Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct
(Not Subject to Enforcement by Private Party)
1. A lawyer is a representative of clients, an officer of the legal system and a public citizen having special responsibility for the quality of justice. Lawyers, as guardians of the law, play a vital role in the preservation of society. The fulfillment of this role requires an understanding by the lawyers of their relationship with and function in our legal system. A consequent obligation of lawyers is to maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct.
2. As a representative of clients, a lawyer performs various functions. As advisor, a lawyer provides a client with an informed understanding of the client’s legal rights and obligations and explains their practical implications. As advocate, a lawyer zealously asserts the client’s position under the rules of the adversary system. As negotiator, a lawyer seeks a result advantageous to the client but consistent with requirements of honest dealing with others. As intermediary between clients, a lawyer seeks to reconcile their divergent interests as an advisor and, to a limited extent, as a spokesperson for each client. A lawyer acts as evaluator by examining a client’s legal affairs and reporting about them to the client or to others.
3. In all professional functions, a lawyer should zealously pursue clients’ interests within the bounds of the law. In doing so, a lawyer should be competent, prompt and diligent. A lawyer should maintain communication with a client concerning the representation. A lawyer should keep in confidence information relating to representation of a client except so far as disclosure is required or permitted by the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.
4. A lawyer’s conduct should conform to the requirements of the law, both in professional service to clients and in the lawyer’s business and personal affairs. A lawyer should use the law’s procedures only for legitimate purposes and not to harass or intimidate others. A lawyer should demonstrate respect for the legal system and for those who serve it, including judges, other lawyers and public officials. While it is a lawyer’s duty, when necessary, to challenge the rectitude of official action, it is also a lawyer’s duty to uphold legal process.
5. As a public citizen, a lawyer should seek improvement of the law, the administration of justice and the quality of service rendered by the legal profession. As a member of a learned profession, a lawyer should cultivate knowledge of the law beyond its use for clients, employ that knowledge in reform of the law and work to strengthen legal education. A lawyer should be mindful of deficiencies in the administration of justice and of the fact that the poor, and sometimes persons who are not poor, cannot afford adequate legal assistance, and should therefore devote professional time and civic influence in their behalf. A lawyer should aid the legal profession in pursuing these objectives and should help the bar regulate itself in the public interest.
6. A lawyer should render public interest legal service. The basic responsibility for providing legal services for those unable to pay ultimately rests upon the individual lawyer, and personal involvement in the problems of the disadvantaged can be one of the most rewarding experiences in the life of a lawyer. Every lawyer, regardless of professional prominence or professional workload, should find time to participate in or otherwise support the provision of legal services to the disadvantaged. The provision of free legal services to those unable to pay reasonable fees is a moral obligation of each lawyer as well as the profession generally. A lawyer may discharge this basic responsibility by providing public interest legal services without fee, or at a substantially reduced fee, in one or more of the following areas: poverty law, civil rights law, public rights law, charitable organization representation, the administration of justice, and by financial support for organizations that provide legal services to persons of limited means.
7. In the nature of law practice conflicting responsibilities are encountered. Virtually all difficult ethical problems arise from apparent conflict between a lawyer’s responsibilities to clients, to the legal system and to the lawyer’s own interest. The Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct prescribe terms for resolving such tensions. They do so by stating minimum standards of conduct below which no lawyer can fall without being subject to disciplinary action. Within the framework of these Rules many difficult issues of professional discretion can arise. The Rules and their Comments constitute a body of principles upon which the lawyer can rely for guidance in resolving such issues through the exercise of sensitive professional and moral judgment. In applying these rules, lawyers may find interpretive guidance in the principles developed in the Comments.
8. The legal profession has a responsibility to assure that its regulation is undertaken in the public interest rather than in furtherance of parochial or self-interested concerns of the bar, and to insist that every lawyer both comply with its minimum disciplinary standards and aid in securing their observance by other lawyers. Neglect of these responsibilities compromises the independence of the profession and the public interest which it serves.
9. Each lawyer’s own conscience is the touchstone against which to test the extent to which his actions may rise above the disciplinary standards prescribed by these rules. The desire for the respect and confidence of the members of the profession and of the society which it serves provides the lawyer the incentive to attain the highest possible degree of ethical conduct. The possible loss of that respect and confidence is the ultimate sanction. So long as its practitioners are guided by these principles, the law will continue to be a noble profession. This is its greatness and its strength, which permit of no compromise.
10. The Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct are rules of reason. The Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct define proper conduct for purposes of professional discipline. They are imperatives, cast in the terms “shall” or “shall not.” The Comments are cast often in the terms of “may” or “should” and are permissive, defining areas in which the lawyer has professional discretion. When a lawyer exercises such discretion, whether by acting or not acting, no disciplinary action may be taken. The Comments also frequently illustrate or explain applications of the rules, in order to provide guidance for interpreting the rules and for practicing in compliance with the spirit of the rules. The Comments do not, however, add obligations to the rules and no disciplinary action may be taken for failure to conform to the Comments.
11. The rules presuppose a larger legal context shaping the lawyer’s role. That context includes court rules and statutes relating to matters of licensure, laws defining specific obligations of lawyers and substantive and procedure law in general. Compliance with the rules, as with all law in an open society, depends primarily upon understanding and voluntary compliance, secondarily upon reinforcement by peer and public opinion and finally, when necessary, upon enforcement through disciplinary proceedings. The Rules and Comments do not, however, exhaust the moral and ethical considerations that should guide a lawyer, for no worthwhile human activity can be completely defined by legal rules.
12. Most of the duties flowing from the client-lawyer relationship attach only after the client has requested the lawyer to render legal services and the lawyer has agreed to do so. For purposes of determining the lawyer’s authority and responsibility, individual circumstances and principles of substantive law external to these rules determine whether a client-lawyer relationship may be found to exist. But there are some duties, such as that of confidentiality, that may attach before a client-lawyer relationship has been established.
13. The responsibilities of government lawyers, under various legal provisions, including constitutional, statutory and common law, may include authority concerning legal matters that ordinarily reposes in the client in private client-lawyer relationships. For example, a lawyer for a government agency may have authority on behalf of the government to decide upon settlement or whether to appeal from an adverse judgment. Such authority in various respects is generally vested in the attorney general and the state’s attorney in state government, and their federal counterparts, and the same may be true of other government law officers. Also, lawyers under the supervision of these officers may be authorized to represent several government agencies in intragovernmental legal controversies in circumstances where a private lawyer could not represent multiple private clients. They also may have authority to represent the “public interest” in circumstances where a private lawyer would not be authorized to do so. These Rules do not abrogate any such authority.
15. These rules do not undertake to define standards of civil liability of lawyers for professional conduct. Violation of a Rule does not give rise to a private cause of action nor does it create any presumption that a legal duty to a client has been breached. Likewise, these rules are not designed to be standards for procedural decisions. Furthermore, the purpose of these rules can be abused when they are invoked by opposing parties as procedural weapons. The fact that a Rule is a just basis for a lawyer’s self-assessment, or for sanctioning a lawyer under the administration of a disciplinary authority, does not imply that an antagonist in a collateral proceeding or transaction has standing to seek enforcement of the rule. Accordingly, nothing in the rules should be deemed to augment any substantive legal duty of lawyers or the extra-disciplinary consequences of violating such a duty.
