St. Mary's Law Journal


The Texas Supreme Court and the State Bar of Texas should fully adopt the proposals to the Rules of Professional Conduct 1.05–1.13 addressing attorney confidentiality and conflicts of interest. Historically, the Rules of Professional Conduct have set a floor which a lawyer may be subject to discipline, the Rules, however, do not offer bright lines for deciding questions of law, ethics, or fairness. Because the rules of professional responsibility in the legal industry are ambiguous in nature and often encumber a lawyer’s ability to effectively represent clients, the Texas Disciplinary Rules Committee recommends modification to the Rules of Professional Conduct 1.05–1.13 in response to recent ethical issues. In order to reduce or eliminate ambiguity, the Rules of Professional Conduct must be modified. Three proposals have been recommended. First, proposed Amendment 1A would create new defined terms for conflict of interest rules promoting the usage of consistent terminology to obviate client issues regarding identification, representation, and scope of representation. Second, proposed Rule 1.05 would provide a guide as to the scope and limitation of attorney-client confidentiality addressing certain obligations and exceptions when dealing with information in the public domain. Finally, a modification of conflicts of interest in Rules 1.06–1.13 concerning representation of multiple clients, business transactions, interaction with former clients, and a lawyer’s interaction with charitable organizations, would provide more clarity. These suggested changes and amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct would assist attorneys to effectively navigate work with clients and decide questions of law, ethics, or fairness.


St. Mary's University School of Law