Attorneys are arguably the butt-end of jokes more often than blondes, and the professional subset of the general population enjoys a fierce reputation of being combative, egotistical, or power-hungry. But we know better—not all lawyers in San Antonio, Texas or Newark, New Jersey, or anywhere in between are money-grubbing scoundrels. In fact, with the rigorous standards of schooling, licensing, and codes of conduct applied to the profession, attorneys are often one of the most trustworthy category of professionals, on the whole. Still, there are bad eggs in every bunch, and in Texas, if you work with a law form or you’re an attorney yourself, it’s prudent to keep up with who’s who on the naughty list.
Attorneys in the Lone Star State who screw up undergo a complex disciplinary process that involves many governing boards, from the State Bar of Texas, the Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s Office, the Board of Disciplinary Appeals, and the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, to name a few. Sometimes even the Supreme Court of Texas gets involved, as some lawyers in San Antonio, Texas who submit their resignation to the court know—they are allowed to do so in lieu of discipline. In November of 2014, one attorney resigned rather than face consequences for his “failure to keep clients reasonably informed, to promptly notify third parties of the receipt of funds, to promptly deliver funds to parties entitles to receive funds, to hold client funds in a trust account, and to respond to a grievance.”
Unfortunately for the reputations of many of the lawyers in San Antonio, Texas like Micah McBride, whose own conduct is unassailable, attorneys who are disbarred or resign tarnish the entire profession. Cases in which attorneys commit acts of “dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation,” are not prolific, but they are too common for respectable lawyers like McBride to feel proud of his fellow attorneys.
Disciplinary actions for lawyers in San Antonio, Texas, and indeed across the entire state, range from judgments of public reprimands to suspensions of the license to practice—in full or partially probated—for any amount of time as determined by the respective disciplinary board and disbarment or forced resignation. Many of the disciplinary actions issued in February of 2015 for the attorneys in Texas involved failure to observe proper procedure regarding funds—the “misapplication of fiduciary property” and duty to clients.
One of the other big “no-no”s that attorneys were sanctioned for last month in the Lone Star State had to do with ignoring the boundaries of what’s appropriate and acceptable behavior and transactions with clients. Whether revealing information that is confidential, initiating a conflict of interest with a client, or entering into a business transaction with or receiving a gift from—or the most taboo: entering into a sexual relationship with—a client, none of these actions should be the conduct of a legal professional licensed within the State of Texas.