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A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.
- (a) Subject to paragraphs (c) and (d), a lawyer shall abide by a client's decisions concerning the objectives of representation and, as required by Rule 1.4, shall consult with the client as to the means by which they are to be pursued. A lawyer may take such action on behalf of the client as is impliedly authorized to carry out the representation. A lawyer shall abide by a client's
- decision whether to settle a matter. In a criminal case, the lawyer shall abide by the client's decision, after consultation with the lawyer, as to a plea to be entered, whether to waive jury trial and whether the client will testify.
(b) A lawyer's representation of a client, including representation by appointment, does not constitute an endorsement of the client's political, economic, social or moral views or activities.
(c) A lawyer may limit the scope of the representation if the limitation is reasonable under the circumstances and the client gives informed consent.
(d) A lawyer shall not counsel a client to engage, or assist a client, in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent, but a lawyer may discuss the legal consequences of any proposed course of conduct with a client and may counsel or assist a client to make a good faith effort to determine the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law.
- (f) A lawyer shall not purport to act as a lawyer for any person or organization if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the lawyer is acting without the authority of that person or organization, unless the lawyer
- is authorized or required to so act by law or a court order.
A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.
(a) A lawyer shall;
(1) promptly inform the client of any decision of circumstance with respect to which the client's informed consent, as defined in Rule 1.0(e), is required by these Rules;
(2) reasonably consult with the client about the means by which the client's objectives are to be accomplished;
(3) keep the client reasonably informed about the status of the matter;
(4) promptly comply with reasonable requests for information; and
(5) consult with the client about any relevant limitation on the lawyer's conduct when the lawyer knows that the client expects assistance not permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.
(b) A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation.
(a) A lawyer shall not make an agreement for, charge, or collect an unreasonable fee or an unreasonable amount for expenses. The factors to be considered in determining the reasonableness of a fee include the following:
(1) the time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly;
(2) the likelihood, if apparent to the client, that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the lawyer;
(3) the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services;
(4) the amount involved and the results obtained;
(5) the time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances;
(6) the nature and length of the professional relationship with the client;
(7) the experience, reputation, and ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the services;
(8) whether the fee is fixed or contingent; and
- (9) the terms of the fee agreement between the lawyer and the client, including whether the fee agreement or confirming writing demonstrates that the
- client had received a reasonable and fair disclosure of material elements of the fee agreement and of the lawyer's billing practices.
- (b) The scope of the representation and the basis or rate of the fee and expenses for which the client will be responsible shall be communicated to the client, preferably in writing, before or within a reasonable time after commencing the representation except when the lawyer will charge a regularly represented client on the same basis or rate. Any changes in the basis or rate
- of the fee or expenses shall also be communicated to the client. Upon the request of the client in any matter, the lawyer shall communicate to the client in writing the basis or rate of the fee.
(c) A fee may be contingent on the outcome of the matter for which the service is rendered, except in a matter in which a contingent fee is prohibited by paragraph (d) or other law. If a fee is contingent on the outcome of a matter, a lawyer shall comply with the following
(1) A contingent fee agreement shall be in a writing and signed by the client;
- (2) A contingent fee agreement shall state the method by which the fee is to be determined, including the percentage or percentages that shall accrue to
- the lawyer in the event of settlement, trial or appeal; litigation and other expenses to be deducted from the recovery; and whether such expenses are to be
- deducted before or after the contingent fee is calculated. The agreement must clearly notify the client of any expenses for which the client will be liable, whether or not the client is the prevailing party;
(3) Upon conclusion of a contingent fee matter, the lawyer shall provide the client with a written statement stating the outcome of the matter and, if there is a recovery, showing the remittance to the client and the method of its determination; and
(4) A contingent fee consisting of a percentage of the monetary amount recovered for a claimant, in which all or part of the recovery is to be paid in the future, shall be paid only
(i) by applying the percentage to the amounts recovered as they are received by the client; or
(ii) by applying the percentage to the actual cost of the settlement or award to the defendant.
(d) A lawyer shall not enter into an arrangement for, charge, or collect:
- (1) any fee in a domestic relations matter, the payment or amount of which is contingent upon the securing of a dissolution or annulment of marriage or upon the amount of maintenance or support, or property settlement in lieu
- thereof; or
(2) a contingent fee for representing a defendant in a criminal case.
(e) A division of a fee between lawyers who are not in the same firm may be made only if:
(1) (i) the division is in proportion to the services provided by each lawyer or each lawyer assumes joint responsibility for the representation;
(ii) the client agrees to the arrangement, including the share each lawyer will receive, and the agreement is confirmed in writing; and
(iii) the total fee is reasonable; or
- (2) the division is between the lawyer and a duly authorized lawyer referral service of either the Washington State Bar Association or of one of the
- county bar associations of this state.
(f) Fees and expenses paid in advance of performance of services shall comply with Rule 1.15A, subject to the following exceptions:
(1) A lawyer may charge a retainer, which is a fee that a client pays to a lawyer to be available to the client during a specified period or on a specified matter, in addition to and apart from any compensation for legal services performed. A retainer must be agreed to in a writing signed by the client. Unless otherwise agreed, a retainer is the lawyer's property on receipt and shall not be placed in the lawyer's trust account.
- (2) A lawyer may charge a flat fee for specified legal services, which constitutes complete payment for those services and is paid in whole or in part in advance of the lawyer providing the services. If agreed to in advance in a writing signed by the client, a flat fee is the lawyer's
- property on receipt, in which case the fee shall not be deposited into a trust account under Rule 1.15A. The written fee agreement shall, in a manner that can easily be understood by the client, include the following: (i) the
- scope of the services to be provided; (ii) the total amount of the fee and the terms of payment; (iii) that the fee is the lawyer's property immediately on receipt and will not be placed into a trust account; (iv) that the fee agreement does not alter the client's right to terminate the
- client-lawyer relationship; and (v) that the client may be entitled to a refund of a portion of the fee if the agreed-upon legal services have not been completed. A statement in substantially the following form satisfies this requirement:
- [Lawyer/law firm] agrees to provide, for a flat fee of
- $__________, the following services: _____________________________________. The flat fee shall be paid as follows: ____________________________. Upon [lawyer's/law
- firm's] receipt of all or any portion of the flat fee, the funds are the property of [lawyer/law firm] and will not be placed in a trust account. The fact that you have paid your fee in advance does not affect your right to terminate the client-lawyer relationship.
- In the event our relationship is terminated before the agreed-upon legal services have been completed, you may or may not have a right to a refund of a portion of the fee.
(3) In the event of a dispute relating to a fee under paragraph (f)(1) or (f)(2) of this Rule, the lawyer shall take reasonable and prompt action to resolve the dispute.
(a) A lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent, the disclosure is impliedly authorized in order to carry out the representation or the disclosure is permitted by paragraph (b).
(b) A lawyer to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary:
(1) shall reveal information relating to the representation of a client to prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm;
(2) may reveal information relating to the representation of a client to prevent the client from committing a crime;
(3) may reveal information relating to the representation of a client to prevent, mitigate or rectify substantial injury to the financial interests or property of another that is reasonably certain to result or has resulted from the client's commission of a crime or fraud in furtherance of which the client has used the lawyer's services;
(4) may reveal information relating to the representation of a client to secure legal advice about the lawyer's compliance with these Rules;
(5) may reveal information relating to the representation of a client to establish a claim or defense on behalf of the lawyer in a controversy between the lawyer and the client, to establish a defense to a criminal charge or civil claim against the lawyer based upon conduct in which the client was involved, or to respond to allegations in any proceeding concerning the lawyer's representation of the client;
(6) may reveal information relating to the representation of a client to comply with a court order; or
- (7) may reveal information relating to the representation of a client to inform a tribunal about any breach of fiduciary responsibility when the client is serving as a court appointed fiduciary such as a guardian, personal
- representative, or receiver.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation involves a concurrent conflict of interest. A concurrent conflict of interest exists if:
(1) the representation of one client will be directly adverse to another client; or
(2) there is a significant risk that the representation of one or more clients will be materially limited by the lawyer's responsibilities to another client, a former client or a third person or by a personal interest of the lawyer.
