counsel should provide the client with an explanation of the attorney-client privilege and instructions not to talk to anyone about the facts of the case without first consulting with counsel.
Counsel should appear timely for all scheduled court appearances in a client’s case.
Counsel should spend appropriate time on each case regardless of whether counsel is appointed or retained. Counsel shall not suggest to an appointed client that counsel would provide preferential treatment if counsel were retained or otherwise compensated beyond the fee paid by the court for their work on a case.
Counsel must be alert to all potential and actual conflicts of interest.
If a conflict develops during the course of representation, counsel has a duty to notify the client and, generally, the court. Notice must be provided to the court without disclosing any confidential information.
If counsel's caseload is so large that counsel is unable to satisfactorily meet these performance guidelines, counsel shall inform the court or courts before whom counsel's cases are pending.
If appointed to represent an indigent client, pursuant to Code of Criminal Procedure 26.04(j), counsel shall continue to represent the client until charges are dismissed, the client is acquitted, appeals are exhausted, or counsel is relieved of counsel’s duties by the court or replaced by other counsel after a finding of good cause is entered on the record.
K. If counsel withdraws from representation, counsel has an obligation to deliver all contents of the client’s file, including notes by counsel, to new counsel if requested. Counsel shall timely respond to any reasonable request by new counsel regarding the case.
When appropriate, counsel has an obligation to attempt to secure the prompt pretrial release of the client under the conditions most favorable to the client.
A. Counsel shall arrange for an initial interview with the client as soon as practicable after being assigned to the client’s case. Absent exceptional circumstances, if the client is in custody, the initial interview should take place within three business days after counsel receives notice of assignment to the client’s case. When necessary, counsel may arrange for a designee to conduct the initial interview. If the initial interview is completed by a designee, counsel shall interview the client personally at the earliest reasonable opportunity.
After being assigned to a case and prior to conducting the initial interview, counsel should, when possible, do the following:
1. Be familiar with the elements of the offense and the potential punishment range, if the charges against the client are already known;