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Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.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

Comment - Rule 1.13

1. Lawyers 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 interests adverse to a client of the lawyer or else serves persons having such adverse interests.

2. When the lawyer is a director, officer or member of a legal services organization, further problems can arise when a client served by the organization has interests adverse to those of a client served by the lawyer. A lawyer-client relationship with persons served by the organization does not result solely from the lawyer's service in those capacities. Nonetheless, if the lawyer were to participate in an action or decision of the organization concerning that representation, a real danger of having this quality of the organizational client's representation being dictated by its adversary would be presented. To avoid that possibility, paragraph (b) prohibits a lawyer's participation in actions or decisions of the organization that could have a material adverse effect on the representation of any client of the organization, if that client's interests are adverse to those of a client of the lawyer.

3. Law reform organizations (like civic and charitable organizations) generally do not have clients, in which event paragraph (b) does not apply. For reasons of public policy, it is not generally considered a conflict of interest for a lawyer to engage in law reform activities even though such activities are adverse to the interests of the lawyer's private clients. A lawyer's representation of a client does not constitute an endorsement of the client's political, economic, social or moral views, nor does he forego his own. When the lawyer knows that the interests of a client may be materially benefitted by a law reform decision in which the lawyer participates, the lawyer should disclose that fact but need not identify the client.