Advocate Rules of Practice

California`s Rules of Professional Conduct are designed to govern the professional conduct of state attorneys licensed through discipline. They were passed by the Board of Directors and approved by the California Supreme Court under the Act to Protect the Public and Promote Respect and Trust in the Legal Profession. The rules and all related standards adopted by the Chamber are binding on all lawyers admitted to the State Bar. [8] The responsibilities of a lawyer as a representative of clients, as an official of the legal system and as a citizen of public life are generally harmonious. Thus, if a counterparty is well represented, a lawyer can be a passionate lawyer on behalf of a client while assuming that justice will be done. Thus, a lawyer can also be sure that maintaining clients` trust is generally in the public interest, as people are more likely to seek legal advice and thus comply with their legal obligations if they know their communications will be private. [3] In addition to these representative functions, a lawyer may act as a neutral and non-representative third party to assist the parties in resolving a dispute or other matter. Some of these rules apply directly to lawyers who are or have acted as neutral third parties. See, for example, Rules 1.12 and 2.4. In addition, there are rules that apply to lawyers who are not active in the practice of the law, or to practising lawyers, even if they are acting in a non-professional capacity. For example, a lawyer who commits fraud in the management of a business is subject to disciplinary action because he engages in conduct that involves dishonesty, fraud, deception or misrepresentation.

See Article 8.4. [2] As a client representative, a lawyer performs various functions. As a consultant, a lawyer provides a client with a good understanding of the client`s legal rights and obligations and explains their practical implications. As a lawyer, a lawyer eagerly asserts the client`s position according to the rules of the opposite system. As a negotiator, a lawyer strives to achieve a result that is beneficial to the client, but that meets the requirements of an honest relationship with others. As an appraiser, a lawyer acts by investigating a client`s legal affairs and reporting to the client or others. [11] To the extent that lawyers respect the obligations of their professional vocation, there is no need for state regulation. Self-regulation also helps to preserve the independence of the legal profession from government rule. An independent legal profession is an important force in keeping the government before the law, as the abuse of legal authority is more easily challenged by a profession whose members do not depend on the government to exercise the law.

[9] However, in the nature of legal practice, conflicting responsibilities arise. Virtually all difficult ethical issues arise from the conflict between a lawyer`s responsibility to his or her clients, the legal system, and the lawyer`s interest in remaining an ethical person while earning a satisfying life. The rules of professional conduct often prescribe conditions for the resolution of such conflicts. However, within the framework of these rules, many difficult questions of professional discretion may arise. These issues must be resolved through the exercise of sound professional and moral judgment guided by the basic principles underlying the rules. These principles include the lawyer`s obligation to protect and pursue a client`s legitimate interests within the framework of the law, while maintaining a professional, courteous and civil attitude towards all persons involved in the legal system. [15] The Rules of Procedure presuppose a broader legal context that characterizes the role of counsel. This context includes court regulations and laws relating to licensing matters, laws defining the specific obligations of lawyers, and substantive and procedural law in general.

Comments are sometimes used to educate lawyers about their responsibilities under this other law. [14] The rules of ethics are rules of reason. They must be interpreted in the light of the objectives of the legal representation and the law itself. Some of the rules are imperatives set out in the words “should” or “shall not”. These define good behaviour for the purposes of professional discipline. Others that are generally included in the term “may” are permissive and define areas according to the rules in which the lawyer may exercise professional judgment in his or her sole discretion. No disciplinary action should be taken if the lawyer decides not to act or to act within this discretion. Other rules define the nature of the relationship between the lawyer and others. The rules of procedure are therefore partly mandatory and disciplinary and partly constitutive and descriptive, since they define the professional role of a lawyer. Many of the comments use the word “should.” The comments do not add obligations to the rules, but provide guidelines for the exercise of the rules in accordance with the rules.

[16] As with any legislation in an open society, compliance with the rules depends primarily on voluntary understanding and respect, secondarily on the empowerment of peers and public opinion and, finally, if necessary, on law enforcement through disciplinary proceedings. However, the rules do not exhaust the moral and ethical considerations that should inform a lawyer, because no rewarding human activity can be entirely defined by legal rules. The rules only provide a framework for the ethical practice of law. [5] The conduct of a lawyer must comply with legal requirements, both in the professional care of clients and in the commercial and personal affairs of the lawyer. A lawyer should only use the procedures of the law for legitimate purposes and not to harass or intimidate others. A lawyer must show respect for the legal system and for those who serve it, including judges, other lawyers and public servants. While it is the duty of a lawyer, if necessary, to challenge the integrity of the official act, it is also the duty of a lawyer to maintain the judicial process. [20] A breach of a provision should not in itself give rise to an action against a lawyer or, in such a case, should give rise to a presumption of breach of a legal obligation. Moreover, a violation of a rule does not necessarily justify another non-disciplinary remedy, such as disqualifying a lawyer in an ongoing dispute. The rules are intended to provide guidance to lawyers and a structure for the regulation of conduct by disciplinary authorities. They are not intended as a basis for civil liability.

In addition, the purpose of the rules may be compromised if they are invoked by the opposing parties as procedural weapons. The fact that a rule provides a fair basis for a lawyer`s self-assessment or for sanctioning a lawyer under the administration of a disciplinary authority does not mean that an antagonist in a parallel proceeding or settlement is entitled to request the application of the rule. However, since the rules set standards of conduct for lawyers, a lawyer`s violation of a rule may be evidence of a violation of the applicable standard of conduct. Rule 6.1 Volunteer public service 6.2 Acceptance of appointments Rule 6.3 Membership in the Legal Services Organization Rule 6.4 Legal reform activities affecting the interests of clients Rule 6.5 Limited non-profit legal services programs attached to the courts.