Deadline: March 18, 2019
In September 2018, the Board of Trustees approved recommendations regarding the number, size, organizational structure, and functions performed by many of the committees, commissions, boards, and councils that support the work of the State Bar, also known as the “subentities.”
Among the recommendations approved was that the State Bar institute a conflict of interest policy for the volunteers that serve on State Bar subentities.These proposed new rules effectuate that recommendation.
The proposed new conflict of interest policy will apply broadly to multiple subentities.At minimum, the following subentities would be subject to the new proposed conflict of interest policy:
The State Bar is seeking comment on two different versions of the subentity conflicts of interest policy:(1) Alternative 1 specifically enumerates eight subentities that will be subject to the new policy; and (2) Alternative 2 applies generally to all subentities, with the exception of the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE) and the Review Committee of the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (RJNE).JNE has conflict of interest rules that are tailored to the work of that body: State Bar Rules 7.24 and 7.25.These rules will be unaffected by the proposed new rules.
The proposed rules set forth a conflict of interest policy for subentities, and will promote uniformity and strengthen the State Bar’s commitment to maintaining a conflict-free decision-making process.The proposed rules at Rule 6.70, et seq., of Title 6 of the State Bar Rules are based on the conflict policy applicable to the Board of Trustees, and require disqualification from decision-making that has a reasonably foreseeable material effect on a member’s financial interests and/or when members have a personal nonfinancial interest that would prevent them from applying disinterested skill and undivided loyalty to the State Bar in the decision-making process.
To promote efficient operation of the subentities and avoid situations in which a subentity member is unable to participate meaningfully in the subentity’s activities, the proposed new rule would require subentity members either to resign or to eliminate the disqualifying conflict (for instance, by divesting their financial interest) if, during any three-month period, they are required to disqualify themselves from more than 25 percent of the subentity’s votes.Setting the threshold at 25 percent will allow subentity members with limited conflicts to continue to serve, while ensuring that subentity operations are not impacted by an unreasonable number of conflict disqualifications.
The proposed new rules add Chapter 1, including Rules 6.70 – 6.77, to Division 3 of Title 6 of the Rules of Procedure of the State Bar of California.
Full text of Alternative 1 and Alternative 2 of the proposed new rule are available here.
The new proposed rules are:
Board of Trustees Agenda Item
Proposed New Rules – Alternatives 1 and 2
Board of Trustees
March 18, 2019
Greg ShinSpecial Projects LiaisonAdmissionsState Bar of California845 S. Figueroa StreetLos Angeles, CA 90017Phone: 213-765-1000Email: Greg.Shin@calbar.ca.gov