On my Web site, KnowYourCourts.com, I often discuss the gag rules imposed in judicial and attorney disciplinary proceedings as being unconstitutional. On April 21, 2009, I reported about a Louisiana Supreme Court decision, that dismissed disciplinary charges against two attorneys charged with violating bar rules imposing confidentiality of disciplinary proceedings. The court [properly] held that the rule violated the First Amendment as an unconstitutional content-based restriction of speech. In re Werner (http://www.lasc.org/opinions/2009/05B1303.jpv.opn.pdf).
One of my readers, who shares my views about the Texas Office of Thief Disciplinary Counsel, called the Werner decision to the attention of the Texas supreme court's rules attorney, Kennon Peterson.
Petersom recognized the problem, conducted further research, and presented her findings and recommendation to the Court. As a direct and proximate result, the Court today announced that changes to Rules 2.16 and 6.08, effectively abolishing the gag rule on complainants and properly placing the responsibility of confidentiality on OCDC staff.
The rule changes are currently open for public comment and, will be effective January, 2010.
For further reading, see http://www.knowyourcourts.com/News/news.htm
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