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RPC RULE 1.1: COMPETENCE
A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competentrepresentation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness andpreparation reasonably necessary for the representation.
RPC RULE 1.2: SCOPE OF REPRESENTATION AND ALLOCATION OF AUTHORITY BETWEEN CLIENTAND LAWYER
- (a) Subject to paragraphs (c) and (d), a lawyer shall abide by aclient's decisions concerning the objectives of representation and,as required by Rule 1.4, shall consult with the client as to themeans by which they are to be pursued. A lawyer may take such actionon behalf of the client as is impliedly authorized to carry out therepresentation. A lawyer shall abide by a client's decision whetherto settle a matter. In a criminal case, the lawyer shall abide by theclient's decision, after consultation with the lawyer, as to a pleato be entered, whether to waive jury trial and whether the clientwill testify.
- (b) A lawyer's representation of a client, including representationby appointment, does not constitute an endorsement of the client'spolitical, economic, social or moral views or activities.
- (c) A lawyer may limit the scope of the representation if thelimitation is reasonable under the circumstances and the client givesinformed consent.
- (d) A lawyer shall not counsel a client to engage, or assist aclient, in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent,but a lawyer may discuss the legal consequences of any proposedcourse of conduct with a client and may counsel or assist a client tomake a good faith effort to determine the validity, scope, meaning orapplication of the law.
RULE 1.3: DILIGENCE
A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness inrepresenting a client.
RPC RULE 1.4:COMMUNICATION
- (a) A lawyer shall;
- (1) promptly inform the client of any decision of circumstance withrespect 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 theclient's objectives are to be accomplished;
- (3) keep the client reasonably informed about the status of thematter;
- (4) promptly comply with reasonable requests for information; and
- (5) consult with the client about any relevant limitation on thelawyer's conduct when the lawyer knows that the client expects assistancenot permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.
- (b) A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary topermit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation.
RPC RULE 1.5: FEES
- (a) A lawyer shall not make an agreement for, charge, or collect anunreasonable fee or an unreasonable amount for expenses. The factors to beconsidered in determining the reasonableness of a fee include the following:
- (1) the time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of thequestions involved, and the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly;
- (2) the likelihood, if apparent to the client, that the acceptance of theparticular 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 lawyersperforming the services;
- (8) whether the fee is fixed or contingent; and(9) the terms of the fee agreement between the lawyer and the client,
- (9) the terms of the fee agreement between the lawyer and the client,including whether the fee agreement or confirming writing demonstrates that theclient had received a reasonable and fair disclosure of material elements of thefee agreement and of the lawyer's billing practices.
- (b) The scope of the representation and the basis or rate of the fee andexpenses for which the client will be responsible shall be communicated to theclient, preferably in writing, before or within a reasonable time aftercommencing the representation except when the lawyer will charge a regularlyrepresented client on the same basis or rate. Any changes in the basis or rateof the fee or expenses shall also be communicated to the client. Upon therequest of the client in any matter, the lawyer shall communicate to the clientin writing the basis or rate of the fee.
- (c) A fee may be contingent on the outcome of the matter for which the serviceis rendered, except in a matter in which a contingent fee is prohibited byparagraph
- (d) or other law. If a fee is contingent on the outcome of a matter, alawyer 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 isto be determined, including the percentage or percentages that shall accrue tothe lawyer in the event of settlement, trial or appeal; litigation and otherexpenses to be deducted from the recovery; and whether such expenses are to bededucted before or after the contingent fee is calculated. The agreement mustclearly 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 providethe client with a written statement stating the outcome of the matter and, ifthere is a recovery, showing the remittance to the client and the method of itsdetermination; and
- (4) A contingent fee consisting of a percentage of the monetary amountrecovered for a claimant, in which all or part of the recovery is to be paid inthe future, shall be paid only
- (i) by applying the percentage to the amounts recovered as they arereceived by the client; or
- (ii) by applying the percentage to the actual cost of the settlement oraward 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 whichis contingent upon the securing of a dissolution or annulment of marriage orupon the amount of maintenance or support, or property settlement in lieuthereof; 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 bemade only if:
- (1) (i) the division is in proportion to the services provided by eachlawyer or each lawyer assumes joint responsibility for the representation;
- (ii) the client agrees to the arrangement, including the share eachlawyer 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 lawyerreferral service of either the Washington State Bar Association or of one of thecounty bar associations of this state.
- (f) Fees and expenses paid in advance of performance of services shallcomply with Rule 1.15A, subject to the following exceptions:
- (1) A lawyer may charge a retainer, which is a fee that a client paysto a lawyer to be available to the client during a specified period or on aspecified matter, in addition to and apart from any compensation for legalservices performed. A retainer must be agreed to in a writing signed by theclient. Unless otherwise agreed, a retainer is the lawyer's property onreceipt and shall not be placed in the lawyer's trust account.
- (2) A lawyer may charge a flat fee for specified legal services, whichconstitutes complete payment for those services and is paid in whole or inpart in advance of the lawyer providing the services. If agreed to inadvance in a writing signed by the client, a flat fee is the lawyer'sproperty on receipt, in which case the fee shall not be deposited into atrust account under Rule 1.15A. The written fee agreement shall, in a mannerthat can easily be understood by the client, include the following:
- (i) thescope of the services to be provided;
- (ii) the total amount of the fee andthe terms of payment;
- (iii) that the fee is the lawyer's propertyimmediately 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 theclient-lawyer relationship; and
- (v) that the client may be entitled to arefund of a portion of the fee if the agreed-upon legal services have notbeen completed. A statement in substantially the following form satisfiesthis requirement:[Lawyer/law firm] agrees to provide, for a flat fee of$__________, the following services:_____________________________________. The flat fee shall be paidas follows: _____________________________. Upon [lawyer's/lawfirm's] receipt of all or any portion of the flat fee, the fundsare the property of [lawyer/law firm] and will not be placed in atrust account. The fact that you have paid your fee in advance doesnot affect your right to terminate the client-lawyer relationship.In the event our relationship is terminated before the agreed-uponlegal services have been completed, you may or may not have a rightto 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 actionto resolve the dispute.
