Ethics Question of the Month September 2022

A Peek Inside the Texas Lawyer's Creed

How much do you know about the Texas Lawyer’s Creed?

The Situation

Most Texas lawyers are at least aware that the Texas Lawyer’s Creed exists. But how familiar are you with what it says?  Test your memory by taking this quiz.           

1. What year was the Texas Lawyer’s Creed adopted?     

A. 1983

B. 1989

C. 1995

D. 2001

2. Which body promulgated the Lawyer’s Creed?    

A. State Bar of Texas 

B. The Texas Legislature 

C. The Supreme Court of Texas 

D. The Supreme Court of Texas and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals 

3. What is the subtitle to the Lawyer’s Creed?

A. A Call for Professionalism

B. Restoring Professionalism

C. A Mandate for Professionalism

D. Enhancing Professionalism

4. The official text of the Lawyer’s Creed can be found in:

A. The Texas Government Code

B. The Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct

C. The Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure

D. A court order

5. Which of the following is NOT one of the four sections of the Lawyer’s Creed?

A. Lawyer to Client

B. Lawyer to Opposing Parties

C. Lawyer to Lawyer

D. Lawyer and Judge

6. Which of the following is NOT a stated method of enforcing compliance with the Creed?

A. Peer pressure

B. Public opinion

C. Inherent powers of the courts

D. Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s office

7. Which of the following does the Creed explicitly prohibit?

A. Shouting

B. Making misleading statements during settlement negotiations

C. Consistently refusing to take phone calls from opposing counsel

D. Alluding to personal peculiarities or idiosyncrasies of opposing counsel

8. Which of the following does the Creed prohibit?

A. Seeking a temporary restraining order without notifying opposing counsel when their identity is known

B. Seeking a default judgment without notifying opposing counsel when their identity is known.

C. Both A and B

D. Neither A or B

9. Under the Creed, who are attorneys “obligated to educate” regarding the “spirit and letter” of the Creed?

A. Clients

B. The public

C. Other lawyers

D. A and B only

E. A, B and C

10. Which of the following is a lawyer NOT required to advise a client per the Creed?  

A. That civility and courtesy are not a sign of weakness

B. The proper and expected behavior of the client

C. That the client has a right to provide input on any accommodations to opposing counsel

D. The availability of alternative methods of dispute resolution

11. Which of the following phrases is NOT found in the Creed?

A. I am committed to this creed for no other reason than it is right

B. I commit myself to an adequate and effective pro bono program

C. I will not harass or take advantage of new attorneys, but will instead act as mentor when appropriate

D. Let us now as a profession each rededicate ourselves to practice law so we can restore public confidence in our profession, faithfully serve our clients, and fulfill our responsibility to the legal system

The Question

How did you do?

The Correct Answer is A Of 42 Responses, 100% are correct.

  1. A 42

The Explanation

Answer Key

1 (B)

2 (D) – The Texas Lawyer’s Creed was issued in 1989 by Texas’ two highest courts in Texas via this Court Order.

3 (C)

4 (D) – The Texas Lawyer’s Creed was issued in 1989 by Texas’ two highest courts in Texas via this Court Order.

5 (B) – There are four sections to the Creed; the only one not listed here is titled “Our Legal System.” 

6 (D) – The Creed does not really contain rules as such (even though they are sometimes referenced as rules).  They are not on par with the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, which are enforced by the Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s Office. 

The Creed itself states that “[t]hese rules are primarily aspirational. Compliance with the rules depends primarily upon understanding and voluntary compliance, secondarily upon re-enforcement by peer pressure and public opinion, and finally when necessary by enforcement by the courts through their inherent powers and rules already in existence.” 

A good way to think about it is that the TDRPC is what you must do, while the Creed is what you should do. 

7 (D)

8 (B)

9 (E)

10 (C)

11 (C)      

Bluebook Citation

A Peek Inside the Texas Lawyer's Creed: Ethics Question of the Month - September 2022, Texas Center for Legal Ethics (2022), from https://legalethicstexas.com/ethics-question-of-the-month/ethics-question-of-the-month-september-2022/ (last visited Jun 16, 2024)