FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 9, 2015
Contact: Amy Starnes
Public Information Director, State Bar of Texas
(800) 204-2222, ext. 1706, or (512) 427-1706
Lawyers gather to pledge civility, integrity under
By Allan K. DuBois and David Chamberlain
In a historic moment for the legal profession in Texas, practicing lawyers will join on Nov. 16 with new attorneys who passed the July bar exam to recite a new lawyer’s oath that includes an additional pledge of civility and integrity.
The 84th Legislature unanimously passed Senate Bill 534, adding the civility and integrity elements to the oath. All new members of the State Bar of Texas now will pledge to conduct themselves “with integrity and civility in dealing with and communicating with the court and all parties.”
To recognize this special moment, we are inviting all practicing attorneys who wish to voluntarily participate in reciting the new oath along with justices of the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals at the new lawyers induction ceremony. Texas joins 14 states that have incorporated civility language into their attorney oaths, thanks in part to the dedicated efforts of the Texas Chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates and ABOTA’s Civility Matters initiative, designed to elevate the standards of integrity, honor, and courtesy in the legal profession.
SB 534 — authored by Sen. Kirk Watson of Austin and co-sponsored by every lawyer in the Texas Senate, as well as Reps. John Smithee and Todd Hunter in the House — was an initiative of the Texas Chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates. It was supported by all of the state’s major legal constituencies, including the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors, the Texas Association of Defense Counsel, the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, and the American College of Trial Lawyers.
The new oath is another step in the noble tradition of promoting integrity in the legal profession. In 1989, the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals adopted the Texas Lawyer’s Creed — the core principles of professionalism that lawyers follow today. The creed states that a lawyer owes to the administration of justice personal dignity, integrity, and independence. Civility and integrity are bedrocks of the legal profession, so it is fitting that our oath now reflects these ideals.
Join us for this proud moment at 10 a.m. Nov. 16 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.
Optional fact box for publication:
New Lawyers Induction Ceremony
10 a.m. Nov. 16
Frank Erwin Center, 1701 Red River St., Austin
See uterwincenter.com for road closures and parking information
Allan K. DuBois is president of the State Bar of Texas and the owner of the Law Office of Allan K. DuBois in San Antonio, where he handles civil litigation and appeals, mediation, and arbitration. He may be reached via email at email@example.com. (High-resolution headshot available upon request.)
David Chamberlain is chair of the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas. He also is the 2015 president of the Texas Chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates and is a former president of the Texas Association of Defense Counsel. He is the senior partner in the Austin civil trial firm of Chamberlain McHaney. (High-resolution headshot available upon request.)