News Release

For Public Comment: Judicial Response to Attorney Misconduct

Deadline to comment is Jan. 19, 2024.
Dec 4, 2023

The California Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions (CJEO) invites public comment on a draft formal opinion addressing how judicial officers should respond to attorney misconduct.

In CJEO Draft Formal Opinion 2023-025, the committee advises judicial officers have two general responsibilities when responding to attorney misconduct:

  • First, comply with their statutory obligations regarding the duty to report certain types of misconduct, and
  • Second, take appropriate corrective action consistent with the Code of Judicial Ethics. The draft opinion outlines the steps judges should take when determining whether the misconduct requires mandatory reporting to the State Bar, and how to determine other appropriate corrective action. The draft opinion also provides an appendix for easy reference.

Justice Judith Haller (Ret.)“Most judges are aware of their mandatory reporting obligations under section 6086.7 of the Business and Professions Code. What they may not know is that there are additional instances of attorney misconduct that require reporting to the State Bar, as well as several grounds for discretionary reporting. This opinion clearly walks judicial officers through the decision-making process,” said committee member Justice Judith L. Haller (Ret.).

The committee’s Invitation to Comment is posted on CJEO’s website. Comments are due by Jan. 19, 2024, and may be submitted by CJEO’s online comment form, by email to, or by mail to:

     Jody Vakili
     CJEO Staff Attorney
     The Supreme Court of California Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions
     350 McAllister Street
     San Francisco, California 94102

All comments submitted to CJEO may be posted on CJEO’s website for public review unless clearly marked as confidential. 

Public comments are an important part of CJEO’s process. These comments provide useful insight and help ensure that the committee considers all potential solutions, consequences, and points of view, which serves to improve the final opinion.

About the Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions (CJEO)

The Committee on Judicial Ethics Opinions is a 12-member advisory committee that includes appellate justices, trial court judges, two retired judges, and a commissioner. The committee is appointed and authorized by the California Supreme Court, but its work is independent of the court, the Judicial Council, and all other entities. Its opinions are advisory and do not necessarily reflect the views of the California Supreme Court or any other entity. 

The committee issues formal, informal, and expedited advisory opinions on proper judicial conduct pursuant to the California Code of Judicial Ethics and other authorities. CJEO’s website includes advisory opinions, resources dedicated to specific judicial assignments and issues, and extensive judicial ethics tools and resource materials for the benefit of the bench and the public.