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 email@example.com. 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).
Acting under delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) is the department of the Bar Association responsible for reviewing, investigating and prosecuting grievances about the ethical conduct of Washington lawyers.
After a confidential investigation, if disciplinary counsel believes there is evidence of an ethical violation or a lawyer's disability, disciplinary counsel may refer a matter to a review committee of the Disciplinary Board. Among other things, a review committee may dismiss the matter, order further investigation, or order a hearing. Disciplinary counsel may divert less serious matters to rehabilitative programs.
Disciplinary hearings are public. Volunteer hearing officers appointed by the Washington Supreme Court conduct the hearings. The Disciplinary Board considers appeals from hearing officer decisions. Disciplinary actions include admonition, reprimand, suspension up to three years, disbarment, probation, and restitution. The Disciplinary Board and the Washington Supreme Court review all cases involving suspension or disbarment.
Concerns About a Lawyer
Resources for Lawyers
Washington Supreme Court's Rules for Enforcement of Lawyer Conduct (ELC)
Washington Supreme Court's Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC)