The California Supreme Court on Tuesday approved three measures to identify and prevent conflicts of interest involving the State Bar of California.
Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero approved, with some minor modifications, the State Bar’s second attempt to update and amend its conflict of interest code for the State Bar Board of Trustees. The new conflict of interest code is effective immediately.
The California Supreme Court approved, with significant modifications, amendments to rule 9.11 of the California Rules of Court to ensure those who seek to serve as State Bar Court judges are screened for actual and potential conflicts of interest.
The court modified the State Bar’s proposal to require the screening committee to determine whether a candidate for the State Bar Court has financial or nonfinancial interests or relationships with other attorneys that would impact the applicant’s ability to serve “in a manner that avoids impropriety, the appearance of impropriety, or frequent disqualification.”
The court also made modifications to the State Bar’s proposal for screening applicants for the State Bar Board of Trustees under rule 9.90 of the California Rules of Court. Those changes require the screening committee to determine whether a candidate’s “relationships with other attorneys”—and not just their financial or nonfinancial interests—would impact the applicant’s ability to serve as a trustee with “disinterested skill and undivided loyalty” to the State Bar.