The high level of responsibility handed over to attorneys in Texas when they pass the bar and are given their licenses is evident to every licensee, and it comes with an equally high standard of conduct. When the Texas State Bar sees fit to disbar a licensed attorney, it is often a death blow to that attorney’s career, as it almost always ends the capability for that attorney to practice law in any state, but certainly in Texas. All that education and training goes out the door, and the former licensee is back at square one in the work world.
Generally, disbarment is considered the highest professional penalty for attorneys, and the Texas State Bar will usually only resort to it in cases where attorneys have intentionally committed severe offenses. The types of offense that do work against attorneys, however, tend to fall under the rubric of either violating their professional duty of care, or of falsifying (or mishandling) evidence.
The fiduciary duty attorneys owe their clients once an attorney-client relationship has been established is a higher duty than is found in most business dealings. That said, it’s unlikely a negligent breach of this duty will result in disbarment—in fact, this type of error is often handled in civil court via a lawsuit. But when it is alleged that such a violation has been intentional, it’s another story. A complaint to the State Bar alleging such a scenario is likely to be taken up for investigation and possible disciplinary action. This may take the form of suspension or, depending on the severity of the breach, full disbarment.
An attorney who either presents false testimony or conceals existing testimony containing truth has committed a grave injury to the very court system—indeed, to the entire concept of justice rendered based on facts—and the State Bar has very little patience for such a practitioner. This should never be done, at risk of disbarment.
Any attorney facing allegations that could lead to disbarment should contact an experienced professional license defense attorney, like us here at BERTOLINO LLP, as soon as possible after receiving the notice of complaint. The more time we have to craft a response, the better. And the earlier in the process we are involved, the more likely you are to achieve a positive outcome—including possible dismissal of the complaint. This is our specialty—and we all know how much knowledge a specialty can require. But we can’t help if you don’t contact us.
With offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, we represent attorney under fire from the Bar 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) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.