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California State Bar self-reporting requirements

For lawyers, your entire career is about protecting the rights and interests of others. You help others and advise them about their options and responsibilities, so they can make sound decisions. As a legal professional, there are circumstances when you too have responsibilities to the State Bar, including self-reporting certain events or situations.

Civil and criminal matters

If an attorney has three or more lawsuits filed against them within a 12-month period, for malpractice or other alleged wrongful acts committed in a professional capacity, they must be reported to the State Bar. This requirement includes settlements.

If an attorney is not covered by professional liability insurance and a settlement is reached against them for fraud, misrepresentation, breach of duty or gross negligence, they are required to report the settlement.

All felony criminal convictions and misdemeanor convictions involving dishonesty or moral turpitude must be reported. Also, with regard to felonies, attorneys are required to report any information or indictment filed against them. For misdemeanors, if the crime was committed in the practice of law or if the victim was a client, they must be reported even if they do not involve dishonesty or moral turpitude.

There are also instances when the reversal of a judgement, either civil or criminal, must be reported – when the judgement itself was based on misconduct, gross incompetence or misrepresentation.

Professional matters

Sanctions must be reported unless the dollar amount is under $1000 or the sanction involves failing to make discovery. Additionally, any disciplinary action taken against the attorney by another bar association or professional organization must be reported.


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