State Bar of Texas
Feb. 20, 2008

Contact: Kim Davey, 800.204.2222 x 1713 or 512.427.1713

State Bar of Texas Lawyer Referral Results in Increased Funds to Protect Clients of Dishonest Lawyers

(Austin) – As a result of a referral through the State Bar of Texas Lawyer Referral Information Service (LRIS), the bar's Client Security Fund will receive additional funding of $150,000 this year to provide compensation to clients of attorneys who have stolen clients' money or failed to return unused fees.

LRIS assists the public in finding a lawyer in geographic regions statewide and in all practice areas. LRIS handles more than 75,000 referrals annually. Participating lawyers pay 10 percent of any fees earned of $500 or more to the State Bar.

LRIS referred a caller in College Station to attorney Randy Sorrels of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels & Friend in Houston. The case involved a University of Texas student who died from alcohol poisoning in a hazing incident. This high-profile case also culminated in the production of an educational anti-hazing video designed to reach all colleges and universities, and can be viewed at

To ensure that the referral fee of $150,000 in the case – the largest ever generated by LRIS – would have maximum impact, the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors approved the transfer of funds from the bar's general fund to the Client Security Fund to provide compensation to clients who are victimized by dishonest lawyers. Last year the Client Security Fund awarded more than $450,000 to 77 applicants. The Client Security Fund is administered by the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel of the State Bar of Texas, which holds professionalism and public protection among its highest priorities.

Visit to learn more about the Lawyer Referral Information Service and the Client Security Fund. Call LRIS at 877.9TEXBAR (877.983.9227). Call the Client Security Fund at 877.953.5535.

The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas that provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys, and manages the attorney discipline system.