Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure Back to Outline

(Tex. R. Disciplinary P., reprinted in Tex. Govt Code Ann,. tit. 2, subtit. G app. (Vernon Supp. 1995)

I GENERAL RULES 1.06 Definitions

A. “Address” means the registered mailing address or preferred email address provided to the State Bar by the Respondent pursuant to Article III of the State Bar Rules. 

B. "Board" means the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas.

C. "Chief Disciplinary Counsel" means the person serving as Chief Disciplinary Counsel and any and all of his or her assistants.

D. "Commission" means the Commission for Lawyer Discipline, a permanent committee of the State Bar of Texas.

E. "Committee" means any of the grievance committees within a single District.

F. "Complainant" means the person, firm, corporation, or other entity, including the Chief Disciplinary Counsel, initiating a Complaint or Inquiry.

G. "Complaint" means those written matters received by the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel that, either on the face thereof or upon screening or preliminary investigation, allege Professional Misconduct or attorney Disability, or both, cognizable under these rules or the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.

H. "Director" means a member of the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas.

I. "Disability" means any physical, mental, or emotional condition that, with or without a substantive rule violation, results in the attorney’s inability to practice law, provide client services, complete contracts of employment, or otherwise carry out his or her professional responsibilities to clients, courts, the profession, or the public.

J. "Disciplinary Action" means a proceeding brought by or against an attorney in a district court or any judicial proceeding covered by these rules other than an Evidentiary Hearing.

K. "Disciplinary Petition" means a pleading that satisfies the requirements of Rule 3.01.

L. “Disciplinary Proceedings” includes the processing of a Grievance, the investigation and processing of an Inquiry or Complaint, the proceeding before an Investigatory Panel, presentation of a Complaint before a Summary Disposition
Panel, and the proceeding before an Evidentiary Panel.

M. “Discretionary Referral” means a Grievance received by the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel that has been determined upon initial classification to involve minor misconduct and is appropriate for referral to the State Bar’s Client Attorney Assistance Program. 

N.  "District" means disciplinary district.

O. "Evidentiary Hearing" means an adjudicatory proceeding before a panel of a grievance committee.

P. “Evidentiary Panel” means a panel of the District Grievance Committee performing an adjudicatory function other than that of a Summary Disposition Panel or an Investigatory Panel with regard to a Disciplinary Proceeding pending
before the District Grievance Committee of which the Evidentiary Panel is a subcommittee.

Q. "Evidentiary Petition" means a pleading that satisfies the requirements of Rule 2.17.

R. "Grievance" means a written statement, from whatever source, apparently intended to allege Professional Misconduct by a lawyer, or lawyer Disability, or both, received by the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel.

S. “Injury” in Part XV of these Rules is harm to a client, the public, the legal system, Misc. Docket No. 18-9031 Page 5 or the profession which results from a Respondent’s misconduct. The level of injury can range from “serious” injury to “little or no” injury; a reference to “injury” alone indicates any level of injury greater than “little or no” injury. 

T.  "Inquiry" means any written matter concerning attorney conduct received by the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel that, even if true, does not allege Professional Misconduct or Disability.

U.  “Intent” in Part XV of these Rules is the conscious objective or purpose to accomplish a particular result. A person’s intent may be inferred from circumstances.

V. "Intentional Crime" means (1) any Serious Crime that requires proof of knowledge or intent as an essential element or (2) any crime involving misapplication of money or other property held as a fiduciary.

W. “Investigatory Panel” means a panel of the Committee that conducts a nonadversarial proceeding during the investigation of the Complaint by the Chief Disciplinary Counsel. 

X. “Knowledge” in Part XV of these Rules is the conscious awareness of the nature of attendant circumstances of the conduct but without the conscious objective or purpose to accomplish a particular result. A person’s knowledge may be inferred from circumstances. 

Y.  “Negligence” in Part XV of these Rules, is the failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent and competent lawyer would exercise in like circumstances.

Z. "Just Cause" means such cause as is found to exist upon a reasonable inquiry that would induce a reasonably intelligent and prudent person to believe that an attorney either has committed an act or acts of Professional Misconduct requiring that a Sanction be imposed, or suffers from a Disability that requires either suspension as an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Texas or probation.

AA. “Penal Institution” has the meaning assigned by Article 62.001, Code of
Criminal Procedure.

BB. “Potential injury” in Part XV of these Rules is the harm to a client, the public, the legal system or the profession that is reasonably foreseeable at the time of the Respondent’s misconduct, and which, but for some intervening factor or event,would probably have resulted from the Respondent’s misconduct. 

CC. "Professional Misconduct" includes:

1. Acts or omissions by an attorney, individually or in concert with another person or persons, that violate one or more of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.

2. Attorney conduct that occurs in another jurisdiction,including before any federal court or federal agency, and results in the disciplining of an attorney in that other jurisdiction, if the conduct is Professional Misconduct under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.

3. Violation of any disciplinary or disability order or judgment.

4. Engaging in conduct that constitutes barratry as defined by the law of this state.

5. Failure to comply with Rule 13.01 of these rules relating to notification of an attorney’s cessation of practice.

6. Engaging in the practice of law either during a period of suspension or when on inactive status.

7. Conviction of a Serious Crime, or being placed on probation for a Serious Crime with or without an adjudication of guilt.

8. Conviction of an Intentional Crime, or being placed on probation for an Intentional Crime with or without an adjudication of guilt.

DD. "Reasonable Attorneys’ Fees," for purposes of these rules only, means a reasonable fee for a competent private attorney, under the circumstances. Relevant factors that may be considered in determining the reasonableness of a fee include but are not limited to the following:

1. The time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly;

2. The fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services;

3. The amount involved and the results obtained;

4. The time limitations imposed by the circumstances; and

5. The experience, reputation, and ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the services.

EE. "Respondent" means any attorney who is the subject of a Grievance, Complaint, Disciplinary Proceeding, or Disciplinary Action.

FF. "Sanction" means any of the following:

1. Disbarment.

2. Resignation in lieu of discipline.

3. Indefinite Disability suspension.

4. Suspension for a term certain.

5. Probation of suspension, which probation may be concurrent with the period of suspension, upon such reasonable terms as are appropriate under the circumstances.

6. Interim suspension.

7. Public reprimand.

8. Private reprimand.

The term "Sanction" may include the following additional ancillary requirements:

a. Restitution (which may include repayment to the Client Security Fund of the State Bar of any payments made by reason of Respondent’s Professional Misconduct); and

b. Payment of Reasonable Attorneys’ Fees and all direct expenses associated with the proceedings.

GG. "Serious Crime" means barratry; any felony involving moral turpitude; any misdemeanor involving theft, embezzlement, or fraudulent or reckless misappropriation of money or other property; or any attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation of another to commit any of the foregoing crimes.

HH. "State Bar" means the State Bar of Texas.

II. "Summary Disposition Panel" means a panel of the Committee that determines whether a Complaint should proceed or should be dismissed based upon the absence of evidence to support a finding of Just Cause after a reasonable investigation by the Chief Disciplinary Counsel of the allegations in the Grievance.

JJ. “Wrongfully Imprisoned Person” has the meaning assigned by Section 501.101,
Government Code.

Bluebook Citation

Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure. § 1.06, (Texas Center for Legal Ethics, 2023) from https://legalethicstexas.com/resources/rules/texas-rules-of-disciplinary-procedure/definitions/ (last visited Jan 29, 2023)