16 Rev. Litig. 705

Uncertainty, Confusion, and Despair: Ethics and Large-Firm Practice in Texas

David Hricik

This article surveys the impact of ethical rules in the legal profession. Mr. Hricik, a large law firm “ethics guru,” discusses the change in the nature of the legal profession over the last thirty years. Because the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct—drafted in 1983—have not kept pace with the evolving nature of law firms, uncertainty, doubt and confusion are abound in the profession. Furthermore, many ethical issues are not published and are seldom subject to appellate review, stunting the common law process of uniformity, creating even more uncertainty. Because of this uncertainty, legal services are currently delivered inefficiently. Mr. Hricik continues to suggest ways to avoid the uncertainties in order to minimize the harm caused on the practice of law. The only available solution appears to be through the efforts of state bar associations that can (and do) announce ethical opinions, informing legal society of the relevant rules and their interpretations. Until bar associations provide clear guidance on local and national ethical standards, lawyers will battle uncertainty which costs the legal system too much.


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