RULE 1.6: CONFIDENTIALITY OF INFORMATION
- (a) A lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representationof a client unless the client gives informed consent, the disclosure isimpliedly authorized in order to carry out the representation or thedisclosure 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 clientto prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm;
- (2) may reveal information relating to the representation of a clientto prevent the client from committing a crime;
- (3) may reveal information relating to the representation of a clientto prevent, mitigate or rectify substantial injury to the financialinterests or property of another that is reasonably certain to result orhas resulted from the client's commission of a crime or fraud infurtherance of which the client has used the lawyer's services;
- (4) may reveal information relating to the representation of a clientto secure legal advice about the lawyer's compliance with these Rules;
- (5) may reveal information relating to the representation of a clientto establish a claim or defense on behalf of the lawyer in a controversybetween the lawyer and the client, to establish a defense to a criminalcharge or civil claim against the lawyer based upon conduct in which theclient was involved, or to respond to allegations in any proceedingconcerning the lawyer's representation of the client;
- (6) may reveal information relating to the representation of a clientto comply with a court order; or
- (7) may reveal information relating to the representation of a clientto inform a tribunal about any breach of fiduciary responsibility when theclient is serving as a court appointed fiduciary such as a guardian,personal representative, or receiver.
RPC RULE 1.7: CONFLICT OF INTEREST; CURRENT CLIENTS
- (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a lawyer shall not represent aclient if the representation involves a concurrent conflict of interest. Aconcurrent conflict of interest exists if:
- (1) the representation of one client will be directly adverse toanother client; or
- (2) there is a significant risk that the representation of one or moreclients will be materially limited by the lawyer's responsibilities toclients will be materially limited by the lawyer's responsibilities toanother client, a former client or a third person or by a personal interestof the lawyer.
- (b) Notwithstanding the existence of a concurrent conflict of interestunder paragraph (a), a lawyer may represent a client if:
- (1) the lawyer reasonably believes that the lawyer will be able toprovide 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 byone client against another client represented by the lawyer in the samelitigation 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).
RULE 1.8: CONFLICT OF INTEREST: CURRENT CLIENTS: SPECIFIC RULES
- (a) A lawyer shall not enter into a business transaction with a client or knowingly acquire anownership, 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 andreasonable to the client and are fully disclosed and transmitted in writing in a manner that can bereasonably understood by the client;
- (2) the client is advised in writing of the desirability of seeking and is given a reasonableopportunity 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 termsof the transaction and the lawyer's role in the transaction, including whether the lawyer isrepresenting the client in the transaction.
- (b) A lawyer shall not use information relating to representation of a client to thedisadvantage of the client unless the client gives informed consent, expect as permitted orrequired 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 lawyerany substantial gift unless the lawyer or other recipient of the gift is related to the client. Forpurposes of this paragraph, related persons include spouse, child, grandchild, parent, grandparentor other relative or individual with who the lawyer or the client maintains a close, familialrelationship.
- (d) Prior to the conclusion of representation of a client, a lawyer shall not make or negotiatean agreement giving the lawyer literary or media rights to a portrayal or account based insubstantial part on information relating to the representation.
- (e) A lawyer shall not, while representing a client in connection with contemplated or pendinglitigation, 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 presentingevidence, provided the client remains ultimately liable for such expenses; and(2) in matters maintained as class actions only, repayment of expenses of litigation may becontingent on the outcome of the matter.
- (f) A lawyer shall not accept compensation for representing a client from one other than theclient unless:(1) the client gives informed consent;(2) there is no interference with the lawyer's independence of professional judgment orwith 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 aggregatesettlement of the claims of or against the clients, or in a criminal case an aggregated agreement asto guilty or nolo contendere pleas, unless each client gives informed consent, confirmed inwriting. The lawyer's disclosure shall include the existence and nature of all the claims or pleasinvolved 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 formalpractice unless permitted by law and the client is independently represented in making theagreement; or(2) settle a claim or potential claim for such liability with an unrepresented client or formerclient unless that person is advised in writing of the desirability of seeking and is given areasonable 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 oflitigation 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 sexualrelationship 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 relationswould, 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 therepresentation 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 hasany other close familial or intimate relationship with another lawyer, shall not represent a clientin 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 thedelivery of indigent defense services if the terms of the agreement obligate thecontracting 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 andreasonable amount for such costs is specifically designated in the agreement in amanner that does not adversely affect the income or compensation allocated to thelawyer, law firm, or law firm personnel; or(2) knowingly accept compensation for the delivery of indigent defense services from alawyer who has entered into a current agreement in violation of paragraph (m)(1).
RULE 1.9: DUTIES TO FORMER CLIENTS
- (a) A lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter shall notthereafter represent another person in the same or a substantially relatedmatter in which that person's interests are materially adverse to theinterests of the former client unless the former client gives informedconsent, confirmed in writing.
- (b) A lawyer shall not knowingly represent a person in the same or asubstantially related matter in which a firm with which the lawyerformerly 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 byRules 1.6 and 1.9(c) that is material to the matter; unless the formerclient gives informed consent, confirmed in writing.
- (c) A lawyer who has formerly represented a client in a matter orwhose present or former firm has formerly represented a client in a mattershall not thereafter:(1) use information relating to the representation to thedisadvantage of the former client except as these Rules would permit orrequire with respect to a client, or when the information has becomegenerally known; or(2) reveal information relating to the representation except as theseRules would permit or require with respect to a client.
RPC RULE 1.10L Imputation Of Conflicts Of Interest: General Rule
- (a) Except as provided in paragraph (c), while lawyers areassociated in a firm, none of them shall knowingly representa client when any one of them practicing alone would beprohibited from doing so by Rules 1.7 or 1.9, unless theprohibition is based on a personal interest of theprohibited lawyer and does not present a significant risk ofmaterially limiting the representation of the client by theremaining lawyers in the firm.
- (b) When a lawyer has terminated an association with afirm, the firm is not prohibited from thereafterrepresenting a person with interests materially adverse tothose of a client represented by the formerly associatedlawyer and not currently represented by the firm, unless:(1) the matter is the same or substantially related tothat in which the formerly associated lawyer represented theclient; and(2) any lawyer remaining in the firm has informationprotected by Rules 1.6 and 1.9(c) that is material to the matter.
- (c) A disqualification prescribed by this rule may bewaived by the affected client under the conditions stated in Rule 1.7.
- (d) The disqualification of lawyers associated in a firmwith former or current government lawyers is governed by Rule 1.11.
- (e) When a lawyer becomes associated with a firm, noother lawyer in the firm shall knowingly represent a personin a matter in which that lawyer is disqualified underRule 1.9 unless:(1) the personally disqualified lawyer is screened byeffective means from participation in the matter and isapportioned no part of the fee therefrom;(2) the former client of the personally disqualifiedlawyer receives notice of the conflict and the screeningmechanism used to prohibit dissemination of informationrelating to the former representation;(3) the firm is able to demonstrate by convincingevidence that no material information relating to the formerrepresentation was transmitted by the personallydisqualified lawyer before implementation of the screeningmechanism and notice to the former client.
