The Texas Committee on Professional Ethics ("PEC") is a committee of nine members of the State Bar of Texas appointed by the Texas Supreme Court to issue ethics opinions in response to ethics-related questions. Only members of the State Bar of Texas may request an opinion from the Professional Ethics Committee.
There are limitations on the types of opinions that the PEC will issue. The committee will not issue an opinion:
1) Regarding a particular lawyer advertisement (but will consider general issues of lawyer advertising);
2) Concerning the interpretation of law; or
3) Concerning the interpretation of the unauthorized practice of law.
If you are a Texas lawyer and are unsure about your ethical obligations in a particular situation, the State Bar of Texas offers a toll-free Ethics Helpline (800.532.3947). In most cases, the experienced Ethics Helpline attorneys can provide guidance and direct callers to the relevant Rules and Ethics Opinions.
Before requesting an ethics opinion from the PEC, please check to see if an opinion has already been published regarding your question. You can do this by contacting the Ethics Helpline or by reviewing the searchable database of published PEC ethics opinions maintained by the Texas Center for Legal Ethics.
The formal opinion process requires research, analysis, drafting, debate, and editing. You should expect that the PEC will take at least twelve months to issue a proposed opinion for public comment.