Following is the eighteenth in a series of posts about recent changes to the California Bar Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC). This rule is found in Chapter 3, which is titled “Advocate.”
As this is a new rule, it is not a revision of a previous rule. CBA’s Rule 3.9 addresses “advocacy in a nonadjudicative proceeding” and is shown below:
Rule 3.9 Advocate in Nonadjudicative Proceedings
A lawyer representing a client before a legislative body or administrative agency in connection with a pending nonadjudicative matter or proceeding shall disclose that the appearance is in a representative capacity, except when the lawyer seeks information from an agency that is available to the public.
As set forth above, this rule explains that whenever he or she appears before a judge or administrative agency in connection with a particular client, the lawyer must make it clear that he or she IS representing the client. In order for this rule to apply, however, the client being represented must be involved with a pending nonadjudicative matter. This means that no final judgment has yet been made on the client’s matter.
Rule 3.9 of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) RPC carries the same title as the CBA’s version of the same rule, and most of the same verbiage. But the ABA’s rule adds that the lawyer “shall conform to the provisions of Rules 3.3(a) through (c) 3.4(a) through(c), and 3.5.” Those rules address candor toward the tribunal, fairness to opposing party and counsel, and the tribunal’s “impartiality and decorum.”
Benefit: Generally speaking, this rule helps protect a client’s legal right to representation by clarifying the attorney’s responsibility to divulge his or her role in representing the client, whether the attorney is appearing before a legislative body or an administrative agency.
The information provided herein is informational only and should not be construed as legal advice or as an agreement for representation. This is not an advertisement. If you have an issue or dispute with your attorney, or are seeking advice with respect to your obligations, you should consult with an experienced attorney. Parker Law Group is a full-service litigation and transactional law firm. Mr. Parker has represented clients in professional malfeasance disputes for over 22 years. If you would like to schedule an initial consultation with Mr. Parker or his team, you can reach them at 916/996-0400 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. (An email to the law firm requesting a consultation does not create an attorney-client relationship or any agreement for representation by the firm.)
Rules of Professional Conduct, California Bar Association, American Bar Association, Legal Malpractice, Client Rights, Advocate