In the June 2020 Texas Bar Journal, the Committee on Disciplinary Rules and Referenda proposed a new rule regarding the Voluntary Appointment of Custodian Attorney to Act During Disability. Rule 13.05 would allow for another attorney to step-up and help cover another attorney’s matters for up to 120-days if there is a temporary disability.
This would allow for solo-practitioners (one-attorney law offices) to have an ethical co-counsel help them in case of injury or illness. This is a step forward in disaster resiliency within the legal profession. The biggest thing this new rule adds is an extension of the attorney client privilege to the Custodian Attorney.
What is unknown is whether a conflicts check would need to be completed for each new client, in addition to conflicts checks with the disabled attorney. A teleconference on the proposed rule was held on June 18, 2020.
Read the full proposed rule here: https://heinonline.org/HOL/P?h=hein.barjournals/texbarj0083&i=405