(b) Notwithstanding the existence of a concurrent conflict of interest under paragraph (a), a lawyer may represent a client if:
(1) the lawyer reasonably believes that the lawyer will be able to provide competent and diligent representation to each affected client;
(2) the representation is not prohibited by law;
(3) the representation does not involve the assertion of a claim by one client against another client represented by the lawyer in the same litigation or other proceeding before a tribunal; and
(4) each affected client gives informed consent, confirmed in writing (following authorization from the other client to make any required disclosures).
(a) A lawyer shall not enter into a business transaction with a client or knowingly acquire an ownership, possessory, security or other pecuniary interest adverse to a client unless:
(1) the transaction and terms on which the lawyer acquires the interest are fair and reasonable to the client and are fully disclosed and transmitted in writing in a manner that can be reasonably understood by the client;
(2) the client is advised in writing of the desirability of seeking and is given a reasonable opportunity to seek the advice of independent legal counsel on the transaction; and
(3) the client gives informed consent, in a writing signed by the client, to the essential terms of the transaction and the lawyer's role in the transaction, including whether the lawyer is representing the client in the transaction.
(b) A lawyer shall not use information relating to representation of a client to the disadvantage of the client unless the client gives informed consent, expect as permitted or required by these Rules.
- (c) A lawyer shall not solicit any substantial gift from a client, including a testamentary gift, or prepare on behalf of the client an instrument giving the lawyer or a person related to the lawyer any substantial gift unless the lawyer or other recipient of the gift is related to the client. For purposes of
- this paragraph, related persons include spouse, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent or other relative or individual with who the lawyer or the client maintains a close, familial relationship.
- (d) Prior to the conclusion of representation of a client, a lawyer shall not make or negotiate an agreement giving the lawyer literary or media rights to a portrayal or account based in substantial part on information relating to the
(e) A lawyer shall not, while representing a client in connection with contemplated or pending litigation, advance or guarantee financial assistance to a client, except that:
(1) a lawyer may advance or guarantee the expenses of litigation, including court costs, expenses of investigation, expenses of medical examination, and costs of obtaining and presenting evidence, provided the client remains ultimately liable for such expenses; and
(2) in matters maintained as class actions only, repayment of expenses of litigation may be contingent on the outcome of the matter.
(f) A lawyer shall not accept compensation for representing a client from one other than the client unless:
(1) the client gives informed consent;
(2) there is no interference with the lawyer's independence of professional judgment or with the client-lawyer relationship; and
(3) information relating to representation of a client is protected as required by Rule 1.6.
(g) A lawyer who represents two or more clients shall not participate in making an aggregate settlement of the claims of or against the clients, or in a criminal case an aggregated agreement as to guilty or nolo contendere pleas, unless each client gives informed consent, confirmed in writing. The lawyer's disclosure shall include the existence and nature of all the claims or pleas involved and the participation of each person in the settlement.
(h) A lawyer shall not:
(1) make an agreement prospectively limiting the lawyer's liability to a client for malpractice unless permitted by law and the client is independently represented in making the agreement; or
- (2) settle a claim or potential claim for such liability with an
- unrepresented client or former client unless that person is advised in writing of the desirability of seeking and is given a reasonable opportunity to seek the advice of independent legal counsel in connection therewith.
(i) A lawyer shall not acquire a proprietary interest in the cause of action or subject matter of litigation the lawyer is conducting for a client, except that the lawyer may:
(1) acquire a lien authorized by law to secure the lawyer's fee or expenses; and
(2) contract with a client for a reasonable contingent fee in a civil case.
(j) A lawyer shall not:
(1) have sexual relations with a current client of the lawyer unless a consensual sexual relationship existed between them at the time the client- lawyer relationship commenced; or
(2) have sexual relations with a representative of a current client if the sexual relations would, or would likely, damage or prejudice the client in the representation.
(3) For purposes of Rule 1.8(j), "lawyer" means any lawyer who assists in the representation of the client, but does not include other firm members who provide no such assistance.
(k) While lawyers are associated in a firm, a prohibition in the foregoing paragraphs (a) through (i) that applies to anyone of them shall apply to all of them.
(l) A lawyer who is related to another lawyer as parent, child, sibling, or spouse, or who has any other close familial or intimate relationship with another lawyer, shall not represent a client in a matter directly adverse to a person who the lawyer knows is represented by the related lawyer unless:
(1) the client gives informed consent to the representation; and
(2) the representation is not otherwise prohibited by Rule 1.7
(m) A lawyer shall not:
(1) make or participate in making an agreement with a governmental entity for the delivery of indigent defense services if the terms of the agreement obligate the contracting lawyer or law firm:
(i) to bear the cost of providing conflict counsel; or
(ii) to bear the cost of providing investigation or expert services, unless a fair and reasonable amount for such costs is specifically designated in the agreement in a manner that does not adversely affect the income or compensation allocated to the lawyer, law firm, or law firm personnel; or
(2) knowingly accept compensation for the delivery of indigent defense services from a lawyer who has entered into a current agreement in violation of paragraph (m)(1).
(a) A lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter represent another person in the same or a substantially related matter in which that person's interests are materially adverse to the interests of the former client unless the former client gives informed consent, confirmed in writing.
(b) A lawyer shall not knowingly represent a person in the same or a substantially related matter in which a firm with which the lawyer formerly was associated had previously represented a client
(1) whose interests are materially adverse to that person; and
(2) about whom that lawyer had acquired information protected by Rules 1.6 and 1.9(c) that is material to the matter; unless the former client gives informed consent, confirmed in writing.
(c) A lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter or whose present or former firm has formerly represented a client in a matter shall not thereafter:
(1) use information relating to the representation to the disadvantage of the former client except as these Rules would permit or require with respect to a client, or when the information has become generally known; or
(2) reveal information relating to the representation except as these Rules would permit or require with respect to a client.
- (a) Except as provided in paragraph (e), while lawyers are associated in a firm, none of them shall knowingly represent a client when any one of them practicing alone would be prohibited from doing so by Rules 1.7 or 1.9, unless
- the prohibition is based on a personal interest of the disqualified lawyer and does not present a significant risk of materially limiting the representation of the client by the remaining lawyers in the firm.
(b) When a lawyer has terminated an association with a firm, the firm is not prohibited from thereafter representing a person with interests materially adverse to those of a client represented by the formerly associated lawyer and not currently represented by the firm, unless:
- (1) the matter is the same or substantially related to that in which the formerly associated lawyer represented the client; and
- (2) any lawyer remaining in the firm has information protected by Rules 1.6 and 1.9(c) that is material to the matter.
(c) A disqualification prescribed by this rule may be waived by the affected client under the conditions stated in Rule 1.7.
(d) The disqualification of lawyers associated in a firm with former or current government lawyers is governed by Rule 1.11.
(e) When the prohibition on representation under paragraph (a) is based on Rule 1.9(a) or (b), and arises out of the disqualified lawyer's association with a prior firm, no other lawyer in the firm shall knowingly represent a person in a matter in which that lawyer is disqualified unless:
(1) the personally disqualified lawyer is screened by effective means from participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom;
(2) the former client of the personally disqualified lawyer receives notice of the conflict and the screening mechanism used to prohibit dissemination of information relating to the former representation;
(3) the firm is able to demonstrate by convincing evidence that no material information relating to the former representation was transmitted by the personally disqualified lawyer before implementation of the screening mechanism and notice to the former client.
