Business Law

The New Rules Of Professional Conduct

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Repost from Business Law News 2018, Issue 2

This article is part of a series by the author that focuses on ethical issues of particular interest to transactional attorneys in California.

New Rules of Professional Conduct have been approved by the California Supreme Court. On May 10, 2018, the court approved sixty-nine of the seventy proposed new and amended Rules of Professional Conduct that had been submitted to the court by the California State Bar in March 2017. The new rules represent the first comprehensive rewrite of the Rules of Professional Conduct in almost thirty years. The new rules will become effective on November 1, 2018, at which time they will replace the forty-six Rules of Professional Conduct that currently regulate the conduct of all California lawyers. The court’s order containing the new rules can be found at

In Issue 1, 2018 of the Business Law News, I described in detail the history of the proposed rules and highlighted a number of the proposed changes of particular interest to transactional lawyers. The description of the proposed rules contained therein is applicable in full to the rules as approved (with the exception of Rule 1.2.1 [Advising or Assisting the Violation of Law], which appears to be subject to further modification). As a result, now that rules have been approved and will become effective later this year, I encourage every reader to refer to my article in Issue 1, 2018, which can be found at

The new Rules of Professional Conduct will be effective on November 1, 2018. As a result, all attorneys in the State should be aware of the changes implemented by the new rules.

Neil J Wertlieb is an experienced transactional lawyer who provides expert witness services in litigation and arbitration matters. Mr. Wertlieb has served as an expert witness in disputes involving business transactions and corporate governance, and in cases involving attorney malpractice and attorney ethics. He is a former Chair of the State Bar of California’s Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct, a former Chair of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of California, and a former Co-Chair of the Corporations Committee of the Business Law Section. He is also an Adjunct Professor at UCLA School of Law, the General Editor of Ballantine & Sterling: California Corporation Laws, and the Vice Chair of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee. For additional information, please visit www.

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