DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST LAWYER

Opinion No. 45 (1979)


QUESTION: Does a judge subject to the Code of Judicial Conduct have an obligation to initiate disciplinary measures against a lawyer when he becomes aware that such lawyer has been guilty of unprofessional conduct or has presented false information to the court in order to obtain the entry of a judgement?

ANSWER: Under Disciplinary Rules promulgated by the Supreme Court of Texas, "A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice." DR 1-102(5). Canon 3B(3) of the Code of Judicial Conduct reads: "A judge should take or initiate appropriate disciplinary measures against a lawyer for unprofessional conduct of which the judge may become aware." The Committee is of the opinion that the knowing presentation of false information to a court in order to obtain the entry of a judgment is unprofessional conduct as defined in DR 1-102(5) and that when the judge becomes aware thereof, it becomes his duty to "initiate appropriate disciplinary measures" against such lawyer.