- Any presumption that information protected by Rules 1.6 and 1.9(c) has been or will be transmitted may be rebutted if the personally disqualified lawyer serves on his or her former law firm and former client an affidavit attesting that the personally disqualified lawyer will not participate in the matter and will not discuss the matter or the representation with any other lawyer or employee of his or her current law firm, and attesting that during the period of the lawyer's personal disqualification those lawyers or employees who do
- participate in the matter will be apprised that the personally disqualified lawyer is screened from participating in or discussing the matter. Such affidavit shall describe the procedures being used effectively to screen the personally disqualified lawyer. Upon request of the former client, such
- affidavit shall be updated periodically to show actual compliance with the screening procedures. The law firm, the personally disqualified lawyer, or the former client may seek judicial review in a court of general jurisdiction of the screening mechanism used, or may seek court supervision to ensure that implementation of the screening procedures has occurred and that effective actual compliance has been achieved.
(a) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer who has formerly served as a public officer or employees of the government:
(1) is subject to Rule 1.9(c); and
(2) shall not otherwise represent a client in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a public officer or employee, unless the appropriate government agency gives its informed consent, confirmed in writing, to the representation.
(b) When a lawyer is disqualified from representation under paragraph (a), no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in such a matter unless:
(1) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and
(2) written notice is promptly given to the appropriate government agency to enable it to ascertain compliance with the provisions of this Rule.
- (c) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer having information that the lawyer knows is confidential government information about a person acquired when the lawyer was a public officer or employee, may not represent a private client whose interests are adverse to that person in a matter in which the information could be used to the material disadvantage of that person. As used in this Rule the term "confidential government information" means information that has been obtained under governmental authority and which, at the time this Rule is applied, the
- government is prohibited by law from disclosing to the public or has a legal privilege not to disclose and which is not otherwise available to the public. A firm with which that lawyer is associated may undertake or continue representation in the matter only if the disqualified lawyer is
- timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom.
(d) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer currently serving as a public officer or employee:
(1) is subject to Rules 1.7 and 1.9; and
(2) shall not:
- (i) participate in a matter in which the lawyer participated
- personally and substantially while in private practice or nongovernmental employment, unless the appropriate government agency gives its informed consent, confirmed writing; or
- (ii) negotiate for private employment with any person who is
- involved as a party or as lawyer for a party in a matter in which the lawyer is participating personally and substantially, except that a lawyer serving as a law clerk to a judge, other adjudicative officer or arbitrator may negotiate for private employment as permitted by Rule 1.12(b) and subject to the conditions stated in Rule 1.12(b).
- (e) As used in this Rule, the term "matter" includes:
(1) any judicial or other proceeding, application, request for a ruling or other determination, contract, claim, controversy, investigation, charge, accusation, arrest or other particular matter involving a specific party or parties; and
(2) any other matter covered by the conflict of interest rules of the appropriate government agency.
(a) Except as stated in paragraph (d), a lawyer shall not represent anyone in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a judge or other adjudicative officer or law clerk to such a person or as an arbitrator, mediator or oher third- party neutral, unless all parties to the proceeding give informed consent confirmed in writing.
(b) A lawyer shall not negotiate for employment with any person who is involved as a party or as lawyer for a party in a matter in which the lawyer is participating personally and substantially as a judge or other adjudicative officer or as an arbitrator, mediator or other third-party neutral. A lawyer serving as a law clerk to a judge, other adjudicative officer may negotiate for employment with a party or lawyer involved in a matter in which the clerk is participating personally and substantially, but only after the lawyer has notified the judge or other adjudicative officer.
(c) If a lawyer is disqualified by paragraph (a), no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in the matter unless:
(1) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and
- (2) written notice is promptly given to the parties and any
- appropriate tribunal to enable them to ascertain compliance with the provisions of this Rule.
(d) An arbitrator selected as a partisan of a party in a multimember arbitration panel is not prohibited from subsequently representing that party.
(a) A lawyer employed or retained by an organization represents the organization acting through its duly authorized constituents.
- (b) If a lawyer for an organization knows that an officer, employee or other person associated with the organization is engaged in action, intends to act or refuses to act in a matter related to the representation that is a violation of a legal obligation to the organization, or a violation of law that reasonably might be imputed to the organization, and that is
- likely to result in substantial injury to the organization, then the lawyer shall proceed as is reasonably necessary in the best interest of the organization. Unless the lawyer reasonably believes that it is not necessary in the best interest of the organization to do so, the lawyer shall refer the matter to higher authority in the organization, including, if warranted by the circumstances, to the highest authority that can act on
- behalf of the organization as determined by applicable law.
(c) Except as provided in paragraph (d), if
- (1) despite the lawyer's efforts in accordance with paragraph (b) the highest authority that can act on behalf of the organization insists upon or fails to address in a timely and appropriate manner an action, or a refusal to act, that is clearly a violation of law, and
- (2) the lawyer reasonably believes that the violation is reasonably certain to result in substantial injury to the organization, then the lawyer may reveal information relating to the representation whether or not Rule 1.6 permits such disclosure, but only if and to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary to prevent substantial injury to the organization.
- (d) Paragraph (c) shall not apply with respect to information relating to a lawyer's representation of an organization to investigate an alleged violation of law, or to defend the organization or an officer, employee or other constituent associated with the organization against a claim arising
- out of an alleged violation of law.
(e) A lawyer who reasonably believes that he or she has been discharged because of the lawyer's actions taken pursuant to paragraphs (b) and (c), or who withdraws under circumstances that require or permit the lawyer to take action under either of those paragraphs, shall proceed as the lawyer reasonably believes necessary to assure that the organization's highest authority is informed of the lawyer's discharge or withdrawal.
(f) In dealing with an organization's directors, officers, employees, members, shareholders or other constituents, a lawyer shall explain the identity of the client when the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the organization's interests are adverse to those of the constituents with whom the lawyer is dealing.
- (g) A lawyer representing an organization may also represent any of its directors, officers, employees, members, shareholders or other constituents, subject to the provisions of Rule 1.7. If the organization's consent to the dual representation is required by Rule 1.7, the consent shall be given by an appropriate official of the organization other than
- the individual who is to be represented, or by the shareholders.
- (h) For purposes of this Rule, when a lawyer who is not a public officer or employee represents a discrete governmental agency or unit that is part of a broader governmental entity, the lawyer's client is the particular
- governmental agency or unit represented, and not the broader governmental entity of which the agency or unit is a part, unless:
(1) otherwise provided in a written agreement between the lawyer and the governmental agency or unit; or
(2) the broader governmental entity gives the lawyer timely written notice to the contrary, in which case the client shall be designated by such entity. Notice under this subsection shall be given by the person designated by law as the chief legal officer of the broader governmental entity, or in the absence of such designation, by the chief executive officer of the entity.
(a) When a client's capacity to make adequately considered decisions in connection with a representation is diminished, whether because of minority, mental impairment or for some other reason, the lawyer shall, as far as reasonably possible, maintain a normal client-lawyer relationship with the client.
- (b) When the lawyer reasonably believes that the client has diminished capacity, is at risk of substantial physical, financial or other harm unless action is taken and cannot adequately act in the client's own interest, the lawyer may take reasonably necessary protective action, including consulting with individuals or entities that have the ability to take action to protect the client and, in appropriate cases, seeking the
- appointment of a guardian ad litem, conservator or guardian.
- (c) Information relating to the representation of a client with
- diminished capacity is protected by Rule 1.6. When taking protective action pursuant to paragraph (b), the lawyer is impliedly authorized under Rule 1.6(a) to reveal information about the client, but only to the extent reasonably necessary to protect the client's interests.
- (a) This Rule applies to (1) property of clients or third persons in a lawyer's possession in connection with a representation and (2) escrow and other funds held by a lawyer incident to the closing of any real estate or
- personal property transaction. Additionally, for all transactions in which a lawyer has selected, prepared, or completed legal documents for use in the closing of any real estate or personal property transaction, the lawyer must ensure that all funds received or held by the Closing Firm incidental to the closing of the transaction, including advances for costs and expenses, are held and maintained as set forth in this rule or LPORPC 1.12A. The lawyer's duty to ensure that all funds received or held by the Closing Firm incidental to the closing of the transaction are held and maintained as set forth in this rule or
- LPORPC 1.12A shall not apply to a lawyer when that lawyer's participation in the matter is incidental to the closing and (i) the lawyer or lawyer's law firm
- has a preexisting client-lawyer relationship with a buyer or seller in the transaction, and (ii) neither the lawyer nor the lawyer's law firm has an existing client-lawyer relationship with the Closing Firm or an LPO
- participating in the closing.
