Is there a claim for violation of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct?

While the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional conduct are certainly admirable guidelines, do they actually define a standard of conduct that lawyers must meet?  Surprisingly, the answer is probably “no.”  While failure to follow these guidelines may coincide or overlap with conduct supporting a legal malpractice claim, the mere violation of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional conduct cannot, by itself, support a cause of action.

Specifically, paragraph 15 of the Texas Disciplinary Rules states that the disciplinary rules do not create a private right of action or presumption of breach of a legal duty. Tex. Disc. R. Prof. Conduct, Preamble, ¶ 15 (“Violation of a rule does not give rise to a private cause of action nor does it create any presumption that a legal duty to a client has been breached.”).  As the disciplinary rules obviate a private right of action for their violation, claims based solely on their violation will likely fail.  Id.; National Union Fire Ins. Co. v. Merchants Fast Motor Lines, 939 S.W.2d 139, 141 (Tex. 1997).

If you have potential claims against a lawyer or other professional, the malpractice attorneys at Powers Taylor can help you determine the appropriate claims to bring against the professional who committed the wrong.


WE'RE HERE TO HELP

FREE CONSULTATION

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.