Archive for the tpoic: ‘amendment’

Comment on Disciplinary Rules’ Proposed Amendments

Monday, December 28th, 2009

The Texas Supreme Court proposed amendments to the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct that are broad and extensive:

  • 5 newly defined terms that apply to the entire body of rules
  • 40 revised rules
  • 4 new rules — five if you count Rule 1.00, the new terminology rule
  • 11 rules that have not been amended except through the terminology changes added by Rule 1.00.

Not since January 1, 1990 have the Disciplinary Rules undergone this level of revision. Significantly, after the 1990 revisions to the Rules, the number of disciplinary sanctions against Texas lawyers experienced a substantial increase approximately a year after the rules changed. And, the number of sanctions did not return to normal even nine years later. (“Lady or the Tiger? Opening the Door to Lawyer Discipline Standards,” Bruce A. Campbell, Fla. Coastal L.J. Vol. 1, p.232-36 (1999). If there was one lesson to be learned from the last time the Rules were substantively amended, it is that it can take a decade or more for lawyers to conform their conduct to substantial changes in the Rules.

You may want to read my comments in Texas Lawyer on proposed changes to rules governing:

  • Informed Consent
  • Affiliated Lawyers and Entities
  • Prospective Clients