Attachment A: The Texas Lawyer's Creed
A Mandate For Professionalism
I am a lawyer. I am entrusted by the People of Texas to preserve and improve our legal system. I am licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. I must therefore abide by the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, but I know that professionalism requires more than merely avoiding the violation of laws and rules. I am committed to this creed for no other reason than it is right.
I. OUR LEGAL SYSTEM
A lawyer owes to the administration of justice personal dignity, integrity, and independence. A lawyer should always adhere to the highest principles of professionalism.
- I am passionately proud of my profession. Therefore, "My word is my bond."
- I am responsible to assure that all persons have access to competent representation regardless of wealth or position in life.
- I commit myself to an adequate and effective pro bono program.
- I am obligated to educate my clients, the public, and other lawyers regarding the spirit and letter of this Creed.
- I will always be conscious of my duty to the judicial system.
II. LAWYER TO CLIENT
A lawyer owes to a client allegiance, learning, skill, and industry. A lawyer shall employ all appropriate means to protect and advance the client's legitimate rights, claims, and objectives. A lawyer shall not be deterred by any real or imagined fear of judicial disfavor or public unpopularity, nor be influenced by mere self-interest.
- I will advise my client of the contents of this creed when undertaking representation.
- I will endeavor to achieve my client's lawful objectives in legal transactions and in litigation as quickly and economically as possible.
- I will be loyal and committed to my client's lawful objectives, but I will not permit that loyalty and commitment to interfere with my duty to provide objective and independent advice.
- I will advise my client that civility and courtesy are expected and are not a sign of weakness.
- I will advise my client of proper and expected behavior.
- I will treat adverse parties and witnesses with fairness and due consideration. A client has no right to demand that I abuse anyone or indulge in any offensive conduct.
- I will advise my client that we will not pursue conduct which is intended primarily to harass or drain the financial resources of the opposing party.
- I will advise my client that we will not pursue tactics which are intended primarily for delay.
- I will advise my client that we will not pursue any course of action which is without merit.
- I will advise my client that I reserve the right to determine whether to grant accommodations to opposing counsel in all matters that do not adversely affect my client's lawful objectives. A client has no right to instruct me to refuse reasonable requests made by other counsel.
- I will advise my client regarding the availability of mediation, arbitration, and other alternative methods of resolving and settling disputes.
III. LAWYER TO LAWYER
A lawyer owes to opposing counsel, in the conduct of legal transactions and the pursuit of litigation, courtesy, candor, cooperation, and scrupulous observance of all agreements and mutual understandings. Ill feelings between clients shall not influence a lawyer's conduct, attitude, or demeanor toward opposing counsel. A lawyer shall not engage in unprofessional conduct in retaliation against other unprofessional conduct.
- I will be courteous, civil, and prompt in oral and written communications.
- I will not quarrel over matters of form or style, but I will concentrate on matters of substance.
- I will identify for other counsel or parties all changes I have made in documents submitted for review.
- I will attempt to prepare documents which correctly reflect the agreement of the parties. I will not include provisions which have not been agreed upon or omit provisions which are necessary to reflect the agreement of the parties.
- I will notify opposing counsel, and, if appropriate, the Court or other persons, as soon as practicable, when hearings, depositions, meetings, conferences or closings are cancelled.
- I will agree to reasonable requests for extensions of time and for waiver of procedural formalities.