Any presumption that information protected by Rules 1.6and 1.9(c) has been or will be transmitted may be rebuttedif the personally disqualified lawyer serves on his or herformer law firm and former client an affidavit attestingthat the personally disqualified lawyer will not participatethat the personally disqualified lawyer will not participatein the matter and will not discuss the matter or therepresentation with any other lawyer or employee of his orher current law firm, and attesting that during the periodof the lawyer's personal disqualification those lawyers oremployees who do participate in the matter will be apprisedthat the personally disqualified lawyer is screened fromparticipating in or discussing the matter. Such affidavitshall describe the procedures being used effectively toscreen the personally disqualified lawyer. Upon request ofthe former client, such affidavit shall be updatedperiodically to show actual compliance with the screeningprocedures. The law firm, the personally disqualifiedlawyer, or the former client may seek judicial review in acourt of general jurisdiction of the screening mechanismused, or may seek court supervision to ensure thatimplementation of the screening procedures has occurred andthat effective actual compliance has been achieved.
RULE 1.11: SPECIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST FOR FORMER AND CURRENT GOVERNMENT OFFICERSAND EMPLOYEES
- (a) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer who hasformerly 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 matterin which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a publicofficer or employee, unless the appropriate government agency gives itsinformed 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 knowinglyundertake or continue representation in such a matter unless:(1) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participationin the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and(2) written notice is promptly given to the appropriate governmentagency to enable it to ascertain compliance with the provisions of this Rule.
- (c) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer havinginformation that the lawyer knows is confidential government informationabout a person acquired when the lawyer was a public officer or employee,may not represent a private client whose interests are adverse to thatperson in a matter in which the information could be used to the materialdisadvantage of that person. As used in this Rule the term "confidentialgovernment information" means information that has been obtained undergovernmental authority and which, at the time this Rule is applied, thegovernment is prohibited by law from disclosing to the public or has alegal privilege not to disclose and which is not otherwise available to thepublic. A firm with which that lawyer is associated may undertake orcontinue representation in the matter only if the disqualified lawyer istimely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned nopart of the fee therefrom.
- (d) Except as law may otherwise expressly permit, a lawyer currentlyserving 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 participatedpersonally and substantially while in private practice or nongovernmentalemployment, unless the appropriate government agency gives its informedconsent, confirmed writing; or(ii) negotiate for private employment with any person who isinvolved as a party or as lawyer for a party in a matter in which thelawyer is participating personally and substantially, except that a lawyerserving as a law clerk to a judge, other adjudicative officer or arbitratormay negotiate for private employment as permitted by Rule 1.12(b) andsubject 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 aruling or other determination, contract, claim, controversy, investigation,charge, accusation, arrest or other particular matter involving a specificparty or parties; and(2) any other matter covered by the conflict of interest rules of theappropriate government agency.
RPC RULE 1.12: FORMER JUDGE, ARBITRATOR, MEDIATOR OR OTHER THIRD-PARTY NEUTRAL
- (a) Except as stated in paragraph (d), a lawyer shall not representanyone in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participatedpersonally and substantially as a judge or other adjudicative officer orlaw clerk to such a person or as an arbitrator, mediator or other thirdpartyneutral, unless all parties to the proceeding give informed consentconfirmed in writing.
- (b) A lawyer shall not negotiate for employment with any person who isinvolved as a party or as lawyer for a party in a matter in which thelawyer is participating personally and substantially as a judge or otheradjudicative officer or as an arbitrator, mediator or other third-partyneutral. A lawyer serving as a law clerk to a judge, other adjudicativeofficer may negotiate for employment with a party or lawyer involved in amatter 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 firmwith which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continuerepresentation in the matter unless:(1) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participationin the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and(2) written notice is promptly given to the parties and anyappropriate tribunal to enable them to ascertain compliance with theprovisions of this Rule.
- (d) An arbitrator selected as a partisan of a party in a multimemberarbitration panel is not prohibited from subsequently representing that party.
RPC RULE 1.13: ORGANIZATION AS CLIENT
- (a) A lawyer employed or retained by an organization represents theorganization acting through its duly authorized constituents.
- (b) If a lawyer for an organization knows that an officer, employee orother person associated with the organization is engaged in action, intendsto act or refuses to act in a matter related to the representation that isa violation of a legal obligation to the organization, or a violation oflaw that reasonably might be imputed to the organization, and that islikely to result in substantial injury to the organization, then the lawyershall proceed as is reasonably necessary in the best interest of theorganization. Unless the lawyer reasonably believes that it is notnecessary in the best interest of the organization to do so, the lawyershall refer the matter to higher authority in the organization, including,if warranted by the circumstances, to the highest authority that can act onbehalf 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) thehighest authority that can act on behalf of the organization insistsupon 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 reasonablycertain to result in substantial injury to the organization, then thelawyer may reveal information relating to the representation whether ornot Rule 1.6 permits such disclosure, but only if and to the extent the lawyerreasonably believes necessary to prevent substantial injury to the organization.
- (d) Paragraph (c) shall not apply with respect to information relatingto a lawyer's representation of an organization to investigate an allegedviolation of law, or to defend the organization or an officer, employee orother constituent associated with the organization against a claim arisingout of an alleged violation of law.
- (e) A lawyer who reasonably believes that he or she has been dischargedbecause of the lawyer's actions taken pursuant to paragraphs (b) and (c),or who withdraws under circumstances that require or permit the lawyer totake action under either of those paragraphs, shall proceed as the lawyerreasonably believes necessary to assure that the organization's highestauthority 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 theidentity of the client when the lawyer knows or reasonably should know thatthe organization's interests are adverse to those of the constituents withwhom the lawyer is dealing.
- (g) A lawyer representing an organization may also represent any of itsdirectors, officers, employees, members, shareholders or otherconstituents, subject to the provisions of Rule 1.7. If the organization'sconsent to the dual representation is required by Rule 1.7, the consentshall be given by an appropriate official of the organization other thanthe individual who is to be represented, or by the shareholders.
- (h) For purposes of this Rule, when a lawyer who is not a public officeror employee represents a discrete governmental agency or unit that is partof a broader governmental entity, the lawyer's client is the particulargovernmental agency or unit represented, and not the broader governmentalentity of which the agency or unit is a part, unless:(1) otherwise provided in a written agreement between the lawyer andthe governmental agency or unit; or(2) the broader governmental entity gives the lawyer timely writtennotice to the contrary, in which case the client shall be designated bysuch entity. Notice under this subsection shall be given by the persondesignated by law as the chief legal officer of the broader governmentalentity, or in the absence of such designation, by the chief executiveofficer of the entity.
RPC RULE 1.14: CLIENT WITH DIMINISHED CAPACITY
- (a) When a client's capacity to make adequately considered decisions inconnection with a representation is diminished, whether because ofminority, mental impairment or for some other reason, the lawyer shall, asfar as reasonably possible, maintain a normal client-lawyer relationshipwith the client.
