Committee on Professional Ethics

The Committee on Professional Ethics (CPE) issues advisory opinions to address recurring or emerging ethics issues faced by WSBA members. The advisory opinions cover a broader context and provide members with in-depth guidance on the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) as applied to a wide variety of practice areas. The CPE also plays a key role in the review and suggestion of potential amendments to the RPCs.

The WSBA Board of Governors authorized the creation of the CPE in May 2013 to succeed the former Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) Committee.

New LLLT Amendments to the RPC

The Supreme Court adopted the Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) amendments to the lawyer Rules of Professional Conduct, effective April 14, 2015.  See Supreme Court order. The Court's order also directs WSBA to solicit and gather comments from members on the LLLT amendments. Following the comment period, WSBA will forward members' comments to the Court. The comment period ends November 30, 2015.  Post a comment.

View the unofficial version of the amended RPCs (in pdf booklet form) published by the WSBA on the Ethics page.

New Comment 18 to RPC 1.2

On November 5, 2014, the Washington Supreme Court meeting en banc adopted new Comment [18] to RPC 1.2, effective December 9, 2014. Under the subheading, Special Circumstances Presented by Washington Initiative 502, the comment addresses the ethical conduct of lawyers who wish to counsel and assist clients involved in marijuana-related business enterprises under a state law passed by voters in 2012 which legalized marijuana.

Prior to adoption of the comment, the Court published the suggested amendment for a 60 day public comment period which ended September 6, 2014. 

In January 2014, the Committee issued a report and recommendation to the Board of Governors on Initiative 502.

New Advisory Opinions

Lead Generation Services; Social Media Websites

Two new advisory opinions were issued in late December 2014 by the Committee.

Advisory Opinion 201401 addresses advertising, online lead generation services, and contact with potential client leads.

Advisory Opinion 201402 concerns participation on social media websites and responsibility to ensure content on claimed profiles is accurate and conforms with the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Search for additional ethics opinions on the Ethics Advisory Opinions database.

Committee Meetings

All meetings are held at the WSBA offices in Seattle from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. The next meeting is April 17, 2015.  See Agenda.

  • Oct. 10, 2014
  • Dec. 19, 2014
  • Feb. 27, 2015
  • April 17, 2015
  • June 26, 2015
  • Aug. 28, 2014


Dec. 19, 2014

Oct. 10, 2014

Aug. 22, 2014

June 13, 2014

April 11, 2014

Feb. 21, 2014

Dec. 13, 2013

Oct. 18, 2013

Contact us 

Committee Chair

Mark Fucile

WSBA Staff Liaison

Jeanne Marie Clavere

Ethics Advisory Opinion Search

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