Texas Ethics Opinion 570

Professional Ethics Committee For the State Bar of Texas

Topic: “
Under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, may a lawyer refuse a former client’s request to disclose or turn over the lawyer’s notes made in the course of and in furtherance of his representation of the client?


Conclusion of the Committee:

Under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, a lawyer must upon request provide to a former client the notes of the lawyer from the lawyer’s file for that former client except when the lawyer has the right to withhold the notes pursuant to a legal right such as a lawyer’s lien, when the lawyer is required to withhold the lawyer’s notes (or portions thereof) by court order, or when not withholding the notes (or portions thereof) would violate a duty owed to a third person or risk causing serious harm to the client.”

Rules: Texas Rules of Professional Conduct 1.14(b), 1.15(d)


Cited Authorities:

  • Hebisen v. State, 615 S.W. 2d 866 (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] 1981, no writ)
  • In re George, 28 S.W.3d 511 (Tex. 2000)
  • Occidental Chemical Corp. v. Banales, 907 S.W.2d 488, 490 (Tex. 1995)
  • Resolution Trust Corporation v. H ___, P.C., 128 F.R.D. 647 (N.D. Tex. 1989)
  • Restatement (Third) of The Law Governing Lawyers (American Law Institute 2000) Section 46
  • Texas ethics opinion 411 (January 1984)
  • Texas ethics opinion 395 (May 1979, modified March 1980)


Related Document:


The full text is available at http://www.legalethicstexas.com…