TEXAS LAWYER'S CREED
A MANDATE FOR PROFESSIONALISM
The Supreme Court of Texas and the Court
of Criminal Appeals
November 7, 1989
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.
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
l. I am passionately proud
of my profession. Therefore, "My word is my
2. I am responsible to assure
that all persons have access to competent representation
regardless of wealth or position in life.
3. I commit myself to an adequate
and effective pro bono program.
4. I am obligated to educate
my clients, the public, and other lawyers regarding
the spirit and letter of this Creed.
5. I will always be conscious
of my duty to the judicial system.
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.
l. I will advise my client of
the contents of this creed when undertaking representation.
2. I will endeavor to achieve my client's
lawful objectives in legal transactions and in litigation
as quickly and economically as possible.
3. 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
4. I will advise my client that civility
and courtesy are expected and are not a sign of
5. I will advise my client of proper
and expected behavior.
6. 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
7. I will advise my client that
we will not pursue conduct which is intended primarily
to harass or drain the financial resources of the
8. I will advise my client that
we will not pursue tactics which are intended primarily
9. I will advise my client that
we will not pursue any course of action which is
10. 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
objectives. A client has no right to instruct me
to refuse reasonable requests made by other counsel.
11. I will advise my client regarding the
availability of mediation, arbitration, and other
alternative methods of resolving and settling disputes.
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
1. I will be courteous, civil,
and prompt in oral and written communications.
2. I will not quarrel over matters
of form or style, but I will concentrate on matters
3. I will identify for other
counsel or parties all changes I have made in documents
submitted for review.
4. 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
which are necessary to reflect the agreement of
5. I will notify opposing counsel,
and, if appropriate, the Court or other persons,
as soon as practicable, when hearings, depositions,
meetings, conferences or
6. I will agree to reasonable
requests for extensions of time and for waiver of
procedural formalities, provided legitimate objectives
of my client will not be
7. I will not serve motions or
pleadings in any manner that unfairly limits another
party's opportunity to respond.
8. I will attempt to resolve
by agreement my objections to matters contained
in pleadings and discovery requests and responses.
9. I can disagree without being
disagreeable. I recognize that effective representation
does not require antagonistic or obnoxious behavior.
I will neither encourage
permit my client or anyone under my control to do
anything which would be unethical or improper if
done by me.
10. I will not, without good cause, attribute
bad motives or unethical conduct to opposing counsel
nor bring the profession into disrepute by unfounded
I will avoid disparaging personal remarks or acrimony
towards opposing counsel, parties and witnesses.
I will not be influenced by any ill feeling
I will abstain from any allusion to personal peculiarities
or idiosyncrasies of opposing counsel.
11. I will not take advantage, by causing
any default or dismissal to be rendered, when I
know the identity of an opposing counsel, without
first inquiring about that
12. I will promptly submit orders to the
Court. I will deliver copies to opposing counsel
before or contemporaneously with submission to the
Court. I Will promptly
approve the form
of orders which accurately reflect the substance
of the rulings of the Court.
13. I will not attempt to gain an unfair
advantage by sending the Court or its staff correspondence
or copies of correspondence.
14. I will not arbitrarily schedule a deposition,
court appearance, or hearing until a good faith
effort has been made to schedule it by agreement.
15. I will readily stipulate to undisputed
facts in order to avoid needless costs or inconvenience
for any party.
16. I will refrain from excessive and abusive
17. I will comply with all reasonable discovery
requests. I will not resist discovery requests which
are not objectionable. I will not make objections
to a witness for the purpose of delaying or obstructing
the discovery process. I will encourage witnesses
to respond to all deposition questions
which are reasonably
understandable. I will neither encourage nor permit
my witness to quibble about words where their meaning
is reasonably clear.
18. I will not seek Court intervention to
obtain discovery which is clearly improper and not
19. I will not seek sanctions or disqualification
unless it is necessary for protection of my client's
lawful objectives or is fully justified by the circumstances.
LAWYER AND JUDGE
Lawyers and judges owe each other respect,
diligence, candor, punctuality, and protection against
unjust and improper criticism and attack. Lawyers
and judges are equally responsible to protect the
dignity and independence of the Court and the profession.
l. I will always recognize that
the position of judge is the symbol of both the
judicial system and administration of justice. I
will refrain from conduct that degrades
2. I will conduct myself in Court in
a professional manner and demonstrate my respect
for the Court and the law.
3. I will treat counsel, opposing parties,
the Court, and members of the Court staff with courtesy
4. I will be punctual.
5. I will not engage in any conduct
which offends the dignity and decorum of proceedings.
6. I will not knowingly misrepresent,
mischaracterize, misquote or miscite facts or authorities
to gain an advantage.
7. I will respect the rulings of the
8. I will give the issues in controversy
deliberate, impartial and studied analysis and consideration.
9. I will be considerate of the time
constraints and pressures imposed upon the Court,
Court staff and counsel in efforts to administer
justice and resolve disputes.
OF THE SUPREME COURT OF TEXAS
AND THE COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS
The conduct of a lawyer should be characterized
at all times by honesty, candor, and fairness.
In fulfilling his or her primary duty to a client,
a lawyer must be ever mindful of the profession's
broader duty to the legal system.
The Supreme Court of Texas and the Court
of Criminal Appeals are committed to eliminating
a practice in our State by a minority of lawyers
of abusive tactics which have surfaced in many
parts of our country. We believe such tactics
are a disservice to our citizens, harmful to clients,
and demeaning to our profession.
The abusive tactics range from lack of
civility to outright hostility and obstructionism.
Such behavior does not serve justice but tends
to delay and often deny justice. The lawyers who
use abusive tactics instead of being part of the
solution have become part of the problem.
The desire for respect and confidence
by lawyers from the public should provide the
members of our profession with the necessary incentive
to attain the highest degree of ethical and professional
conduct. These rules are primarily aspirational.
Compliance with the rules depends primarily upon
understanding and voluntary compliance, secondarily
upon re-enforcement by peer pressure and public
opinion, and finally when necessary by enforcement
by the courts through their inherent powers and
rules already in existence.
These standards are not a set of rules
that lawyers can use and abuse to incite ancillary
litigation or arguments over whether or not they
have been observed.
We must always be mindful that the practice
of law is a profession. As members of a learned
art we pursue a common calling in the spirit of
public service. We have a proud tradition. Throughout
the history of our nation, the members of our
citizenry have looked to the ranks of our profession
for leadership and guidance. Let us now as a profession
each rededicate ourselves to practice law so we
can restore public confidence in our profession,
faithfully serve our clients, and fulfill our
responsibility to the legal system.
The Supreme Court of Texas and the Court
of Criminal Appeals hereby promulgate and adopt
Lawyer's Creed - A Mandate for Professionalism"
as attached hereto and made a part hereof.
In Chambers, this 7th day of November,
The Supreme Court
Thomas. R. Phillips, Chief Justice
Franklin S. Spears
C. L. Ray
Raul A. Gonzales
Oscar H. Mauzy
Eugene A. Cook
Nathan L. Hecht
Lloyd A. Doggett
The Court of Criminal
Michael J. McCormick, Presiding Judge
W. C. Davis
Sam Houston Clinton
Marvin O. Teague
Charles F. (Chuck) Campbell
M. P. Duncan, III
David A. Berchelmann, Jr.