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Researching Legal Ethics & Professional Responsibility

Texas Codes & Rules

All of the following resources can be found on the Texas State Bar's ethics page or the Texas Legislature's Texas statutes page. These are the official Texas laws on professional conduct and are binding on all Texas attorneys and judges.
In addition to the links below, those statutes and rules that are part of the official Texas laws can be found on  Westlaw and  Lexis. For more information, see the Subscription Databases tab in this guide.
Texas Law Governing Lawyers
Texas Law Governing Judges
Other Texas Laws & Rules

Texas Ethics Opinions

Texas Committee on Professional Ethics

This is the official repository of the opinions issued by the Texas Committee on Professional Ethics, a nine-member committee appointed by the Texas Supreme Court under Tex. Gov. Code 81.091-81.095. Opinions are available from #1 (1966) to the present, and are searchable. Opinions are available in HTML or PDF format. The form for requesting an opinion from the Committee is here.

  •  Lexis: These opinions are located in the "Administrative Materials" section of the Legal Ethics topic, under "TX Supreme Court Professionalism Committee Opinions." Opinions are available from 1946-present.
  •  Westlaw: Texas ethics opinions are located by going to Texas' Westlaw search page, then selecting "Texas Administrative Decisions & Guidance." Opinions are available from 1977-present.

Texas Board of Disciplinary Appeals

The Board is a group of attorneys appointed by the Texas Supreme Court to hear appeals of certain attorney disciplinary cases. They make many of their decisions available online through the opinions page of their website, and they also offer a searchable database of hearings, appeals and opinions. Opinions are available from 1992-present.

  •  Lexis: These opinions are located in the "Administrative Materials" section of the Legal Ethics topic. Opinions are available from 2002-present.
  •  Westlaw: Texas ethics opinions are located by going to Texas' Westlaw search page, then selecting "Texas Administrative Decisions & Guidance." Opinions are available from 2003-present.

Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct

This site includes copies of opinions related to judicial conduct cases from 1990-present, as well as a list of disciplinary actions taken against judges.

  •  Westlaw: Texas ethics opinions are located by going to Texas' Westlaw search page, then selecting "Administrative Decisions & Guidance", then selecting "Judicial Ethics Opinions." Opinions are available from 1975-present.

Texas Ethics Commission

This commission has oversight of politicians, officeholders and lobbyists, not attorneys, but their opinion database is vast and may be of some interest regardless. Opinions are available from 1984 and 1992-present.

  •  Lexis: These opinions are located in the "Administrative Materials" section of the Legal Ethics topic. Opinions are available from 1984 and 1992-present.
  •  Westlaw: Texas ethics opinions are located by going to Texas' Westlaw search page, then selecting "Administrative Decisions & Guidance" and selecting "Public Officials Ethics Opinions." Opinions are available from 1984 and 1992-present.

Dallas Bar Association Legal Ethics Opinions

Books

Articles

This is a selection of recent law review and law journal articles on Texas legal malpractice and ethics. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list and readers are encouraged to search for additional articles that may be useful to them. All of the articles are available on HeinOnline and may also be available in other sources, including Lexis, Westlaw, and free online repositories. List last updated in 2019.

  • Linda Acevedo, Grievance Referral Program: How the Texas Chief Disciplinary Counsel's Office is Helping Lawyers Help Themselves, 76 Tex. B.J. 521 (2013)
  • Jim Goff, War is Over: The Resolution for Attorney Discipline in Texas, 17 Tex. Tech. Admin. L.J. 83 (2015-2016)
  • Steven Goode, The Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct: A Look Forward55 Advocate (Texas) 20 (2011)
  • Stephen E. McConnico et al., Unresolved Problems in Texas Legal Malpractice Law36 St. Mary's L.J. 989 (2004-2005)
  • Dawn Miller & Daniel A. Naranjo, Attorney Disciplinary Procedure in Texas: Competing Interests and Philosophies 1988-200436 St. Mary's L.J. 1045 (2004-2005)
  • Jim M. Perdue Jr., Duties to People You Don't Know, Will Never Meet, and Who Hate Your Client: The Objections to Proposed Amendments to Texas Disciplinary Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1555 Advocate (Texas) 62 (2011)
  • Kennon L. Peterson, Proposed Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct: An Overview of the Amendment Process and a Comparison of the Proposed Rules with the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct23 App. Advoc. 268 (2010-2011)
  • Robert P. Schuwerk, The Proposed Revisions of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct: A View of the Process From the Inside55 Advocate (Texas) 13 (2011)
  • Jonathan E. Smaby & Beverly Godbey, The Texas Lawyer's Creed and the Texas Center for Legal Ethics Celebrate a Quarter of a Century, 77 Tex. B.J. 904 (2014)
  • Mark D. White, A Matter of Discipline - How the State Bar of Texas, the Legislature, and the Supreme Court of Texas Work Together to Maintain an Efficient System That Balances the Protection of Both the Public and the Lawyer76 Tex. B.J. 1047 (2013)
  • Edward L. Wilkinson, If One is Good, Two Must Be Better: A Comparison of the Texas Standards for Appellate Conduct and the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct41 St. Mary's L.J. 645 (2009-2010)
  • Edward L. Wilkinson, Order in the Court: Ethical Conduct in a Criminal Trial Under the Texas Disciplinary Rules, 2 St. Mary's J. on Legal Malpractice & Ethics 30 (2012)
  • Thumbnail Guide to Texas Ethics76 Tex. B.J. 1067 (2013)

Other Resources

State Agencies

Other Resources

  • Texas Center for Legal Ethics - a nonprofit group that presents CLEs and seminars on Texas legal ethics. Online home of the Texas Committee on Professional Ethics.
  • Guide to Texas Legal Ethics & Professional Misconduct - A research guide aimed at members of the public, created and maintained by the Texas State Law Library.
  • Texas Ethics Reporter - A repository of various Texas legal ethics materials, including disciplinary actions, ethics opinions, and current & historical versions of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Maintained by the University of Houston Law Center's O'Quinn Law Library.
  • Index of Attorney Disciplinary Actions, 2001-present - compiled by the Texas Ethics Reporter from the Texas Bar Journal.