California overhauled its Rules of Professional Conduct effective November 1, 2018. This post highlights some impactful revisions for commercial litigators. However, all California lawyers should familiarize themselves with the sixty-nine new and revised rules.
When it overturned a federal court’s order suppressing a litigant’s right to publicly gripe about a pending suit late last month, the Ninth Circuit took the opportunity to remind those of us in the legal profession that we are held to a different, higher standard when it comes to public comment on litigation. In an early footnote in the Court’s opinion in In re Dan Farr Productions, the Ninth Circuit distinguished the instant case from its prior decision in Levine v. U.S. Dist. Court, noting that counsel “are officers of the court subject to fiduciary and ethical obligations” which “do not apply to non-attorney participants.” Slip Op. at fn. 3.