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Posted on: Jan 4, 2020

Exercise Your Right to Vote on Proposed Disciplinary Rules

By Marc E. Gravely and Santos Vargas


As lawyers, we are unique among professionals in Texas in that our system of self-governance gives us the right to vote on the people who represent us, the rules that regulate us, and the dues we pay for the right and privilege to practice our profession. This system works best when all lawyers engage in the work of bar governance. In 2021, you will have a chance to do just that.


Texas lawyers’ first vote on disciplinary rules in a decade will take place from February 2 to March 4. We, your elected State Bar of Texas directors from Bexar County, encourage you to review the proposed disciplinary rule amendments and exercise your right to vote.


The ballot consists of eight separate proposals:


  1. Scope and Objectives of Representation; Clients with Diminished Capacity
  2. Confidentiality of Information – Exception to Permit Disclosure to Secure Legal Ethics Advice
  3. Confidentiality of Information – Exception to Permit Disclosure to Prevent Client Death by Suicide
  4. Conflict of Interest Exceptions for Nonprofit and Limited Pro Bono Legal Services
  5. Information About Legal Services (Lawyer Advertising and Solicitation)
  6. Reporting Professional Misconduct and Reciprocal Discipline for Federal Court or Federal Agency Discipline
  7. Assignment of Judges in Disciplinary Complaints and Related Provisions
  8. Voluntary Appointment of Custodian Attorney for Cessation of Practice


Each proposal was drafted and recommended by the Committee on Disciplinary Rules and Referenda (CDRR) and approved by the State Bar Board of Directors. The CDRR, which was created by the 2017 Texas Legislature in Senate Bill 302, published each proposal for public comment in the Texas Bar Journal and Texas Register and held at least one public hearing on each proposal. During the process, the committee received and considered hundreds of public comments and made many amendments in response.


Next, it’s your chance to weigh in by voting on the proposals. We encourage you to sign up for one of the State Bar’s public forum webinars in January and February, which will include a free, one-hour ethics CLE on the proposals followed by a live forum where you can ask questions and provide comments. Register for a webinar, read a sample ballot, and find other information on the proposals at

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to help decide the rules that regulate the practice of law in Texas. Please vote!

San Antonio lawyers Marc E. Gravely and Santos Vargas are the elected District 10 (Bexar County) directors on the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors.



New Disciplinary Rules Public Forum

1:00pm-2:00pm CST

  • January 5 (Registration Full)
  • January 14
  • January 26
  • February 9

Members of the Committee on Disciplinary Rules and Referenda will present the proposed rules followed by a live forum where attendees can ask questions and provide comments on the proposed disciplinary rule amendments.  Approved for 1 hours ethics CLE.


Register now here: