June 28, 2021
August 30, 2021
Editorial credit: Tony Gutierrez
The 31-page complaint urged Bar regulators to discipline Mr. Paxton for a pattern of serious ethical misconduct, including having filed a frivolous Supreme Court lawsuit seeking to overturn the 2020 election results in four states and violating his lawyers’ oath to support the Constitution.
Today, the State Bar’s Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel (CDC) determined that the information provided in the complaint alleges Professional Misconduct or a Disability, or both. Accordingly, Mr. Paxton will be ordered to submit a response to the complaint within 30 days from receiving notice of his need to respond.
Under the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure, the CCD’s office is obligated to decide whether or not to classify written matters it receives as a “complaint” to be investigated, or as an “inquiry” to be dismissed. Its decision today signifies that the CDC regards the filing as a complaint, and that the allegations that Mr. Paxton committed “Professional Misconduct” under the Texas Rules warrants an investigation “to determine whether there is Just Cause to believe that the lawyer has committed Professional Misconduct or suffers from a Disability.”
“We’re pleased that the State Bar took seriously the ethics violation allegations against Attorney General Paxton by Texas Bar leaders and Lawyers Defending American Democracy and is demanding that he respond to our complaint,” says complaint signer Jim Harrington, a retired founder of the Texas Civil Rights Project and former Adjunct Professor at the University of Texas School of Law.
Gershon (Gary) Ratner, co-founder of Lawyers Defending American Democracy and principal author of the complaint, adds, “After its investigation, if the Bar finds that the allegations set forth in our complaint are valid, Mr. Paxton should be suspended from the practice of law or permanently disbarred based on his extreme misconduct.”
READ THE TEXAS BAR'S DECISION