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« Lewisville solo was in the audience at the Grammys | Main | More developments in R. Allen Stanford's legal life »

February 17, 2011

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S M Lineberger

The idea that the rules were voted down because we lawyers are simply uniformed fools as Tottenham suggests is riduculous. It is precisely because we made ourselves informed that the rules were overwhelmingly voted down. Likewise, Eads is grossly out of line in her comments. By and large the rule changes seemed to be more for the sake of change than for actual improvement. If the real issue was concern over lawyers having sex with their clients, they could have simply proposed a rule that addressed that single issue rather than creating a massive, complex, contradictory overhaul that set up huge traps for well meaning lawyers to fall into. It would be interesting to know the statistics of how many lawyers had inappropriate sex with their clients but could not be adequately punished for their actions because of so-called deficiencies in our current rules. Such a complaint is nothing more than a sensational and cheap attempt to discredit thoughtful voting members. I am a supporter of our Texas Supreme Court, just not these rules. Eads' comments are nonsense are reek of sour grapes and poor taste.

Mark Bennett

Austin attorney,

Lewis Kinard, one of the members of the committee, suggested in a comment to my blog that we should be grateful that the Supreme Court hadn't unilaterally foisted these rules upon us because "The Court doesn’t even have to let us vote."

I suspect that he, like most Texas lawyers, hadn't read Texas Government Code section 81.024:
(c) When the supreme court has prepared and proposed rules or amendments to rules under this section, the court shall distribute a copy of each proposed rule or amendment in ballot form to each registered member of the state bar for a vote.

(That's the source of my contention that the statute requires one vote per proposed rule or amendment, by the way.)

Austin attorney who voted no

Very concerning to me is one comment I read from a drafter of the proposed rule changes, stating that the Supreme Court could just unilaterally adopt the rules that were just soundly repudiated. If that's the case, and I hope it's not, then I would also hope we've learned enough in the past couple years at what happens when, despite overwhelming public desire to the contrary, those who govern choose to force laws down our collective throats. All this referendum shows is that the drafters got it wrong -- both in process and in content -- and a redo is in order if at all.

John Goren

Professor Eads is completely out of touch. The refuge of bad policies is to say the public wasn't properly informed. Nonsense. The proposed rules were badly written and overly complicated, addressed issues that have not been serious problems, and did not demonstrably improve client representation. I hear that the Supreme Court may simply adopt the ABA Model Rules. It shouldn't. To do so would reflect the kind of deaf ear that politicans have been exhibiting for too long. The ABA is going to revamp its model rules in 2012. I see no point of changing the Texas rules until the ABA revamps its rules. You listening, Supreme Court?

Peterson Law Group

From the practicing lawyers that I talk to regularly, most felt that the rules (current and proposed) were not well-written. Further, I think it was to some extent a referendum on the State Bar itself. Among small town, small firm and solos, there is a general feeling that the Bar does little to support us (other than form manuals and CLEs) and that we have little input in the Bar. Many attorneys outside of big firm/big city cannot participate in Bar leadership because of the time and expense. Changes to both the rules and the Bar itself need to made or else the odds of passing any referendum are slim to none.

Rich Robins

If legislative reforms regarding our profession need to be on the horizon, why don't we push to require that an expert affidavit be filed by anyone who sues (more like counter-sues) an attorney for malpractice? Here's such an initiative:

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/82R/billtext/pdf/HB01150I.pdf#navpanes=0

As fellow bar member Dirk Jordan has stated:

"If client's don't pay their bills, we rarely sue because we get a counterclaim for malpractice. Our malpractice carriers would probably non renew our coverage if we were counter-sued in a collections suit. Most professions have some protection from professional negligence suits, including doctors, engineers."

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