News from the California State Bar

State Bar Items Out for Public Comment:

Proposed Amended California Rules of Professional Conduct Regarding File Release and Retention Duties (due December 2, 2019) The State Bar seeks public comment regarding proposed amended California Rules of Professional Conduct addressing an attorney’s file release and retention duties in certain criminal matters.

Proposed Rule Changes Addressing Public Licensee Information and Required Reporting (due December 15, 2019) The State Bar seeks public comment regarding proposed rule changes that are intended to clarify what information comprises an attorney’s public State Bar record and to set forth a single source for attorneys’ mandatory and discretionary reporting requirements.

Proposed Formal Opinion Interim No. 14-0002 (Alternative Litigation Funding) (due January 14, 2020) 

New data released on diversity in the profession

The State Bar of California has released data on diversity in the profession. As you may recall, the State Bar performed a survey on California attorneys, and got remarkable participation:  Of the 190,000 active attorneys, 93,000 (49%) completed the survey. This survey will be repeated regularly, to capture changes in the attorney population.

What are they doing with this data? The State Bar has written some “Bar Briefs” outlining the composition of California attorneys.

Some interesting data bits: Latinx make up 35% of California’s adult population, but only 7% of attorneys, and women are also disproportionately represented, though not as significantly. The public and nonprofit sectors have a greater representation of racial and ethnic minorities than the private sector – but within the private sector, there is actually the least amount of diversity among those in solo practice. You can read more by looking at the power point.

The study also asked for attorney satisfaction with salary and with performance evaluations. Their plan is to explore career satisfaction more deeply this next year, and also gather more actual salary ranges. 

 

In the News: California bar study finds black male lawyers more likely to be disciplined

SF Chronicle, Bob Egelko Nov. 15, 2019 Updated: Nov. 15, 2019 8:12 p.m.

The study by George Farkas, a professor of education at UC Irvine, said one likely reason for the disparities in discipline is that African American attorneys are more likely to represent themselves in proceedings before the bar. Black attorneys also face more disciplinary investigations, and are impacted by a system that increases punishment for repeated offenses, the report said. Read more