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Sanctions for Specific Rules

MISAPPROPRIATION
(a) Disbarment is the presumed sanction for intentional or dishonest misappropriation of entrusted funds or property, unless the amount misappropriated is insignificantly small or sufficiently compelling mitigating circumstances clearly predominate, in which case actual suspension is appropriate.
(b) Actual suspension is the presumed sanction for misappropriation involving gross negligence.
(c) Suspension or reproval is the presumed sanction for misappropriation that does not involve intentional misconduct or gross negligence.

COMMINGLING AND OTHER TRUST ACCOUNT VIOLATIONS
(a) Actual suspension of three months is the presumed sanction for commingling or failure to promptly pay out entrusted funds.
(b) Suspension or reproval is the presumed sanction for any other violation of Rule 4-100.

ILLEGAL OR UNCONSCIONABLE FEE
(a) Actual suspension of at least six months is the presumed sanction for entering into an agreement for, charging, or collecting an unconscionable fee for legal services. The term “reproval” includes public or private reproval.
(b) Suspension or reproval is the presumed sanction for entering into an agreement for, charging, or collecting an illegal fee for legal services.

BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS, PECUNIARY INTERESTS ADVERSE TO A
CLIENT
Suspension is the presumed sanction for improperly entering into a business transaction with a client or knowingly acquiring a pecuniary interest adverse to a client, unless the extent of the misconduct and any harm it caused to the client are minimal, in which case reproval is appropriate. If the transaction or acquisition and its terms are unfair or unreasonable to the client, then disbarment or actual suspension is appropriate.

REPRESENTATION OF ADVERSE INTERESTS
(a) Actual suspension is the presumed sanction when a member accepts or continues simultaneous representation of clients with actual adverse interests, where the member: (1) fails to obtain informed written consent of each client, and (2) causes significant harm to any of the clients.
(b) Actual suspension is the presumed sanction when a member accepts employment that is actually adverse to a client or former client, where the member: (1) fails to obtain informed written consent, (2) breaches the duty to maintain confidential information material to the employment, and (3) causes significant harm to the client or former client.

BREACH OF CONFIDENTIALITY
(a) Suspension is the presumed sanction when a member intentionally reveals client confidences or secrets.
(b) Reproval is the presumed sanction when a member recklessly or through gross negligence reveals client confidences or secrets.

PERFORMANCE, COMMUNICATION OR WITHDRAWAL VIOLATIONS
(a) Disbarment is the presumed sanction for performance, communication, or withdrawal violations demonstrating habitual disregard of client interests.
(b) Actual suspension is the presumed sanction for performance, communication, or withdrawal violations in multiple client matters, not demonstrating habitual disregard of client interests.
(c) Suspension or reproval is the presumed sanction for performance, communication, or withdrawal violations, which are limited in scope or time. The degree of sanction depends on the extent of the misconduct and the degree of harm to the client or clients.

FEE-SPLITTING WITH NON-LAWYERS
Actual suspension is the presumed sanction when a member shares legal fees with a non-lawyer. The degree of sanction depends upon the extent to which the misconduct interfered with an attorney-client relationship and the extent to which the member failed to perform legal services for which he or she was employed.

FRIVOLOUS LITIGATION
(a) Actual suspension is the presumed sanction when a member counsels or maintains a frivolous claim or action for an improper purpose, resulting in significant harm to an individual or the administration of justice. Disbarment is appropriate if the misconduct demonstrates a pattern.
(b) Suspension or reproval is the presumed sanction when a member counsels or maintains a frivolous claim or action for an improper purpose, resulting in harm to an individual or the administration of justice.

UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW
(a) Disbarment or actual suspension is the presumed sanction when a member engages in the practice of law or holds himself or herself out as entitled to practice law when he or she is on actual suspension for disciplinary reasons or involuntary inactive enrollment under Business and Professions Code section 6007(b)-(e). The degree of sanction depends on whether the member knowingly engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.
(b) Suspension or reproval is the presumed sanction when a member engages in the practice of law or holds himself or herself out as entitled to practice law when he or she is on inactive status or actual suspension for non-disciplinary reasons, such as non-payment of fees or MCLE non-compliance. The degree of sanction depends on whether the member knowingly engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.

