The committee considers written materials only. You cannot talk to the committee members or attend the meetings. You should submit important information in writing before the deadline. Review Committees can order hearings or admonitions; they also review dismissals, cost orders, and protective orders and disputes about withholding the lawyer's response from the grievant. Review committees issue written orders that are mailed to grievants and respondents.
This means a public hearing process will begin. A written Complaint is filed and the lawyer files a written Answer. A Hearing Officer will set a hearing date, usually several months after the process begins. Grievants do not need to take further action unless contacted. Records are public, unless a protective order is issued. Stipulations, or agreed resolutions, are possible at any point in the process.
Review committee dismissal is the last action on a grievance. Review committees may dismiss the grievance and send an advisory letter to the lawyer. The Grievant does not receive a copy of the advisory letter. There is no appeal from a review committee dismissal. Dismissed grievances and materials are not public.
An Admonition is a disciplinary action. The Admonition is initially sent only to the respondent lawyer. The respondent may accept the Admonition, ending the matter; or protest the Admonition, starting the public hearing process. Accepted Admonitions are public and will be sent to the grievant. With a few exceptions, Admonitions issued before January 1, 2014 remain on a lawyer's discipline record for five years, and are then usually destroyed. Admonitions issued on or after January 1, 2014 are a permanent part of the lawyer's record. Protested Admonitions are not public and will not be sent to the grievant.
This protects the pages listed from public disclosure. Court rules require us to redact "personal identifier" information even without a protective order.
Disciplinary Counsel will be conducting additional investigation on this grievance. Disciplinary Counsel may contact grievants, respondents, or other witnesses as necessary. This grievance will be submitted to another review committee after further investigation.
© 2014 Washington State Bar Association, all rights reserved.