St. Mary's Law Journal


Because public perception is a major issue that confronts the legal community, Texas encourages lawyers to maintain a civil, professional, and courteous environment. The work of lawyers may be divided into three parts: first, a lawyer must consider several factors when communicating with a potential client; second, a lawyer must attend to the creation of the lawyer-client relationship; and third, a lawyer must effectively manage the lawyer-client relationship. The rules of ethical deportment for attorneys are contained in the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, which specifically address barratry and similar offenses related to the improper solicitation of potential clients. Although a written agreement is not required to create a lawyer-client relationship, a lawyer has a specific duty to inform a person that he is not a client if a lawyer becomes aware that his conduct would lead a reasonable person to believe he was being represented. Lawyers should also manage their relationships with clients to avoid unnecessary potential conflicts and difficulties. When a client expresses a complaint or concern to the lawyer or his staff, the lawyer should listen to the client's concern, respond to that concern immediately, and ask the client for suggestions of an appropriate remedy. If a client files a formal grievance or compliant, a lawyer should consider the potential ramifications and act accordingly. Each of these three parts presents unique challenges for lawyers. Nonetheless, it is up to all lawyers to breathe life into the mandate for professionalism and prevent the legal profession's further decline in the public eye.


St. Mary's University School of Law