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.
Revision to State Bar Rules Title 6 re Access to State Bar Records
The California Public Records Act generally requires state and local agencies to disclose records to the public, upon request, except for those specifically exempted. As a judicial branch agency, the State Bar is exempt from the California Public Records Act. In addition, the State Bar is not subject to the provisions of California Rule of Court 10.500, which governs public access to judicial administrative records. However, requests for State Bar records can be subject to the common law right of access, which requires a balancing test to be applied for each record requested to weigh the public’s interest in disclosure versus any interest in nondisclosure, including confidentiality of the document being sought. Although the State Bar routinely receives requests for records, the bar does not have a comprehensive rule governing access to records, which sets forth procedures to govern requests for records and a list of which records are exempt from disclosure.
At its March 12, 2015 meeting, the Board Executive Committee authorized a 90-day public comment period for the proposed rules governing access to State Bar records.
The agenda item and attachments linked below describe the proposed rules in detail.
Following adoption, there will be potentially significant personnel costs associated with staff needed to monitor and respond to requests for access to State Bar records. However, adoption of the rule should reduce the demand for legal counsel with respect to such requests.
Board Executive Committee
Monday June 15, 2015
Office of General Counsel
The State Bar of California
180 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94105-1639