Overview of the Attorney Discipline Process

The State Bar of Texas is dedicated to improving and advancing the quality of legal services to the public, protecting the public through the discipline system, and fostering integrity and ethical conduct in the legal profession.

The Texas attorney discipline system is governed by the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct and the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure. The ethics rules define proper conduct for purposes of professional discipline. The procedural rules provide the mechanism by which grievances are processed, investigated, and prosecuted.

Changes to the disciplinary rules effective Jan. 1, 2004 were largely a result of oversight by the Texas Legislature during Sunset Review of the State Bar of Texas in 2003. Recommendations of the Sunset Commission led to revisions of the State Bar Act and adoption of the current rules by the Supreme Court of Texas.

These changes streamlined the grievance process by eliminating unnecessary hearings based on unfounded complaints and requiring deadlines for different stages of the process, thereby resulting in a faster resolution of disciplinary matters.

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