16. Moreover, these rules are not intended to govern or affect judicial application of either the attorney-client or work product privilege. The fact that in exceptional situations the lawyer under the Rules has a limited discretion to disclose a client confidence does not vitiate the proposition that, as a general matter, the client has a reasonable expectation that information relating to the client will not be voluntarily disclosed and that disclosure of such information may be judicially compelled only in accordance with recognized exceptions to the attorney-client and work product privileges.
“Adjudicatory Proceeding” denotes the consideration of a matter by a Tribunal.
“Belief” or “Believes” denotes that the person involved actually supposed the fact in question to be true. A person’s belief may be inferred from circumstances.
“Competent” or “Competence” denotes possession or the ability to timely acquire the legal knowledge, skill, and training reasonably necessary for the representation of the client.
“Consult” or “Consultation” denotes communication of information and advice reasonably sufficient to permit the client to appreciate the significance of the matter in question.
“Firm” or “Law firm” denotes a lawyer or lawyers in a private firm; or a lawyer or lawyers employed in the legal department of a corporation, legal services organization, or other organization, or in a unit of government.
“Fitness” denotes those qualities of physical, mental and psychological health that enable a person to discharge a lawyer’s responsibilities to clients in conformity with the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. Normally a lack of fitness is indicated most clearly by a persistent inability to discharge, or unreliability in carrying out, significant obligations.
“Law firm“: see “Firm.”
“Partner” denotes an individual or corporate member of a partnership or a shareholder in a law firm organized as a professional corporation.
“Should know” when used in reference to a lawyer denotes that a reasonable lawyer under the same or similar circumstances would know the matter in question.
“Tribunal” denotes any governmental body or official or any other person engaged in a process of resolving a particular dispute or controversy. “Tribunal” includes such institutions as courts and administrative agencies when engaging in adjudicatory or licensing activities as defined by applicable law or rules of practice or procedure, as well as judges, magistrates, special masters, referees, arbitrators, mediators, hearing officers and comparable persons empowered to resolve or to recommend a resolution of a particular matter; but it does not include jurors, prospective jurors, legislative bodies or their committees, members or staffs, nor does it include other governmental bodies when acting in a legislative or rule-making capacity.
(1) another lawyer who is competent to handle the matter is, with the prior informed consent of the client, associated in the matter; or
(2) the advice or assistance of the lawyer is reasonably required in an emergency and the lawyer limits the advice and assistance to that which is reasonably necessary in the circumstances.
(1) neglect a legal matter entrusted to the lawyer; or
(b) A lawyer may limit the scope, objectives and general methods of the representation if the client consents after consultation.
(c) A lawyer shall not assist or counsel a client to engage in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent. A lawyer may discuss the legal consequences of any proposed course of conduct with a client and may counsel and represent a client in connection with the making of a good faith effort to determine the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law.
(d) When a lawyer has confidential information clearly establishing that a client is likely to commit a criminal or fraudulent act that is likely to result in substantial injury to the financial interests or property of another, the lawyer shall promptly make reasonable efforts under the circumstances to dissuade the client from committing the crime or fraud.
(e) When a lawyer has confidential information clearly establishing that the lawyer’s client has committed a criminal or fraudulent act in the commission of which the lawyer’s services have been used, the lawyer shall make reasonable efforts under the circumstances to persuade the client to take corrective action.
(f) When a lawyer knows that a client expects representation not permitted by the rules of professional conduct or other law, the lawyer shall consult with the client regarding the relevant limitations on the lawyer’s conduct.
(g) A lawyer shall take reasonable action to secure the appointment of a guardian or other legal representative for, or seek other protective orders with respect to, a client whenever the lawyer reasonably believes that the client lacks legal competence and that such action should be taken to protect the client.
(a) A lawyer shall keep a client reasonably informed about the status of a matter and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information.
(b) A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation.
(a) A lawyer shall not enter into an arrangement for, charge, or collect an illegal fee or unconscionable fee. A fee is unconscionable if a competent lawyer could not form a reasonable belief that the fee is reasonable.
(c) When the lawyer has not regularly represented the client, the basis or rate of the fee shall be communicated to the client, preferably in writing, before or within a reasonable time after commencing the representation.
(d) A fee may be contingent on the outcome of the matter for which the service is rendered, except in a matter in which a contingent fee is prohibited by paragraph (e) or other law. A contingent fee agreement shall be in writing and shall state the method by which the fee is to be determined. If there is to be a differentiation in the percentage or percentages that shall accrue to the lawyer in the event of settlement, trial or appeal, the percentage for each shall be stated. The agreement shall state the litigation and other expenses to be deducted from the recovery, and whether such expenses are to be deducted before or after the contingent fee is calculated. Upon conclusion of a contingent fee matter, the lawyer shall provide the client with a written statement describing the outcome of the matter and, if there is a recovery, showing the remittance to the client and the method of its determination.
(f) A division or arrangement for division of a fee between lawyers who are not in the same firm may be made only if:
(i) in proportion to the professional services performed by each lawyer; or
(ii) made between lawyers who assume joint responsibility for the representation; and
(i) the identity of all lawyers or law firms who will participate in the fee-sharing arrangement, and
(ii) whether fees will be divided based on the proportion of services performed or by lawyers agreeing to assume joint responsibility for the representation, and
(iii) the share of the fee that each lawyer or law firm will receive or, if the division is based on the proportion of services performed, the basis on which the division will be made; and
(g) Every agreement that allows a lawyer or law firm to associate other counsel in the representation of a person, or to refer the person to other counsel for such representation, and that results in such an association with or referral to a different law firm or a lawyer in such a different firm, shall be confirmed by an arrangement conforming to paragraph (g). Consent by a client or a prospective client without knowledge of the information specified in subparagraph (f)(2) does not constitute a confirmation within the meaning of this rule. No attorney shall collect or seek to collect fees or expenses in connection with any such agreement that is not confirmed in that way, except for:
(1) the reasonable value of legal services provided to that person; and
(2) the reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred on behalf of that person.
(h) Paragraph (f) of this rule does not apply to payment to a former partner or associate pursuant to a separation or retirement agreement, or to a lawyer referral program certified by the State Bar of Texas in accordance with the Texas Lawyer Referral Service Quality Act, Tex. Occ. Code 952.001 et seq., or any amendments or recodifications thereof.
(a) Confidential information” includes both “privileged information” and “unprivileged client information.” Privileged information” refers to the information of a client protected by the lawyer-client privilege of Rule 503 of the Texas Rules of Evidence or of Rule 503 of the Texas Rules of Criminal Evidence or by the principles of attorney-client privilege governed by Rule 501 of the Federal Rules of Evidence for United States Courts and Magistrates. “Unprivileged client information” means all information relating to a client or furnished by the client, other than privileged information, acquired by the lawyer during the course of or by reason of the representation of the client.
(i) a person that the client has instructed is not to receive the information; or
(ii) anyone else, other than the client, the client’s representatives, or the members, associates, or employees of the lawyer’s law firm.
(2) Use confidential information of a client to the disadvantage of the client unless the client consents after consultation.
(3) Use confidential information of a former client to the disadvantage of the former client after the representation is concluded unless the former client consents after consultation or the confidential information has become generally known.
(c) A lawyer may reveal confidential information:
(3) To the client, the client’s representatives, or the members, associates, and employees of the lawyer’s firm, except when otherwise instructed by the client.
(5) To the extent reasonably necessary to enforce a claim or establish a defense on behalf of the lawyer in a controversy between the lawyer and the client.
