Legal Ethics

Ethics probe ordered after lawyer's acquittal in court corruption case


Austin attorney Eduardo “Eddie” Lucio was acquitted last week on charges of racketeering, conspiracy and extortion in a “cash for court favors” case. But the federal judge overseeing the case isn’t quite finished with the matter.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen ordered that case files and information from the case be turned over to the State Bar of Texas for an inquiry into whether lawyers implicated in the case violated the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.

The Valley Star reports that Hanen has concerns about possible misconduct in three cases discussed during Lucio’s trial.

“The purpose of this order is solely to ensure that the government provides what information it has already gathered and to raise a suggestion of topics that need to be addressed based solely upon what little evidence this court saw during the trial,” the judge stated.

Jurors in Corpus Christi last week acquitted Lucio of charges that in exchange for favors, he paid kickbacks to his former law partner, ex-Cameron County District Attorney Armando R. Villalobos, and former 404th state District Judge Abel C. Limas, the Star reports.

Villalobos, was convicted of racketeering in Brownsville. And Limas has pleaded guilty to racketeering.

Also see:

Brownsville Herald: “Jury acquits Villalobos’ former law partner in corruption case”

ABAJournal.com: “Trial begins for final lawyer charged in judicial bribery scheme; convicted ex-judge is star witness”

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