Updated: Oct. 26, 2021

Operations During COVID-19 Emergency

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel of the Washington State Bar Association is conducting our business as much as possible through electronic 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 caa@wsba.org. If you are filing a grievance, please use our E-Grievance Form (accessible on our Concerns About a Lawyer page).

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).

Our Authority

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. 

Resource Links
Concerns About a Lawyer
Discipline Notices
Resources for Lawyers
Washington Supreme Court's Rules for Enforcement of Lawyer Conduct (ELC)
Washington Supreme Court's Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC)