Professional Responsibility Attack Sheet for the Texas Bar Exam

# Professional Responsibility Attack Sheet for the Texas Bar Exam

## Introduction to Professional Responsibility
– Governed by Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct (TDRPC)
– Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure (TRDP)
– American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules also provide guidance; however, Texas-specific rules take precedence on the exam
– Focus on duties to the client, the legal system, and the legal profession

## Lawyer-Client Relationship
### Competence (Rule 1.01)
– Lawyers must provide competent representation: legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation
– Avoid taking on matters without necessary expertise, unless referral or study can compensate

### Communication (Rule 1.03)
– Lawyers must keep clients reasonably informed about their case status and promptly comply with reasonable requests for information

### Confidentiality (Rule 1.05)
– Lawyers must not reveal client confidences or use them to the disadvantage of the client
– Exceptions: consent, impliedly authorized, certain legal requirements, or to prevent certain crimes or fraud

### Conflicts of Interest (Rule 1.06 – 1.09)
– Avoid representing opposing interests without informed consent
– No representation against a former client in the same or substantially related matter
– Cannot represent a client if the representation involves a personal conflict

### Fees (Rule 1.04)
– Fees must be reasonable and communicated to the client
– No contingent fees in family law or criminal defense cases
– Fee agreements should be in writing when possible

## Duties to the Court and Legal System
### Candor Toward the Tribunal (Rule 3.03)
– No false statements of fact or law to the court
– Duty to correct false statements of evidence by the client

### Fairness to Opposing Party and Counsel (Rule 3.04)
– No unlawfully obstructing access to evidence or unlawfully altering, destroying, or concealing documents

### Impartiality and Decorum of the Tribunal (Rule 3.05)
– No attempt to influence a judge, juror, prospective juror, or other official by means prohibited by law

## Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor (Rule 3.09)
– Duty to see that justice is done; not simply to convict
– Must disclose exculpatory and mitigating evidence to the defense

## Law Firms and Associations
### Responsibilities Regarding Nonlawyer Assistants (Rule 5.03)
– Lawyers must supervise nonlawyer assistants to ensure their conduct is compatible with professional obligations

### Restrictions on Right to Practice (Rule 5.06)
– No partnership or sharing legal fees with nonlawyers

## Public Service
### Pro Bono Publico Service (Rule 6.01)
– Texas lawyers encouraged to provide pro bono services or support organizations providing legal services to the indigent

## Advertising and Solicitation
### Information About Legal Services (Rule 7.02 – 7.07)
– No false or misleading communications about services
– All advertisements and solicitations must be truthful and not create unjustified expectations

### Direct Contact with Prospective Clients (Rule 7.03)
– No in-person, telephonic, or real-time electronic solicitation of clients for pecuniary gain

## Maintaining Integrity of the Profession
### Reporting Professional Misconduct (Rule 8.03)
– Must report violations of the rules that raise a substantial question of a lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness

### Misconduct (Rule 8.04)
– Prohibits dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or violation of a disciplinary rule
– No criminal acts reflecting adversely on honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness

### Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters (Rule 8.01)
– Must not knowingly make a false statement of material fact or fail to disclose facts necessary to correct misapprehensions in admissions or disciplinary matters

## Disciplinary Process
– Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure outline the process for attorney discipline
– Complaints, investigation, and potential sanctions

## Tips for Texas Bar Exam
– Familiarize yourself with the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct (TDRPC) and the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure (TRDP)
– Focus on Texas-specific distinctions from ABA Model Rules
– Apply rules to fact patterns, showing understanding of ethical duties and potential violations
– Be prepared to address lawyer’s duties in various contexts: client interactions, litigation, transactions, and disciplinary proceedings

Remember, this attack sheet provides a concise overview of Professional Responsibility as it pertains to the Texas Bar Exam. Candidates should supplement this with a more in-depth review of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, as well as review of past exam questions and model answers to gain familiarity with how these issues are tested.

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