Texas is proud of its tradition of utilizing local volunteers to serve on grievance committees. The commitment of the district grievance committee members is vital to the success and effectiveness of the attorney discipline system. Currently, 387 volunteer grievance committee members serve on 17 committees throughout the state. Members are nominated by State Bar directors and appointed by the State Bar president.
The district grievance committees are composed of two-thirds lawyer members and one-third public members, each of whom serve a three-year staggered term and are eligible to serve two consecutive terms. Public members may not have, other than as consumers, a financial interest, direct or indirect, in the practice of law. Lawyer members must be licensed and in good standing in the State of Texas.
The district grievance committees perform two critical roles in the discipline system: 1) Review complaints presented by the Chief Disciplinary Counsel and determine whether the case should be dismissed or proceed to prosecution; and 2) Sit as an administrative tribunal to determine whether professional misconduct was committed and assess an appropriate sanction.
Acknowledging the importance to the public and the lawyers of Texas for the members of the district grievance committees to fairly represent the racial, ethnic, and gender makeup of the districts they serve, the State Bar Directors work with CDC to make appointments that maintain this diversity in membership, including the goal that lawyer members reflect the various practice areas and law firm size.