Operations During COVID-19 Emergency
The Washington State Bar Association's physical office is closed to the public. The Office of Disciplinary Counsel is continuing its work through online communications. Please communicate with us by sending messages and required information to the email address of the assigned disciplinary counsel on the matter. If there is not an assigned disciplinary counsel or you do not have disciplinary counsel’s email address, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are filing a grievance, please use our E-Grievance Form (accessible on our Concerns About a Lawyer page). Responses to mailed grievances will be delayed. We will update this information as soon as WSBA onsite processes resume.
Trust Accounts: Frequently Asked Questions during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Disciplinary and disability proceedings. The Washington Supreme Court and the Chief Hearing Officer and Disciplinary Board Chair have entered orders regarding modified procedures during the pendency of the COVID-19 public health emergency for matters in the licensed legal professional discipline and disability system. Read the Court Order and Revised and Extended Administrative Order (revised and extended May 5, 2020).
Learn About the Discipline System
The Washington Supreme Court has exclusive responsibility for the lawyer discipline and disability system in Washington. Under the Washington Supreme Court's Rules for Enforcement of Lawyer Conduct, the Supreme Court delegates regulatory authority to the Washington State Bar Association's Office of Disciplinary Counsel, the Disciplinary Board, and hearing officers. Ethics rules adopted by the Washington Supreme Court are the Rules of Professional Conduct. For information on discipline for limited practice officers and limited license legal technicians, see the 2019 Discipline System Annual Report.
Structure of the Washington Lawyer Discipline System
Washington Supreme Court: Has exclusive authority over the entire system, conducts appellate review, and orders all suspensions and disbarments, interim suspensions, and reciprocal discipline.
Disciplinary Board: Reviews disciplinary recommendations and dismissals, reviews hearing records and stipulations, and is appointed by the Washington Supreme Court.
Hearing Officers: Conduct public disciplinary hearings and other proceedings and are appointed by the Washington Supreme Court.
Office of Disciplinary Counsel: Receives, reviews, and may investigate grievances; recommends disciplinary action or dismissal; presents cases at hearings.
Information and statistics about the legal discipline system