To ensure that the State Bar's work is conducted in a transparent, accountable, and impartial way, the State Bar publishes policies, plans, and compliance reports pertaining to and preventing conflicts of interest.
The Form 700 (also known as a Statement of Economic Interests) is a critical component of promoting transparency and preventing conflicts of interest in public service. The State Bar Board of Trustees, members of the leadership team, a wide range of other designated employees, State Bar Court judges, and members of certain State Bar committees* must disclose their financial interests as required by the Conflicts of Interest Code for the Board of Trustees and the Conflicts of Interest Code for Designated Employees of the State Bar of California.
These public filings and disclosures help State Bar officials and employees monitor their financial interests, identify when those interests might conflict with their decision-making, and take steps to avoid conflicts. Form 700s must be filed annually, and within 30 days of assuming or leaving a position designated in the codes. The Office of General Counsel provides guidance on Form 700 filing requirements, deadlines, and best practices to ensure compliance.
Current Form 700 filing compliance statistics are shown below.
* Includes the Board of Trustees and members of the following committees: California Board of Legal Specialization, Client Security Fund Commission, Committee of Bar Examiners, Lawyer Assistance Program Oversight Committee, and Legal Services Trust Fund Commission. Also includes Special Deputy Trial Counsel.
The most recent Form 700s for members of the Board of Trustees are provided below. To request a Form 700 not available below, you may submit a Public Records Act Request.
** Forms were redacted to remove personal residence information, including the individual names of tenants. (See California Government Code Section 7928.205.)
All State Bar employees, members of the Board of Trustees, and contractors such as Special Deputy Trial Counsel (SDTC) are required to complete and renew annually an online questionnaire about personal, financial, or professional relationships they may have with licensed California attorneys. This is to comply with State Bar Rule 2201, which requires that the Chief Trial Counsel recuse themself from inquiries or complaints against attorneys if a conflict of interest, or the appearance of conflict of interest, could raise doubts that the Chief Trial Counsel would be impartial. In those instances, the complaint is referred to external counsel, or SDTC.
Current Rule 2201 conflicts reporting filing compliance statistics are shown below.
Those responsible for investigating and prosecuting attorney misconduct must ensure that their work is free from conflicts of interest, so an additional layer of conflicts policy, monitoring, and compliance applies to individuals in these roles.
Office of Chief Trial Counsel (OCTC) and Special Deputy Trial Counsel (SDTC)
In 2022, OCTC adopted a new policy and procedures regarding conflicts of interest, gifts, and outside employment, which includes:
A similar policy and approach is in place for SDTC.
Complaint Review Unit
When OCTC closes a complaint against an attorney without seeking discipline, the complainant has the right to request that the State Bar’s Complaint Review Unit (CRU) review that decision. The CRU operates with the same policies regarding conflicts of interest, gifts, and outside employment as the other discipline-related functions. More information about complaint review.
For Trustees: Members of Board of Trustees must act ethically and prudently in exercising their duties, recognizing that their role is that of fiduciary. Trustees must disqualify themselves from making or influencing decisions of the Board, or a committee of the Board, in which they have a financial interest or a personal nonfinancial interest that will prevent them from applying disinterested skill and undivided loyalty to the State Bar. Trustees cannot be financially interested in any contract made by them in their official capacity, by the Board, or by the State Bar.
Similar conflicts rules extend to State Bar employees and committee members under Conflicts of Interest Code for Designated Employees of the State Bar of California.
For staff: State Bar employees are also required to comply with a policy regarding incompatible activities consistent with Section 19990 of the Government Code, which provides in part that “a state officer or employee shall not engage in any employment, activity, or enterprise which is clearly inconsistent, incompatible, in conflict with, or inimical to his or her duties as a state officer or employee.”