- (b) When the lawyer reasonably believes that the client has diminishedcapacity, is at risk of substantial physical, financial or other harmunless action is taken and cannot adequately act in the client's owninterest, the lawyer may take reasonably necessary protective action,including consulting with individuals or entities that have the ability totake action to protect the client and, in appropriate cases, seeking theappointment of a guardian ad litem, conservator or guardian.
- (c) Information relating to the representation of a client withdiminished capacity is protected by Rule 1.6. When taking protectiveaction pursuant to paragraph (b), the lawyer is impliedly authorized underRule 1.6(a) to reveal information about the client, but only to the extentreasonably necessary to protect the client's interests.
RULE 1.15A: SAFEGUARDING PROPERTY
- (a) This Rule applies to (1) property of clients or third persons in alawyer's possession in connection with a representation and (2) escrow andother funds held by a lawyer incident to the closing of any real estate orpersonal property transaction. Additionally, for all transactions in which alawyer has selected, prepared, or completed legal documents for use in theclosing of any real estate or personal property transaction, the lawyer mustensure that all funds received or held by the Closing Firm incidental to theclosing of the transaction, including advances for costs and expenses, are heldand maintained as set forth in this rule or LPORPC 1.12A. The lawyer's duty toensure that all funds received or held by the Closing Firm incidental to theclosing of the transaction are held and maintained as set forth in this rule orLPORPC 1.12A shall not apply to a lawyer when that lawyer's participation inthe matter is incidental to the closing and (i) the lawyer or lawyer's law firmthe matter is incidental to the closing and (i) the lawyer or lawyer's law firmhas a preexisting client-lawyer relationship with a buyer or seller in thetransaction, and (ii) neither the lawyer nor the lawyer's law firm has anexisting client-lawyer relationship with the Closing Firm or an LPOparticipating in the closing.
- (b) A lawyer must not use, convert, borrow or pledge client or third personproperty for the lawyer's own use.
- (c) A lawyer must hold property of clients and third persons separate fromthe 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 ofparagraph (h) of this Rule, a lawyer shall deposit into a trust account legalfees and expenses that have been paid in advance, to be withdrawn by the lawyeronly as fees are earned or expenses incurred.(3) A lawyer must identify, label and appropriately safeguard any property ofclients or third persons other than funds. The lawyer must keep records of suchproperty that identify the property, the client or third person, the date ofreceipt and the location of safekeeping. The lawyer must preserve the recordsfor seven years after return of the property.
- (d) A lawyer must promptly notify a client or third person of receipt ofthe client or third person's property.
- (e) A lawyer must promptly provide a written accounting to a client or thirdperson after distribution of property or upon request. A lawyer must provide atleast annually a written accounting to a client or third person for whom thelawyer is holding funds.
- (f) Except as stated in this Rule, a lawyer must promptly pay or deliver tothe client or third person the property which the client or third person isentitled to receive.
- (g) If a lawyer possesses property in which two or more persons (one ofwhich may be the lawyer) claim interests, the lawyer must maintain the propertyin trust until the dispute is resolved. The lawyer must promptly distribute allundisputed portions of the property. The lawyer must take reasonable action toresolve 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 atrust account except as follows:(i) funds to pay bank charges, but only in an amount reasonablysufficient for that purpose;(ii) funds belonging in part to a client or third person and in partpresently or potentially to the lawyer must be deposited and retained in atrust account, but any portion belonging to the lawyer must be withdrawnat 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. Thelawyer may withdraw earned fees only after giving reasonable notice to theclient 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 statementsare generated or at least quarterly. The lawyer must reconcile the checkregister balance to the bank statement balance and reconcile the checkregister balance to the combined total of all client ledger records requiredby Rule 1.15B(a)(2).(7) A lawyer must not disburse funds from a trust account until depositshave cleared the banking process and been collected, unless the lawyer andthe bank have a written agreement by which the lawyer personally guaranteesall disbursements from the account without recourse to the trust account.(8) Disbursements on behalf of a client or third person may not exceed thefunds of that person on deposit. The funds of a client or third person mustnot be used on behalf of anyone else.(9) Only a lawyer admitted to practice law may be an authorized signatoryon the account.(i) Trust accounts must be interest-bearing and allow withdrawals or transferswithout any delay other than notice periods that are required by law orregulation and meet the requirements of ELC 15.7(d) and ELC 15.7(e). In theexercise of ordinary prudence, a lawyer may select any financial institutionauthorized by the Legal Foundation of Washington (Legal Foundation) under ELC15.7(c). In selecting the type of trust account for the purpose of depositingand 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 netreturn to the client or third person because the funds are nominal in amountor expected to be held for a short period of time the funds must be placedin a pooled interest-bearing trust account known as an Interest on Lawyer'sTrust Account or IOLTA. The interest earned on IOLTA accounts shall be paidto, and the IOLTA program shall be administered by, the Legal Foundation ofWashington in accordance with ELC 15.4 and ELC 15.7(e).(2) Client or third-person funds that will produce a positive net returnto the client or third person must be placed in one of the following twotypes of non-IOLTA trust accounts unless the client or third person requeststhat the funds be deposited in an IOLTA account:(i) a separate interest-bearing trust account for the particular clientor third person with earned interest paid to the client or third person; or(ii) a pooled interest-bearing trust account with sub-accounting thatallows for computation of interest earned by each client or third person'sfunds 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 consideronly whether the funds will produce a positive net return to the client orthird person, as determined by the following factors:(i) the amount of interest the funds would earn based on the currentrate of interest and the expected period of deposit;(ii) the cost of establishing and administering the account, includingthe cost of the lawyer's services and the cost of preparing any taxreports required for interest accruing to a client or third person'sbenefit; and(iii) the capability of financial institutions to calculate and payinterest to individual clients or third persons if the account inparagraph (i)(2)(ii) is used.The provisions of paragraph (i) do not relieve a lawyer or law firm fromany obligation imposed by these Rules.
RPC RULE 1.15B: REQUIRED TRUST ACCOUNT RECORDS
- (a) A lawyer must maintain current trust account records. They may be inelectronic or manual form and must be retained for at least seven yearsafter the events they record. At minimum, the records must include the following:(1) Checkbook register or equivalent for each trust account, includingentries for all receipts, disbursements, and transfers, and containing at least:(i) identification of the client matter for which trust funds werereceived, 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 pagefor each client or an equivalent electronic record showing all individualreceipts, disbursements, or transfers, and also containing:(i) identification of the purpose for which trust funds werereceived, 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 thirdparties 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 alldisbursements or transfers from the trust account;(7) Bank statements, copies of deposit slips, and cancelled checks ortheir equivalent;(8) Copies of all trust account client ledger reconciliations; and(9) Copies of those portions of clients' files that are reasonablynecessary for a complete understanding of the financial transactionspertaining 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 changein membership status, the lawyer must make appropriate arrangements for themaintenance of the records specified in this Rule.
