Would you consider hiring a disbarred or suspended friend or colleague?

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Rule 5-100 of the State Bar Rules of Professional Conduct prohibits an attorney from threatening an opposing party with criminal prosecution or professional disciplinary actions to gain an advantage in a civil matter.

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“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do” said Henry Ford. Indeed, much of a lawyer’s value is his or her reputation in the legal community, a lesson that I hope no attorney learns the hard way.

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Attorneys should be careful when entering into business transactions with friends that have also been clients, as Rule 3-300 of the Rules of Professional Conduct provides that a member of the State Bar shall not enter into a business transaction with a client unless certain requirements have been satisfied.

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What is the client to do when his or her attorney is ordered suspended by the California Supreme Court and therefore unable to practice law?

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Beginning January 1, 2011, the California Evidence Code, as applied in civil cases, will no longer govern California State Bar attorney disciplinary hearings. The new Rules of Procedure, new rule 7.12, provide that the hearing need not be conducted according to technical rules of evidence.

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