Following is the 47th post in a series from Parker Law Group about recent changes to the California Bar Association (CBA)’s Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC). This revision (along with Rule 1.0.1) is no longer included in Chapter 1, but is now in an introductory section that comes BEFORE Chapter 1. This Rule of Professional Conduct, as revised, is as follows:
Rule 1.0 Purpose and Function of the Rules of Professional Conduct
The following rules are intended to regulate professional conduct of lawyers through discipline. They have been adopted by the Board of Trustees of the State Bar of California and approved by the Supreme Court of California pursuant to Business and Professions Code sections 6076 and 6077 to protect the public, the courts, and the legal profession; protect the integrity of the legal system; and promote the administration of justice and confidence in the legal profession. These rules together with any standards adopted by the Board of Trustees pursuant to these rules shall be binding upon all lawyers.
(1) A willful violation of any of these rules is a basis for discipline.
(2) The prohibition of certain conduct in these rules is not exclusive. Lawyers are also bound by applicable law including the State Bar Act (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 6000 et seq.) and opinions of California courts.
(3) A violation of a rule does not itself give rise to a cause of action for damages caused by failure to comply with the rule. Nothing in these rules or the Comments to the rules is intended to enlarge or to restrict the law regarding the liability of lawyers to others.
(c) Purpose of Comments.
The comments are not a basis for imposing discipline but are intended only to provide guidance for interpreting and practicing in compliance with the rules.
(d) These rules may be cited and referred to as the “California Rules of Professional Conduct.”
The CBA’s previous version of this rule – Rule 1-100(A)-(E) – included more information than the revised version (as set forth above) does. The previous rule’s verbiage discussing terminology and disciplinary authority has now been incorporated into other rules. (See Rules 1.0.1 and 8.5.)
The first, second, third, and fourth paragraphs of the previous version’s subdivision (A) (“Purpose and Function”) now show up as subdivisions (a) (“Purpose”) and (b)(1)-(3) (“Function”). Subd. (C) in the previous version has been labeled subd. (c) in the new rule, but is now less wordy. And the text in subd. (E) of the previous rule is now in 1.0(d).
The American Bar Association (ABA)’s RPC does not include any rules covering the information found in CBA’s revised RPC Rule 1.0.
Benefit: Generally speaking, the information found in the revised version of this rule makes it easier for anyone (including an attorney’s client) to understand the purpose for the California State Bar Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct. It should also help a client to hold accountable any attorney who may be representing them.
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 email@example.com. (An email to the law firm requesting a consultation does not create an attorney-client relationship or any agreement for representation by the firm.)
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