Supreme Court advisory
Contact: Osler McCarthy, staff attorney for public information
512.463.1441 or click for email
April 26, 2010
AFTER COMMENTS, FURTHER REVISIONS
TO TEXAS DISCIPLINARY RULES ISSUED BY COURT
The Supreme Court of Texas has revised proposed amendments to the disciplinary rules governing Texas attorneys’ professional conduct that the Court issued in October 2009. The revisions in part respond to concerns in public comments.
The most extensive changes relate to the rules governing the lawyer-client relationship, particularly the conflict-of-interest rules (1.06-.11) and the safekeeping rule (1.15). The Court also changed terms in Rule 1.00 and added a new term — “personally prohibited” — to the rule. Finally, in Rule 8.03 the Court reverted to existing language providing that a lawyer does not have to disclose any information protected by Rule 1.05 when reporting professional misconduct.
Overall the amendments are intended to enhance the public’s protection, provide better guidance to lawyers, reflect current practices, and clarify disciplinary standards to reduce uncertainty and improve lawyers’ compliance with these standards. The principal objective in that was protecting the legal profession’s integrity.
The amendments are the product of extensive debate by the Court, the Task Force on the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct and State Bar’s Committee on the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.
In the next step State Bar directors will make additional recommendations to the Court by October 6. A vote by Texas lawyers probably will be scheduled from mid-November through mid-December.