Code Section

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 3. PROFESSIONS AND VOCATIONS GENERALLY [5000 - 9998.11]

  ( Heading of Division 3 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 30. )
  

CHAPTER 4. Attorneys [6000 - 6243]

  ( Chapter 4 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 34. )
  

ARTICLE 1. General Provisions [6000 - 6009.5]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 34. )

  
6007.  

(a) When a licensee requires involuntary treatment pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 5300) of Chapter 2 of Division 5 of, or Part 2 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or when under an order pursuant to Section 3051, 3106.5, or 3152 of the Welfare and Institutions Code he or she has been placed in or returned to inpatient status at the California Rehabilitation Center or its branches, or when he or she has been determined insane or mentally incompetent and is confined for treatment or placed on outpatient status pursuant to the Penal Code, or on account of his or her mental condition a guardian or conservator, for his or her estate or person or both, has been appointed, the Board of Trustees or an officer of the State Bar shall enroll the licensee as an inactive licensee.

The clerk of any court making an order containing any of the determinations or adjudications referred to in the immediately preceding paragraph shall send a certified copy of that order to the State Bar at the same time that the order is entered.

The clerk of any court with which is filed a notice of certification for intensive treatment pursuant to Article 4 (commencing with Section 5250) of Chapter 2 of Division 5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, upon receipt of the notice, shall transmit a certified copy of it to the State Bar.

The State Bar may procure a certified copy of any determination, order, adjudication, appointment, or notice when the clerk concerned has failed to transmit one or when the proceeding was had in a court other than a court of this state.

In the case of an enrollment pursuant to this subdivision, the State Bar shall terminate the enrollment when the licensee has had the fact of his or her restoration to capacity judicially determined, upon the licensee’s release from inpatient status at the California Rehabilitation Center or its branches pursuant to Section 3053, 3109, or 3151 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or upon the licensee’s unconditional release from the medical facility pursuant to Section 5304 or 5305 of the Welfare and Institutions Code; and on payment of all fees required.

When a licensee is placed in, returned to, or released from inpatient status at the California Rehabilitation Center or its branches, or discharged from the narcotics treatment program, the Director of Corrections or his or her designee shall transmit to the State Bar a certified notice attesting to that fact.

(b) The State Bar Court shall also enroll a licensee of the State Bar as an inactive licensee in each of the following cases:

(1) A licensee asserts a claim of insanity or mental incompetence in any pending action or proceeding, alleging his or her inability to understand the nature of the action or proceeding or inability to assist counsel in representation of the licensee.

(2) The court makes an order assuming jurisdiction over the licensee’s law practice, pursuant to Section 6180.5 or 6190.3.

(3) After notice and opportunity to be heard before the State Bar Court, the State Bar Court finds that the licensee, because of mental infirmity or illness, or because of the habitual use of intoxicants or drugs, is (i) unable or habitually fails to perform his or her duties or undertakings competently, or (ii) unable to practice law without substantial threat of harm to the interests of his or her clients or the public. No proceeding pursuant to this paragraph shall be instituted unless the State Bar Court finds, after preliminary investigation, or during the course of a disciplinary proceeding, that probable cause exists therefor. The determination of probable cause is administrative in character and no notice or hearing is required.

In the case of an enrollment pursuant to this subdivision, the State Bar Court shall terminate the enrollment upon proof that the facts found as to the licensee’s disability no longer exist and on payment of all fees required.

(c) (1) The State Bar Court may order the involuntary inactive enrollment of an attorney upon a finding based on all the available evidence, including affidavits, that the attorney has not complied with Section 6002.1 and cannot be located after reasonable investigation.

(2) The State Bar Court may order the involuntary inactive enrollment of an attorney if it finds, based on all the available evidence, including affidavits:

(A) The attorney has caused or is causing substantial harm to the attorney’s clients or the public.

(B) There is a reasonable probability that the chief trial counsel will prevail on the merits of the underlying disciplinary matter, and that the attorney will be disbarred.

(3) In the case of an enrollment under paragraph (2), the underlying matter shall proceed on an expedited basis.

(4) The State Bar Court shall order the involuntary inactive enrollment of an attorney upon the filing of a recommendation of disbarment after hearing or default. For purposes of this section, that attorney shall be placed on involuntary inactive enrollment regardless of the license status of the attorney at the time.

