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 amendments to Title 3. Programs and Services, Division 2, Chapter 2. Legal Specialization, Rules of the State Bar of California (Rules) and Rules of Procedure of the State Bar of California (Rules of Procedure) concerning handling of legal specialist certification denials.
The Rules were revised, effective Jan. 1, 2014. As part of that process, many of the procedural rules were removed from the Rules with the intention to have them as guidelines or, in cases where they might conflict with other Rules, follow the procedures and requirements already established in the primary governing rules, such as in the Rules of Procedure, MCLE rules, etc.
One of the portions of rules removed from the Rules involved the appeals process for legal specialist certification denials, which, under the former rules, were handled by the State Bar Court. The current Rules of Procedure do not have specific rules relating to appeals for legal specialist certification denials. State Bar Court decisions from the past provide little guidance upon which denials of legal specialist certification can be reversed. In the event there was a future decision by the Board of Legal Specialization to deny certification, it is believed there should be specific procedures in the Rules and the Rules of Procedure to follow.
After discussion of the issues involved by representatives from the Office of Admissions, the Office of the Chief Trial Counsel, the State Bar Court and the Office of General Counsel, proposed amendments to the rules and the Rules of Procedure were drafted for consideration by the Board of Trustees. The proposed amendments to the Rules and the Rules of Procedure, if adopted, would clarify appeal procedures for legal specialist certification denials not currently present in the Rules and the Rules of Procedure. In addition to clarifying the appeal procedures, other modifications to the Rules have been suggested that will make it clear under what conditions certification may be revoked/suspended, the right to a hearing before the California Board of Legal Specialization and other minor technical modifications.
Attachment A: Proposed amendments to Title 3. Programs and Services, Division 2, Chapter 2. Legal Specialization, Rules of the State Bar of California
Attachment B: Proposed amendments to Rules of Procedure of the State Bar of California
Regulation and Discipline Committee Meeting, May 7, 2015
July 6, 2015
The State Bar of California
180 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94105