So far, 21,000 Texas lawyers have voted in the State Bar of Texas referendum on proposed changes to the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, State Bar president Terry Tottenham told the SBOT board of directors during a meeting today in Austin. The deadline to vote is Feb. 17. The referendum has garnered some controversy over proposed changes to rules governing confidentiality and conflicts of interest, among other things. Tottenham says in an interview he doesn’t know whether 21,000 voters is a higher-than-normal number of members participating at this point in a referendum, but he adds, “We hope we have a big turnout, that’s what it’s all about.” Bar spokeswoman Kim Davey says there are more than 85,000 State Bar members. Also at today’s meeting, the board approved candidates for the 2011-2012 State Bar president-elect race. The candidates are Guy Choate, a partner in personal-injury law firm Webb, Stokes & Sparks in San Angelo, and F.R. “Buck” Files, a shareholder in criminal-defense firm Bain, Files, Jarrett, Bain & Harrison in Tyler.
-- Jeanne Graham