RULE 1.16: DECLINING OR TERMINATING REPRESENTATION
- (a) Except as stated in paragraph (c), a lawyer shall not represent aclient or, where representation has commenced, shall, notwithstanding RCW2.44.040, withdraw from the representation of a client if:(1) the representation will result in violation of the Rules ofProfessional Conduct or other law;(2) the lawyer's physical or mental condition materially impairs thelawyer's ability to represent the client; or(3) the lawyer is discharged.
- (b) Except as stated in paragraph (c), a lawyer may withdraw fromrepresenting a client if:(1) withdrawal can be accomplished without material adverse effect onthe interests of the client;(2) the client persists in a course of action involving the lawyer'sservices 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 considersrepugnant or with which the lawyer has a fundamental disagreement;(5) the client fails substantially to fulfill an obligation to thelawyer regarding the lawyer's services and has been given reasonablewarning that the lawyer will withdraw unless the obligation is fulfilled;(6) the representation will result in an unreasonable financialburden 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 orpermission of a tribunal when terminating a representation. When orderedto do so by a tribunal, a lawyer shall continue representationnotwithstanding good cause for terminating the representation.
- (d) Upon termination of representation, a lawyer shall take steps tothe extent reasonably practicable to protect a client's interests, suchas giving reasonable notice to the client, allowing time for employmentof other counsel, surrendering papers and property to which the client isentitled and refunding any advance payment of fee or expense that has notbeen earned or incurred. The lawyer may retain papers relating to theclient to the extent permitted by other law.
RPC RULE 1.17: SALE OF LAW PRACTICE
- A lawyer or a law firm may sell or purchase a law practice, or an area oflaw practice, including good will, if the following conditions are satisfied:
- (a) [Reserved.]
- (b) The entire practice, or the entire area of practice, is sold to oneor more lawyers or law firms;
- (c) The seller gives written notice to each of the seller's clientsregarding:(1) the proposed sale;(2) the client's right to retain other counsel or to take possessionof the file; and(3) the fact that the client's consent to the transfer of the client'sfiles will be presumed if the client does not take any action or does nototherwise object within ninety (90) days of receipt of the notice.If a client cannot be given notice, the representation of that client maybe transferred to the purchaser only upon entry of an order so authorizingby a court having jurisdiction. The seller may disclose to the court incamera information relating to the representation only to the extentnecessary to obtain an order authorizing the transfer of a file.
- (d) The fees charged clients shall not be increased by reason of the sale.
RPC RULE 1.18: DUTIES TO PROSPECTIVE CLIENT
- (a) A person who discusses with a lawyer the possibility of forming aclient-lawyer relationship with respect to a matter is a prospective client.
- (b) Even when no client-lawyer relationship ensues, a lawyer who has haddiscussions with a prospective client shall not use or reveal informationlearned in the consultation, except as Rule 1.9 would permit with respectto information of a former client or except as provided in paragraph (e).
- (c) A lawyer subject to paragraph (b) shall not represent a client withinterests materially adverse to those of a prospective client in the sameor a substantially related matter if the lawyer received information fromthe prospective client that could be significantly harmful to that personin the matter, except as provided in paragraphs (d) or (e). If a lawyer isdisqualified from representation under this paragraph, no lawyer in a firmwith which that lawyer is associated may knowingly undertake or continuerepresentation in such a matter, except as provided in paragraph (d).
- (d) When the lawyer has received disqualifying information as defined inparagraph (c), representation is permissible if:(1) both the affected client and the prospective client have giveninformed consent, confirmed in writing, or:(2) the lawyer who received the information took reasonable measuresto avoid exposure to more disqualifying information than was reasonablynecessary to determine whether to represent the prospective client; and(i) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from anyparticipation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the feetherefrom; and(ii) written notice is promptly given to the prospective client.
- (e) A lawyer may condition conversations with a prospective client on theperson's informed consent that no information disclosed during theconsultation will prohibit the lawyer from representing a different clientin the matter. The prospective client may also expressly consent to thelawyer's subsequent use of information received from the prospective client.
RPC RULE 2.1: ADVISOR
In representing a client, a lawyer shall exercise independentprofessional judgment and render candid advice. In rendering advice, alawyer may refer not only to law but to other considerations such as moral,economic, social and political factors, that may be relevant to theclient's situation.
RPC RULE 2.3: EVALUATION FOR USE BY THIRD PERSONS
- (a) A lawyer may provide an evaluation of a matter affecting a clientfor the use of someone other than the client if the lawyer reasonablybelieves that making the evaluation is compatible with other aspects ofthe lawyer's relationship with the client.
- (b) When the lawyer knows or reasonable should know that the evaluationis likely to affect the client's interests materially and adversely, thelawyer shall not provide the evaluation unless the client gives in formedconsent.
- (c) Except as disclosure is authorized in connection with a report of anevaluation, information relating to the evaluation is otherwise protectedby Rule 1.6.
RPC RULE 2.4: LAWYER SERVING AS THIRD-PARTY NEUTRAL
- (a) A lawyer serves as a third-party neutral when the lawyer assists twoor more persons who are not clients of the lawyer to reach a resolution ofa dispute or other matter that has arisen between them. Service as a thirdpartyneutral may include service as an arbitrator, a mediator or in suchother capacity as will enable the lawyer to assist the parties to resolvethe matter.
- (b) A lawyer serving as a third-party neutral shall inform unrepresentedparties that the lawyer is not representing them. When the lawyer knows orreasonably should know that a party does not understand the lawyer's rolein the matter, the lawyer shall explain the difference between the lawyer'srole as a third-party neutral and a lawyer's role as one who represents aclient.
RPC RULE 3.1: MERITORIOUS CLAIMS AND CONTENTIONS
A lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvertan issue therein, unless there is a basis in law and fact for doing so thatis not frivolous, which includes a good faith argument for an extension,modification or reversal of existing law. A lawyer for the defendant in acriminal proceeding, or the respondent in a proceeding that could result inincarceration, may nevertheless so defend the proceeding as to require thatevery element of the case be established.
RPC RULE 3.2: EXPEDITING LITIGATION
A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to expedite litigation consistentwith the interests of the client.
RULE 3.3: CANDOR TOWARD THE TRIBUNAL
- (a) A lawyer shall not knowingly:(1) make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal or fail tocorrect a false statement of material fact or law previously made to thetribunal by the lawyer;(2) fail to disclose a material fact to a tribunal when disclosure isnecessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by the clientunless such disclosure is prohibited by Rule 1.6;(3) fail to disclose to the tribunal legal authority in thecontrolling jurisdiction known to the lawyer to be directly adverse to theposition 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 itsfalsity, the lawyer shall promptly disclose this fact to the tribunalunless such disclosure is prohibited by Rule 1.6.
