Article 4. Admission to the Practice of Law - California Business and Professions Code Section 6068
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California Laws > Business and Professions Code > Article 4. Admission to the Practice of Law - California Business and Professions Code Section 6068
6068. It is the duty of an attorney to do all of the following:
(a) To support the Constitution and laws of the United States and
of this state.
(b) To maintain the respect due to the courts of justice and
(c) To counsel or maintain those actions, proceedings, or defenses
only as appear to him or her legal or just, except the defense of a
person charged with a public offense.
(d) To employ, for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided
to him or her those means only as are consistent with truth, and
never to seek to mislead the judge or any judicial officer by an
artifice or false statement of fact or law.
(e) (1) To maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril
to himself or herself to preserve the secrets, of his or her client.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), an attorney may, but is not
required to, reveal confidential information relating to the
representation of a client to the extent that the attorney reasonably
believes the disclosure is necessary to prevent a criminal act that
the attorney reasonably believes is likely to result in death of, or
substantial bodily harm to, an individual.
(f) To advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a
party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with
which he or she is charged.
(g) Not to encourage either the commencement or the continuance of
an action or proceeding from any corrupt motive of passion or
(h) Never to reject, for any consideration personal to himself or
herself, the cause of the defenseless or the oppressed.
(i) To cooperate and participate in any disciplinary investigation
or other regulatory or disciplinary proceeding pending against
himself or herself. However, this subdivision shall not be construed
to deprive an attorney of any privilege guaranteed by the Fifth
Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, or any other
constitutional or statutory privileges. This subdivision shall not be
construed to require an attorney to cooperate with a request that
requires him or her to waive any constitutional or statutory
privilege or to comply with a request for information or other
matters within an unreasonable period of time in light of the time
constraints of the attorney's practice. Any exercise by an attorney
of any constitutional or statutory privilege shall not be used
against the attorney in a regulatory or disciplinary proceeding
against him or her.
(j) To comply with the requirements of Section 6002.1.
(k) To comply with all conditions attached to any disciplinary
probation, including a probation imposed with the concurrence of the
(l) To keep all agreements made in lieu of disciplinary
prosecution with the agency charged with attorney discipline.
(m) To respond promptly to reasonable status inquiries of clients
and to keep clients reasonably informed of significant developments
in matters with regard to which the attorney has agreed to provide
(n) To provide copies to the client of certain documents under
time limits and as prescribed in a rule of professional conduct which
the board shall adopt.
(o) To report to the agency charged with attorney discipline, in
writing, within 30 days of the time the attorney has knowledge of any
of the following:
(1) The filing of three or more lawsuits in a 12-month period
against the attorney for malpractice or other wrongful conduct
committed in a professional capacity.
(2) The entry of judgment against the attorney in a civil action
for fraud, misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, or gross
negligence committed in a professional capacity.
(3) The imposition of judicial sanctions against the attorney,
except for sanctions for failure to make discovery or monetary
sanctions of less than one thousand dollars ($1,000).
(4) The bringing of an indictment or information charging a felony
against the attorney.
(5) The conviction of the attorney, including any verdict of
guilty, or plea of guilty or no contest, of a felony, or a
misdemeanor committed in the course of the practice of law, or in a
manner in which a client of the attorney was the victim, or a
necessary element of which, as determined by the statutory or common
law definition of the misdemeanor, involves improper conduct of an
attorney, including dishonesty or other moral turpitude, or an
attempt or a conspiracy or solicitation of another to commit a felony
or a misdemeanor of that type.
(6) The imposition of discipline against the attorney by a
professional or occupational disciplinary agency or licensing board,
whether in California or elsewhere.
(7) Reversal of judgment in a proceeding based in whole or in part
upon misconduct, grossly incompetent representation, or willful
misrepresentation by an attorney.
(8) As used in this subdivision, "against the attorney" includes
claims and proceedings against any firm of attorneys for the practice
of law in which the attorney was a partner at the time of the
conduct complained of and any law corporation in which the attorney
was a shareholder at the time of the conduct complained of unless the
matter has to the attorney's knowledge already been reported by the
law firm or corporation.
(9) The State Bar may develop a prescribed form for the making of
reports required by this section, usage of which it may require by
rule or regulation.
(10) This subdivision is only intended to provide that the failure
to report as required herein may serve as a basis of discipline.
Last modified: February 16, 2015