(6) To establish a defense to a criminal charge, civil claim or disciplinary complaint against the lawyer or the lawyer’s associates based upon conduct involving the client or the representation of the client.
(7) When the lawyer has reason to believe it is necessary to do so in order to prevent the client from committing a criminal or fraudulent act.
(d) A lawyer also may reveal unprivileged client information.
(iv) prove the services rendered to a client, or the reasonable value thereof, or both, in an action against another person or organization responsible for the payment of the fee for services rendered to the client.
(e) When a lawyer has confidential information clearly establishing that a client is likely to commit a criminal or fraudulent act that is likely to result in death or substantial bodily harm to a person, the lawyer shall reveal confidential information to the extent revelation reasonably appears necessary to prevent the client from committing the criminal or fraudulent act.
(b) In other situations and except to the extent permitted by paragraph (c), a lawyer shall not represent a person if the representation of that person:
(1) involves a substantially related matter in which that person’s interests are materially and directly adverse to the interests of another client of the lawyer or the lawyer’s firm; or
(1) the lawyer reasonably believes the representation of each client will not be materially affected; and
(2) each affected or potentially affected client consents to such representation after full disclosure of the existence, nature, implications, and possible adverse consequences of the common representation and the advantages involved, if any.
(d) A lawyer who has represented multiple parties in a matter shall not thereafter represent any of such parties in a dispute among the parties arising out of the matter, unless prior consent is obtained from all such parties to the dispute.
(e) If a lawyer has accepted representation in violation of this Rule, or if multiple representation properly accepted becomes improper under this Rule, the lawyer shall promptly withdraw from one or more representations to the extent necessary for any remaining representation not to be in violation of these Rules.
(f) If a lawyer would be prohibited by this Rule from engaging in particular conduct, no other lawyer while a member or associated with that lawyer’s firm may engage in that conduct.
(1) the lawyer consults with each client concerning the implications of the common representation, including the advantages and risks involved, and the effect on the attorney-client privileges, and obtains each client’s written consent to the common representation;
(2) the lawyer reasonably believes that the matter can be resolved without the necessity of contested litigation on terms compatible with the clients’ best interests, that each client will be able to make adequately informed decisions in the matter and that there is little risk of material prejudice to the interests of any of the clients if the contemplated resolution is unsuccessful; and
(3) the lawyer reasonably believes that the common representation can be undertaken impartially and without improper effect on other responsibilities the lawyer has to any of the clients.
(b) While acting as intermediary, the lawyer shall consult with each client concerning the decision to be made and the considerations relevant in making them, so that each client can make adequately informed decisions.
(c) A lawyer shall withdraw as intermediary if any of the clients so requests, or if any of the conditions stated in paragraph (a) is no longer satisfied. Upon withdrawal, the lawyer shall not continue to represent any of the clients in the matter that was the subject of the intermediation.
(e) If a lawyer would be prohibited by this Rule from engaging in particular conduct, no other lawyer while a member of or associated with that lawyer’s firm may engage in that conduct.
(a) A lawyer shall not enter into a business transaction with a client unless:
(1) the transaction and terms on which the lawyer acquires the interest are fair and reasonable to the client and are fully disclosed in a manner which can be reasonably understood by the client;
(2) the client is given a reasonable opportunity to seek the advice of independent counsel in the transaction; and
(b) A lawyer shall not prepare an instrument giving the lawyer or a person related to the lawyer as a parent, child, sibling, or spouse any substantial gift from a client, including a testamentary gift, except where the client is related to the donee.
(c) Prior to the conclusion of all aspects of the matter giving rise to the lawyer’s employment, a lawyer shall not make or negotiate an agreement with a client, prospective client, or former client giving the lawyer literary or media rights to a portrayal or account based in substantial part on information relating to the representation.
(1) a lawyer may advance or guarantee court costs, expenses of litigation or administrative proceedings, and reasonably necessary medical and living expenses, the repayment of which may be contingent on the outcome of the matter; and
(3) information relating to representation of a client is protected as required by Rule 1.05.
(f) A lawyer who represents two or more clients shall not participate in making an aggregate settlement of the claims of or against the clients, or in a criminal case an aggregated agreement as to guilty or nolo contendere pleas, unless each client has consented after consultation, including disclosure of the existence and nature of all the claims or pleas involved and of the nature and extent of the participation of each person in the settlement.
(g) A lawyer shall not make an agreement prospectively limiting the lawyer’s liability to a client for malpractice unless permitted by law and the client is independently represented in making the agreement, or settle a claim for such liability with an unrepresented client or former client without first advising that person in writing that independent representation is appropriate in connection therewith.
(2) contract in a civil case with a client for a contingent fee that is permissible under Rule 1.04.
(i) If a lawyer would be prohibited by this Rule from engaging in particular conduct, no other lawyer while a member of or associated with that lawyer’s firm may engage in that conduct.
(j) As used in this Rule, “business transactions” does not include standard commercial transactions between the lawyer and the client for products or services that the client generally markets to others.
(a) Without prior consent, a lawyer who personally has formerly represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter represent another person in a matter adverse to the former client:
(1) in which such other person questions the validity of the lawyer’s services or work product for the former client;
(b) Except to the extent authorized by Rule 1.10, when lawyers are or have become members of or associated with a firm, none of them shall knowingly represent a client if any one of them practicing alone would be prohibited from doing so by paragraph (a).
(c) When the association of a lawyer with a firm has terminated, the lawyers who were then associated with that lawyer shall not knowingly represent a client if the lawyer whose association with that firm has terminated would be prohibited from doing so by paragraph (a)(l) or if the representation in reasonable probability will involve a violation of Rule 1.05.
(a) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer shall not represent a private client in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a public officer or employee, unless the appropriate government agency consents after consultation.
(1) the lawyer subject to paragraph (a) is screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and
(2) written notice is given with reasonable promptness to the appropriate government agency.
(c) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer having information that the lawyer knows or should know is confidential government information about a person or other legal entity acquired when the lawyer was a public officer or employee may not represent a private client whose interests are adverse to that person or legal entity.
(d) After learning that a lawyer in the firm is subject to paragraph (c) with respect to a particular matter, a firm may undertake or continue representation in that matter only if that disqualified lawyer is screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom.
(1) Participate in a matter involving a private client when the lawyer had represented that client in the same matter while in private practice or nongovernmental employment, unless under applicable law no one is, or by lawful delegation may be, authorized to act in the lawyer’s stead in the matter; or
(1) Any adjudicatory proceeding, application, request for a ruling or other determination, contract, claim, controversy, investigation, charge, accusation, arrest or other similar, particular transaction involving a specific party or parties; and
(g) As used in this Rule, the term “confidential government information” means information which has been obtained under governmental authority and which, at the time this rule is applied, the government is prohibited by law from disclosing to the public or has a legal privilege not to disclose, and which is not otherwise available to the public.
(i) A lawyer who serves as a public officer or employee of one body politic after having served as a public officer of another body politic shall comply with paragraphs (a) and (c) as if the second body politic were a private client and with paragraph (e) as if the first body politic were a private client.
(a) A lawyer shall not represent anyone in connection with a matter in which the lawyer has passed upon the merits or otherwise participated personally and substantially as an adjudicatory official or law clerk to an adjudicatory official, unless all parties to the proceeding consent after disclosure.
