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Lawyers Guild Radio Show

Erin Joyce

The Girardi Scandal And New Rules That Are Meant To Protect The Public

Lawyers Guild Radio Show – 3:30pm on Wed. 1/24 


1. Let’s start with a little background – most people know that lawyers have licenses and they can be disbarred – that is, their licenses can be taken away by the State Bar. Tom Girardi has been disbarred by the CA State Bar. Rudy Giuliani is facing disbarment by the DC Bar. In broad strokes, what kind of entity is the State Bar? And what’s its purpose?

2. Now, lawyers don’t always enjoy the best reputation from the general public, do they? Indeed, Tom Girardi’s story fed into the stereotype that lawyers aren’t in it for justice, but only for themselves. But here on the Lawyers Guild Show, we interview attorneys all the time who champion the rights of their clients, sometimes at great expense to themselves. In your experience, is there an epidemic of attorney misconduct that the old rules weren’t able to address?

3. Let’s talk about the new Rule of Professional Conduct, called Rule 8.3, in California. Critics call it the “Snitch Rule” and predict attorneys will either ignore it or only report other attorneys where they have a personal vendetta or can gain a tactical advantage. But on the other hand, supporters say it’s a necessary step to help protect the public from unscrupulous lawyers. Tell us, what is Rule 8.3? What changes does it make to lawyers’ duties and obligations?

4. Erin Joyce, in a civilized society, we always hope that laws will be applied evenly and fairly across the board. What is the State Bar’s track record on who they choose to prosecute? For example, do they treat the rich and powerful law firms and lawyers the same as, say, a solo lawyer who’s just struggling to get by?

5. Where do you see all this headed? Do you predict lawyers will follow the new rules and point the finger any time they see misconduct happening? Or do you think most lawyers will ignore the new reporting obligation? And if lawyers stay silent, what are the chances the State Bar will punish these witnesses for not reporting their colleagues?

6. How can listeners learn more about the State Bar and the new rules?




When you get a letter from the State Bar, don’t go it alone! You need competent, experienced counsel to respond to the State Bar at every stage. Your license is at risk, so ensure you have the best representation from a former State Bar prosecutor before sending any response to an investigator or responding to formal charges leveled by the State Bar. You cannot make an informed decision without good advice. Call Erin now.

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