On Monday, August 29, 2022, the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly admonished James D. Lucas, Associate Judge of the 388th District Court, El Paso, El Paso County, for delaying in withdrawing as counsel of record in multiple cases after taking the bench.
The case is styled as ‘In the Matter of Judge Lucas’ with case numbers #21-1293, #21-1396 & #21-1478.
The judge was charged with violating Canon 4G of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct, which states:
A judge shall not practice law except as permitted by statute or this code.
The order reads:
“Judge Lucas was sworn in as an Associate District Judge on January 1, 2021. Before taking office, Judge Lucas was in private practice and represented clients in both civil and criminal matters in both trial court and appellate court. While he had completed the legal work required in several pending appellate cases, no decisions had been issued. In his trial court cases, Judge Lucas had a co-counsel complete the legal work but remained as counsel of record. In at least two pending criminal cases, Judge Lucas has not withdrawn as counsel of record.”
According to the commission, Judge Lucas failed to withdraw as attorney of record in at least six cases pending before the Eighth Court of Appeals until ordered to do so by the Court in June 2021.
In his written responses to the Commission, Judge Lucas confirmed his delay in withdrawing from pending appellate cases until ordered to do so and his decision not to withdraw from cases because he has been unable to contact his client.
The order concluded:
“Based upon the record before it and the factual findings recited above, the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct has determined that the Honorable James D. Lucas, Associate Judge of the 388″ District Court, El Paso, E] Paso County, Texas, should be publicly admonished for continuing to practice law after taking the bench as an associate judge, in violation of Canon 4G of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct.”
The Judge is in Courtroom 902, 500 East San Antonio Ave in El Paso, and can be reached at (915) 543-3859.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.