(b) A lawyer who is an adjudicatory official shall not negotiate for employment with any person who is involved as a party or as attorney for a party in a pending matter in which that official is participating personally and substantially. A lawyer serving as a law clerk to an adjudicatory official may negotiate for employment with a party or attorney involved in a matter in which the clerk is participating personally and substantially, but only after the clerk has notified the adjudicatory official.
(a) A lawyer employed or retained by an organization represents the entity. While the lawyer in the ordinary course of working relationships may report to, and accept direction from, an entity’s duly authorized constituents, in the situations described in paragraph (b) the lawyer shall proceed as reasonably necessary in the best interest of the organization without involving unreasonable risks of disrupting the organization and of revealing information relating to the representation to persons outside the organization.
(1) an officer, employee, or other person associated with the organization has committed or intends to commit a violation of a legal obligation to the organization or a violation of law which reasonably might be imputed to the organization;
(2) the violation is likely to result in substantial injury to the organization; and
(c) Except where prior disclosure to persons outside the organization is required by law or other Rules, a lawyer shall first attempt to resolve a violation by taking measures within the organization. In determining the internal procedures, actions or measures that are reasonably necessary in order to comply with paragraphs (a) and (b), a lawyer shall give due consideration to the seriousness of the violation and its consequences, the scope and nature of the lawyer’s representation, the responsibility in the organization and the apparent motivation of the person involved, the policies of the organization concerning such matters, and any other relevant considerations. Such procedures, actions and measures may include, but are not limited to, the following:
(3) referring the matter to higher authority in the organization, including, if warranted by the seriousness of the matter, referral to the highest authority that can act in behalf of the organization as determined by applicable law.
(d) Upon a lawyer’s resignation or termination of the relationship in compliance with Rule 1.15, a lawyer is excused from further proceeding as required by paragraphs (a), (b) and (c), and any further obligations of the lawyer are determined by Rule 1.05.
(e) In dealing with an organization’s directors, officers, employees, members, shareholders or other constituents, a lawyer shall explain the identity of the client when it is apparent that the organization’s interests are adverse to those of the constituents with whom the lawyer is dealing or when explanation appears reasonably necessary to avoid misunderstanding on their part.
A lawyer serving as a director, officer or member of a legal services, civic, charitable or law reform organization, apart from the law firm in which the lawyer practices, shall not knowingly participate in a decision or action of the organization:
(a) if participating in the decision would violate the lawyer’s obligations to a client under Rule 1.06; or
(a) A lawyer shall hold funds and other property belonging in whole or in part to clients or third persons that are in a lawyer’s possession in connection with a representation separate from the lawyer’s own property. Such funds shall be kept in a separate account, designated as a “trust” or “escrow” account, maintained in the state where the lawyer’s office is situated, or elsewhere with the consent of the client or third person. Other client property shall be identified as such and appropriately safeguarded. Complete records of such account funds and other property shall be kept by the lawyer and shall be preserved for a period of five years after termination of the representation.
(b) Upon receiving funds or other property in which a client or third person has an interest, a lawyer shall promptly notify the client or third person. Except as stated in this rule or otherwise permitted by law or by agreement with the client, a lawyer shall promptly deliver to the client or third person any funds or other property that the client or third person is entitled to receive and, upon request by the client or third person, shall promptly render a full accounting regarding such property.
(c) When in the course of representation a lawyer is in possession of funds or other property in which both the lawyer and another person claim interests, the property shall be kept separate by the lawyer until there is an accounting and severance of their interest. All funds in a trust or escrow account shall be disbursed only to those persons entitled to receive them by virtue of the representation or by law. If a dispute arises concerning their respective interests, the portion in dispute shall be kept separate by the lawyer until the dispute is resolved, and the undisputed portion shall be distributed appropriately.
(1) the representation will result in violation of Rule 3.08, other applicable rules of professional conduct or other law;
(2) the lawyer’s physical, mental, or psychological condition materially impairs the lawyer’s fitness to represent the client; or
(3) the client has used the lawyer’s services to perpetrate a crime or fraud;
(5) the client fails substantially to fulfill an obligation to the lawyer regarding the lawyer’s services, including an obligation to pay the lawyer’s fee as agreed, and has been given reasonable warning that the lawyer will withdraw unless the obligation is fulfilled;
(c) When ordered to do so by a tribunal, a lawyer shall continue representation notwithstanding good cause for terminating the representation.
(d) Upon termination of representation, a lawyer shall take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect a client’s interests, such as giving reasonable notice to the client, allowing time for employment of other counsel, surrendering papers and property to which the client is entitled and refunding any advance payments of fee that has not been earned. The lawyer may retain papers relating to the client to the extent permitted by other law only if such retention will not prejudice the client in the subject matter of the representation.
In advising or otherwise representing a client, a lawyer shall exercise independent professional judgment and render candid advice.
A lawyer shall not undertake an evaluation of a matter affecting a client for the use of someone other than the client unless:
(a) the lawyer reasonably believes that making the evaluation is compatible with other aspects of the lawyer’s relationship with the client; and
(b) the client consents after consultation.
A lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue therein, unless the lawyer reasonably believes that there is a basis for doing so that is not frivolous.
In the course of litigation, a lawyer shall not take a position that unreasonably increases the costs or other burdens of the case or that unreasonably delays resolution of the matter.
(a) A lawyer shall not knowingly:
(1) make a false statement of material fact or law to a tribunal;
(5) offer or use evidence that the lawyer knows to be false.
(b) If a lawyer has offered material evidence and comes to know of its falsity, the lawyer shall make a good faith effort to persuade the client to authorize the lawyer to correct or withdraw the false evidence. If such efforts are unsuccessful, the lawyer shall take reasonable remedial measures, including disclosure of the true facts.
(c) The duties stated in paragraph (a) and (b) continue until remedial legal measures are no longer reasonably possible.
A lawyer shall not:
(a) unlawfully obstruct another party’s access to evidence; in anticipation of a dispute unlawfully alter, destroy or conceal a document or other material that a competent lawyer would believe has potential or actual evidentiary value; or counsel or assist another person to do any such act.
(b) falsify evidence, counsel or assist a witness to testify falsely, or pay, offer to pay, or acquiesce in the offer or payment of compensation to a witness or other entity contingent upon the content of the testimony of the witness or the outcome of the case. But a lawyer may advance, guarantee, or acquiesce in the payment of:
(1) expenses reasonably incurred by a witness in attending or testifying;
(2) reasonable compensation to a witness for his loss of time in attending or testifying;
(3) a reasonable fee for the professional services of an expert witness.
(c) except as stated in paragraph (d), in representing a client before a tribunal:
(2) state or allude to any matter that the lawyer does not reasonably believe is relevant to such proceeding or that will not be supported by admissible evidence, or assert personal knowledge of facts in issue except when testifying as a witness;
(3) state a personal opinion as to the justness of a cause, the credibility of a witness, the culpability of a civil litigant or the guilt or innocence of an accused, except that a lawyer may argue on his analysis of the evidence and other permissible considerations for any position or conclusion with respect to the matters stated herein;
(d) knowingly disobey, or advise the client to disobey, an obligation under the standing rules of or a ruling by a tribunal except for an open refusal based either on an assertion that no valid obligation exists or on the client’s willingness to accept any sanctions arising from such disobedience.
(e) request a person other than a client to refrain from voluntarily giving relevant information to another party unless:
(1) the person is a relative or an employee or other agent of a client; and
(2) the lawyer reasonably believes that the person’s interests will not be adversely affected by refraining from giving such information.
