St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

First Page


Date Created



St. Mary's University School of Law


Marissa E. Olsen

Last Page



Barratry and solicitation of professional employment is illegal and unethical. The Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct define barratry as ethical misconduct and a serious crime. Unfortunately, for citizens and law-abiding attorneys of Texas, the criminal and ethical prohibitions against barratry have rarely been enforced. Consequently, barratry continues to proliferate rapidly throughout South Texas. For lawyers who engage in this unethical practice, the potential for large financial gain proves irresistible given the virtually nonexistent risk of prosecution. The lack of robust and successful prosecutions has created an optimal environment for barratry to proliferate. This Article discusses the current barratry epidemic in Texas and its harmful consequences on the victims, the legal profession, and the citizens of Texas. It further details some of the root causes of the problem, and what, if anything, is being done by those responsible for enforcing the ethical and criminal laws related to barratry. Finally, this Article suggests recommendations to aggressively treat the ensuing problem.