PLEASE NOTE: Publication for public comment is not, and shall not be, construed as a recommendation or approval by the Board of Trustees of the materials published.
Proposed New California Rules of Court, Rule 9.4, Oath Required on Admission to Practice Law.
The State Bar is considering proposed new Rule of Court 9.4. This rule would append a courtesy and professionalism statement to the oath required to be taken by persons who are certified by the Supreme Court for admission to practice law.
Business and Professions Code section 6067 currently embodies the oath taken upon admission. It provides, in part, that: “[e]very person on his admission shall take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California, and faithfully to discharge the duties of an attorney at law to the best of his knowledge and ability.”
Taking this oath is a requirement for all persons certified by the Supreme Court to practice law. The following language is proposed for the new courtesy and professionalism statement: “As an officer of the court, I will strive to conduct myself at all times with dignity, courtesy and integrity.” If added to the existing language, the entire attorney oath would be the following: “I solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of an attorney and counselor at law to the best of my knowledge and ability. As an officer of the court, I will strive to conduct myself at all times with dignity, courtesy and integrity.”
To effectuate this change in the law, proposed new Rule of Court, Rule 9.4 would provide as follows:
9.4 Oath required when admitted to practice law
In addition to the language required by Business and Professions Code section 6067, the oath to be taken by every person on admission to practice law is to conclude with the following: “As an officer of the court, I will strive to conduct myself at all times with dignity, courtesy and integrity.”
The courtesy and professionalism statement is intended to be an aspirational statement and not intended to define a professional conduct standard enforceable through State Bar discipline.
At its August 30, 2013 meeting, the Board Committee on Operations authorized the publication of the proposed rule for a 30-day public comment period.
Enclosure 1 – Proposed New Rule 9.4, California Rules of Court
Enclosure 2 – Board Committee on Operations – August 26, 2013 Agenda Item