In an order posted Thursday, the Supreme Court of Texas amended law-practice rules to allow military attorneys stationed in Texas but licensed elsewhere to represent military service members or their dependents in certain civil matters in state courts or tribunals.
The new rule, limited to lower-grade military personnel or their immediate family members, takes effect Friday. It allows military attorneys licensed and in good standing in other states, the District of Columbia, or U.S. territories to register with the Texas Board of Legal Examiners. Military attorneys cannot be paid for these cases and must obtain approval from a supervising military attorney before taking a case under the rule.
"This effort is another step by the Court to help people without financial resources find legal help when they might otherwise go without," said Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson. "The common legal problems these military personnel and their families face are beyond the reach of legal aid organizations, which are facing their own financial struggles."
State Bar President Terry Tottenham said the Supreme Court's military limited-practice rule "will complement the State Bar's initiative, Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans, and better enable our service members to receive the necessary legal assistance they deserve and have earned through their sacrifices in defense of our country."