State Bar of California

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 – 10:15 a.m.

New State Bar rules of conduct have been adopted to address rampant prosecutorial misconduct in California.

In March 2015, the California Supreme court sent a letter to the State Bar of California, requesting that the organization examine adopting revised rules of conduct for prosecutors to address evidence of rampant misconduct.

This month the regulatory organization responded to that request.

An excerpt from a October 6, 2016, State Bar press release reads;

“Prosecutors should be held to high ethical standards not only to protect the rights of defendants but also to ensure public trust and confidence in the justice system,” State Bar President James P. Fox said. Fox spent nearly three decades as the elected district attorney for San Mateo County, but tried his only death penalty case on the defense side, when he was in private practice.

The Supreme Court is expected to give final approval to Rule 5-110.

The rule change was opposed by the California District Attorney’s Association and The State Bar Office of Chief Trial Counsel.

This new rule comes on the heels of Governor Jerry Brown signing AB 1909, which will make the intention withholding of evidence by prosecutors a felony.

The new law takes effect January 1, 2017.