The California State Bar, alone among the state lawyer licensing authorities, has not adopted the American Bar Association ‘s rule requiring lawyers to report their knowledge of another attorney’s ethical fitness to practice. The ABA Model Rule Provides in part:
Maintaining The Integrity of The Profession
(a) A lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, shall inform the appropriate professional authority.
But, reeling under the impact of treports of the State Bar’s failure to respond to grossly unethical conduct by two high profile attorneys – Thomas Girardi and Michael Avenatti – the State Bar has proposed that the Supreme Court of California be obligated to report misconduct or unfitness of which they have knowledge. The the State Bar is a governmental body but the state’s Supreme Court will decide any changes. – GWC
Source: OTHERWISE: New California Rule Compelling Attorneys to Report Misconduct by Other Attorneys to Circulate for Public Comment – The State Bar of California – News Releases