It has been weeks since the Texas Supreme Court closed the door on the amendments to the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Procedure, but it left open a window.
As you may recall, the Court was required to adopt amendments to the disciplinary procedural rules in accordance with the Sunset Legislation (SB 302, in part contained in Government Code Section 81) by March 1, 2018. The Court did so, but in the Order Adopting those amendments it further ordered that the amendments “may be changed before June 1 in response to public comments” sent to email@example.com by April 30, 2018.
So let’s comment.
I have already blogged twice on this topic (Part 1 and Part 2) and identified what I believe are serious problems with the amendments and, along with others, sent comments during the initial comment period.
Now we have one more chance to appeal to the Supreme Court to fix the amended rules so that they both (1) comply with the underlying statute and (2) provide attorneys caught up in the grievance process the due process to which they are entitled.
We have prepared a Memorandum to the Supreme Court outlining some of the most egregious and obvious problems with the amendments. You can download it using this link: “Supreme Court Memorandum.” If these problems are not fixed we believe that the provisions we highlight risk being held unconstitutional if challenged.
If you want to add your name to the Memorandum, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 27, 2017 and I will tell you how to do it. If you want to use the arguments we make in this Memorandum or in either of my two prior blogs in your own comments to the Supreme Court you are welcome to.
There will be no referendum or other opportunity to change these rules before they are truly final.
Whether you agree with our conclusions or not—make yourself heard now before we are stuck with the amendments as currently written for the foreseeable future.
And thanks and gratitude to my partner and co-author, Richard Hunt. Those of you who know him will recognize his persuasive prose and razor-sharp analysis throughout the Memorandum.