Legal News

California’s New Legal Landscape: Reporting Suspected Treason Among Attorneys
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

California Governor Gavin Newsom has enacted a groundbreaking bill, Senate Bill 40, which mandates attorneys to notify the state bar if they suspect their colleagues of treason. This article delves into the implications, controversies, and the bill’s broader impact on legal oversight.

Governor Newsom Takes the Initiative

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed Senate Bill 40 into law in a significant move for legal accountability. This transformative legislation compels attorneys to promptly inform the state bar if they have credible suspicions regarding fellow lawyers engaging in acts of treason. The bill’s passage marks a crucial step towards ensuring ethical conduct within the legal profession.

Bipartisan Divide on Senate Bill 40

The bill’s journey through the legislative process wasn’t without controversy. The California legislature, with Democrats supporting the bill and Republicans opposing it along party lines, ultimately passed Senate Bill 40. This partisan division reflects the ongoing debate over the balance between legal ethics and individual rights.


Whether you’re a recent law school grad or an experienced attorney, BCG Attorney Search has the job for you.

Reporting Treason: A New Obligation

The core of Senate Bill 40 revolves around the obligation placed on attorneys to report fellow lawyers involved or suspected of engaging in seditious conspiracy, treason, rebellion, or insurrection, as defined by federal law. Importantly, this requirement doesn’t override attorney-client privilege. Moreover, the bill explicitly prohibits using this provision for harassment, emphasizing the importance of responsible reporting.

Strengthening Oversight of the State Bar

Beyond addressing attorney misconduct, Senate Bill 40 also strengthens the oversight of the State Bar of California. In the future, the California Senate must approve the appointments of the State Bar’s executive director and general counsel. This development aims to enhance transparency and accountability within the legal profession.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!

A Call for Reform

Senator Tom Umberg, the senate’s judiciary committee leader and a Democrat from Orange County, expressed the legislature’s commitment to reforming the State Bar’s disciplinary process and ensuring increased transparency. This move responds to past concerns regarding the State Bar’s relationship with disbarred lawyer Tom Girardi, who faces charges for alleged client fund misappropriation.

Stay up-to-date without the overwhelming noise. Subscribe to JDJournal for a curated selection of the most relevant legal news.

Unraveling Girardi’s Network

Tom Girardi’s alleged connections within the State Bar of California have raised concerns. A report from March highlighted an extensive network of connections built by Girardi within the bar, including directing substantial financial contributions to a former investigator. Tom Girardi has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, bringing further attention to ethical concerns within the legal profession.

Aligning with the Supreme Court’s Professional Rule

August saw the California Supreme Court introducing a mandate for lawyers to report fraudulent activities, fund misappropriation, and other criminal conduct that questions another attorney’s trustworthiness and fitness for the legal profession. Senator Umberg underscored the complementarity between Senate Bill 40 and the Supreme Court’s new professional rule, reinforcing the commitment to legal ethics.

Positive Responses to Senate Bill 40

Brandon Stallings, the chair of the State Bar of California’s board of trustees, praised Governor Newsom’s decision to sign Senate Bill 40 into law. Stallings highlighted the bar’s progress in enhancing transparency and accountability and noted the legislation’s potential for increasing the annual licensing fee for California lawyers, a move viewed as a significant step towards maintaining high ethical standards in the legal field.

In conclusion, Senate Bill 40 represents a pivotal moment in California’s legal landscape. It not only underscores the commitment to ethical, legal practice but also serves as a response to recent concerns and controversies within the legal profession. The broader implications of this legislation are poised to shape the future of legal oversight and accountability in California.

Don’t be a silent ninja! Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.



Associate Attorney


ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY McKenna Snyder LLC, a law firm in Exton, PA has an immediate opening for an ex...

Apply now



Qualifications: HaasCaywood is seeking associate attorneys for our Coldwater and Sturgis, Michiga...

Apply now



Qualifications: HaasCaywood is seeking associate attorneys for our Coldwater and Sturgis, Michiga...

Apply now

Insurance Defense Trial Attorney/ Senior Counsel

USA-CA-San Francisco

Job description Trial Attorney - Personal Injury Defense Full Job Description Hickey Smith ...

Apply now




Search Now

Education Law Attorney

USA-CA-El Segundo

El Segundo office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks an education law attorney with ...

Apply Now

Education Law Attorney


Carlsbad office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks an education law attorney with 4-...

Apply Now

Education Law and Public Entity Attorney

USA-CA-El Segundo

El Segundo office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks an education law and public ent...

Apply Now

Most Popular


To Top