From lawyer Steve Fischer of Rockport, Texas, in response to Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson, who has been tubthumping for the amendments to the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct:
Proposed bar rules- Open letter to Chief Justice Jefferson.January 17 2011 9:40 pmAfter receiving yet another email from the Chief Justice and seeing his posts on the state bar site and in the TBJ I decided to answer him directly.
Dear Justice Jefferson:
Thanks for the email advising us on how to vote! This of course, was your second attempt at educating us. I noticed there was no return email as I suppose you are only interested in sharing your opinion and not hearing ours.
If you want another opinion, try mine in the January Texas Bar Journal (page 65). Perhaps after noting that over 60,000 attorneys don’t vote in any bar presidential election, you’d understand that the State Bar is not democratic and does not represent the rank and file attorney. The elite group who on the bar nominating committee sit behind closed doors and anoint two of their own for the lowly masses can approve. Even the incoming president admits the 5% petition requirement to run, if one isn’t a recent member of the board of directors, is pretty much impossible to obtain.
You might be surprised that despite your well well publicized advice there will be a substantial “NO” vote. Maybe attorneys are tired of being mandated new rules, costs and obligations. Maybe we’d like a supportive and democratic bar, that tries to reduce stress in our practice. Maybe the best thing for the pubic would not be more rules but happy attorneys.
I too would like to share my view on this election but i don’t have access to the state bar email system although I’ve paid my dues on time ever since first licensed in 1983. I’ve contributed to the bar serving on three state bar committees, and authoring 4-5 TBJ Articles mostly on demographics, and serving as president of my area bar association.
I believe you mean well, but your perspective is that of someone who has a job, doesn’t have to worry about CLE, or health insurance and who hobnobs with the bar elite and quickly forgets those of us out in the trenches.
Steve Fischer Rockport Texas