Any Texas attorney who finds they have been made the subject of a formal complaint before the State Bar should take immediate action to protect their license to practice law. No attorney wants to suffer the blow to their reputation and potentially to their livelihood that may come from censure by the Bar—and that blow becomes complete where an attorney is disbarred. Yet even where a claim is baseless, having to go through the complaint process can be a blight on an attorney's legal career.
More than almost any other type of professional, attorneys are aware of just how dangerous it is to ignore something like a professional complaint or even to delay in reacting to it.
Anyone at all—not only an attorney's clients—may file a complaint with the State Bar of Texas or make a report alleging professional misconduct. In its description of the grievance system directed at the public, the Bar includes an incomplete list of the following "examples of lawyer conduct that may violate the disciplinary rules:"
- The lawyer does not return client phone calls, emails, or letters.
- The lawyer failed to appear in court or has missed deadlines.
- The lawyer refuses to return a client's file after a request is made.
- The lawyer seems to have a substance abuse problem that affects his/her ability to practice.
- The lawyer has not paid the client's part of the settlement after the case has settled.
Of course, attorneys are aware of the various stringent ethical limitations to what we may do both inside and outside the office. But we are also all quite aware that, given our profession's proximity to conflict, people will make allegations against us that do not accord with the truth. And we all know that any man who defends himself has a fool for a client.
That's just one reason it is important to get an attorney experienced with professional license defense issues on your case as soon as you are made aware of a formal grievance.
In fact, at every stage of the grievance process, an experienced professional license defense attorney is essential. Our law firm helps attorneys keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by the Bar. With offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, we serve professionals all over the state. As experienced attorneys well-versed in state administrative and licensure laws, we know how to win. Our results speak for themselves!