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 11. Cessation of Law Practice—Jurisdiction of Courts [6180 - 6185]
  ( Article 11 added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 589. )

  
6185.  

(a) Upon appointment by the superior court pursuant to Section 2468, 9764, or paragraph (22) or (23) of subdivision (b) of Section 17200 of the Probate Code, a practice administrator, who is an active licensee of the State Bar, may be granted, by order of the court appointing this person, one or more of the following powers to take control of the practice of a deceased or disabled licensee of the State Bar of California:

(1) Take control of all operating and client trust accounts, business assets, equipment, client directories, and premises that were used in the conduct of the deceased or disabled licensee’s practice.

(2) Take control and review all client files of the deceased or disabled licensee.

(3) Contact each client of the deceased or disabled licensee who can be reasonably ascertained and located to inform the client of the condition of the licensee and of the appointment of a practice administrator. The practice administrator may discuss various options for the selection of successor counsel with the client.

(4) In each case that is pending before any court or administrative body, notify the appropriate court or administrative body and contact opposing counsel in the cases under the control of the deceased or disabled licensee and obtain additional time for new counsel to appear for the affected client.

(5) Determine the liabilities of the practice and pay them for the assets of the practice. If the assets of the practice are insufficient to pay these obligations or for the expenses incurred by the practice administrator to carry out the powers ordered pursuant to this section, the practice administrator shall apply to the personal representative to obtain the additional funds that may be required. If the personal representative and the practice administrator are unable to agree on the amount that is necessary for the practice administrator to undertake the duties ordered pursuant to this paragraph, either party may apply to the court having jurisdiction over the estate of the deceased or disabled licensee for an order requesting funds from the estate.

(6) Employ any person, including but not limited to the employees of the deceased or disabled licensee, who may be necessary to assist the practice administrator in the management, winding up, and disposal of the practice.

(7) Create a plan for disposition of the practice of the deceased or disabled licensee to protect its value as an asset of the estate of the licensee. Subject to the approval of the personal representative of the estate, agree to the sale of the practice and its goodwill.

(8) Subject to the approval of the personal representative of the estate, reach agreements with successor counsel for division of fees for work in process on the cases of the deceased or disabled licensee.

(9) Subject to the prohibitions against soliciting cases, the practice administrator may act as successor counsel for a client of the deceased or disabled licensee.

(b) If the practice administrator is uncertain as to how to proceed with the powers granted pursuant to this section, he or she may apply to the Superior Court that has jurisdiction over the estate of the deceased or disabled licensee for instructions.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 659, Sec. 134. (AB 3249) Effective January 1, 2019.)