(b) A lawyer must not use, convert, borrow or pledge client or third person property for the lawyer's own use.
(c) A lawyer must hold property of clients and third persons separate from the lawyer's own property.
(1) A lawyer must deposit and hold in a trust account funds subject to this Rule pursuant to paragraph (h) of this Rule.
(2) Except as provided in Rule 1.5(f), and subject to the requirements of paragraph (h) of this Rule, a lawyer shall deposit into a trust account legal fees and expenses that have been paid in advance, to be withdrawn by the lawyer only as fees are earned or expenses incurred.
- (3) A lawyer must identify, label and appropriately safeguard any property of clients or third persons other than funds. The lawyer must keep records of such
- property that identify the property, the client or third person, the date of receipt and the location of safekeeping. The lawyer must preserve the records
- for seven years after return of the property.
(d) A lawyer must promptly notify a client or third person of receipt of the client or third person's property.
- (e) A lawyer must promptly provide a written accounting to a client or third person after distribution of property or upon request. A lawyer must provide at least annually a written accounting to a client or third person for whom the
- lawyer is holding funds.
(f) Except as stated in this Rule, a lawyer must promptly pay or deliver to the client or third person the property which the client or third person is entitled to receive.
(g) If a lawyer possesses property in which two or more persons (one of which may be the lawyer) claim interests, the lawyer must maintain the property in trust until the dispute is resolved. The lawyer must promptly distribute all undisputed portions of the property. The lawyer must take reasonable action to resolve the dispute, including, when appropriate, interpleading the disputed funds.
(h) A lawyer must comply with the following for all trust accounts:
(1) No funds belonging to the lawyer may be deposited or retained in a trust account except as follows:
(i) funds to pay bank charges, but only in an amount reasonably sufficient for that purpose;
- (ii) funds belonging in part to a client or third person and in part presently or potentially to the lawyer must be deposited and retained in a trust account, but any
- portion belonging to the lawyer must be withdrawn at the earliest reasonable time; or
(iii) funds necessary to restore appropriate balances.
(2) A lawyer must keep complete records as required by Rule 1.15B.
(3) A lawyer may withdraw funds when necessary to pay client costs. The lawyer may withdraw earned fees only after giving reasonable notice to the client of the intent to do so, through a billing statement or other document.
(4) Receipts must be deposited intact.
(5) All withdrawals must be made only to a named payee and not to cash. Withdrawals must be made by check or by bank transfer.
- (6) Trust account records must be reconciled as often as bank statements are generated or at least quarterly. The lawyer must reconcile the check register balance to the bank statement balance and reconcile the check register
- balance to the combined total of all client ledger records required by Rule 1.15B(a)(2).
- (7) A lawyer must not disburse funds from a trust account until deposits have cleared the banking process and been collected, unless the lawyer and the bank have a written agreement by which the lawyer personally guarantees
- all deposits to the account without recourse to the trust account.
(8) Disbursements on behalf of a client or third person may not exceed the funds of that person on deposit. The funds of a client or third person must not be used on behalf of anyone else.
(9) Only a lawyer admitted to practice law may be an authorized signatory on the account.
- (i) Trust accounts must be interest-bearing and allow withdrawals or transfers without any delay other than notice periods that are required by law or
- regulation and meet the requirements of ELC 15.7(d) and ELC 15.7(e). In the exercise of ordinary prudence, a lawyer may select any financial institution
- authorized by the Legal Foundation of Washington (Legal Foundation) under ELC 15.7(c). In selecting the type of trust account for the purpose of depositing and holding funds subject to this Rule, a lawyer shall apply the following criteria:
(1) When client or third-person funds will not produce a positive net return to the client or third person because the funds are nominal in amount or expected to be held for a short period of time the funds must be placed in a pooled interest-bearing trust account known as an Interest on Lawyer's Trust Account or IOLTA. The interest earned on IOLTA accounts shall be paid to, and the IOLTA program shall be administered by, the Legal Foundation of Washington in accordance with ELC 15.4 and ELC 15.7(e).
- (2) Client or third-person funds that will produce a positive net return to the client or third person must be placed in one of the following two types of non-IOLTA trust accounts unless the client or third person requests
- that the funds be deposited in an IOLTA account:
(i) a separate interest-bearing trust account for the particular client or third person with earned interest paid to the client or third person; or
(ii) a pooled interest-bearing trust account with sub-accounting that allows for computation of interest earned by each client or third person's funds with the interest paid to the appropriate client or third person.
(3) In determining whether to use the account specified in paragraph (i)(1) or an account specified in paragraph (i)(2), a lawyer must consider only whether the funds will produce a positive net return to the client or third person, as determined by the following factors:
(i) the amount of interest the funds would earn based on the current rate of interest and the expected period of deposit;
(ii) the cost of establishing and administering the account, including the cost of the lawyer's services and the cost of preparing any tax reports required for interest accruing to a client or third person's benefit; and
(iii) the capability of financial institutions to calculate and pay interest to individual clients or third persons if the account in paragraph (i)(2)(ii) is used.
The provisions of paragraph (i) do not relieve a lawyer or law firm from any obligation imposed by these Rules.
(a) A lawyer must maintain current trust account records. They may be in electronic or manual form and must be retained for at least seven years after the events they record. At minimum, the records must include the following:
(1) Checkbook register or equivalent for each trust account, including entries for all receipts, disbursements, and transfers, and containing at least:
(i) identification of the client matter for which trust funds were received, disbursed, or transferred;
(ii) the date on which trust funds were received, disbursed, or transferred;
(iii) the check number for each disbursement;
(iv) the payor or payee for or from which trust funds were received, disbursed, or transferred; and
(v) the new trust account balance after each receipt, disbursement, or transfer;
(2) Individual client ledger records containing either a separate page for each client or an equivalent electronic record showing all individual receipts, disbursements, or transfers, and also containing:
(i) identification of the purpose for which trust funds were received, disbursed, or transferred;
(ii) the date on which trust funds were received, disbursed or transferred;
(iii) the check number for each disbursement;
(iv) the payor or payee for or from which trust funds were received, disbursed, or transferred; and
(v) the new client fund balance after each receipt, disbursement, or transfer;
(3) Copies of any agreements pertaining to fees and costs;
(4) Copies of any statements or accountings to clients or third parties showing the disbursement of funds to them or on their behalf;
(5) Copies of bills for legal fees and expenses rendered to clients;
(6) Copies of invoices, bills or other documents supporting all disbursements or transfers from the trust account;
(7) Bank statements, copies of deposit slips, and cancelled checks or their equivalent;
(8) Copies of all trust account client ledger reconciliations; and
(9) Copies of those portions of clients' files that are reasonably necessary for a complete understanding of the financial transactions pertaining to them.
(b) Upon any change in the lawyer's practice affecting the trust account, including dissolution or sale of a law firm or suspension or other change in membership status, the lawyer must make appropriate arrangements for the maintenance of the records specified in this Rule.
(a) Except as stated in paragraph (c), a lawyer shall not represent a client or, where representation has commenced, shall, notwithstanding RCW 2.44.040, withdraw from the representation of a client if:
(1) the representation will result in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law;
(2) the lawyer's physical or mental condition materially impairs the lawyer's ability to represent the client; or
(3) the lawyer is discharged.
