Opinions

All opinions of the Committee on Professional Ethics are available online here.  To locate a specific opinion or opinions, enter the opinion number or keyword in the appropriate search box below. Licensed attorneys may also call 877-953-5535 for access to opinions

The Committee on Professional Ethics issues opinions pursuant to Tex. Gov’t. Code §81.091- 81.095.  §81.091(a) states that “[t]he committee shall, either on its own initiative or when requested to do so by a member of the state bar, express its opinion on the propriety of professional conduct other than on a question pending before a court of this state.”   The nine members of the Committee are appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas.

  • Opinion 73

    Canon: 24, 42
    Opinion #: 73
    Cite: 18 Baylor L. Rev. 227 (1966)
    Date: May 1953

    Is it a violation of the Canons of Ethics for an attorney to send a double post card to a life insurance company soliciting business in the preparation of annual statements and income tax returns for insurance companies at stated fees of $50.00 and $15.00, respectively? The reply card provided places to check the work desired as to annual statements and income tax returns, and also stated: "Prepare other work as follows Organize New Company C Change Name C Change Premium Plan C Revise Policy, etc."  

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  • Opinion 72

    Canon: 24
    Opinion #: 72
    Cite: 18 Baylor L. Rev. 227 (1966)
    Date: April 1953

    Is it a violation of the Canons of Ethics for a lawyer to use a card in the following form: (Name of Attorney) Counselor and Attorney at Law Wills - Estates - Personal Injury Insurance and Divorce (Street Address) (Name of town) The inquiry submitted asked if the form of the card itself exceeded the language of Canon 39 which permits the listing of "special branches of the profession practiced."  

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  • Opinion 71

    Canon: 6
    Opinion #: 71
    Cite: 18 Baylor L. Rev. 226 (1966)
    Date: April 1953

    1.   Is it a violation of the Texas Canons of Ethics for a lawyer to draw a will for a client, in which will such lawyer is named as the executor and also as the attorney for the estate? 2.   Is it a violation of any of the Texas Canons of Ethics for a lawyer to draw such will if, in addition to the facts stated in (1) hereof, said lawyer is also named as a beneficiary under the terms of the will?  

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  • Opinion 70

    Canon: 24
    Opinion #: 70
    Cite: 18 Baylor L. Rev. 226 (1966)
    Date: March 1953

    1.   Is it a violation of the Canons of Ethics, when rendering a statement for services, to enclose in the same envelope a mimeographed copy, or a printed copy furnished by the magazine, of an article which the lawyer thinks should be brought to his client's attention, provided nothing is added to the copy, such as the lawyers name and address? 2.   Is it a violation of the Canons of Ethics for the lawyer to mail his client such an article, without a letter or other enclosure, in the envelope which the lawyer uses in his regular course of business?  

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  • Opinion 69

    Canon: 6
    Opinion #: 69
    Cite: 18 Baylor L. Rev. 226 (1966)
    Date: March 1953

    An attorney was appointed by the Court to act as Attorney Ad Litum for certain nonresident defendants who had been cited by publication in a Trespass to Try Title. Plaintiff was claiming title by limitation, all papers which could be checked appeared regular on their face, and upon a hearing judgment was entered for plaintiff and the attorney was awarded a nominal fee. Following the entry of such judgment, several of such nonresident defendants learned of the suit, contacted the attorney who had acted as Attorney Ad Litem, and furnished him with evidence which would be a defense to said claim of limitation title. Based upon the foregoing state of facts, would it be a violation of any of the Canons of Ethics for such attorney to accept employment from said nonresident defendants, and to take such action as may be necessary to have the case reviewed and the judgment set aside?  

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  • Opinion 68

    Canon: 6, 24, 39, 42.
    Opinion #: 68
    Cite: 18 Baylor L. Rev. 225 (1966)
    Date: March 1953

    Is it a violation of the Canons of Ethics for an attorney who handles tax matters to insert a card, giving his name, address, telephone number, and adding the words "Tax Service" therein, in the professional directory of a newspaper? Before stating the opinion of the present committee on the above question, it is deemed advisable to briefly review the history of this matter. In two prior opinions No. 7 released in 1947 and No. 29 released in 1950, the Texas Committee on the Interpretation of the Canons of Ethics had ruled that a card in a newspaper "Legal Directory" was permissible. This position was contrary to the American Bar ruling, and was also opposed to the views of local bars in certain cities. Because of this conflict the matter was referred to the State Bar, as a whole, in July 1951, and the following resolution was adopted: "I move, Mr. President, that the State Bar follow the lead of the American Bar in its revised Canons of Ethics, which would forbid publication of the professional card."  

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  • Opinion 67

    Canon: 30. A.B.A. Canon 33.
    Opinion #: 67
    Cite: 18 Baylor L. Rev. 225 (1966)
    Date: March 1953

    Is it a violation of the Canons of Ethics to use a firm name indicating a partnership such as "Smith and Jones," when a true partnership does not exist but each lawyer has his own clients?  

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  • Opinion 66

    Canon: 6
    Opinion #: 66
    Cite: 18 Baylor L. Rev. 225 (1966)
    Date: March 1953

    Is it a violation of the Canons of Ethics for an attorney representing the estate of a decedent to file a claim on behalf of a third party against the said estate and request an attorney's fee from said estate for the collection of said claim?  

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  • Opinion 65

    Canon: 6, 34
    Opinion #: 65
    Cite: 18 Baylor L. Rev. 224 (1966)
    Date: March 1953

    Is it a violation of law or any Canon of Ethics for a Texas lawyer who is a member of a law firm to represent a public utilities company before a city governing body, i.e., city council, while a member of the same law firm serves the same city governing body in a legal advisory capacity, i.e., city attorney?  

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  • Opinion 64

    Canon: 24, 39
    Opinion #: 64
    Cite: 18 Baylor L. Rev. 223 (1966)
    Date: February 1953

    The following questions were submitted to this committee by a special committee appointed by the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas to investigate and make recommendations to the Board of Directors for the purpose of working out some plan or policy for future listings in law directories and similar publications. The questions have received careful and detailed consideration at the hands of this committee, and the predecessor committee. This committee also acknowledges the very helpful cooperation of Mr. Edward J. Nofer, Vice-President and General Manager of Martindale-Hubbell, Inc., in arriving at a proper solution of the matter.

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