Consult the State Bar's Ethics Hotline Thursday, June 15, 2017 Categories: Top Headlines For assistance researching a legal ethics issue, attorneys are reminded to consult the free and confidential State Bar's Ethics Hotline. California legal ethics research can be particularly time-consuming. First, California is not an ABA Model Rule jurisdiction, so dusting off your law school textbook or simply Googling won't always cut it. On top of that, the applicable California law is often found in multiple sources, many of which are unfamiliar to most lawyers. If you look up the California Rules of Professional Conduct, that's great, but you can't stop there. Consider the following questions: May an attorney use inadvertently disclosed confidential information? Does the "no contact" rule permit an attorney to imply opposing counsel's consent? Is a "virtual law office" an ethical alternative for starting a solo practice? You can get assistance in researching these questions and more by calling the State Bar of California's Ethics Hotline. This call-back service is free, staffed by live people and typically has a turnaround time of one business day or less. The research service for attorneys is confidential. Specially trained paralegals can refer callers to the California Rules of Professional Conduct, State Bar Act sections, published bar association ethics opinions and other relevant authorities. Although the Ethics Hotline does not render opinions or give advice, this guidance can jump-start legal ethics research and aid lawyers in making informed decisions. Attorneys can reach the Ethics Hotline from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays by calling 800-238-4427 (800-2-ETHICS) from within California, or 415-538-2150 when calling from outside of California.