(b) Except as stated in paragraph (c), a lawyer may withdraw from representing a client if:
(1) withdrawal can be accomplished without material adverse effect on the interests of the client;
(2) the client persists in a course of action involving the lawyer's services that the lawyer reasonably believes is criminal or fraudulent;
(3) the client has used the lawyer's services to perpetrate a crime or fraud;
(4) the client insists upon taking action that the lawyer considers repugnant or with which the lawyer has a fundamental disagreement;
(5) the client fails substantially to fulfill an obligation to the lawyer regarding the lawyer's services and has been given reasonable warning that the lawyer will withdraw unless the obligation is fulfilled;
(6) the representation will result in an unreasonable financial burden on the lawyer or has been rendered unreasonably difficult by the client; or
(7) other good cause for withdrawal exists.
(c) A lawyer must comply with applicable law requiring notice to or permission of a tribunal when terminating a representation. When ordered to do so by a tribunal, a lawyer shall continue representation notwithstanding good cause for terminating the representation.
- (d) Upon termination of representation, a lawyer shall take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect a client's interests, such as giving reasonable notice to the client, allowing time for employment of other counsel, surrendering papers and property to which the client is
- entitled and refunding any advance payment of fee or expense that has not been earned or incurred. The lawyer may retain papers relating to the client to the extent permitted by other law.
A lawyer or a law firm may sell or purchase a law practice, or an area of law practice, including good will, if the following conditions are satisfied:
(b) The entire practice, or the entire area of practice, is sold to one or more lawyers or law firms;
(c) The seller gives written notice to each of the seller's clients regarding:
(1) the proposed sale;
(2) the client's right to retain other counsel or to take possession of the file; and
(3) the fact that the client's consent to the transfer of the client's files will be presumed if the client does not take any action or does not otherwise object within ninety (90) days of receipt of the notice.
- If a client cannot be given notice, the representation of that client may be transferred to the purchaser only upon entry of an order so authorizing by a court having jurisdiction. The seller may disclose to the court in
- camera information relating to the representation only to the extent necessary to obtain an order authorizing the transfer of a file.
(d) The fees charged clients shall not be increased by reason of the sale.
(a) A person who discusses with a lawyer the possibility of forming a client-lawyer relationship with respect to a matter is a prospective client.
(b) Even when no client-lawyer relationship ensues, a lawyer who has had discussions with a prospective client shall not use or reveal information learned in the consultation, except as Rule 1.9 would permit with respect to information of a former client or except as provided in paragraph (e).
(c) A lawyer subject to paragraph (b) shall not represent a client with interests materially adverse to those of a prospective client in the same or a substantially related matter if the lawyer received information from the prospective client that could be significantly harmful to that person in the matter, except as provided in paragraphs (d) or (e). If a lawyer is disqualified from representation under this paragraph, no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in such a matter, except as provided in paragraph (d).
(d) When the lawyer has received disqualifying information as defined in paragraph (c), representation is permissible if:
(1) both the affected client and the prospective client have given informed consent, confirmed in writing, or:
(2) the lawyer who received the information took reasonable measures to avoid exposure to more disqualifying information than was reasonably necessary to determine whether to represent the prospective client; and
(i) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and
(ii) written notice is promptly given to the prospective client.
(e) A lawyer may condition conversations with a prospective client on the person's informed consent that no information disclosed during the consultation will prohibit the lawyer from representing a different client in the matter. The prospective client may also expressly consent to the lawyer's subsequent use of information received from the prospective client.
In representing a client, a lawyer shall exercise independent professional judgment and render candid advice. In rendering advice, a lawyer may refer not only to law but to other considerations such as moral, economic, social and political factors, that may be relevant to the client's situation.
(a) A lawyer may provide an evaluation of a matter affecting a client for the use of someone other than the client if the lawyer reasonably believes that making the evaluation is compatible with other aspects of the lawyer's relationship with the client.
(b) When the lawyer knows or reasonable should know that the evaluation is likely to affect the client's interests materially and adversely, the lawyer shall not provide the evaluation unless the client gives in formed consent.
(c) Except as disclosure is authorized in connection with a report of an evaluation, information relating to the evaluation is otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.
- (a) A lawyer serves as a third-party neutral when the lawyer assists two or more persons who are not clients of the lawyer to reach a resolution of a dispute or other matter that has arisen between them. Service as a third-
- party neutral may include service as an arbitrator, a mediator or in such other capacity as will enable the lawyer to assist the parties to resolve the matter.
- (b) A lawyer serving as a third-party neutral shall inform unrepresented parties that the lawyer is not representing them. When the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that a party does not understand the lawyer's role
- in the matter, the lawyer shall explain the difference between the lawyer's role as a third-party neutral and a lawyer's role as one who represents a client.
A lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue therein, unless there is a basis in law and fact for doing so that is not frivolous, which includes a good faith argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law. A lawyer for the defendant in a criminal proceeding, or the respondent in a proceeding that could result in incarceration, may nevertheless so defend the proceeding as to require that every element of the case be established.
A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to expedite litigation consistent with the interests of the client.
(a) A lawyer shall not knowingly:
(1) make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal or fail to correct a false statement of material fact or law previously made to the tribunal by the lawyer;
(2) fail to disclose a material fact to a tribunal when disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by the client unless such disclosure is prohibited by Rule 1.6;
- (3) fail to disclose to the tribunal legal authority in the
- controlling jurisdiction known to the lawyer to be directly adverse to the position of the client and not disclosed by opposing counsel; or
(4) offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false.
(b) The duties stated in paragraph (a) continue to the conclusion of the proceeding.
(c) If the lawyer has offered material evidence and comes to know of its falsity, the lawyer shall promptly disclose this fact to the tribunal unless such disclosure is prohibited by Rule 1.6.
(d) If the lawyer has offered material evidence and comes to know of its falsity, and disclosure of this fact is prohibited by Rule 1.6, the lawyer shall promptly make reasonable efforts to convince the client to consent to disclosure. If the client refuses to consent to disclosure, the lawyer may seek to withdraw from the representation in accordance with Rule 1.16.
(e) A lawyer may refuse to offer evidence that the lawyer reasonably believes is false.
(f) In an ex parte proceeding, a lawyer shall inform the tribunal of all material facts known to the lawyer that will enable the tribunal to make an informed decision, whether or not the facts are adverse.
A lawyer shall not:
(a) unlawfully obstruct another party's access to evidence or unlawfully alter, destroy or conceal a document or other material having potential evidentiary value. A lawyer shall not counsel or assist another person to do any such act;
(b) falsify evidence, counsel or assist a witness to testify falsely, or offer an inducement to a witness that is prohibited by law;
(c) knowingly disobey an obligation under the rules of a tribunal except for an open refusal based on an assertion that no valid obligation exists;
(d) in pretrial procedure, make a frivolous discovery request or fail to make reasonably diligent effort to comply with a legally proper discovery request by an opposing party; or
(e) in trial, allude to any matter that the lawyer does not reasonably believe is relevant or that will not be supported by admissible evidence, assert personal knowledge of facts in issue except when testifying as a witness, or state personal opinion as to the justness of a cause, the credibility of a witness, the culpability of a civil litigant or the guilt or innocence of an accused.
A lawyer shall not:
(a) seek to influence a judge, juror, prospective juror or other official by means prohibited by law;
(b) communicate ex parte with such a person during the proceeding unless authorized to do so by law or court order;
(c) communicate with a juror or prospective juror after discharge of the jury if:
(1) the communication is prohibited by law or court order;
- (2) the juror has made known to the lawyer a desire not to
- communicate; or
(3) the communication involves misrepresentation, coercion, duress or harassment; or
(d) engage in conduct intended to disrupt a tribunal.
