Texan in mental ward still wants to practice law

The Associated PressAssociated Press
Posted: 12/03/2012 11:57:45 AM MST

AUSTIN, Texas—An appeals court is questioning whether a Texas attorney who's a patient at a psychiatric hospital and was found incompetent to stand trial can continue representing a client.

The Austin American-Statesman ( Can attorney committed to state psychiatric hospital still... | www.statesman.com) reported Sunday that Carolyn Barnes has been a patient at Kerrville State Hospital since mid-2011. She's accused of firing a handgun at a census worker outside her Central Texas home.

Barnes' law license remains in good standing. Barnes, who's been fighting her commitment, tells the newspaper if she can practice law, she is competent to be tried.
The 3rd Court of Appeals last week asked a lower court to determine if Barnes can continue representing her client.

A State Bar of Texas spokeswoman says confidentiality rules prevent her from commenting on the Barnes case.
——— Information from: Austin American-Statesman, http://www.statesman.com