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Prohibit legislators from earning legal referral fees

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  • Prohibit legislators from earning legal referral fees

    Started by Greg Abbott

    Prohibit legislators and statewide elected officials who are licensed by the State Bar of Texas from earning referral fees or receiving any benefit from legal referral. Violation of this requirement would be a Class A Misdemeanor.

    Texas Government Code Sec. 572.0252 requires a state officer who is an attorney to report on the financial statement making or receiving any referral for compensation for legal services and the amount of any fee accepted for making a referral for legal services. The Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, which establishes the ethical guidelines for Texas attorneys, allows (Rule 1.04) for referral fees under certain circumstances. However, in the context of Texas’ part time Legislature, a legislator who is also an attorney may have opportunities to use the access and prestige of his office to generate revenue via referral fees without doing any real legal work for the client. This practice is unethical, and should be disallowed by prohibiting legislators who are also attorneys from earning legal referral fees or receiving any benefit from legal referral.

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