News Release

California Supreme Court Revises Conflict of Interest Code for State Bar Board of Trustees

State Bar of California must share revised proposal for public comment, resubmit proposed amended code by Oct. 30
Aug 31, 2023

California Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero today directed the State Bar of California to further revise its conflict of interest code for the State Bar Board of Trustees to make clearer trustees’ duties regarding disclosure and disqualification.

Chief Justice Guerrero submitted the revisions, made in consultation with the California Supreme Court, and directed the State Bar to circulate the amended code for at least 30 days of public comment. The State Bar must then resubmit the proposed amended code with any additional revisions by Oct. 30.

In April, Chief Justice Guerrero directed the State Bar to expedite updates to the conflict of interest code governing members of the Board of Trustees.

The court said the State Bar’s revised proposal did not comply with the requirements of Government Code section 87309, subdivisions (a) and (b), because it “fails to provide reasonable assurance that all foreseeable potential conflict of interest situations will be disclosed or prevented” and fails to provide the trustees with “a clear and specific statement” of their “duties under the code.”

The proposal is one of several other directives from the court to the State Bar, including a rule compelling attorneys to report misconduct by other attorneys; notices to inform clients, the courts, and adverse parties of attorney suspensions; and new rules requiring the screening of candidates for the Board of Trustees and State Bar Court for potential conflicts of interest.