In March of 2018, the Professional Ethics Committee for the State Bar of Texas issued Ethics Opinion Number 669, which examined client confidentiality when an attorney withdraws from representing the client. Specifically, the Opinion addressed whether a defense attorney who had been retained to represent a defendant by an insurance company could notify the insurance company that the insured client/defendant was not cooperating.
Rule 4.04(a) of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct provides: "In representing a client, a lawyer shall not use means that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a third person, or use methods of obtaining evidence that violate the legal rights of such a person." Professional Ethics Opinion 585 (September 2008) concluded that a lawyer would violate Rule 4.04(a) by counseling a client to hire all the local lawyers in a community where a lawsuit is filed if the lawyer had no substantial purpose other than to delay or burden the opposing party. The reasoning and conclusion of Opinion 585 also apply to intentional expert witness disqualification.