MCLE Self-Study: California Rules of Professional Conduct Overhauled

  • CLE
The State Bar of California's new and amended Rules of Professional Conduct took effect November 1, 2018—the first overhaul in nearly 30 years. Sixty-nine approved rules replace the 46 that previously governed the conduct of California's more than 250,000 licensed attorneys. The changes seek to align California's rules with legal standards across the country. Previously, California was the only state that did not base its rules on the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduc...

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Yes, You Do Have to Get Fingerprinted - Again

When you applied to be admitted as a member of the California State Bar, you were required to be fingerprinted and to have those fingerprints forwarded to the State Bar. Business and Professions Code section 6054 requires the Bar to maintain those prints in a law enforcement database, so that the State Bar disciplinary unit can be notified of members' arrests. That did not happen. Past "administrative failures" are blamed for the fact that the State Bar did not ensure th...

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Transfer on Death Deeds in California

The most common means of transferring real property upon death of the owner are three well-known methods: (1) holding property in joint tenancy or as community property with right of survivorship, (2) a living trust, or (3) a will. However, in 2016, a lesser-known alternative to keep a decedent's home out of probate became available to Californians: the revocable transfer on death or "TOD" deed, a simple and inexpensive way to transfer real property to a beneficiary in California. Including Cali...

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Opinion on Copyright Sampling in Madonna's “Vogue” May Change the Music Landscape

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in VMG Salsoul, LLC v. Ciccone1 that a 0.23-second snippet used in Madonna's song "Vogue" was de minimis, or small enough to be trivial. In doing so, that court opened up a split between the Ninth and Sixth Circuits, which may lead the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in to clear up the subject. Plaintiff VMG Salsoul, LLC owns the rights to the sampled work, 1976's "Ohh, I Love it (Love Break)." The plaintiff alleged that Shep Pettibone, a produce...

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California Bar Proposes to Ban Sex with Clients

Lawyers in California may face disciplinary measures for having sex with their clients if a new revision to the State Bar's ethics rules passes. California lawyers are split over these proposed revisions. Those supporting the blanket ban said that any sexual contact between an attorney and a client is potentially coercive due to the inherently unequal nature of relations between the two. However, opponents of the initiative say it is uncalled-for and an unconstitutional invasion of their privacy...

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Proposition 64: What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About the Adult Use of Marijuana Act

The passage of California's Proposition 64, also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act or "AUMA," legalizing the adult recreational use of marijuana under California law makes this state the most populous state in the nation to do so. It comes six years after California voters narrowly rejected a similar measure, and it expands on Proposition 215, the law that twenty years ago made California the first state to legalize cannabis for medical use. Proposition 64 sets up a broad range of marijuan...

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SJCBA Membership and Guests Gather on Law Day 2016 to Honor John Harris

The membership of the San Joaquin County Bar Association convened at noon on April 26, 2016 at the annual Law Day Luncheon to bestow the 2016 Law Day Award upon John Harris. A near-capacity crowd, including many of Mr. Harris' friends and family, enjoyed the beautiful spring sunshine that flooded into the large banquet room at the Stockton Golf and Country Club. San Joaquin County Bar Association President James Morris served as Master of Ceremonies for the event and opened with a brief wel...

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