Thursday, October 16, 2014

Is the California Sky Grey? (Raining on Professional Rules Update)

Interesting news and updates coming out of the Golden State: "California Justices Tell State Bar to Redo Proposals for Updating Lawyer Conduct Rules" --
  • "The California Supreme Court has told the state bar to go a different direction in coming up with proposals to update California's lawyer conduct rules. It took the state bar more than a decade to develop suggestions that were sent to the high court four years ago, and which went nowhere."
  • "In August the bar abruptly changed course and quietly stopped trying to gain the justices' approval of the comprehensive rule revisions. Now, the bar is going back to the drawing board to develop a new set of proposals under specific marching orders from the supreme court."
  • "These recent events essentially bag a set of 67 proposed rules the state bar's board of governors approved in 2010. See 26 Law. Man. Prof. Conduct 473, 619."
  • "The 2010 revisions followed the Model Rules' format, although the bar made significant departures in the substance of many of the California versions. The rules were developed by the bar's Commission for the Revision of the Rules of Professional Conduct, which began its work on updating the rules in 2001."
  • "Without the supreme court's approval, the updated rules never took effect. California is the only state that has not remodeled its lawyer conduct rules along the lines of the ABA templates, which were first issued in 1983."
The Legal Ethics Forum, often the water cooler of spirited and intelligent commentary, weighed in with a variety of reader opinion.

See also commentary by the creatively named Kafkaesq blog: "Supreme Court Goes Old School On Revised Rules of Professional Conduct."

(And for those who make their way through all the ins and outs of the above, and have grown accustomed to your editor's occasional insertions of amusement and distraction, comes this video, which mentioned of complex rules always brings to mind... in this case, a fictional account involving an agreement that took 372 legal experts to create.)

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