February 1951

DUTY OF ATTORNEY TO THE COURT—CANDOR AND FAIRNESS—WITHHOLDING INFORMATIONAn attorney may not knowingly withhold from the court his knowledge that the wife in a divorce case is pregnant.

Canons 1, 19.


Under our statue requiring that a petition disclose whether there are any children under ages of 16, making it obligatory upon the court to make such orders respecting custody and support as is best for the child or children, is an attorney guilty of unethical conduct who knowingly withholds from the court in a divorce case knowledge that the wife is pregnant?


It is the unanimous opinion of the committee that this information should be disclosed. A majority of the members expressed the view that the failure to make this disclosure would be a violation of Texas Canons 1 and 19. Several were also of the opinion that failure to disclose this information would be in violation of American Bar Canons 1 and 15. Two members thought a failure to disclose this information would violate American Bar Canon 22, and two members expressed the view that Article 4639A of the Revised Civil Statutes of Texas would require this information to be disclosed regardless of any Canon. (10-0).