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When it comes to crooked colleagues, California lawyers can remain silent

When a blue-ribbon commission met in 2015 to improve attorney ethics rules in California, a federal prosecutor named George Cardona was tasked with researching a proposed rule requiring lawyers to report misconduct by peers. Forty-seven states already had mandatory reporting laws and two others had statutes stating that lawyers should make such reports. California was the lone exception. In the Golden State, there was no expectation — much less an obligation — that lawyers alert authorities to wrongdoing in their ranks, no matter how egregious or damaging the misconduct.