COMMENTS

Tell us what you think via @statebaroftexas, tbj@texasbar.com, or P.O. Box 12487, Austin, TX 78711-2487. Letters addressed to the Texas Bar Journal may be edited for clarity and length and become the property of the magazine, which owns all rights to their use.

Ethics Question of the Month, April 2020, P. 224
The correct answer is “D.” Is this a joke? If not, our standards are too low. I cannot imagine any ethical lawyer I know who is appearing or will soon be appearing before a judge under the described circumstances making a $4,000 contribution to the judge. I hope the judge would return the “contribution” and recuse herself from the case, considering the appearance of impropriety. The “contribution” might not be a bribe only because the constitution protects the right to petition the government. But there are fine lines between ethics, bribery, and petitioning the government, and I think Eric crosses the ethical line. CARL ROBIN TEAGUE, San Antonio


Editor’s Note: The Ethics Question of the Month is designed to educate lawyers about the ethics rules, ethics opinions, and related law as they currently exist as well as encourage discussion of a lawyer’s ethical obligations. This particular hypothetical was intended to illuminate the nuanced and often controversial intersection of ethics and campaign contributions to judges, a long-standing debate in Texas. A more complete analysis of the relevant law and the correct answer can be found at legalethicstexas.com.


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