal under Federal law. This proposed Rule 1.2.1 was not adopted yet and is still up for discussion
  • The new conflict of interest rules (New Rule 1.7, replacing old Rule 3-310) require that lawyers look more globally at the client and the relationship to find any conflicts
  • New Rule 1.18 provides rules that apply to the attorney-client consultation and what confidentiality issues exist
  • How this old rule (CA old Rule 2-400) provided greater protection for a lawyer who was accused of discrimination. The new rules are stricter and in some regard, less fair, when it comes to these allegations

Resources:

You can find all of the new rules here.

California Lawyers Association Solo and Small Firm Section

Webinar: CA Rules of Professional Conduct: What the 2018 Rule Updates Mean to You? June 7th, 2018 Presented by James Ham and Megan Zavieh

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