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Handbook of Texas Lawyer and Judicial Ethics

The Handbook of Texas Lawyer and Judicial Ethics is a three-volume set published annually by Thomson Reuters as part of their Texas Practice Series. The Handbook comprises volumes 48, 48A, and 48B of the series. (In the interest of full disclosure, I should also mention that one of the authors, Robert P. Schuwerk, is a professor emeritus here at the Law Center.)

This unique resource covers three bodies of Texas law: attorney tort liability, attorney discipline, and judicial discipline. It is designed to help lawyers and judges find answers to their ethical questions, but it may also be useful to law students and non-lawyers. For those interested in doing further research, the book contains frequent references to relevant West’s Key Numbers and C.J.S. sections. Discussions of case law, statutes, and ethics opinions in this edition have been updated through January 2017.   

The work is divided into six parts. Part I deals with the standards of attorney tort liability. It discusses the various causes of action that can be brought against attorneys, as well as the legal defenses against them. Part II deals with the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. It contains the complete text of the Rules, as well as a thorough, rule-by-rule analysis including background, discussion of relevant cases and ethics opinions, and references to non-Texas authorities where appropriate. Part III provides an overview of the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure, as well as the full text of the Rules themselves. Part IV deals with the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct, and includes the full text and extensive analysis of each of its eight canons. Part V deals with proceedings before the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct, and Part VI deals with the removal of judges from Texas cases.

If you have a research project involving Texas legal ethics, this is an excellent place to start. The book is available in the Law Library’s Texas section at KFT1280.T4 2017 (Vols. 48-48B).

Robert P. Schuwerk and Lillian B. Hardwick. Handbook of Texas Lawyer and Judicial Ethics. 2017 edition. Thomson Reuters, 2017.

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