End-of-life notice: American Legal Ethics Library
As of March 1, 2013, the Legal Information Institute is no longer maintaining the information in the American Legal Ethics Library. It is no longer possible for us to maintain it at a level of completeness and accuracy given its staffing needs. It is very possible that we will revive it at a future time. At this point, it is in need of a complete technological renovation and reworking of the "correspondent firm" model which successfully sustained it for many years.
Many people have contributed time and effort to the project over the years, and we would like to thank them. In particular, Roger Cramton and Peter Martin not only conceived ALEL but gave much of their own labor to it. We are also grateful to Brad Wendel for his editorial contributions, to Brian Toohey and all at Jones Day for their efforts, and to all of our correspondents and contributors. Thank you.
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Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.
Texas Legal Ethics
1.3:100 Comparative Analysis of Texas Rule
Model Rule 1.3, "Diligence," sets forth a free-standing rule on diligence and promptness: "A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client." The Texas Rules do not have a free-standing rule on these subjects, but address them in the context of Texas Rule 1.01 ("Competent and Diligent Representation"), and further touch on them in Rule 1.03 ("Communication") and Rule 1.02 ("Scope and Objectives of Representation").
Canon 7 provides that a lawyer "should represent a client zealously within the bounds of the law." Accordingly, the Code indicated that a lawyer should not intentionally fail to seek the lawful objectives of the client through reasonable means (DR 7-101(A)(1)) or "intentionally prejudice or damage his client during the course of the relationship" (DR 7-101(A)(3)). DR 6-101(A)(3) dictates that a lawyer not neglect a matter entrusted to him.
1.3:200 Diligence and "Zeal"
Comment 6 ("Competent and Diligent Representation") to Texas Rule 1.01 (of the same title) provides in full:
Having accepted employment, a lawyer should act with competence, commitment and dedication to the interest of the client and with zeal in advocacy upon the client's behalf. A lawyer should feel a moral or professional obligation to pursue a matter on behalf of a client with reasonable diligence and promptness despite opposition, obstruction or personal inconvenience to the lawyer. A lawyer's workload should be controlled so that each matter can be handled with diligence and competence. As provided in paragraph (a), an incompetent lawyer is subject to discipline.
For treatment of this subject, see section 1.3:200.