Lawyers in the state of Texas say they have a duty to protect the rights of the state’s black population when they file a lawsuit.
The lawyers say they are concerned by the rise in civil rights lawsuits against them and the recent decision by the state Supreme Court to bar the state from requiring them to prove that the defendants are actually black.
They say they feel intimidated when they speak up about race, and feel that they can be fired if they don’t agree to their clients’ demands.
The Black Lawyers Association of Texas (BLAST) is calling on state attorneys general to ban the practice of blacklisting lawyers, and to require them to be compensated for their work.
BLAST has filed a lawsuit against the state Attorney General in response to the court’s decision, saying the practice violates the federal Fair Housing Act.
The lawyers said in a statement that blacklisting is not legal and violates the Fair Housing act.
They said they had been “blacklisted” by the State Bar of Texas since December 2014, after an investigation found that the office had “deceptively created” an image of them.
The group is also asking the attorney general to make it clear that any attorney who is a member of the Black Lawyers of Texas Association is entitled to compensation for the work they do.BLAST President and CEO Lillian Dillard said in the statement that it is not a black issue and that it would not be acceptable to “blacklist” Black attorneys.BLACK LAWLAW LEGAL SERVICES GROUP (BLALS) is a state-level advocacy group for black lawyers.BLALS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organisation that works to ensure that all Texas lawyers are eligible for state-funded attorney representation and training.BLALS is based in Dallas, Texas.