Business and Professions Code Section 6068(o) requires attorneys to self-report seven categories of potential misconduct within 30 days of the date a knowledge of any of the following: the filing of three or more lawsuits in a 12 month period for malpractice or other wrongful conduct committed in a professional capacity; the entry of judgment in a civil action for fraud, misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, or gross negligence committed in a professional capacity; the imposition of judicial sanctions except for sanctions for failure to make discovery and monetary sanctions under $1,000; the bringing or an indictment or information charging a felony; conviction or verdict of guilty or plea of guilty or no contest of a felony, or a misdemeanor committed in the course of the practice of law, or in a manner in which a client of the attorney was the victim, or a necessary element of which involves improper conduct, dishonesty or other moral turpitude or an attempt or conspiracy or solicitation of another to commit a felony or a misdemeanor of that type; the imposition of discipline by a professional or occupational disciplinary agency or licensing board; and reversal of a judgment in a proceeding based in whole or in part upon misconduct, grossly incompetent representation, or willful misrepresentation by an attorney. Failure to self-report these events is itself an offense subject to discipline.
Your financial institution will also automatically report to the State Bar any trust account transaction involving the issuance of checks drawn on insufficient funds and overdrafts Business and Professions Code Section 6091.1. This type of automatic notification often occurs long before the lawyer has any idea that there is a problem with their account. The bank's notice to the lawyer of the overdraft often comes as a total surprise, but it should not because Standard 1(d) to Rule 4-100 (C) of the Rules
of Professional Conduct requires a reconciliation of the trust account every month.
Issuing a NSF (non-sufficient funds) check on your client trust account is sufficient reason for the State Bar to subpoena your trust account records which in turn can lead to serious charges of commingling and misappropriation of client funds in violation of Rule of Professional Conduct 4-100. These money violations often result in disbarment as you have a non-delegable duty to personally reconcile your client trust account every 30 days.
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