The Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel of the State Bar of Texas (SBOT) distributes a brochure that answers some common questions about the State Bar’s attorney disciplinary system. It states: “All lawyers in Texas have an obligation to maintain a high standard of ethical conduct toward their clients and others. To enforce this standard, the State Bar of Texas investigates and prosecutes complaints of professional misconduct against lawyers licensed in Texas, pursuant to the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure as promulgated by the Supreme Court of Texas.”
Complaints of Professional Misconduct Against Attorneys Licensed in Texas
The Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct define proper conduct for purposes of professional discipline and the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure provide the mechanism by which grievances are processed, investigated, and prosecuted.
Under Rule 8.04 of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct on Misconduct, (a) A lawyer shall not:
- (1) violate these rules, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another, whether or not such violation occurred in the course of a client-lawyer relationship;
- (2) commit a serious crime or commit any other criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;
- (“Serious crime” means barratry, any felony involving moral turpitude, any misdemeanor involving theft, embezzlement, or fraudulent or reckless misappropriation of money or other property, or any attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation of another to commit any of the foregoing crimes. Disciplinary R. Prof. Conduct, Rule 8.04(b).)
- (3) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;
- (4) engage in conduct constituting obstruction of justice;
- (5) state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official;
- (6) knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law;
- (7) violate any disciplinary or disability order or judgment;
- (8) fail to timely furnish to the Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s office or a district grievance committee a response or other information as required by the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure, unless he or she in good faith timely asserts a privilege or other legal ground for failure to do so;
- (9) engage in conduct that constitutes barratry as defined by the law of this state;
- (10) fail to comply with section 13.01 of the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure relating to notification of an attorney’s cessation of practice;
- (11) engage in the practice of law when the lawyer is on inactive status or when the lawyer’s right to practice has been suspended or terminated including but not limited to situations where a lawyer’s right to practice has been administratively suspended for failure to timely pay required fees or assessments or for failure to comply with Article XII of the State Bar Rules relating to Mandatory Continuing Legal Education; or
- (12) violate any other laws of this state relating to the professional conduct of lawyers and to the practice of law. Disciplinary R. Prof. Conduct, Rule 8.04(a).
If you are licensed to practice law in Texas and you receive a formal complaint from the State Bar of Texas you need to take immediate action to protect your reputation and license to practice law. Even if you feel equipped to address the complaint on your own, we urge you not to. You are an attorney―you know the dangers of representing yourself. Hire an experienced professional license defense attorney well-versed in successfully dealing with formal complaints against Texas attorneys.
The results-driven lawyers at BERTOLINO LLP are experienced with matters before the State Bar of Texas. We are proud to be the lawyer’s lawyer. The fact that so many lawyers have trusted us to handle formal complaints with the State Bar of Texas or the Board of Law Examiners speaks volumes. We know that fellow-attorneys expect the highest standards of professionalism and care.
“Our law firm helps professionals, like you, keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by a state agency or board.” -Tony R. Bertolino, Managing Partner
If you have received a licensing complaint, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We represent licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. Our honest, experienced attorneys will fight aggressively on behalf of your license and reputation.
Contact us today or call (512) 476-5757 and schedule a case evaluation.
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