Enid, OK asked in Criminal Law, Federal Crimes and Legal Malpractice for Texas

Q: Can another lawyer legally tell another lawyer that works in a same office but not partners to not represent a client?

1 Lawyer Answer
Kiele Linroth Pace
Kiele Linroth Pace
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: You don't want to be represented by a lawyer that isn't happy to represent YOU!

The Texas State Bar has a bunch of rules for attorneys. Many of them are complicated, obscure, or even counter intuitive. If an attorney is concerned that representing a client might break a rule, they shouldn't represent the client. For example, there are complicated conflict-of-interest rules that limit who an attorney can represent today based on past cases, and even on the past cases of the attorney's associates. Checking for these conflicts is one of the first things that an attorney must do for a new case.

There are also Bar rules that specifically apply to attorneys that share office expenses but are not partners. These complex rules have sections and sub-sections and sub-sub-sections because they were written by attorneys for attorneys. Finally, it is also worth noting that attorneys must follow strict confidentiality rules with regard to disclosing information about a client or former client.

I'm not sure which, if any, of the above rules apply to your situation but I can tell you that the rules are so complicated that the Texas State Bar actually operates a HOTLINE for attorneys to call when they need help figuring out how to apply the rules to real-life situations.

So anyway, if you really care to find the answer then call the Texas State Bar. However, that is probably a waste of your time because, as I said at the top, you don't want to be represented by a lawyer that isn't happy to be representing you. Instead you should find another attorney in that jurisdiction that will be glad to have your case.

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