Business Law

Business Law News ISSUE 3, 2023

B-LAW B-LAW B-LAW: THE "SNITCH RULE"

Written by Neil J Wertlieb*

The California Supreme Court recently ordered the approval of new rule 8.3 (Reporting Professional Misconduct), sometimes referred to (perhaps derogatorily) as the "snitch rule." This new Rule of Professional Conduct became effective on August 1, 2023.

THE REPORTING OBLIGATION

New rule 8.3 obligates all California-licensed attorneys to inform the State Bar of California (or alternatively a tribunal with jurisdiction to investigate or act upon such misconduct01) when they know of credible evidence that another lawyer has engaged in any of the following misconduct "that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects"; (a) committed a criminal act02; (b) engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or reckless or intentional misrepresentation; or (c) misappropriated funds or property.03

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