Public Access to State Bar Records and Information
Effective Jan. 1, 2016, public records maintained by the State Bar of California are available for copy or inspection by members of the public pursuant to the California Public Records Act (“CPRA”). (Gov. Code §§ 6250 et seq.)
The following guidelines ensure that members of the public fully understand and are afforded the opportunity to exercise their right to inspect and obtain copies of public records.
Requests for inspection or production of public records
Requests may be made in person at the State Bar offices, or by email, mail, or telephone. The State Bar encourages requestors to submit a Public Records Act Request Form and email it to PRA@calbar.ca.gov or mail it to The State Bar of California, ATTN: Public Records Request 10th Floor, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105. Submitting the written form helps focus the request, avoids miscommunication and ensures that the requestor receives a response as soon as possible.
Providing the following information will help facilitate a prompt and thorough response from the State Bar:
- A brief description of the record being requested so that identification of such record can be made by State Bar staff;
- The period of time for which the records are being sought; and
- The department or office within the State Bar that created or maintains the record (if known).
If a requestor needs assistance in formulating a request, please call 415-538-2283 or email PRA@calbar.ca.gov.
The State Bar has ten (10) days to respond to a CPRA request from the date the request is received. This response will typically inform the requestor whether the State Bar has responsive public records, when the records will be available for inspection or copying, the anticipated cost of providing copies, and whether any exemptions apply. Under certain circumstances, the State Bar may write to the requestor and invoke a 14-day extension.
The State Bar charges 10 cents per page for copies of public records. The first 10 pages will be provided at no cost. The State Bar can also charge for the cost of postage, certification of documents, data extraction to produce the record and other applicable fees. Records will be provided following receipt of payment.
Quick links to frequently requested records
Certain State Bar public records can be easily accessed through the following links:
Public Records Act exemptions
Requestors should be aware that several categories of State Bar records are exempt from disclosure under Senate Bill 387, including the following:
- State Bar discipline investigation records and Office of Chief Trial Counsel records (Bus. & Prof. Code § 6086.1(b); Gov. Code § 6254(f))
- Admissions records
- Test administration records (Gov. Code § 6254(g))
- Moral character records (Gov. Code § 6254(f); Bus. & Prof. Code § 6060.2)
- Applicant information (Bus. & Prof. Code § 6060.25)
- Law corporation investigation records (Bus. & Prof. Code § 6168)
- Lawyer assistance program records (Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 6232(d); 6234(a))
- Fee arbitration settlement records (Bus. & Prof. Code § 6200(h))