- (d) If the lawyer has offered material evidence and comes to know of itsfalsity, and disclosure of this fact is prohibited by Rule 1.6, the lawyershall promptly make reasonable efforts to convince the client to consentto disclosure. If the client refuses to consent to disclosure, the lawyermay seek to withdraw from the representation in accordance with Rule 1.16.
- (e) A lawyer may refuse to offer evidence that the lawyer reasonablybelieves is false.
- (f) In an ex parte proceeding, a lawyer shall inform the tribunal of allmaterial facts known to the lawyer that will enable the tribunal to makean informed decision, whether or not the facts are adverse.
RPC RULE 3.4: FAIRNESS TO OPPOSING PARTY AND COUNSEL
- A lawyer shall not:
- (a) unlawfully obstruct another party's access to evidence or unlawfullyalter, destroy or conceal a document or other material having potentialevidentiary value. A lawyer shall not counsel or assist another person todo any such act;
- (b) falsify evidence, counsel or assist a witness to testify falsely, oroffer an inducement to a witness that is prohibited by law;
- (c) knowingly disobey an obligation under the rules of a tribunal exceptfor an open refusal based on an assertion that no valid obligation exists;
- (d) in pretrial procedure, make a frivolous discovery request or fail tomake reasonably diligent effort to comply with a legally proper discoveryrequest by an opposing party; or
- (e) in trial, allude to any matter that the lawyer does not reasonablybelieve is relevant or that will not be supported by admissible evidence,assert personal knowledge of facts in issue except when testifying as awitness, or state personal opinion as to the justness of a cause, thecredibility of a witness, the culpability of a civil litigant or the guiltor innocence of an accused.
- (f) [Reserved.]
RPC RULE 3.5: IMPARTIALITY AND DECORUM OF THE TRIBUNAL
- A lawyer shall not:
- (a) seek to influence a judge, juror, prospective juror or other officialby means prohibited by law;
- (b) communicate ex parte with such a person during the proceeding unlessauthorized to do so by law or court order;
- (c) communicate with a juror or prospective juror after discharge of thejury if:(1) the communication is prohibited by law or court order;(2) the juror has made known to the lawyer a desire not tocommunicate; or(3) the communication involves misrepresentation, coercion, duress orharassment; or
- (d) engage in conduct intended to disrupt a tribunal.
RPC RULE 3.6: TRIAL PUBLICITY
- (a) A lawyer who is participating or has participated in theinvestigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicialstatement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will bedisseminated by means of public communication and will have a substantiallikelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may state:
- (b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may state:(1) the claim, offense or defense involved and, except whenprohibited 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 informationnecessary thereto;(6) a warning of danger concerning the behavior of a personinvolved, when there is reason to believe that there exists thelikelihood of substantial harm to an individual or to the publicinterest; 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, informationnecessary to aid in apprehension of the person;(iii) the fact, time and place of arrest; and(iv) the identity of investigating and arresting officers oragencies and the length of the investigation.
- (c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a lawyer may make a statement that areasonable lawyer would believe is required to protect a client from thesubstantial undue prejudicial effect of recent publicity not initiated bythe lawyer or the lawyer's client. A statement made pursuant to thisparagraph shall be limited to such information as is necessary tomitigate the recent adverse publicity.
- (d) No lawyer associated in a firm or government agency with a lawyersubject to paragraph (a) shall make a statement prohibited by paragraph (a).
RPC RULE 3.7: LAWYER AS WITNESS
- (a) A lawyer shall not act as advocate at a trial in which the lawyer islikely 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 servicesrendered in the case;(3) disqualification of the lawyer would work substantial hardship onthe client; or(4) the lawyer has been called by the opposing party and the courtrules 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 inthe lawyer's firm is likely to be called as a witness unless precludedfrom doing so by Rule 1.7 or Rule 1.9.
RULE 3.8: SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF A PROSECUTOR
- The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:
- (a) refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is notsupported by probable cause;
- (b) make reasonable efforts to assure that the accused has been advised ofthe right to, and the procedure for obtaining, counsel and has been givenreasonable opportunity to obtain counsel;
- (c) not seek to obtain from an unrepresented accused a waiver of importantpretrial rights, such as the right to a preliminary hearing;
- (d) make timely disclosure to the defense of all evidence or informationknown to the prosecutor that tends to negate the guilt of the accused ormitigates the offense and, in connection with sentencing, disclose to thedefense and to the tribunal all mitigating information known to theprosecutor, except when the prosecutor is relieved of this responsibility bya protective order of the tribunal;
- (e) not subpoena a lawyer in a grand jury or other criminal proceeding topresent 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 anongoing 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 thenature and extent of the prosecutor's action and that serve a legitimate lawenforcement purpose, refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have asubstantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused andexercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcementpersonnel, employees or other persons assisting or associated with theprosecutor in a criminal case from making an extrajudicial statement thatthe prosecutor would be prohibited from making under Rule 3.6 or this Rule.
RULE 3.9: ADVOCATE IN NONADJUDICATIVE PROCEEDINGS
A lawyer representing a client before a legislative body oradministrative agency in a nonadjudicative proceeding shall disclose thatthe appearance is in a representative capacity and shall conform to theprovisions of rules 3.3(a) through (e), 3.4(a) through (c), and 3.5.
RPC RULE 4.1: TRUTHFULNESS IN STATEMENTS TO OTHERS
- 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 isnecessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by a client,unless disclosure is prohibited by Rule 1.6.
RPC RULE 4.2: COMMUNICATION WITH PERSON REPRESENTED BY COUNSEL
In representing a client, a lawyer shall not communicate about thesubject of the representation with a person the lawyer knows to berepresented by another lawyer in the matter, unless the lawyer has theconsent of the other lawyer or is authorized to do so by law or acourt order.
RPC RULE 4.3: DEALING WITH UNREPRESENTED PERSON
In dealing on behalf of a client with a person who is notrepresented by counsel, a lawyer shall not state or imply that thelawyer is disinterested. When the lawyer knows or reasonably shouldknow that the unrepresented person misunderstands the lawyer's role inthe matter, the lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to correct themisunderstanding. The lawyer shall not give legal advice to anunrepresented person, other than the advice to secure counsel, if thelawyer knows or reasonably should know that the interests of such aperson are or have a reasonable possibility of being in conflict withthe interests of the client.
RPC RULE 4.4: RESPECT FOR RIGHTS OF THIRD PERSON
- (a) In representing a client, a lawyer shall not use means that have nosubstantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a thirdperson, or use methods of obtaining evidence that violate the legal rightsof such a person.
