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October 20, 2017
SOS Press Office
(916) 653-6575

Proposed Initiative Enters Circulation

Changes the Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys. Initiative Statute.


SACRAMENTO – Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced the proponent of a new initiative was cleared to begin collecting petition signatures today. 

The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponent and to the Secretary of State, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponent and to county elections officials. The Attorney General’s official title and summary for the measure is as follows: 

CHANGES THE RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT FOR ATTORNEYS. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Replaces the current Rules of Professional Conduct for California attorneys with the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, subject to approval by the California Supreme Court. Allows the State Bar of California Board of Trustees to continue to enforce rules of professional conduct and to formulate and enforce variations of the rules. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Minor effect on state costs related to the consideration and adoption of attorney conduct rules. Any increase in costs would likely be offset by fees currently paid by State Bar members. (17-0016.) 

The Secretary of State’s tracking number for this measure is 1812 and the Attorney General’s tracking number is 17-0016. 

The proponent of the measure, Michael Vartanian, must collect the signatures of 365,880 registered voters (five percent of the total votes cast for Governor in the November 2014 general election) in order to qualify it for the ballot. The proponent has 180 days to circulate petitions for the measure, meaning the signatures must be submitted to county elections officials no later than April 18, 2018. The proponent can be reached (408) 748-4038 or   


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