- (a) A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the
- investigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may state:
- (1) the claim, offense or defense involved and, except when
- prohibited by law, the identity of the persons involved;
(2) information contained in a public record;
(3) that an investigation of a matter is in progress;
(4) the scheduling or result of any step in litigation;
(5) a request for assistance in obtaining evidence and information necessary thereto;
- (6) a warning of danger concerning the behavior of a person
- involved, when there is reason to believe that there exists the
- likelihood of substantial harm to an individual or to the public
- interest; and
(7) in a criminal case, in addition to subparagraphs (1) through (6):
(i) the identity, residence, occupation and family status of the accused;
- (ii) if the accused has not been apprehended, information
- necessary to aid in apprehension of the person;
(iii) the fact, time and place of arrest; and
- (iv) the identity of investigating and arresting officers or
- agencies and the length of the investigation.
(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may make a statement that a reasonable lawyer would believe is required to protect a client from the substantial undue prejudicial effect of recent publicity not initiated by the lawyer or the lawyer's client. A statement made pursuant to this paragraph shall be limited to such information as is necessary to mitigate the recent adverse publicity.
(d) No lawyer associated in a firm or government agency with a lawyer subject to paragraph (a) shall make a statement prohibited by paragraph (a).
(a) A lawyer shall not act as advocate at a trial in which the lawyer is likely to be a necessary witness unless:
(1) the testimony relates to an uncontested issue;
(2) the testimony relates to the nature and value of legal services rendered in the case;
(3) disqualification of the lawyer would work substantial hardship on the client; or
(4) the lawyer has been called by the opposing party and the court rules that the lawyer may continue to act as an advocate; or
(b) A lawyer may act as advocate in a trial in which another lawyer in the lawyer's firm is likely to be called as a witness unless precluded from doing so by Rule 1.7 or Rule 1.9.
The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:
(a) refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause;
(b) make reasonable efforts to assure that the accused has been advised of the right to, and the procedure for obtaining, counsel and has been given reasonable opportunity to obtain counsel;
(c) not seek to obtain from an unrepresented accused a waiver of important pretrial rights, such as the right to a preliminary hearing;
(d) make timely disclosure to the defense of all evidence or information known to the prosecutor that tends to negate the guilt of the accused or mitigates the offense and, in connection with sentencing, disclose to the defense and to the tribunal all mitigating information known to the prosecutor, except when the prosecutor is relieved of this responsibility by a protective order of the tribunal;
(e) not subpoena a lawyer in a grand jury or other criminal proceeding to present evidence about a past or present client unless the prosecutor believes:
(1) the information sought is not protected from disclosure by an applicable privilege;
(2) the evidence sought is essential to the successful completion of an ongoing investigation or prosecution; and
(3) there is no other feasible alternative to obtain the information;
- (f) except for statements that are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor?s action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused and exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel, employees or other persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor in a criminal case from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would
- be prohibited from making under Rule 3.6 or this Rule.
(g) When a prosecutor knows of new, credible and material evidence creating a reasonable likelihood that a convicted defendant is innocent of the offense of which the defendant was convicted the prosecutor shall:
- (1) promptly disclose that evidence to an appropriate court or authority, and
- (2) if the conviction was obtained in the prosecutor?s jurisdiction,
(A) promptly disclose that evidence to the defendant unless a court authorizes delay, and
(B) make reasonable efforts to inquire into the matter, or make reasonable efforts to cause the appropriate law enforcement agency to undertake an investigation into the matter.
- (i) A prosecutor?s independent judgment, made in good faith, that the evidence is not of such nature as to trigger the obligations of paragraph (g) of this Rule, though subsequently determined to have been erroneous, does not
- constitute a violation of this Rule.
A lawyer representing a client before a legislative body or administrative agency in a nonadjudicative proceeding shall disclose that the appearance is in a representative capacity and shall conform to the provisions of rules 3.3(a) through (e), 3.4(a) through (c), and 3.5.
In the course of representing a client a lawyer shall not knowingly:
(a) make a false statement of material fact or law to a third person; or
(b) fail to disclose a material fact to a third person when disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by a client, unless disclosure is prohibited by Rule 1.6.
In representing a client, a lawyer shall not communicate about the subject of the representation with a person the lawyer knows to be represented by another lawyer in the matter, unless the lawyer has the consent of the other lawyer or is authorized to do so by law or a court order.
In dealing on behalf of a client with a person who is not represented by counsel, a lawyer shall not state or imply that the lawyer is disinterested. When the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the unrepresented person misunderstands the lawyer's role in the matter, the lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to correct the is understanding. The lawyer shall not give legal advice to an unrepresented person, other than the advice to secure counsel, if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the interests of such a person are or have a reasonable possibility of being in conflict with the interests of the client.
(a) In representing a client, a lawyer shall not use means that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a third person, or use methods of obtaining evidence that violate the legal rights of such a person.
(b) A lawyer who receives a document relating to the representation of the lawyer's client and knows or reasonably should know that the document was inadvertently sent shall promptly notify the sender.
(a) A partner in a law firm, and a lawyer who individually or together with other lawyers possesses comparable managerial authority in a law firm, shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm has in effect measures giving reasonable assurance that all lawyers in the firm conform to the Rules of Professional Conduct.
(b) A lawyer having direct supervisory authority over another lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the other lawyer conforms to the Rules of Professional Conduct.
(c) A lawyer shall be responsible for another lawyer's violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct if:
(1) the lawyer orders or, with knowledge of the specific conduct, ratifies the conduct involved; or
(2) the lawyer is a partner or has comparable managerial authority in the law firm in which the other lawyer practices, or has direct supervisory authority over the other lawyer, and knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take reasonable remedial action.
(a) A lawyer is bound by the Rules of Professional Conduct notwithstanding that the lawyer acted at the direction of another person.
(b) A subordinate lawyer does not violate the Rules of Professional Conduct if that lawyer acts in accordance with a supervisory lawyer's reasonable resolution of an arguable question of professional duty.
With respect to a nonlawyer employed or retained by or associated with a lawyer:
(a) a partner, and a lawyer who individually or together with other lawyers possesses comparable managerial authority in a law firm shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm has in effect measures giving reasonable assurance that the persons conduct is compatible with the professional obligations of the lawyer;
(b) a lawyer having direct supervisory authority over the nonlawyer shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the persons conduct is compatible with the professional obligations of the lawyer; and
(c) a lawyer shall be responsible for conduct of such a person that would be a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct if engaged in by a lawyer if:
(1) the lawyer orders or, with the knowledge of the specific conduct, ratifies the conduct involved; or
(2) the lawyer is a partner or has comparable managerial authority in the law firm in which the person is employed, or has direct supervisory authority over the person, and knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take reasonable remedial action.
(a) A lawyer or law firm shall not share legal fees with a nonlawyer, except that:
- (1) an agreement by a lawyer with the lawyer's firm, partner, or associate may provide for the payment of money, over a reasonable period of time after the lawyer's death, to the lawyer's estate or to one or more
- specified persons;
(2) a lawyer who purchases the practice of a deceased, disabled, or disappeared lawyer may, pursuant to the provisions of Rule 1.17, pay to the estate or other representative of that lawyer the agreed-upon purchase price;
(3) a lawyer or law firm may include nonlawyer employees in a compensation or retirement plan, even though the plan is based in whole or in part on a profit-sharing arrangement; and
- (5) a lawyer authorized to complete unfinished legal business of a deceased lawyer may pay to the estate or other representative of the deceased lawyer that proportion of the total compensation that fairly
- represents the services rendered by the deceased lawyer.
(b) A lawyer shall not form a partnership with a nonlawyer if any of the activities of the partnership consist of the practice of law.
(c) A lawyer shall not permit a person who recommends, employs, or pays the lawyer to render legal services for another to direct or regulate the lawyer's professional judgment in rendering such legal services.
(d) A lawyer shall not practice with or in the form of a professional corporation or association authorized to practice law for a profit, if:
(1) a nonlawyer owns any interest therein, except that a fiduciary representative of the estate of a lawyer may hold the stock or interest of the lawyer for a reasonable time during administration;
(2) a nonlawyer is a corporate director or officer (other than as secretary or treasurer) thereof or occupies the position of similar responsibility in any form of association other than a corporation; or
(3) a nonlawyer has the right to direct or control the professional judgment of a lawyer.