A lawyer shall not:
(b) except as otherwise permitted by law and not prohibited by applicable rules of practice or procedure, communicate or cause another to communicate ex- parte with a tribunal for the purpose of influencing that entity or person concerning a pending matter other than:
(1) “Matter” has the meanings ascribed by it in Rule 1.10(f) of these Rules;
(b) Prior to discharge of the jury from further consideration of a matter, a lawyer connected therewith shall not communicate with or cause another to communicate with anyone he knows to be a member of the venire from which the jury will be selected or any juror or alternate juror, except in the course of official proceedings.
(c) During the trial of a case, a lawyer not connected therewith shall not communicate with or cause another to communicate with a juror or alternate juror concerning the matter.
(d) After discharge of the jury from further consideration of a matter with which the lawyer was connected, the lawyer shall not ask questions of or make comments to a member of that jury that are calculated merely to harass or embarrass the juror or to influence his actions in future jury service.
(g) As used in this Rule, the terms “matter” and “pending” have the meanings specified in Rule 3.05(c).
(a) In the course of representing a client, a lawyer shall not make an extrajudicial statement that a reasonable person would expect to be disseminated by means of public communication if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that it will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicatory proceeding. A lawyer shall not counsel or assist another person to make such a statement.
(b) A lawyer ordinarily will violate paragraph (a), and the likelihood of a violation increases if the adjudication is ongoing or imminent, by making an extrajudicial statement of the type referred to in that paragraph when the statement refers to:
(2) in a criminal case or proceeding that could result in incarceration, the possibility of a plea of guilty to the offense; the existence or contents of any confession, admission, or statement given by a defendant or suspect; or that person’s refusal or failure to make a statement;
(3) the performance, refusal to perform, or results of any examination or test; the refusal or failure of a person to allow or submit to an examination or test; or the identity or nature of physical evidence expected to be presented;
(7) a warning of danger concerning the behavior of a person involved, when there is a reason to believe that there exists the likelihood of substantial harm to an individual or to the public interest; and
(i) the identity, residence, occupation and family status of the accused;
(ii) if the accused has not been apprehended, information necessary to aid in apprehension of that person;
(iii) the fact, time and place of arrest; and
(iv) the identity of investigating and arresting officers or agencies and the length of the investigation.
(a) A lawyer shall not accept or continue employment as an advocate before a tribunal in a contemplated or pending adjudicatory proceeding if the lawyer knows or believes that the lawyer is or may be a witness necessary to establish an essential fact on behalf of the lawyer’s client unless:
(2) the testimony will relate solely to a matter of formality and there is no reason to believe that substantial evidence will be offered in opposition to the testimony;
(5) the lawyer has promptly notified opposing counsel that the lawyer expects to testify in the matter and disqualification of the lawyer would work substantial hardship on the client.
(b) A lawyer shall not continue as an advocate in a pending adjudicatory proceeding if the lawyer believes that the lawyer will be compelled to furnish testimony that will be substantially adverse to the lawyer’s client, unless the client consents after full disclosure.
(c) Without the client’s informed consent, a lawyer may not act as advocate in an adjudicatory proceeding in which another lawyer in the lawyer’s firm is prohibited by paragraphs (a) or (b) from serving as advocate. If the lawyer to be called as a witness could not also serve as an advocate under this Rule, that lawyer shall not take an active role before the tribunal in the presentation of the matter.
The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:
(a) refrain from prosecuting or threatening to prosecute a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause;
(b) refrain from conducting or assisting in a custodial interrogation of an accused unless the prosecutor has made reasonable efforts to be assured that the accused has been advised of any right to, and the procedure for obtaining, counsel and has been given reasonable opportunity to obtain counsel;
(d) make timely disclosure to the defense of all evidence or information known to the prosecutor that tends to negate the guilt of the accused or mitigates the offense, and, in connection with sentencing, disclose to the defense and to the tribunal all unprivileged mitigating information known to the prosecutor, except when the prosecutor is relieved of this responsibility by a protective order of the tribunal; and
(e) exercise reasonable care to prevent persons employed or controlled by the prosecutor in a criminal case from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making under Rule 3.07.
A lawyer representing a client before a legislative or administrative body in a nonadjudicative proceeding shall disclose that the appearance is in a representative capacity and shall conform to the provisions of Rules 3.04(a) through (d), 3.05(a), and 4.01.
In the course of representing a client a lawyer shall not knowingly:
(a) make a false statement of material fact or law to a third person; or
(b) fail to disclose a material fact to a third person when disclosure is necessary to avoid making the lawyer a party to a criminal act or knowingly assisting a fraudulent act perpetrated by a client.
(a) in representing a client, a lawyer shall not communicate or cause or encourage another to communicate about the subject of the representation with a person, organization or entity of government the lawyer knows to be represented by another lawyer regarding that subject, unless the lawyer has the consent of the other lawyer or is authorized by law to do so.
(b) In representing a client a lawyer shall not communicate or cause another to communicate about the subject of representation with a person or organization a lawyer knows to be employed or retained for the purpose of conferring with or advising another lawyer about the subject of the representation, unless the lawyer has the consent of the other lawyer or is authorized by law to do so.
(c) For the purpose of this rule, “organization or entity of government” includes: (1) those persons presently having a managerial responsibility with an organization or entity of government that relates to the subject of the representation, or (2) those persons presently employed by such organization or entity and whose act or omission in connection with the subject of representation may make the organization or entity of government vicariously liable for such act or omission.
(d) When a person, organization, or entity of government that is represented by a lawyer in a matter seeks advice regarding that matter from another lawyer, the second lawyer is not prohibited by paragraph (a) from giving such advice without notifying or seeking consent of the first lawyer.
In dealing on behalf of a client with a person who is not represented by counsel, a lawyer shall not state or imply that the lawyer is disinterested. When the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the unrepresented person misunderstands the lawyer’s role in the matter, the lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to correct the misunderstanding.
(a) In representing a client, a lawyer shall not use means that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a third person, or use methods of obtaining evidence that violate the legal rights of such a person.
(2) civil, criminal or disciplinary charges against a complainant, a witness, or a potential witness in a bar disciplinary proceeding solely to prevent participation by the complainant, witness or potential witness therein.
A lawyer shall be subject to discipline because of another lawyer’s violation of these rules of professional conduct if:
(b) The lawyer is a partner in the law firm in which the other lawyer practices, is the general counsel of a government agency’s legal department in which the other lawyer is employed, or has direct supervisory authority over the other lawyer, and with knowledge of the other lawyer’s violation of these rules knowingly fails to take reasonable remedial action to avoid or mitigate the consequences of the other lawyer’s violation.
A lawyer is bound by these rules notwithstanding that the lawyer acted under the supervision of another person, except that a supervised lawyer does not violate these rules if that lawyer acts in accordance with a supervisory lawyer’s reasonable resolution of an arguable question of professional conduct.
-With respect to a non-lawyer employed or retained by or associated with a lawyer:
(a) a lawyer having direct supervisory authority over the nonlawyer shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the person’s conduct is compatible with the professional obligations of the lawyer; and
(b) a lawyer shall be subject to discipline for the conduct of such a person that would be a violation of these rules if engaged in by a lawyer if:
(i) is a partner in the law firm in which the person is employed, retained by, or associated with; or is the general counsel of a government agency’s legal department in which the person is employed, retained by or associated with; or has direct supervisory authority over such person; and
(a) A lawyer or law firm shall not share or promise to share legal fees with a non-lawyer, except that:
(1) an agreement by a lawyer with the lawyer’s firm, partner, or associate, or a lawful court order, may provide for the payment of money, over a reasonable period of time, to the lawyer’s estate to or for the benefit of the lawyer’s heirs or personal representatives, beneficiaries, or former spouse, after the lawyer’s death or as otherwise provided by law or court order.
