PLEASE NOTE: Publication for public comment is not, and shall not be construed as, a recommendation or approval by the Board of Governors of the materials published.

SUBJECT
Proposed Amendments to Rules 5.30 and 2409, Rules of Procedure of the State Bar-Release for Public Comment
BACKGROUND
The Office of the Chief Trial Counsel (OCTC) has identified several areas where amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the State Bar would help OCTC process its disciplinary cases more expeditiously before disciplinary charges are filed.
PROPOSALS

Amendment to Rule 2409: Currently, during the investigations stage, members are provided two weeks time to submit a written reply to a notice of allegations included in a disciplinary complaint. In addition, members are entitled to another two week period, without any showing of need for extra time, to reply. The rule also provides for additional time to reply beyond the second two week extension for good cause shown. The proposed rule amendment would eliminate the automatic extension of two week’s time to reply. Rule 2409’s current language permitting the member to request additional time to reply for good cause shown in light of the time constraints of the member’s practice would remain effective.

Amendment to Rule 5.30: Current rule 5.30 provides that prior to the filing of disciplinary charges, a party may request an early neutral evaluation conference (ENEC) with a settlement judge of the State Bar Court. The proposed rule amendment would require prompt requests and modify the evidence required for early neutral evaluation conferences. Proposed amendments to rule 5.30 would: 1) require OCTC to notify the member in writing of the right to an ENEC; 2) establish a ten day time frame within which a party must request the ENEC; 3) provide that failure to timely request an ENEC is deemed to waive the right to an ENEC; 4) provide that failure to hold an ENEC if notice was properly given will not be the basis for dismissal of the proceeding; 5) afford greater flexibility of documentary evidence required for submission to the settlement judge; and 6) require a statement of OCTC’s settlement position.

ANY KNOWN FISCAL IMPACT

None

ATTACHMENTS
Agenda Item to Board Operations Committee Proposed Amendments to Rules 2409 and 5.30 (Attachment A)
SOURCE
Board Operations Committee, September 17, 2011, Agenda Item, Action no. III.E
DEADLINE
Oct. 20, 2011
DIRECT COMMENTS TO
Jill Sperber
State Bar
Office of the Chief Trial Counsel
180 Howard Street, 7th fl.
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone:  415-538-2023
Fax: 415-538-1168
Email: jill.sperber@calbar.ca.gov