(a) A lawyer shall not practice law in a jurisdiction in violation of the regulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction, or assist another in doing so.
(b) A lawyer who is not admitted to practice in this jurisdiction shall not:
(1) except as authorized by these Rules or other law, establish an office or other systematic and continuous presence in this jurisdiction for the practice of law; or
(2) hold out to the public or otherwise represent that the lawyer is admitted to practice law in this jurisdiction.
(c) A lawyer admitted in another United States jurisdiction, and not disbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction, may provide legal services on a temporary basis in this jurisdiction that:
(1) are undertaken in association with a lawyer who is admitted to practice in this jurisdiction and who actively participates in the matter;
(2) are in or reasonably related to a pending or potential proceeding before a tribunal in this or another jurisdiction, if the lawyer, or a person the lawyer is assisting, is authorized by law or order to appear in such proceeding or reasonably expects to be so authorized;
(3) are in or reasonably related to a pending or potential arbitration, mediation, or other alternative dispute resolution proceeding in this or another jurisdiction, if the services arise out of or are reasonably related to the lawyer's practice in a jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted to practice and are not services for which the forum requires pro hac vice admission; or
(4) are not within paragraphs (c)(2) or (c)(3) and arise out of or are reasonably related to the lawyer's practice in a jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted to practice.
(d) A lawyer admitted in another United States jurisdiction, and not disbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction, may provide legal services in this jurisdiction that:
(1) are provided to the lawyer's employer or its organizational affiliates and are not services for which the forum requires pro hac vice admission; or
(2) are services that the lawyer is authorized to provide by federal law or other law of this jurisdiction.
(e) A lawyer authorized to provide legal services under paragraph (d)(1) of this Rule may provide legal services in this jurisdiction for no fee through a qualified legal services provider, as that term is defined in APR 8(e)(2). If such services involve representation before a court or tribunal, the lawyer shall seek admission under APR 8(b) and any fees for such admission shall be waived. The prohibition against compensation in this paragraph shall not prevent a qualified legal services provider from reimbursing a lawyer authorized to practice under paragraph (d)(1) for actual expenses incurred while rendering legal services under this pro bono exception. In addition, a qualified legal services provider shall be entitled to receive all court awarded attorney's fees for pro bono representation rendered by the lawyer.
A lawyer shall not participate in offering or making:
(a) a partnership, shareholders, operating, employment, or other similar type of agreement that restricts the rights of a lawyer to practice after termination of the relationship, except an agreement concerning benefits upon retirement; or
(b) an agreement in which a restriction on the lawyer's right to practice is part of the settlement of a client controversy.
(a) A lawyer shall be subject to the Rules of Professional Conduct with respect to the provision of law-related services, as defined in paragraph (b), if the law-related services are provided:
(1) by the lawyer in circumstances that are not distinct from the lawyer's provision of legal services to clients; or
(2) in other circumstances by an entity controlled by the lawyer individually or with others if the lawyer fails to take reasonable measures to assure that a person obtaining the law-related services knows that the services are not legal services and that the protections of the client- lawyer relationship do not exist.
(b) The term "law-related services" denotes services that might reasonably be performed in conjunction with and in substance are related to the provision of legal services, and that are not prohibited as unauthorized practice of law when provided by a nonlawyer.
(a) A lawyer shall not engage in the practice of law while on inactive status, or while suspended from the practice of law for any cause.
(b) A lawyer shall not engage in any of the following with an individual who is a disbarred or suspended lawyer or who has resigned in lieu of disbarment:
(1) practice law with or in cooperation with such an individual;
(2) maintain an office for the practice of law in a room or office occupied or used in whole or in part by such an individual;
- (3) permit such an individual to use the lawyer's name for the
- practice of law;
(4) practice law for or on behalf of such an individual; or
(5) practice law under any arrangement or understanding for division of fees or compensation of any kind with such an individual.
Every lawyer has a professional responsibility to assist in the provision of legal services to those unable to pay. A lawyer should aspire to render at least thirty (30) hours of pro bono publico service per year. In fulfilling this responsibility, the lawyers should:
(a) provide legal services without fee or expectation of fee to:
(1) persons of limited means or
(2) charitable, religious, civil, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters which are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means; and
(b) provide pro bono publico service through:
(1) delivery of legal services at no fee or substantially reduced fee to individuals, groups or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights, or charitable, religious, civil, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes, where the payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete the organization's economic resources or would be otherwise inappropriate:
(2) delivery of legal services at a substantially reduced fee to persons of limited means; or
(3) participation in activities for improving the law, the legal system or the legal profession.
Pro bono publico service may be reported annually on a form provided by the WSBA. A lawyer rendering a minimum of fifty (50) hours of pro bono publico service shall receive commendation for such service from the WSBA.
A lawyer shall not seek to avoid appointment by a tribunal to represent a person except for good cause, such as:
(a) representing the client is likely to result in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law;
(b) representing the client is likely to result in an unreasonable financial burden on the lawyer; or
(c) the client or the cause is so repugnant to the lawyer as to be likely to impair the client-lawyer relationship or the lawyer's ability to represent the client.
- A lawyer may serve as a director, officer or member of a legal services organization, apart from the law firm in which the lawyer practices, notwithstanding that the organization serves persons having interests adverse to a client of the lawyer. The lawyer shall not knowingly
- participate in a decision or action of the organization:
(a) if participating in the decision or action would be incompatible with the lawyer's obligations to a client under Rule 1.7; or
(b) where the decision or action could have a material adverse effect on the representation of a client of the organization whose interests are adverse to a client of the lawyer.
A lawyer may serve as a director, officer or member of an organization involved in reform of the law or its administration notwithstanding that the reform may affect the interests of a client of the lawyer. When the lawyer knows that the interests of a client may be materially benefited by a decision in which the lawyer participates, the lawyer shall disclose that fact but need not identify the client.
(a) A lawyer who, under the auspices of a program sponsored by a nonprofit organization or court, provides short-term limited legal services to a client without expectation by either the lawyer or the client that the lawyer will provide continuing representation in the matter and without expectation that the lawyer will receive a fee from the client for the services provided:
(1) is subject to Rules 1.7, 1.9(a), and 1.18(c) only if the lawyer knows that the representation of the client involves a conflict of interest, except that those Rules shall not prohibit a lawyer from providing limited legal services sufficient only to determine eligibility of the client for assistance by the program and to make an appropriate referral of the client to another program;
(2) is subject to Rule 1.10 only if the lawyer knows that another lawyer associated with the lawyer in a law firm is disqualified by Rule 1.7 or 1.9(a) with respect to the matter; and
(3) notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2), is not subject to Rules 1.7, 1.9(a), 1.10, or 1.18(c) in providing limited legal services to a client if:
(i) the program lawyers representing the opposing clients are screened by effective means from information relating to the representation of the opposing client;
(ii) each client is notified of the conflict and the screening mechanism used to prohibit dissemination of information relating to the representation; and
(iii) the program is able to demonstrate by convincing evidence that no material information relating to the representation of the opposing client was transmitted by the personally disqualified lawyers to the lawyer representing the conflicting client before implementation of the screening mechanism and notice to the opposing client.
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2), Rule 1.10 is inapplicable to a representation governed by this Rule.
A lawyer shall not make a false or misleading communication about the lawyer or the lawyer's services. A communication is false or misleading if it contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading.
(a) Subject to the requirements of Rules 7.1 and 7.3, a lawyer may advertise services through written, recorded or electronic communication, including public media.
(b) A lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer's services, except that a lawyer may
(1) pay the reasonable cost of advertisements or communications permitted by this Rule;
(2) pay the usual charges of a legal service plan or a not-for-profit lawyer referral service;
(3) pay for a law practice in accordance with Rule 1.17; and
(4) refer clients to another lawyer pursuant to an agreement not otherwise prohibited under these Rules that provides for the other person to refer clients or customers to the lawyer, if
(i) the reciprocal referral agreement is not exclusive, and
(ii) the client is informed of the existence and nature of the agreement.
