The Rules of Professional Conduct of The State Bar of California make up the professional standards to which California attorneys must adhere. Violation of the rules may subject an attorney to discipline.

In 2010, the State Bar Board of Trustees, which has statutory authority to formulate rule proposals that are submitted to the California Supreme Court for approval, received final recommendations on 67 proposed new and amended rules from a special commission charged with conducting a thorough study of the rules and recommending comprehensive amendments. If the proposed rules are approved by the Supreme Court, they will become binding on all California attorneys.

On July 20, 2011, the State Bar submitted an initial group of proposed Rules of Professional Conduct to the Supreme Court for approval. The six proposed rules contained in that submission were Rules 1.0 (re purpose and scope of the rules) and 7.1 through 7.5 (re communications and advertising). Select materials from the initial Supreme Court submission, including the background materials for each of the six rules, can be found in this condensed version of the July 20 Supreme Court petition.

On Oct. 28, 2011, the California Supreme Court issued an order, requested by the State Bar, withdrawing the July 20th submission. The State Bar requested withdrawal so that the State Bar could submit all 67 of the proposed new rules in a single comprehensive petition.  At present, preparation of this comprehensive petition is pending.

Also available:
Text of the proposed rules as distributed for the public comment period that ended on June 15, 2010, as well as the commission’s meeting materials for the subsequent meeting at which the comments received were considered, are available at this webpage.

Archive of Board Consideration of Proposed Rules page with links to the draft rules adopted by the board at each board meeting, and the public comment discussion drafts for each group of rules circulated for public comment.