California Board of Accountancy
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
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Confidential Information Defined, Exception

TITLE 16. Professional and Vocational Regulations
DIVISION 1. Board of Accountancy Regulations

ARTICLE 9 - Rules of Professional Conduct

§ 54. Confidential Information Defined, Exception.

"Confidential information" includes all information obtained by a licensee, in his or her professional capacity, concerning a client or a prospective client, except that it does not include information obtained from a prospective client who does not subsequently become a client, where all of the following conditions are met:
(a) The licensee provides reasonable notice to the prospective client or the prospective client's representative that the information will not be treated as confidential information in the event the provider does not become a client and that providing such information will not preclude the licensee from being employed by a party adverse to the potential client in any current or future legal action or proceeding. For purposes of this section "reasonable notice" shall mean the following: (1) With respect to oral communications, including telephonic communications, reasonable notice consists of oral notice to the speaker given immediately by the licensee upon hearing that client information is being presented or will be presented. (2) With respect to written communications, including electronic and facsimile communications, reasonable notice consists of an oral or written notice to the sender within one business day.
(b) The licensee, on request, returns the original and all copies of documents provided by the prospective client or his or her representative within 30 days.
(c) The licensee does not utilize in any manner the information obtained, except that nothing shall prohibit the licensee from utilizing the same information obtained from an independent source such as through litigation discovery.

NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 5010 and 5018, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Section 5018, Business and Professions Code.


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