(5) The State Bar Court shall order the involuntary inactive enrollment of an attorney who is sentenced to incarceration for 90 days or more as a result of a criminal conviction for at least the period of time in which the attorney is incarcerated.

(6) The State Bar Court shall order attorneys who are placed on inactive enrollment pursuant to this subdivision to comply with Rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court.

(7) The board shall formulate and adopt rules of procedure to implement this subdivision.

In the case of an enrollment pursuant to this subdivision, the State Bar Court shall terminate the involuntary inactive enrollment upon proof that the attorney’s conduct no longer poses a substantial threat of harm to the interests of the attorney’s clients or the public or where an attorney who could not be located proves compliance with Section 6002.1.

(d) (1) The State Bar Court may order the involuntary inactive enrollment of an attorney for violation of probation upon the occurrence of all of the following:

(A) The attorney is under a suspension order any portion of which has been stayed during a period of probation.

(B) The State Bar Court finds that probation has been violated.

(C) The State Bar Court recommends to the Supreme Court that the attorney receive an actual suspension on account of the probation violation or other disciplinary matter.

(2) The State Bar Court shall terminate an enrollment under this subdivision upon expiration of a period equal to the period of stayed suspension in the probation matter, or until the State Bar Court makes an order regarding the recommended actual suspension in the probation matter, whichever occurs first.

(3) If the Supreme Court orders a period of actual suspension in the probation matter, any period of involuntary inactive enrollment pursuant to this subdivision shall be credited against the period of actual suspension ordered.

(e) (1) The State Bar Court shall order the involuntary, inactive enrollment of a licensee whose default has been entered pursuant to the State Bar Rules of Procedure if both of the following conditions are met:

(A) The notice was duly served pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 6002.1.

(B) The notice contained the following language at or near the beginning of the notice, in capital letters:

IF YOU FAIL TO FILE AN ANSWER TO THIS NOTICE WITHIN THE TIME ALLOWED BY STATE BAR RULES, INCLUDING EXTENSIONS, OR IF YOU FAIL TO APPEAR AT THE STATE BAR COURT TRIAL, (1) YOUR DEFAULT SHALL BE ENTERED, (2) YOU SHALL BE ENROLLED AS AN INVOLUNTARY INACTIVE LICENSEE OF THE STATE BAR AND WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO PRACTICE LAW UNLESS THE DEFAULT IS SET ASIDE ON MOTION TIMELY MADE UNDER THE RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE STATE BAR, (3) YOU SHALL NOT BE PERMITTED TO PARTICIPATE FURTHER IN THESE PROCEEDINGS UNLESS YOUR DEFAULT IS SET ASIDE, AND (4) YOU SHALL BE SUBJECT TO ADDITIONAL DISCIPLINE.

(2) The State Bar Court shall terminate the involuntary inactive enrollment of a licensee under this subdivision when the licensee’s default is set aside on motion timely made under the State Bar Rules of Procedure or the disciplinary proceedings are completed.

(3) The enrollment under this subdivision is administrative in character and no hearing is required.

(4) Upon the involuntary inactive enrollment of a licensee under this subdivision, the notice required by subdivision (b) of Section 6092.5 shall be promptly given.

(f) The pendency or determination of a proceeding or investigation provided for by this section shall not abate or terminate a disciplinary investigation or proceeding except as required by the facts and law in a particular case.

(g) No license fees shall accrue against the licensee during the period he or she is enrolled as an inactive licensee pursuant to this section.

(h) The State Bar Court may order a full range of interim remedies or final discipline short of involuntary inactive enrollment, including, but not limited to, conditions of probation following final discipline, or directly ordered interim remedies, to restrict or supervise an attorney’s practice of law, as well as proceedings under subdivision (a), (b), (c), or (d), or under Section 6102 or 6190. They may include restrictions as to scope of practice, monetary accounting procedures, review of performance by probation or other monitors appointed by the board, or such other measures as may be determined, after hearing, to protect present and future clients from likely substantial harm. These restrictions may be imposed upon a showing as provided in subdivision (c).

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 659, Sec. 12. (AB 3249) Effective January 1, 2019.)