“The ingrained racial bias of the typical American courtroom has been well-noted.
Much less understood – with damages measured in different, unseen ways –
are the biases within the legal profession itself.”
-- Sharon Jones, attorney and diversity consultant
As the nation has turned an intense focus on issues of racial injustice, many Texas attorneys are considering what their ethical responsibilities are in relation to issues of race and equality. You may be surprised to learn that our state’s legal ethics rules actually do address issues of bias.
Did you know:
- Rule 5.08 of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct states that attorneys shall not “manifest by words or conduct, bias or prejudice based on race, color, national origin, religion, disability, age, sex, or sexual orientation towards any person involved in that proceeding in any capacity.”
- Canons 3(6) and 3(7) of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct states that judges shall not “manifest bias or prejudice based upon race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status,” and also requires all judges to prevent their court staff and attorneys from doing the same.
If you weren’t aware of these rules, you’re not alone. When you need to brush up on either the TDRPC or the Judicial Canons – or on any other ethics-related issues – our website is here to help. Whatever questions you might have, the Texas Center for Legal Ethics can serve as a reliable and robust resource to help you find the answers.