California Code, Business and Professions Code - BPC § 6086.1

(a)(1) Subject to subdivision (b), and except as otherwise provided by law, hearings and records of original disciplinary proceedings in the State Bar Court shall be public, following a notice to show cause.

(2) Subject to subdivision (b), and except as otherwise provided by law, hearings and records of the following matters shall be public:

(A) Filings for involuntary inactive enrollment or restriction under subdivision (a) , (c) , (d) , or (e) of Section 6007 .

(B) Petitions for reinstatement under Section 6078 .

(C) Proceedings for suspension or disbarment under Section 6101 or 6102 .

(D) Payment information from the Client Security Fund pursuant to Section 6140.5 .

(E) Actions to cease a law practice or assume a law practice under Section 6180 or 6190 .

(b) All disciplinary investigations are confidential until the time that formal charges are filed and all investigations of matters identified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) are confidential until the formal proceeding identified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) is instituted.  These investigations shall not be disclosed pursuant to any state law, including, but not limited to, the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code ).  This confidentiality requirement may be waived under any of the following exceptions:

(1) The licensee whose conduct is being investigated may waive confidentiality.

(2) The Chief Trial Counsel or Chair of the State Bar may waive confidentiality, but only when warranted for protection of the public.  Under those circumstances, after private notice to the licensee, the Chief Trial Counsel or Chair of the State Bar may issue, if appropriate, one or more public announcements or make information public confirming the fact of an investigation or proceeding, clarifying the procedural aspects and current status, and defending the right of the licensee to a fair hearing.  If the Chief Trial Counsel or Chair of the State Bar for any reason declines to exercise the authority provided by this paragraph, or disqualifies himself or herself from acting under this paragraph, he or she shall designate someone to act in his or her behalf.  Conduct of a licensee that is being inquired into by the State Bar but that is not the subject of a formal investigation shall not be disclosed to the public.

(3) The Chief Trial Counsel or his or her designee may waive confidentiality pursuant to Section 6044.5 .

(c) Notwithstanding the confidentiality of investigations, the State Bar shall disclose to any member of the public so inquiring, any information reasonably available to it pursuant to subdivision (o) of Section 6068 , and to Sections 6086.7 , 6086.8 , and 6101 , concerning a licensee of the State Bar which is otherwise a matter of public record, including civil or criminal filings and dispositions.

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