MORAL TURPITUDE, DISHONESTY, FRAUD, CORRUPTION, OR
CONCEALMENT
Disbarment or actual suspension is the presumed sanction for an act of moral turpitude, dishonesty, fraud, corruption, intentional or grossly negligent misrepresentation, or concealment of a material fact. The degree of sanction depends on the magnitude of the misconduct; the extent to which the misconduct harmed or misled the victim, which may include the adjudicator; the impact on the administration of justice, if any; and the extent to which the misconduct related to the member's practice of law.

VIOLATION OF OATH OR DUTIES OF AN ATTORNEY
(a) Disbarment or actual suspension is the presumed sanction for disobedience or violation of a court order related to the member's practice of law, the attorney's oath, or the duties required of an attorney under Business and Professions Code section 6068(a)(b)(d)(e)(f) or (h)
(b) Reproval is the presumed sanction for a violation of the duties required of an attorney under Business and Professions Code section 6068(i),(j),(l) or (o).
(c) Violations of the duties required of an attorney under Business and Professions
Code section 6068(m) or (n) are covered in Standard 2.7
(d) Violations of the duties required of an attorney under Business and Professions
Code section 6068(c) or(g) are covered in Standard 2.9

SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH CLIENTS
(a) Disbarment is the presumed sanction when a member requires or demands sexual relations with a client incident to or as a condition of professional representation or employs coercion, intimidation, or undue influence in entering into sexual relations with a client.
(b) Suspension or reproval is the presumed sanction for any other violation of Rule 3-120.

VIOLATION OF CONDITIONS ATTACHED TO DISCIPLINE
Actual suspension is the presumed sanction for failing to comply with a condition of discipline. The degree of sanction depends on the nature of the condition violated and the member's unwillingness or inability to comply with disciplinary orders.

CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS INVOLVING MORAL TURPITUDE
(a) Summary disbarment is the presumed sanction for final conviction of a felony in which an element of the offense involves the specific intent to deceive, defraud, steal, or make or suborn a false statement, or involves moral turpitude.
(b) Disbarment is the presumed sanction for final conviction of a felony in which the facts and circumstances surrounding the offense involve moral turpitude, unless the most compelling mitigating circumstance clearly predominate, in which case actual suspension of at least two years is appropriate.
(c) Disbarment or actual suspension is the presumed sanction for final conviction of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.

CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS NOT INVOLVING MORAL TURPITUDE
(a) Actual suspension is the presumed sanction for final conviction of a felony not involving moral turpitude, but involving other misconduct warranting discipline.
(b) Suspension or reproval is the presumed sanction for final conviction of a misdemeanor not involving moral turpitude but involving other misconduct warranting discipline.

CRIMINAL CONVICTION FOR SPECIFIC MISDEMEANORS
(a) Disbarment is the presumed sanction for final conviction of a misdemeanor specified in Business & Professions Code section 6131, where a public prosecutor aids in the defense of a defendant.
(b) Disbarment or actual suspension is the presumed sanction for final conviction of a misdemeanor specified in Business and Professions Code sections 6128-6129 and 6153.
Eff. July 1, 2014. Renumbered & Revised July 1, 2015.

VIOLATION OF OTHER ARTICLE 6 STATUTES
Disbarment or actual suspension is the presumed sanction for any violation of a
provision of Article 6 of the Business and Professions Code, not otherwise specified in
these Standards.
Eff. July 1, 2014. Renumbered & Revised July 1, 2015.

VIOLATION OF RULES IN GENERAL
Suspension not to exceed three years or reproval is the presumed sanction for a violation of a provision of the Rules of Professional Conduct not specified in these Standards.

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