Rule 10.609. Notification to State Bar of attorney misconduct
(a) Notification by judge
When notification to the State Bar is required under Business and Professions Code section 6086.7, the judge issuing the order that triggers the notification requirement under section 6086.7 is responsible for notifying the State Bar. The judge may direct court staff to notify the State Bar.
(b) Contents of notice
The notice must include the State Bar member's full name and State Bar number, if known, and a copy of the order that triggered the notification requirement.
(c) Notification to attorney
If notification to the State Bar is made under this rule, the person who notified the State Bar must also inform the attorney who is the subject of the notification that the matter has been referred to the State Bar.
Rule 10.609 adopted effective January 1, 2014.
Advisory Committee Comment
Business and Professions Code section 6086.7 requires a court to notify the State Bar of any of the following: (1) a final order of contempt imposed on an attorney that may involve grounds warranting discipline under the State Bar Act; (2) a modification or reversal of a judgment in a judicial proceeding based in whole or in part on the misconduct, incompetent representation, or willful misrepresentation of an attorney; (3) the imposition of any judicial sanctions on an attorney of $1,000 or more, except sanctions for failure to make discovery; or (4) the imposition of any civil penalty on an attorney under Family Code section 8620. If the notification pertains to a final order of contempt, Business and Professions Code section 6086.7(a)(1) requires the court to transmit to the State Bar a copy of the relevant minutes, final order, and transcript, if one exists. This rule is intended to clarify who has the responsibility of notifying the State Bar under section 6086.7 and the required contents of the notice.
In addition to the requirements stated in Business and Professions Code section 6086.7, judges are subject to canon 3D(2) of the California Code of Judicial Ethics, which states: "Whenever a judge has personal knowledge, or concludes in a judicial decision, that a lawyer has committed misconduct or has violated any provision of the Rules of Professional Conduct, the judge shall take appropriate corrective action, which may include reporting the violation to the appropriate authority." The Advisory Committee Commentary states: "Appropriate corrective action could include direct communication with the judge or lawyer who has committed the violation, other direct action, such as a confidential referral to a judicial or lawyer assistance program, or a report of the violation to the presiding judge, appropriate authority, or other agency or body. Judges should note that in addition to the action required by Canon 3D(2), California law imposes mandatory additional reporting requirements on judges regarding lawyer misconduct. See Business and Professions Code section 6086.7."