State Bar Board to hold special meeting on rules recommendations

The State Bar of Texas will hold a special meeting of its board of directors on Friday, Nov. 5, at 10:30am at the Law Center in Austin, to finalize recommendations to the Supreme Court of Texas regarding proposed amendments to the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. On Oct. 1, the Board voted to recommend to the Court that the conflicts of interest rules, 1.06-1.09, be delayed for further consideration based on new concerns brought up the week of the meeting. In the attached letter from Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson, the Court agreed to give the State Bar until Nov. 5 to consider the issues further and until Nov. 8 to report back to the Court on those recommendations. Prior to November 5, the State Bar will seek out information regarding concerns and then consider any changes or additions to the proposed amendments to those rules. Both State Bar President Terry Tottenham and Chief Justice Jefferson point to the time and expertise that numerous lawyers have already put into the process. More information will be posted to the website as the process develops. If you have questions or concerns, email rcantu@texasbar.com.

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Timothy W. Sorenson - October 11, 2010 8:47 AM

Why are we even suggesting changes to the Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct? OOOps! It must be sunset time again. We have to keep the money out of the legislature's hands.

I respectfully suggest that we have granted too much discretion to the Commission on Lawyer Discipline. Now those that control the Bar want to give the Commission more ammunition to justify its existence to appease those in the Legislature that might ask the question, "Why do we need a State Bar of Texas?"

I really think that we should let the legislature have control of the disciplinary process. Leaving it with the Supreme Court is a patent conflict of interest, is publicly untrustworthy, and sires rubber stamp bureaucracies like the Board of Disciplinary Appeals and the Commission on Lawyer Discipline. Further, it breeds bad law, as the Supreme Court must ignore existing common law, and often common sense, to protect the bureaucracies it has created.

Lastly, by ceding discipline to the Legislature we can still use our bar dues to maintain the State Bar as the social club that it really is.

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