On Tuesday, January 16, 2024, the State Bar of California received a misconduct referral letter from the America First Legal Foundation stating possible violations of Kevin Morris, the lawyer representing Hunter Biden on criminal tax charges in Los Angeles.

In a three-page letter, the foundation urged the bar to investigate whether Morris had directly or indirectly paid the personal or business expenses of his client Hunter Biden, which is prohibited by the California Rules of Professional Conduct.

The referral cited several past media reports alleging Morris had financially supported Biden’s lifestyle in Los Angeles in recent years, including paying over $2 million in back taxes owed by Biden in 2022. It noted such financial assistance could potentially establish an inappropriate personal relationship between attorney and client rather than an objective professional one as required.

In a recent article published by the Los Angeles Times, Morris was portrayed as playing multiple roles in relation to Biden. The article described Morris as primarily serving as Biden’s lawyer but also highlighted his close friendship, role as a confidant, and financial support provided to Biden. The report stated that Morris had extended significant loans to Biden, which were utilized to address tax obligations, housing expenses, and legal fees.

The referral expressed concern this ongoing financial support could violate professional conduct rules now that Morris appears to openly represent Biden as his defense lawyer. It pointed to Morris accompanying Biden to a congressional hearing.

The foundation asserts that Mr. Morris’s provision of funds to his client constitutes a violation of Rule 1.8.5, warranting an investigation. Therefore, the foundation requests that the State Bar open an investigation into Morris to determine whether there has been a violation of the California Rules of Professional Conduct.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.