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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.

We regret any inconvenience.

Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.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

VI. PUBLIC SERVICE

6.1   Rule 6.1 Pro Bono Public Service

6.1:100   Comparative Analysis of Texas Rule

Primary Texas References: TX Rule 6.01
Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.1, Other Jurisdictions
• Commentary:

6.1:101      Model Rule Comparison

The current version of the Texas Rules does not contain a free-standing rule corresponding to Model Rule 6.1, "Voluntary Pro Bono Publico Service," though the State Bar of Texas strongly encourages and promotes pro bono activity. Texas Rule 6.01, "Accepting Appointments by a Tribunal," is essentially identical to Model Rule 6.2, "Accepting Appointments."

6.1:102      Model Code Comparison

The current version of the Texas Rules does not contain a free-standing rule corresponding to Model Rule 6.1, "Voluntary Pro Bono Publico Service," though the State Bar of Texas strongly encourages and promotes pro bono activity. Texas Rule 6.01, "Accepting Appointments by a Tribunal," is essentially identical to Model Rule 6.2, "Accepting Appointments."

6.1:200   Lawyer's Moral Obligation to Engage in Public Interest Legal Service

Primary Texas References: TX Rule 6.01
Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.1, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary: ABA/BNA § 91:6001, ALI-LGL § , Wolfram § 16.9

For a general discussion of this subject, see section 6.1:101.

6.2   Rule 6.2 Accepting Appointments

6.2:100   Comparative Analysis of Texas Rule

Primary Texas References: TX Rule 6.01
Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.2, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary:

6.2:101      Model Rule Comparison

Texas Rule 6.01, "Accepting Appointments by a Tribunal," is essentially identical to Model Rule 6.2, "Accepting Appointments."

6.2:102      Model Code Comparison

Texas Rule 6.01, "Accepting Appointments by a Tribunal," is essentially identical to Model Rule 6.2, "Accepting Appointments." This general subject is touched on in EC 2-29 and EC 2-30 of the Model Code.

6.2:200   Duty to Accept Court Appointments Except for Good Cause

• Primary Texas References: TX Rule 6.01
• Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.2, Other Jurisdictions
• Commentary: ABA/BNA § 91:6201, ALI-LGL § 26, Wolfram § 16.9

For a general discussion of this subject, see section 6.2:101. Texas Rule 6.01, "Accepting Appointments by a Tribunal," provides in full:

A lawyer shall not seek to avoid appointment by a tribunal to represent a person except for good cause, such as:

(a)   representing the client is likely to result in violation of law or rules of professional conduct;

(b)   representing the client is likely to result in an unreasonable financial burden on the lawyer; or

(c)   the client or the cause is so repugnant to the lawyer as to be likely to impair the client-lawyer relationship or the lawyer's ability to represent the client.

Texas Rules Rule 6.01.

6.3   Rule 6.3 Membership in Legal Services Organization

6.3:100   Comparative Analysis of Texas Rule

Primary Texas References: TX Rule 1.13
Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.3, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary:

6.3:101      Model Rule Comparison

Model Rule 6.3, "Membership in Legal Services Organization," is generally paralleled by Texas Rule 1.13, "Conflicts: Public Interest Activities."

Paragraph (b) of the Texas Rule is essentially identical to paragraph (b) of the Model Rule. Paragraph (a) of the Texas Rule is structurally similar to paragraph (a) of the Model Rule. Paragraph (a) of each rule provides that the lawyer should not participate in a decision that would "violate" (Texas Rule) or "be incompatible with" (Model Rule) "obligations to a client" under the general conflict of interest rule (Rule 1.06 under the Texas Rules, Rule 1.7 under the Model Rules). Significantly, Texas Rule 1.06 differs materially from Model Rule 1.7. (For a general discussion of some of these differences, see section 1.7:100 and following sections.)

Texas Rule 1.13 omits the first sentence of Model Rule 6.3, but picks up its spirit in comment 1, which provides that "[l]awyers are encouraged to serve as directors, officers or members of legal services, civic, charitable or law reform organizations and, with two exceptions, they may do so notwithstanding that the organization either itself has interest adverse to a client of the lawyer or else serves persons having such adverse interests." Texas Rules Rule 1.13 cmt. 1.

6.3:102      Model Code Comparison

The Model Code does not appear to contain a direct analogue to Texas Rule 1.13 or Model Rule 6.3.

6.3:200   Conflicts of Interest of Lawyers Participating in a Legal Services Organization

Primary Texas References: TX Rule 1.13
Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.3, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary: ABA/BNA § 91:6401, ALI-LGL § 216, Wolfram § 16.7.4

For a general discussion of this subject, see section 6.3:101. Texas Rule 1.13, "Conflicts: Public Interests Activities," provides in full:

A lawyer serving as a director, officer or member of a legal services, civic, charitable or law reform organization, apart from the law firm in which the lawyer practices, shall not knowingly participate in a decision or action of the organization:

(a)   if participating in the decision would violate the lawyer's obligations to a client under Rule 1.06; or

(b)   where the decision could have a material adverse effect on the representation of any client of the organization whose interests are adverse to a client of the lawyer.

Texas Rule 1.13.

6.4   Rule 6.4 Law Reform Activities Affecting Client Interests

6.4:100   Comparative Analysis of Texas Rule

Primary Texas References: TX Rule 1.13
Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.4, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary:

6.4:101      Model Rule Comparison

The Texas Rules do not include a free-standing rule directly analogous to Model Rule 6.4, "Law Reform Activities Affecting Client Interests." For a discussion of a lawyer's membership in a legal services organization, see section 6.3:101, comparing Texas Rule 1.13 ("Conflicts: Public Interest Activities") to Model Rule 6.3 ("Membership in Legal Services Organization").

6.4:102      Model Code Comparison

The Texas Rules do not include a free-standing rule directly analogous to Model Rule 6.4, "Law Reform Activities Affecting Client Interests." For a discussion of a lawyer's membership in a legal services organization, see section 6.3:101, comparing Texas Rule 1.13 ("Conflicts: Public Interest Activities") to Model Rule 6.3 ("Membership in Legal Services Organization"). The Model Code apparently does not have a provision directly analogous to Model Rule 6.4.

6.4:200   Conflicts of Interest of Lawyers Participating in Law Reform Organizations

Primary Texas References: TX Rule 1.13
Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.4, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary: ABA/BNA § 91:6401, ALI-LGL § , Wolfram § 13.8

For a general discussion of matters somewhat related to this subject, see sections 6.3:101, 6.3:200, and 6.4:101.

6.5   Rule 6.5 Nonprofit and Court-Annexed Limited Legal Service Programs

6.5:100   Comparative Analysis of Texas Rule

Primary Texas References:
Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.5, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary:

MR 6.5 was added in February 2002. The Reporter's explanation of the change reads as follows:

Rule 6.5 is a new Rule in response to the Commission's concern that a strict application of the conflict-of-interest rules may be deterring lawyers from serving as volunteers in programs in which clients are provided short-term limited legal services under the auspices of a nonprofit organization or a court-annexed program. The paradigm is the legal-advice hotline or pro se clinic, the purpose of which is to provide short-term limited legal assistance to persons of limited means who otherwise would go unrepresented.

6.5:101      Model Rule Comparison

Texas has not adopted the new model rule.

6.5:200   Scope of Rule

Primary Texas References:
Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.5, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary:

Texas has not adopted the new model rule.

6.5:300   Special Conflict of Interest Rule

Primary Texas References:
Background References: ABA Model Rule 6.5, Other Jurisdictions
Commentary:

Texas has not adopted the new model rule.

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