TYLA Project

TYLA Project

Just in Case
By: Alex Yarbrough

We have all heard the phrase before, “practice what you preach.” We emphasize to others the importance of preparing for illness or disability, but how often do we prepare ourselves for these types of unfortunate events? The Texas Young Lawyers Association is excited to introduce Just in Case, a guide in case you are unable to pick back up where you left off. Having a backup plan is part of being a great lawyer, and it will help those around you make sure nothing falls between the cracks.

Just in Case highlights some of the important things to consider when an attorney becomes incapacitated or deceased. The guide presents a brief overview on the importance of having an up-to-date estate plan and addresses strategies for successfully transitioning a law practice. It is intended as an overview and guide to Texas attorneys and not as a substitute for reading the actual rules or caselaw regarding the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure. As always, attorneys should read and interpret the applicable rules and caselaw to ensure complete compliance. Specifically, Part XIII of the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure, which is titled “Cessation of Practice,” provides the procedure and framework for when an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas dies, resigns, becomes inactive, is disbarred, or is suspended. Tex. Rules Disciplinary P.R. 13.01.

The guide provides tips and tricks for locating a successor attorney and what types of things you should discuss with your successor attorney. The guide offers advice related to time and billing, trust accounts, and closure letters. Finally, the guide explains the importance of up-to-date estate planning. Just in Case can be found on TYLA’s website. TYLA hopes that young lawyers across Texas will use the guide and become prepared in case, for any reason, they cannot continue the practice of law. 

Alex Yarbrough is an attorney at Sprouse Shrader Smith PLLC in Amarillo and practices in the area of civil litigation.

Views and opinions expressed in eNews are those of their authors and not necessarily those of the Texas Young Lawyers Association or the State Bar of Texas.

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