Committee on Professional Ethics
The Committee on Professional Ethics (CPE) issues advisory opinions to address recurring or emerging ethics issues facing WSBA members. The advisory opinions cover a broader context and provide in-depth guidance on the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) as applied to a wide variety of practice areas. Advisory opinions issued by the committee are published online.
Bar members can submit a request for an advisory opinion. The request should be directed to the CPE staff liaison or the chair. If the request is taken up by the committee, a lengthy review process generally follows before a final opinion or other recommendation is issued. Those seeking a more immediate response should contact the Bar's Ethics Line.
The committee also plays a key role in reviewing and suggesting potential amendments to the RPC.
On June 2, 2016, the Washington Supreme Court adopted new amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct, effective Sept. 1, 2016. See Supreme Court order.
The amendments were in response to the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 revisions to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. In 2013, the Board of Governors (BOG) requested the CPE review the Ethics 20/20 revisions and make recommendations, if any, to Washington's RPC. In September 2015, the BOG approved the amendments suggested by the CPE. The amendments were forwarded to the Court, which published them for comment.
On Oct. 28, 2016, the CPE adopted Advisory Opinion 201601 regarding the ethical considerations of a Virtual Law Office. Increasing costs of doing business, including the costs associated with physical office space, have motivated lawyers to rethink how they deliver legal services. Read more
Past advisory opinions can be found on the Ethics Advisory Opinions database.
All meetings are held at the WSBA offices at 1325 Fourth Ave., Suite 600, Seattle. Meetings are held from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
For past minutes, see archives.
Contact the staff liaison or the committee chair to submit an ethics inquiry or for further information.
For public comments regarding the committee's ongoing work, please submit comments to WSBACPE@wsba.org
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