(2) a lawyer who undertakes to complete unfinished legal business of a deceased lawyer may pay to the estate of the deceased lawyer that proportion of the total compensation which fairly represents the services rendered by the deceased lawyer; and
(3) a lawyer or law firm may include non-lawyer employees in a retirement plan, even though the plan is based in whole or in part on a profit-sharing arrangement.
(c) A lawyer shall not permit a person who recommends, employs, or pays the lawyer to render legal services for another to direct or regulate the lawyer’s professional judgment in rendering such legal services.
(1) a nonlawyer owns any interest therein, except that a fiduciary representative of the estate of a lawyer may hold the stock or interest of the lawyer for a reasonable time during administration;
A lawyer shall not:
(b) assist a person who is not a member of the bar in the performance of activity that constitutes the unauthorized practice of law.
A lawyer shall not participate in offering or making:
(b) an agreement in which a restriction on the lawyer’s right to practice is part of the settlement of a suit or controversy, except that as part of the settlement of a disciplinary proceedings against a lawyer an agreement may be made placing restrictions on the right of that lawyer to practice.
(a) A lawyer shall not willfully, in connection with an adjudicatory proceeding, except as provided in paragraph (b), manifest, by words or conduct, bias, or prejudice based on race, color, national origin, religion, disability, age. sex, or sexual orientation towards any person involved in that proceeding in any capacity.
(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to a lawyer’s decision whether to represent a particular person in connection with an adjudicatory proceeding, nor to the process of jury selection, nor to communications protected as “confidential information” under these Rules. See Rule 1.05(a), (b). It also does not preclude advocacy in connection with an adjudicatory proceeding involving any of the factors set out in paragraph (a) if that advocacy:
(i) is necessary in order to address any substantive or procedural issues raised by the proceeding; and
(ii) is conducted in conformity with applicable rulings and orders of a tribunal and applicable rules of practice and procedure.
(a) A lawyer in private practice shall not practice under a trade name, a name that is misleading as to the identity of the lawyer or lawyers practicing under such name, or a firm name containing names other than those of one or more of the lawyers in the firm, except that the names of a professional corporation, professional association, limited liability partnership, or professional limited liability company may contain “P.C.,” “P.A.,” “L.L.P.,” “P.L.L.C.,” or similar symbols indicating the nature of the organization, and if otherwise lawful a firm may use as, or continue to include in, its name the name or names of one or more deceased or retired members of the firm or of a predecessor firm in a continuing line of succession. Nothing herein shall prohibit a married woman from practicing under her maiden name.
(b) A firm with offices in more than one jurisdiction may use the same name in each jurisdiction, but identification of the lawyers in an office of the firm shall indicate the jurisdictional limitations on those not licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the office is located.
(c) The name of a lawyer occupying a judicial, legislative, or public executive or administrative position shall not be used in the name of a firm, or in communications on its behalf, during any substantial period in which the lawyer is not actively and regularly practicing with the firm.
(e) A lawyer shall not advertise in the public media or seek professional employment by written communication under a trade or fictitious name, except that a lawyer who practices under a trade name as authorized by paragraph (a) of this Rule may use that name in such advertisement or such written communication but only if that name is the firm name that appears on the lawyer’s letterhead, business cards, office sign, fee contracts, and with the lawyer’s signature on pleadings and other legal documents.
(f) A lawyer shall not use a firm name, letterhead, or other professional designation that violates Rule 7.02(a).
(5) designates one or more specific areas of practice in an advertisement in the public media or in a written solicitation unless the advertising lawyer is competent to handle legal matters in each such area of practice.
(b) Rule 7.02(a)(5) does not require that a lawyer be certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization at the time of advertising in a specific area of practice, but such certification shall conclusively establish that such lawyer satisfies the requirements of Rule 7.02(a)(5) with respect to the area(s) of practice in which such lawyer is certified.
(c) A lawyer shall not advertise in the public media that the lawyer is a specialist except as permitted under Rule 7.04.
(d) Any statement or disclaimer required by these rules shall be made in each language used in the advertisement or writing with respect to which such required statement or disclaimer relates; provided however, the mere statement that a particular language is spoken or understood shall not alone result in the need for a statement or disclaimer in that language.
(a) A lawyer shall not by in-person or telephone contact seek professional employment concerning a matter arising out of a particular occurrence or event, or series of occurrences or events, from a prospective client or non-client who has not sought the lawyer’s advice regarding employment or with whom the lawyer has no family or past or present attorney-client relationship when a significant motive for the lawyer’s doing so is the lawyer’s pecuniary gain. Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph, a lawyer for a qualified nonprofit organization may communicate with the organization’s members for the purpose of educating the members to understand the law, to recognize legal problems, to make intelligent selection of counsel, or to use legal services. In those situations where in-person or telephone contact is permitted by this paragraph, a lawyer shall not have such a contact with a prospective client if:
(1) the communication involves coercion, duress, fraud, overreaching, intimidation, undue influence, or harassment:
(2) the communication contains information prohibited by Rule 7.02(a); or
(3) the communication contains a false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, or unfair statement or claim.
(b) A lawyer shall not pay, give, or offer to pay or give anything of value to a person not licensed to practice law for soliciting prospective clients for, or referring clients or prospective clients to, any lawyer or firm, except that a lawyer may pay reasonable fees for advertising and public relations services rendered in accordance with this Rule and may pay the usual charges of a lawyer referral service that meets the requirements of Article 320d, Revised Statutes.
(c) A lawyer, in order to solicit professional employment, shall not pay, give, advance, or offer to pay, give, or advance anything of value, other than actual litigation expenses and other financial assistance as permitted by Rule 1.08(d), to a prospective client or any other person; provided however, this provision does not prohibit the payment of legitimate referral fees as permitted by paragraph (b) of this Rule.
(e) A lawyer shall not participate with or accept referrals from a lawyer referral service unless the lawyer knows or reasonably believes that the lawyer referral service meets the requirements of Article 320d, Revised Statutes.
(a) A lawyer shall not advertise in the public media that the lawyer is a specialist, except as permitted under Rule 7.04(b) or as follows:
(1) A lawyer admitted to practice before the United States Patent Office may use the designation “Patents,” “Patent Attorney,” or “Patent Lawyer,” or any combination of those terms. A lawyer engaged in the trademark practice may use the designation “Trademark,” “Trademark Attorney,” or “Trademark Lawyer,” or any combination of those terms. A lawyer engaged in patent and trademark practice may hold himself or herself out as specializing in “Intellectual Property Law,” “Patent, Trademark, Copyright Law and Unfair Competition,” or any of those terms.
(2) A lawyer may permit his or her name to be listed in lawyer referral service offices that meet the requirements of Article 320d, Revised Statutes, according to the areas of law in which the lawyer will accept referrals.
(3) A lawyer available to practice in a particular area of law or legal service may distribute to other lawyers and publish in legal directories and legal newspapers a listing or an announcement of such availability. The listing shall not contain a false or misleading representation of special competence or experience, but may contain the kind or information that traditionally has been included in such publications.
(2) shall not include a statement that the lawyer has been certified or designated by an organization as possessing special competence or a statement that the lawyer is a member of an organization the name of which implies that its members possess special competence, except that:
(i) a lawyer who has been awarded a Certificate of Special Competence by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in the area so advertised, may state with respect to each such area, “Board Certified, [area of specialization]–Texas Board of Legal Specialization;” and
(ii) a lawyer who is a member of an organization the name of which implies that its members possess special competence, or who has been certified or designated by an organization as possessing special competence, may include a factually accurate statement of such membership or may include a factually accurate statement, “Certified [area of specialization] [name of certifying organization],” but such statements may be made only if that organization has been accredited by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization as a bona fide organization that admits to membership or grants certification only on the basis of objective, exacting, publicly available standards (including high standards of individual character, conduct, and reputation) that are reasonably relevant to the special training or special competence that is implied ant that are in excess of the level of training and competence generally required for admission to the Bar; and
(3) shall state with respect to each area advertised in which the lawyer has not been awarded a Certificate of Special Competence by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, “Not Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization,” however, if an area of law so advertised has not been designated as an area in which a lawyer may be awarded a Certificate of Special Competence by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, the lawyer may also state, “No designation has been made by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for a Certificate of Special Competence in this area.”
(c) Separate and apart from any other statements, the statements referred to in paragraph (b) shall be displayed conspicuously with no abbreviations, changes, or additions in the quoted language set forth in paragraph (b) so as to be easily seen or understood by an ordinary consumer.
(d) Subject to the requirements of Rule 7.02 and of paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this Rule, a lawyer may, either directly or through a public relations or advertising representative, advertise services in the public media, such as (but not limited to) a telephone directory, legal directory, newspaper or other periodical, outdoor display, radio, or television.
(e) All advertisements in the public media for a lawyer or firm must be reviewed and approved in writing by the lawyer or a lawyer in the firm.
(f) A copy or recording of each advertisement in the public media and relevant approval referred to in paragraph (e), and a record of when and where the advertisement was used, shall be kept by the lawyer or firm for four years after its last dissemination.
(g) In advertisements utilizing video or comparable visual images, any person who portrays a lawyer whose services or whose firm’s services are being advertised, or who narrates an advertisement as if he or she were such a lawyer, shall be one or more of the lawyers whose services are being advertised. In advertisements utilizing audio recordings, any person who narrates an advertisement as if he or she were a lawyer whose services or whose firm’s services are being advertised, shall be one or more of the lawyers whose services are being advertised.
(h) If an advertisement in the public media by a lawyer or firm discloses the willingness or potential willingness of the lawyer or firm to render services on a contingent fee basis, the advertisement must state whether the client will be obligated to pay all or any portion of the court costs and, if a client may be liable for other expenses, this fact must be disclosed. If specific percentage fees or fee ranges of contingent fee work are disclosed in such advertisement, it must also disclose whether the percentage is computed before or after expenses are deducted from the recovery.
(i) A lawyer who advertises in the public media a specific fee or range of fees for a particular service shall conform to the advertised fee or range of fees for the period during which the advertisement is reasonably expected to be in circulation or otherwise expected to be effective in attracting clients, unless the advertisement specifies a shorter period; but in no instance is the lawyer bound to conform to the advertised fee or range of fees for a period of more than one year after the date of publication.
(j) A lawyer or firm who advertises in the public media must disclose the geographic location, by city or town, of the lawyer’s or firm’s principal office. A lawyer or firm shall not advertise the existence of any office other than the principal office unless:
(k) A lawyer may not, directly or indirectly, pay all or a part of the cost of an advertisement in the public media for a lawyer not in the same firm unless such advertisement discloses the name and address of the financing lawyer, the relationship between the advertising lawyer and the financing lawyer, and whether the advertising lawyer is likely to refer cases received through the advertisement to the financing lawyer.
(l) If an advertising lawyer knows or should know at the time of an advertisement in the public media that a case or matter will likely be referred to another lawyer or firm, a statement of such fact shall be conspicuously included in such advertisement.
(n) A lawyer shall not include in any advertisement in the public media the lawyer’s association with a lawyer referral service unless the lawyer knows or reasonably believes that the lawyer referral service meets the requirements of Article 320d, Revised Statutes.
(o) A lawyer may not advertise in the public media as part of an advertising cooperative or venture of two or more lawyers not in the same firm unless each such advertisement:
(3) sets forth conspicuously the special competency requirements required by Rule 7.04(b) of lawyers who advertise in the public media;
(4) does not state or imply that the lawyers participating in the advertising cooperative or venture possess professional superiority, are able to perform services in a superior manner, or possess special competence in any area of law advertised, except that the advertisement may contain the information permitted by Rule 7.04(b)(2); and
(2) complying with the filing requirements of Rule 7.07.
(a) A lawyer shall not send or deliver, or knowingly permit or cause another person to send or deliver on the lawyer’s behalf, a written communication to a prospective client for the purpose of obtaining professional employment if:
(1) the communication involves coercion, duress, fraud, overreaching, intimidation, undue influence, or harassment;
(2) the communication contains information prohibited by Rule 7.02 or fails to satisfy each of the requirements of Rule 7.04(a) through (c), and (h) through (o) that would be applicable to the communication if it were an advertisement in the public media; or
(3) the communication contains a false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, or unfair statement or claim.
(1) shall conform to the provisions of Rule 7.04(a) through (c);
(2) shall be plainly marked “ADVERTISEMENT” on the first page of the written communication, and the face of the envelope also shall be plainly marked “ADVERTISEMENT,” however, if the written communication is in the form of a self-mailing brochure or pamphlet, the word “ADVERTISEMENT” shall be:
(i) in a color that contrasts sharply with the background color; and
(ii) in a size of at least 3/8 vertically or three times the vertical height of the letters used in the body of such communication, whichever is larger.
(4) shall not contain a statement or implication that the written communication has received any kind of authorization or approval from the State Bar of Texas or from the Law Advertisement and Solicitation Review Committee;
(7) shall disclose how the lawyer obtained the information prompting such written communication to solicit professional employment if such contact was prompted by a specific occurrence involving the recipient of the communication or a family member of such person(s).
(c) All written communications to a prospective client for the purpose of obtaining professional employment must be reviewed and either signed by or approved in writing by the lawyer or a lawyer in the firm.
(d) A copy of each written solicitation communication, the relevant approval thereof, and a record of the date of each such communication; the name and address to which each such communication was sent; and the means by which each such communication was sent shall be kept by the lawyer or firm for four years after its dissemination.
(2) that is not motivated by or concerned with a particular past occurrence or event or a particular series of past occurrences or events, and also is not motivated by or concerned with the prospective client’s specific existing legal problem of which the lawyer is aware;
A lawyer shall not accept or continue employment when the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the person who seeks the lawyer’s services does so as a result of conduct prohibited by these rules.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this Rule, a lawyer shall file with the Lawyer Advertisement and Solicitation Review Committee of the State Bar of Texas, either before or concurrently with the mailing or sending of a written solicitation communication:
(1) a copy of the written solicitation communication being sent or to be sent to one or more prospective clients for the purpose of obtaining professional employment, together with a representative sample of the envelopes in which the communications are enclosed; and
(2) a check or money order payable to the State Bar of Texas for the fee set by the Board of Directors. Such fee shall be for the sole purpose of defraying the expense of enforcing the rules related to such solicitations.
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this Rule, a lawyer shall file with the Lawyer Advertisement and Solicitation Review Committee of the State Bar of Texas, either before or concurrently with the first dissemination of an advertisement in the public media, a copy of that advertisement. The filing shall include:
(2) a production script of the advertisement setting forth all words used and describing in detail the actions, events, scenes, and background sounds used in such advertisement together with a listing of the names and addresses of persons portrayed or heard to speak, if the advertisement is in or will be in a form in which the advertised message is not fully revealed by a print copy or photograph;
(4) a check or money order payable to the State Bar of Texas for the fee set by the Board of Directors. Such fee shall be for the sole purpose of defraying the expense of enforcing the rules related to such advertisements.
(c) A lawyer who desires to secure an advance advisory opinion concerning compliance of a contemplated written solicitation communication or advertisement may submit to the Lawyer Advertisement and Solicitation Review Committee, not less than thirty (30) days prior to the date of first dissemination, the material specified in paragraph (a) or (b) of this Rule, including the required fee; provided however, it shall not be necessary to submit a videotape it the videotape has not then been prepared and the production script submitted reflects in detail and accurately the actions, events, scenes, and background sounds that will be depicted or contained on such videotapes, when prepared, as well as the narrative transcript of the verbal and printed portions of such advertisement. An advisory opinion of the Lawyer Advertisement and Solicitation Review Committee of noncompliance is not binding in a disciplinary proceeding or disciplinary action but a finding of compliance is binding in favor of the submitting lawyer if the representations, statements, materials, facts and written assurances received in connection therewith are true and are not misleading. The finding constitutes admissible evidence if offered by a party.
(i) the name of a lawyer or firm and lawyers associated with the firm, with office addresses, telephone numbers, office and telephone service hours, telecopier numbers, and a designation of the profession such as “attorney,” “lawyer,” “law office,” or “firm”;
(vi) fields of law in which one or more lawyers are certified or designated, provided the statement of this information is in compliance with Rule 7.02(a) through (c);
(x) that the lawyer or firm is a sponsor of a charitable, civic, or community program or event, or is a sponsor of a public service announcement;
(i) identifies one or more lawyers or a firm as a contributor to a specified charity or as a sponsor of a specified charitable, community, or public interest program, activity, or event; and
(ii) contains no information about the lawyers or firm other than name of the lawyers or firm or both, location of the law offices, and the fact of the sponsorship or contribution;
(4) an announcement card stating new or changed associations, new offices, or similar changes relating to a lawyer or firm, or a tombstone professional card;
(iii) members of a nonprofit organization that meets the following conditions: the primary purposes of the organization do not include the rendition of legal services; the recommending, furnishing, paying for, or educating persons regarding legal services is incidental and reasonably related to the primary purposes of the organization; the organization does not derive a financial benefit from the rendition of legal services by a lawyer; and the person for whom the legal services are rendered, and not the organization, is recognized as the client of the lawyer who is recommended, furnished, or paid by the organization;
(6) a written solicitation communication that is not motivated by or concerned with a particular past occurrence or event or a particular series of past occurrences or events, and also is not motivated by or concerned with the prospective client’s specific existing legal problem of which the lawyer is award;
(7) a written solicitation communication if the lawyer’s use of the communication to secure professional employment was not significantly motivated by a desire for, or by the possibility of obtaining, pecuniary gain; or
(e) If requested by the Lawyer Advertisement and Solicitation Review Committee, a lawyer shall promptly submit information to substantiate statements or representations made or implied in any advertisement in the public media and/or written solicitation.
An applicant for admission to the bar, a petitioner for reinstatement to the bar, or a lawyer in connection with a bar admission application, a petition for reinstatement, or a disciplinary matter, shall not:
(a) knowingly make a false statement of material fact; or
(b) fail to correct a misapprehension known by the person to have arisen in the matter, or knowingly fail to respond to a lawful demand for information from an admission, reinstatement, or disciplinary authority, except that this rule does not require disclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.05.
(a) A lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge, adjudicatory official or public legal officer, or of a candidate for election or appointment to judicial or legal office.
(a) Except as permitted in paragraphs (c) or (d), a lawyer having knowledge that another lawyer has committed a violation of applicable rules of professional conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, shall inform the appropriate disciplinary authority.
(b) Except as permitted in paragraphs (c) or (d), a lawyer having knowledge that a judge has committed a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct that raises a substantial question as to the judge’s fitness for office shall inform the appropriate authority.
(c) A lawyer having knowledge or suspecting that another lawyer or judge whose conduct the lawyer is required to report pursuant to paragraphs (a) or (b) of this Rule is impaired by chemical dependency on alcohol or drugs or by mental illness may report that person to an approved peer assistance program rather than to an appropriate disciplinary authority. If a lawyer elects that option, the lawyer’s report to the approved peer assistance program shall disclose any disciplinary violations that the reporting lawyer would otherwise have to disclose to the authorities referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b).
(1) by rule 1.05 or
(1) violate these rules, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another, whether or not such violation occurred in the course of a client-lawyer relationship;
(3) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;
(6) knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law;
(8) fail to timely furnish to the Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s office or a district grievance committee a response or other information as required by the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure, unless he or she in good faith timely asserts a privilege or other legal ground for failure to do so;
(11) engage in the practice of law when the lawyer is on inactive status or when the lawyer’s right to practice has been suspended or terminated including but not limited to situations where a lawyer’s right to practice has been administratively suspended for failure to timely pay required fees or assessments or for failure to comply with Article XII of the State Bar Rules relating to Mandatory Continuing Legal Education; or
(b) As used in subsection (a)(2) of this Rule, “serious crime” means barratry; any felony involving moral turpitude; any misdemeanor involving theft, embezzlement, or fraudulent misappropriation of money or other property; or any attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation of another to commit any of the foregoing.
(a) A lawyer is subject to the disciplinary authority of this state, if admitted to practice in this state or if specially admitted by a court of this state for a particular proceeding. In addition to being answerable for his or her conduct occurring in this state, any such lawyer also may be disciplined here for conduct occurring in another jurisdiction or resulting in lawyer discipline in another jurisdiction, if it is professional misconduct under Rule 8.04.
(1) an advertisement in the public media that does not comply with these rules and that is broadcast or disseminated in another jurisdiction, even if the advertisement complies with the rules governing lawyer advertisements in that jurisdiction, if the broadcast or dissemination of the advertisement is intended to be received by prospective clients in this state and is intended to secure employment to be performed in this state; and
(2) a written solicitation communication that does not comply with these rules and that is mailed in another jurisdiction, even if the communication complies with the rules governing written solicitation communications by lawyers in that jurisdiction, if the communication is mailed to an addressee in this state or is intended to secure employment to be performed in this state.
If any provision of these rules or any application of these rules to any person or circumstances if held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect any other provision or application of these rules that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application and, to this end, the provisions of these rules are severable.
Source: Legal Information Institute (Cornell Unoiversity Law School)[LIL], American Legal Ethics Library, last updated March 01, 2013, no longer maintaining and updating the website, so please conduct due diligence and further research regarding updates to Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct
In the Texas Ethics News (because the name says it all)…. TCLE’s “Ethics To Go” program
The Texas Center for Legal Ethics (TCLE) announced today that it has received a $15,000.00 grant from the Texas Bar Foundation to expand TCLE’s Ethics To Go program. Ethics To Go provides high-quality Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programming for attorneys and local bar associations in Texas.