Those following this saga will recall that nearly 10 years ago a commission began working on revisions to California’s Rules of Professional Conduct. California is the only one of the 50 states and the District of Columbia which hasn’t adopted some version of the American Bar Association Model Rules. The commission’s directive was to make our ethical rules more in line with those followed by the rest of the nation. After many years, revised rules were submitted to the California Supreme Court, which must approve them.
After inaction for an extended period of time, the Supreme Court rejected the commission’s recommendations and has ordered the State Bar to appoint a new commission by November 26, 2014. The new commission’s directive is to present its work for approval to the Court by March 31, 2017 and to “eliminate, where possible, any unnecessary differences between California’s rules and those used by a preponderance of the states.”
More uniformity in the nation’s ethical directives to lawyers will be helpful but, for the present, keep the current California Rules of Professional Conduct handy.