OPINION 20
November 1949

ILL FEELING BETWEEN ADVOCATES—INSULTS—A gratuitous insult contained in a letter from one attorney to another does not violate any of the Canons, but it may call for action by a Grievance Committee.

 Canon 14.

Question

Whether the last paragraph of the following letter by a member of the State Bar of Texas violates one or more of the Canons of Ethics of such Bar, to-wit:

"Mr. Sidney T. Page, Esq.
41, Craford,
North Kettering,
Northants, England.

Dear Mr. Page:

Receipt is acknowledged of your letter of the 2nd in connection with the divorce proceedings of your daughter and Mr. Mayo. This letter I am very glad to have the privilege of reading and making reply.

I do not have the exact date the divorce judgment was entered of record at Waco, McLennan County, Texas, in the District Clerk's Office, of which Mr. R. V. McClain is Clerk and you may receive a certified copy of the decree for $1.50 American money. However, when Mr. Mayo was granted a divorce, your daughter was also granted a divorce, she may marry at any time as the decree was complete at date of entering. I believe the judgment was entered sometime in January of 1947.

The Honorable Right Mayor of your city acted as we Texans say ‘Took the bull by the horns’ but he could not ride the bull, and should have with all due respects for all parties served the petition and returned same as he did with the petition unserved. It is not for me to say who was right or wrong; I only acted as attorney on the information furnished to me by the plaintiff.

Mr. Mayo has married, resides on a farm near this city, and is doing well, and appears to be a very respectful citizen of this community. I see him often at our Baptist church and so far as I know he had just causes for obtaining a decree of divorce and separation from your daughter.

At this time, it looks that we are going to furnish your little country with a lot more American dollars, and I suppose in time our boys will be returning to fight your battles with American dollars and weapons as in the last two wars; however, we are a free democratic people and believe in helping the weak nations. We go where we please and do just about as we desire.

"With kindest personal regards, I am . . . "

Opinion

The committee deeply deplores the gratuitous insult contained in such last paragraph. We do not believe that it violates any of the Canons of Ethics, but feel that it may possibly call for action by a Grievance Committee. (7-1)