(c) Any communication made pursuant to this Rule shall include the name and office address of at least one lawyer or law firm responsible for its content.
- (a) A lawyer shall not directly or through a third person, by in-person, live telephone, or real-time electronic contact solicit professional employment from a prospective client when a significant motive for the
- lawyer's doing so is the lawyer's pecuniary gain, unless the person contacted:
(1) is a lawyer;
(2) has a family, close personal, or prior professional relationship with the lawyer; or
(3) has consented to the contact by requesting a referral from a not-for-profit lawyer referral service.
- (b) A lawyer shall not solicit professional employment from a prospective client by written, recorded or electronic communication or by in-person, telephone or real-time electronic contact even when not otherwise
- prohibited by paragraph (a), if;
(1) the prospective client has made known to the lawyer a desire not to be solicited by the lawyer; or
(2) the solicitation involves coercion, duress or harassment.
(d) Notwithstanding the prohibitions in paragraph (a), a lawyer may participate with a prepaid or group legal service plan operated by an organization not owned or directed by the lawyer that uses in-person or telephone contact to solicit memberships or subscriptions for the plan from persons who are not known to need legal services in a particular matter covered by the plan.
(a) A lawyer may communicate the fact that the lawyer does or does not practice in particular fields of law.
(b) A lawyer admitted to engage in patent practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office may use the designation "Patent Attorney" or a substantially similar designation.
(c) A lawyer engaged in Admiralty practice may use the designation "Admiralty," "Proctor in Admiralty" or substantially similar designation.
- (d) A lawyer shall not state or imply that a lawyer is a specialist in a particular field of law, except upon issuance of an identifying certificate, award, or recognition by a group, organization, or association, a lawyer may use the terms "certified", "specialist", "expert", or any other similar term to describe his or her qualifications as a lawyer or his or her qualifications in any subspecialty of the law.
- If the terms are used to identify any certificate, award, or recognition by any group, organization, or association, the reference must:
(1) be truthful and verifiable and otherwise comply with Rule 7.1;
(2) identify the certifying group, organization, or association; and
(3) state that the Supreme Court of Washington does not recognize certification of specialties in the practice of law and that the certificate, award, or recognition is not a requirement to practice law in the state of Washington.
- (a) A lawyer shall not use a firm name, letterhead or other
- professional designation that violates Rule 7.1. A trade name may be used by a lawyer in private practice if it does not imply a connection with a government agency or with a public or charitable legal services organization and is not otherwise in violation of Rule 7.1.
(b) A law firm with offices in more than one jurisdiction may use the same name or other professional designation in each jurisdiction, but identification of the lawyers in an office of the firm shall indicate the jurisdictional limitations on those not licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the office is located.
(c) The name of a lawyer holding a public office shall not be used in the name of a law firm, or in communications on its behalf, during any substantial period in which the lawyer is not actively and regularly practicing with the firm.
(d) Lawyers may state or imply that they practice in a partnership or other organization only when that is a fact.
A lawyer or law firm shall not accept a government legal engagement or an appointment by a judge if the lawyer or law firm makes a political contribution or solicits political contributions for the purpose of obtaining or being considered for that type of legal engagement or appointment.
An applicant for admission to the Bar, or a lawyer in connection with a bar admission or reinstatement application, or in connection with a disciplinary matter, shall not:
(a) knowingly make a false statement of material fact; or
(b) fail to disclose a fact necessary to correct a misapprehension known by the person to have arisen in the matter, or knowingly fail to respond to a lawful demand for information from an admissions or disciplinary authority, except that this Rule does not require disclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.
(a) A lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications, integrity, or record of a judge, adjudicatory officer or public legal officer, or of a candidate for election or appointment to judicial or legal office.
(b) A lawyer who is a candidate for judicial office shall comply with the applicable provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct.
(a) A lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, should inform the appropriate professional authority.
(b) A lawyer who knows that a judge has committed a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct that raises a substantial question as to the judges fitness for office should inform the appropriate authority.
(c) This Rule does not permit a lawyer to report the professional misconduct of another lawyer or a judge to the appropriate authority if doing so would require the lawyer to disclose information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:
(a) violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another;
(b) commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects;
(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;
(d) engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice;
(e) state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official or to achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law;
(f) knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law;
- (g) commit a discriminatory act prohibited by state law on the basis of sex, race, age, creed, religion, color, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or marital status, where the act of discrimination is committed in connection with the lawyer's professional activities. In addition, it is professional misconduct to commit a discriminatory act on
- the basis of sexual orientation if such an act would violate this Rule when committed on the basis of sex, race, age, creed, religion, color, national origin, disability, or marital status. This Rule shall not limit the ability of a lawyer to accept, decline, or withdraw from the representation
- of a client in accordance with Rule 1.16;
- (h) in representing a client, engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice toward judges, other parties and/or their counsel, witnesses and/or their counsel, jurors, or court personnel or officers, that a reasonable person would interpret as manifesting prejudice or bias on the basis of sex, race, age, creed, religion, color, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or marital status. This Rule does
- not restrict a lawyer from representing a client by advancing material factual or legal issues or arguments.
- (i) commit any act involving moral turpitude, or corruption, or any unjustified act of assault or other act which reflects disregard for the rule of law, whether the same be committed in the course of his or her conduct as a lawyer, or otherwise, and whether the same constitutes a
- felony or misdemeanor or not; and if the act constitutes a felony or misdemeanor, conviction thereof in a criminal proceeding shall not be a condition precedent to disciplinary action, nor shall acquittal or dismissal thereof preclude the commencement of a disciplinary proceeding;
(j) willfully disobey or violate a court order directing him or her to do or cease doing an act which he or she ought in good faith to do or forbear;
(k) violate his or her oath as an attorney;
(l) violate a duty or sanction imposed by or under the Rules for Enforcement of Lawyer Conduct in connection with a disciplinary matter; including, but not limited to, the duties catalogued at ELC 1.5;
(m) violate the Code of Judicial Conduct; or
(n) engage in conduct demonstrating unfitness to practice law.
- (a) Disciplinary Authority. A lawyer admitted to practice in this jurisdiction is subject to the disciplinary authority of this jurisdiction, regardless of where the lawyer's conduct occurs. A lawyer not admitted in this jurisdiction is also subject to the disciplinary authority of this jurisdiction
- if the lawyer provides or offers to provide any legal services in this jurisdiction. A lawyer may be subject to the disciplinary authority of both this jurisdiction and another jurisdiction for the same conduct.
(b) Choice of Law. In any exercise of the disciplinary authority of this jurisdiction, the rules of professional conduct to be applied shall be as follows:
(1) for conduct in connection with a matter pending before a tribunal, the rules of the jurisdiction in which the tribunal sits, unless the rules of the tribunal provide otherwise; and
(2) for any other conduct, the rules of the jurisdiction in which the lawyer's conduct occurred, or, if the predominant effect of the conduct is in a different jurisdiction, the rules of that jurisdiction shall be applied to the conduct. A lawyer shall not be subject to discipline if the lawyer's conduct conforms to the rules of a jurisdiction in which the lawyer reasonably believes the predominant effect of the lawyer's conduct will occur.
- (c) Disciplinary Authority over Judges. Notwithstanding the provisions of Rule 8.4(m), a lawyer, while serving as a judge or justice as defined in RCW 2.64.010, shall not be subject to the disciplinary authority provided for in
- these Rules or the Rules for Enforcement of Lawyer Conduct for acts performed in his or her judicial capacity or as a candidate for judicial office unless judicial discipline is imposed for that conduct by the Commission on Judicial Conduct or the Supreme Court. Disciplinary authority should not be exercised for the identical conduct if the violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct pertains to the role of the judiciary and does not relate to the judge's or justice's fitness to practice law.