- (b) A lawyer who receives a document relating to the representation ofthe lawyer's client and knows or reasonably should know that the documentwas inadvertently sent shall promptly notify the sender.
RULE 5.1: RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARTNERS, MANAGERS, OR SUPERVISORY LAWYERS
- (a) A partner in a law firm, and a lawyer who individually or togetherwith other lawyers possesses comparable managerial authority in a law firm,shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm has in effect measuresgiving reasonable assurance that all lawyers in the firm conform to theRules of Professional Conduct.
- (b) A lawyer having direct supervisory authority over another lawyer shallmake reasonable efforts to ensure that the other lawyer conforms to theRules of Professional Conduct.
- (c) A lawyer shall be responsible for another lawyer's violation of theRules 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 inthe law firm in which the other lawyer practices, or has direct supervisoryauthority over the other lawyer, and knows of the conduct at a time when itsconsequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take reasonable remedial action.
RPC RULE 5.2: RESPONSIBILITIES OF A SUBORDINATE LAWYER
- (a) A lawyer is bound by the Rules of Professional Conductnotwithstanding that the lawyer acted at the direction of another person.
- (b) A subordinate lawyer does not violate the Rules of ProfessionalConduct if that lawyer acts in accordance with a supervisory lawyer'sreasonable resolution of an arguable question of professional duty.
RPC RULE 5.3: RESPONSIBILITIES REGARDING NONLAWYER ASSISTANTS
- 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 otherlawyers possesses comparable managerial authority in a law firm shall makereasonable efforts to ensure that the firm has in effect measures givingreasonable assurance that the persons conduct is compatible with theprofessional obligations of the lawyer;
- (b) a lawyer having direct supervisory authority over the nonlawyer shallmake reasonable efforts to ensure that the persons conduct is compatiblewith the professional obligations of the lawyer; and
- (c) a lawyer shall be responsible for conduct of such a person that wouldbe a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct if engaged in by alawyer 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 thelaw firm in which the person is employed, or has direct supervisoryauthority over the person, and knows of the conduct at a time when itsconsequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take reasonableremedial action.
RULE 5.4: PROFESSIONAL INDEPENDENCE OF A LAWYER
- (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, orassociate may provide for the payment of money, over a reasonable period oftime after the lawyer's death, to the lawyer's estate or to one or morespecified persons;(2) a lawyer who purchases the practice of a deceased, disabled, ordisappeared lawyer may, pursuant to the provisions of Rule 1.17, pay to theestate or other representative of that lawyer the agreed-upon purchase price;(3) a lawyer or law firm may include nonlawyer employees in acompensation or retirement plan, even though the plan is based in whole orin part on a profit-sharing arrangement; and(4) [Reserved.](5) a lawyer authorized to complete unfinished legal business of adeceased lawyer may pay to the estate or other representative of thedeceased lawyer that proportion of the total compensation that fairlyrepresents the services rendered by the deceased lawyer.
- (b) A lawyer shall not form a partnership with a nonlawyer if any of theactivities of the partnership consist of the practice of law.
- (c) A lawyer shall not permit a person who recommends, employs, or paysthe lawyer to render legal services for another to direct or regulate thelawyer's professional judgment in rendering such legal services.
- (d) A lawyer shall not practice with or in the form of a professionalcorporation or association authorized to practice law for a profit, if:(1) a nonlawyer owns any interest therein, except that a fiduciaryrepresentative of the estate of a lawyer may hold the stock or interest ofthe lawyer for a reasonable time during administration;(2) a nonlawyer is a corporate director or officer (other than assecretary or treasurer) thereof or occupies the position of similarresponsibility 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.
RPC 5.5: UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW; MULTIJURISDICTIONAL PRACTICE OF LAW
- (a) A lawyer shall not practice law in a jurisdiction in violation of theregulation of the legal profession in that jurisdiction, or assist another indoing 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 officeor other systematic and continuous presence in this jurisdiction for thepractice of law; or(2) hold out to the public or otherwise represent that the lawyer isadmitted to practice law in this jurisdiction.
- (c) A lawyer admitted in another United States jurisdiction, and notdisbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction, may provide legalservices on a temporary basis in this jurisdiction that:(1) are undertaken in association with a lawyer who is admitted topractice in this jurisdiction and who actively participates in the matter;(2) are in or reasonable related to a pending or potential proceedingbefore a tribunal in this or another jurisdiction, if the lawyer, or a personthe lawyer is assisting, is authorized by law or order to appear in suchproceeding 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 oranother jurisdiction, if the services arise out of or are reasonably related tothe lawyer's practice in a jurisdiction in which the lawyer is admitted topractice and are not services for which the forum requires pro hac viceadmission; or(4) are not within paragraphs (c)(2) or (c)(3) and arise out of or arereasonably related to the lawyer's practice in a jurisdiction in which thelawyer is admitted to practice.
- (d) A lawyer admitted in another United States jurisdiction, and notdisbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction, may provide legalservices in this jurisdiction that:(1) are provided to the lawyer's employer or its organizational affiliatesand 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 lawor other law of this jurisdiction.
- (e) A lawyer authorized to provide legal services under paragraph (d)(1) ofthis Rule may provide legal services in this jurisdiction for no fee through aqualified legal services provider, as that term is defined in APR 8(e)(2). Ifsuch services involve representation before a court or tribunal, the lawyershall seek admission under APR 8(b) and any fees for such admission shall bewaived. The prohibition against compensation in this paragraph shall notprevent a qualified legal services provider from reimbursing a lawyerauthorized to practice under paragraph (d)(1) for actual expenses incurredwhile rendering legal services under this pro bono exception. In addition, awhile rendering legal services under this pro bono exception. In addition, aqualified legal services provider shall be entitled to receive all courtawarded attorney's fees for pro bono representation rendered by the lawyer.
RPC RULE 5.6: RESTRICTIONS ON RIGHT TO PRACTICE
- A lawyer shall not participate in offering or making:
- (a) a partnership, shareholders, operating, employment, or other similartype of agreement that restricts the rights of a lawyer to practice aftertermination of the relationship, except an agreement concerning benefitsupon retirement; or
- (b) an agreement in which a restriction on the lawyer's right topractice is part of the settlement of a client controversy.
RPC RULE 5.7: RESPONSIBILITIES REGARDING LAW-RELATED SERVICES
- (a) A lawyer shall be subject to the Rules of Professional Conduct withrespect 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 thelawyer's provision of legal services to clients; or(2) in other circumstances by an entity controlled by the lawyerindividually or with others if the lawyer fails to take reasonable measuresto assure that a person obtaining the law-related services knows that theservices 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 mightreasonably be performed in conjunction with and in substance are related tothe provision of legal services, and that are not prohibited as unauthorized practice of law when provided by a nonlawyer.
