The Politics of Legal Ethics: Case Study of a Rule Change

Despite its obvious importance to the content and legitimacy of a state’s rules of legal ethics, the process by which these rules are made has received little scholarly attention. This Article undertakes a case study of the 2005 amendments to the Texas ethics rule governing referral fees and fee sharing among attorneys as a window through which to explore some larger questions about state supreme courts’ regulation of the legal profession: what are (and should be) the goals and purposes of the process by which states’ rules of legal ethics are made; and how might that rulemaking process be (re)structured in order best to achieve those goals and purposes?