Updated: June 3, 2019

Professional Responsibility Program

The Professional Responsibility Program is dedicated to helping WSBA members fulfill their ethical obligations under the Rules of Professional Conduct. The program is staffed by the WSBA Professional Responsibility Counsel who answers inquiries from members received on the Ethics Line, speaks at CLE presentations, and staffs the Committee on Professional Ethics which issues advisory opinions and makes recommendations on amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct.

The program is also assisted by two staff attorneys, two paralegals, and support staff. The Ethics Line does not handle lawyer discipline, attorney-client disputes, or provide guidance on rules other than the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Ethics Line

Ethics FAQs (answers to frequently asked ethical questions)

Advisory Opinions

Rules of Professional Conduct:

Committee on Professional Ethics

Other Resources

Managing Your IOLTA

Practice Management Assistance Program

Recent Advisory Opinions

Advisory Opinion 201803 concerns communication with represented government employee.

Advisory Opinion 201802 addresses client confidentiality in the context of quadripartite and tripartite relationships.

Advisory Opinion 201801 discusses the ethical duties of lawyers moving from firm to firm.

Advisory Opinion 201701 concerns the disclosure of confidential client information in a motion to withdraw before Washington's Superior Court.

More advisory opinions can be found on the Advisory Opinions database. Another source of ethics information are the ethics articles featured in the NWLawyer bar publication and in NWSidebar, WSBA's blog.

Recent Amendments to the Lawyer Rules of Professional Conduct

Amendments effective June 4, 2019:

RPC 1.0B, RPC 1.17, RPC 4.3, RPC 5.8, RPC 8.1.  See Supreme Court Order 25700-A-1258.

Amendments effective Nov. 20, 2018:

  • RPC 1.12, Comment 1 ( CJC citation updated to current rule)

Amendments effective on Sept. 25, 2018

Amendments effective on Sept. 1, 2018

The Bar has assembled an unofficial version of the lawyer Rules of Professional Conduct as amended through June 4, 2019. Download the pdf or contact questions@wsba.org to purchase a printed bound copy. (Note: the difference between the Sept. 25, 2018 edition and the Nov. 20, 2018 edition are two updated CJC citations in RPC 1.12, Cmt 1.)