For Lawyers

Ethics Resources

This page contains a list of ethics resources for Texas attorneys, judges, and legal professionals. If you are a Texas attorney with a specific ethics question that is not answered by the resources below, please call our toll-free Ethics Helpline at (800)532-3947.

Conduct and Procedural Rules

Texas attorneys must abide by the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct (pdf) and Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure (pdf). Texas judges are covered by the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct (pdf) and the Procedural Rules for Removal or Retirement of Judges (pdf). Aspirational guidance for lawyers is found in the Texas Lawyer's Creed (pdf)

The American Bar Association maintains Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The ABA's Commission on Ethics 20/20 is currently reviewing the model rules, and posts frequent updates on its website.

Texas Center for Legal Ethics
This independent non-profit offers ethics reference materials (including attorney ethics opinions), courses, and public education on ethics and professionalism for the legal industry and judiciary.

University of Houston Law Center - Texas Ethics Reporter
This website serves as a clearinghouse of current and past Texas professional conduct rules, attorney and judicial ethics opinions, and other resources.

Texas Grievance System

About the Grievance Process
Get details on the State Bar of Texas Client Attorney Assistance Program, fee disputes, and rules and procedures regarding the attorney grievance process in Texas

Board of Disciplinary Appeals
The Board of Disciplinary Appeals is a statewide independent adjudicatory body of 12 attorneys appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas to hear appeals of certain attorney disciplinary cases. The board's website includes published opinions regarding disciplinary appeals

Solicitation and Barratry FAQs

Recent case law and civil statutes revisit the prohibited practice of barratry and solicitation. This section addresses frequently asked questions concerning the interplay between the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, case law, and criminal and civil statutes.

Committees

State Bar of Texas Committees
State Bar committees are appointed by the president-elect and serve in an advisory role on a number of issues affecting the profession. The Professionalism Committee and the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct Committee are among those that consider lawyer ethics and professionalism issues. The Judical Ethics Committee of the State Bar Judicial Section issues ethics opinions related to judges.

Texas Supreme Court Committees
Three committees appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas cover ethics-related issues. The Professional Ethics Committee for the State Bar of Texas issues written ethics opinions and is chaired by Mark N. Osborn of El Paso. The Grievance Oversight Committee advises the Court regarding the attorney discipline system, and the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee investigates and prosecutes persons practicing law without a license.

State Ethics Commissions

Texas Ethics Commission
The commission governs ethics for officeholders, candidates, lobbyists, and public servants at all levels of state and local government and individuals attempting to influence them. Search ethics advisory opinions and find filing information for candidates, officeholders, and lobbyists.

State Commission on Judicial Conduct
This independent agency investigates allegations of judicial misconduct or judicial disability and for disciplining judges. The commission website includes a list of ethics opinions related to judges. These opinions are issued by the Judicial Ethics Committee of the State Bar of Texas Judicial Section.

Lawyers' Assistance

Texas Lawyers' Assistance Program (TLAP)
TLAP provides for the identification, peer intervention and rehabilitation of any Texas attorney or law student whose professional performance is impaired because of substance abuse, dependency or mental health disorders.

Practice Management

Law Practice Management Program
Managing a law office effectively and efficiently goes a long way toward meeting ethical responsibilities to clients. The Law Practice Management Program offers a number of free resources for attorneys who need advice on starting and maintaining a practice. Other resources include online classes, a self-assessment tool, product reviews, "how to" brochures, and more.

Publications

Texas Lawyers' Professional Ethics
This handy reference includes commentary and guidance on ethical considerations in the day-to-day practice of law, Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, Texas Lawyers' Creed, and Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure. Texas Lawyers' Professional Ethics Digital Product is included and is helpful and easy-to-use, with summaries of ethics opinions, comparison tables, and external links to Texas cases cited.

Texas Lawyer's Creed

The goal of the Texas Lawyer’s Creed, promulgated in November 1989, was to eliminate abusive tactics within the practice of law in Texas and promote respect and confidence in the legal profession. In 2013, then State Bar of Texas President Buck Files worked with both the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to reaffirm the Creed and what it stands for.

To celebrate the reaffirmation, the State Bar of Texas created a poster-sized (24 x 36) version of the Texas Lawyers’ Creed. Perfect for display in your law office or chambers, contact Blair McBride at bmcbride@texasbar.com or 512-427-1726 to receive your free copy or to request copies of the Texas Lawyer’s Creed brochure.

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