Editor’s Note: State Bar of Texas President Laura Gibson sent the following message to members on Wednesday.
It is the duty of the State Bar of Texas to improve and advance the quality of legal services to the public, and foster integrity and ethical conduct in the legal profession. The attorney grievance system is vital to these efforts; however, the workings of the system aren’t always well understood.
In an effort to provide our members more information, I recently moderated a CLE webinar titled “What Every Lawyer Should Know About the Attorney Grievance System.” It is now available to all members to watch on demand, for free, at texasbarcle.com for 1.25 hours of MCLE ethics credit.
The structure of the State Bar enables Texas lawyers to have an independent, confidential, and fair system for handling attorney grievances. The Texas attorney discipline system is governed by the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct and the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure. The ethics rules define proper conduct for purposes of professional discipline. The procedural rules provide the mechanism by which grievances are processed, investigated, and prosecuted.
From the presentation you will learn about the Commission for Lawyer Discipline, which oversees the grievance system; the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s role in administering the system; the role of the District Grievance Committees; and the additional processes of checks and balances that ensure all parties are treated fairly. You will also hear from Seana Willing, the chief disciplinary counsel, and Scott Rothenberg, a Bellaire attorney who currently serves as panel chair of the District 4 Grievance Committee, who so graciously joined me as panelists.
I hope you take the time to view the presentation. It is very informative and insightful and could save you some time navigating the grievance process.