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 may request an advisory opinion from the CPE by submitting a request to the 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. The amendments were in response to the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 revisions to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. See Supreme Court order.
In 2013, at the request of the Board of Governors (BOG), the CPE reviewed the Ethics 20/20 revisions. The BOG approved the committee's recommendations in September 2015, and the Court published the suggested rule amendments in November 2015 for a six-month comment period.
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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