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California Legal Ethics: Opinions

This guide outlines the state statutes and rules that govern attorney conduct in California. Print and electronic resources are listed as a means to provide the researcher with a general understanding of California legal ethics.

Finding Ethics Opinion in LexisNexis Academic (For non-UCLA Law users)

  1. Open LexisNexis Academic.
  2. In the top right corner click "Find" to look through the source directory. 
  3. In the Keyword search box, enter "ethics cases" (we can't limit to California ethics cases) then click "Find Sources."
  4. Select the source "Ethics Cases, All States" (it should be the top one listed).
  5. Click on the red button OK - Continue (on the right).
  6. Enter your search terms and click the red Search button.
  7. You can view cases by court (e.g. CA Courts of Appeal Cases and CA Supreme Court Cases) by clicking on the + sign next to Cases on the left-hand navigation area.

Useful Links

Ethics Opinions

California State Bar Court Reporter

The California State Bar Court Reporter is the official source for the opinions of the Review Department, the appellate department of the State Bar Court.

Includes topical digests, table of cases (including case numbers and subsequent history notations), and a chart which cross-references California disciplinary rules with the ABA Model Code and Model Rules provisions.

California Supreme Court Cases

For ethics cases decided by the California Supreme Court prior to the creation of the State Bar Court in 1990, or appealed to the Supreme Court after 1990, see the California case reporters and digests. Access California cases online by using the Judicial Council's Web site or LexisNexis Academic (UC only).

California Case Digests

Case digests provide access to court opinions by subject.  See West’s California Digest (for use with the California Reporter), or California Digest of Official Reports (for use with California Reports).

NOTE: The two digests (McKinney and California Digest of Official Reports) at the end of the list below are no longer being published, but have been left on the shelves for researching cases during the time periods they cover.