The Texas Supreme Court issued a unanimous order Friday permitting out-of-state lawyers to provide legal services to indigent defendants arrested for certain misdemeanor offenses.
The emergency order, Misc. Docket No. 22-9007, allows attorneys authorized to practice law in another U.S. jurisdiction to provide services as an employee of a public defender office or through a managed assigned counsel program to indigent defendants arrested for misdemeanor offenses under Operation Lone Star. To qualify under the order, attorneys must agree to abide by the Texas attorney disciplinary rules and submit to the disciplinary jurisdiction of the Texas Supreme Court and State Bar of Texas.
Attorneys must register at texasbar.com/SCOTEO229007 before providing services under the order.
The order is set to expire on December 1, 2022, but attorneys would be able to complete any ongoing services started before that date.
The court issued the order to “protect the constitutionally and statutorily guaranteed right to counsel of indigent criminal defendants.” Read the entire order here.