Jess West Discusses New Rule From the California Supreme Court Requiring Attorneys to Report Misconduct of Other Attorneys
Hinshaw attorney Jess West discussed with the Northern California Record a new rule from the California Supreme Court requiring lawyers to report the misconduct of other lawyers. Similar disclosure rules have long been mandated in other states.
West said the rule is "aimed at fostering integrity and public trust of the legal system." She noted that there were nearly 200 submitted comments opposing the new rule. She added,
Most of these comments argued that the rule would overwhelm the State Bar disciplinary system and would curb the lawyer/client relationship. In the past, these concerns might have swayed the Bar to reject a misconduct reporting rule. However, the California State Bar has been under intense scrutiny after the Girardi scandal, where one lawyer amassed 205 disciplinary complaints and proceedings alone.
"Hopefully, this duty holds lawyers to a higher standard and brings previously undetected misconduct into light," added West. "This has been the rule in most states for many years. It is unusual that California (which is often on the forefront to changes in the law) took so long to adopt the provision."
"California Supreme Court rule to report attorney misconduct takes effect, to avoid repeat of Girardi debacle" was published by Norther California Record on August 24, 2023.
California's new misconduct reporting rule was described in detail by Jess West in a Lawyers for the Professional Alert.