RPC RULE 5.8: MISCONDUCT INVOLVING DISBARRED, SUSPENDED, RESIGNED, AND INACTIVE LAWYERS
- (a) A lawyer shall not engage in the practice of law while on inactivestatus, or while suspended from the practice of law for any cause.
- (b) A lawyer shall not engage in any of the following with an individualwho 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 officeoccupied or used in whole or in part by such an individual;(3) permit such an individual to use the lawyer's name for thepractice of law;(4) practice law for or on behalf of such an individual; or (5) practice law under any arrangement or understanding for divisionof fees or compensation of any kind with such an individual.
RPC RULE 6.1: PRO BONO PUBLICO SERVICE
- Every lawyer has a professional responsibility to assist in the provision of legal services to those unable to pay. A lawyer should aspire to renderat least thirty (30) hours of pro bono publico service per year. Infulfilling 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 andeducational organizations in matters which are designed primarily toaddress 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 feeto individuals, groups or organizations seeking to secure or protect civilrights, civil liberties or public rights, or charitable, religious, civil,community, governmental and educational organizations in matters infurtherance of their organizational purposes, where the payment of standardlegal fees would significantly deplete the organization's economicresources or would be otherwise inappropriate:(2) delivery of legal services at a substantially reduced fee topersons of limited means; or(3) participation in activities for improving the law, the legalsystem or the legal profession.Pro bono publico service may be reported annually on a form provided by theWSBA. A lawyer rendering a minimum of fifty (50) hours of pro bono publicoservice shall receive commendation for such service from the WSBA.
RPC RULE 6.2: ACCEPTING APPOINTMENTS
- A lawyer shall not seek to avoid appointment by a tribunal to representa person except for good cause, such as:
- (a) representing the client is likely to result in violation of theRules of Professional Conduct or other law;
- (b) representing the client is likely to result in an unreasonablefinancial burden on the lawyer; or
- (c) the client or the cause is so repugnant to the lawyer as to belikely to impair the client-lawyer relationship or the lawyer's ability torepresent the client.
RPC RULE 6.3: MEMBERSHIP IN LEGAL SERVICES ORGANIZATION
- A lawyer may serve as a director, officer or member of a legal servicesorganization, apart from the law firm in which the lawyer practices,notwithstanding that the organization serves persons having interestsadverse to a client of the lawyer. The lawyer shall not knowinglyparticipate 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 onthe representation of a client of the organization whose interests areadverse to a client of the lawyer.
RPC RULE 6.4: LAW REFORM ACTIVITIES AFFECTING CLIENT INTERESTS
A lawyer may serve as a director, officer or member of an organizationinvolved in reform of the law or its administration notwithstanding thatthe reform may affect the interests of a client of the lawyer. When thelawyer knows that the interests of a client may be materially benefited bya decision in which the lawyer participates, the lawyer shall disclose thatfact but need not identify the client.
RPC RULE 6.5: NONPROFIT AND COURT-ANNEXED LIMITED LEGAL SERVICE PROGRAMS
- (a) A lawyer who, under the auspices of a program sponsored by anonprofit organization or court, provides short-term limited legal servicesto a client without expectation by either the lawyer or the client that thelawyer will provide continuing representation in the matter and withoutexpectation that the lawyer will receive a fee from the client for theservices provided:(1) is subject to Rules 1.7, 1.9(a), and 1.18(c) only if the lawyerknows that the representation of the client involves a conflict ofinterest, except that those Rules shall not prohibit a lawyer fromproviding limited legal services sufficient only to determine eligibilityof the client for assistance by the program and to make an appropriatereferral of the client to another program;(2) is subject to Rule 1.10 only if the lawyer knows that anotherlawyer associated with the lawyer in a law firm is disqualified by Rule 1.7or 1.9(a) with respect to the matter; and(3) notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2), is not subject toRules 1.7, 1.9(a), 1.10, or 1.18(c) in providing limited legal services toa client if:(i) the program lawyers representing the opposing clients arescreened by effective means from information relating to the representationof the opposing client;(ii) each client is notified of the conflict and the screeningmechanism used to prohibit dissemination of information relating to therepresentation; and(iii) the program is able to demonstrate by convincing evidence thatno material information relating to the representation of the opposingclient was transmitted by the personally disqualified lawyers to the lawyerrepresenting the conflicting client before implementation of the screeningmechanism and notice to the opposing client.
- (b) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2), Rule 1.10 is inapplicable toa representation governed by this Rule.
RPC RULE 7.1: COMMUNICATIONS CONCERNING A LAWYER'S SERVICES
A lawyer shall not make a false or misleading communication about thelawyer or the lawyer's services. A communication is false or misleading ifit contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a factnecessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading.
RPC RULE 7.2: ADVERTISING
- (a) Subject to the requirements of Rules 7.1 and 7.3, a lawyer mayadvertise services through written, recorded or electronic communication,including public media.
- (b) A lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person forrecommending the lawyer's services, except that a lawyer may(1) pay the reasonable cost of advertisements or communicationspermitted by this Rule;(2) pay the usual charges of a legal service plan or a not-for-profitlawyer 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 nototherwise prohibited under these Rules that provides for the other personto 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 nameand office address of at least one lawyer or law firm responsible for its content.
RPC RULE 7.3: DIRECT CONTACT WITH PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS
- (a) A lawyer shall not directly or through a third person, by in-person,live telephone, or real-time electronic contact solicit professionalemployment from a prospective client when a significant motive for thelawyer'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 relationshipwith the lawyer; or(3) has consented to the contact by requesting a referral from a notfor-profit lawyer referral service.
- (b) A lawyer shall not solicit professional employment from a prospectiveclient by written, recorded or electronic communication or by in-person,telephone or real-time electronic contact even when not otherwiseprohibited by paragraph (a), if;(1) the prospective client has made known to the lawyer a desire notto be solicited by the lawyer; or(2) the solicitation involves coercion, duress or harassment.
- (c) [Reserved.]
- (d) Notwithstanding the prohibitions in paragraph (a), a lawyer mayparticipate with a prepaid or group legal service plan operated by anorganization not owned or directed by the lawyer that uses in-person ortelephone contact to solicit memberships or subscriptions for the plan frompersons who are not known to need legal services in a particular mattercovered by the plan.Comment
RULE 7.4: COMMUNICATION OF FIELDS OF PRACTICE AND SPECIALIZATION
- (a) A lawyer may communicate the fact that the lawyer does or does notpractice in particular fields of law.
- (b) A lawyer admitted to engage in patent practice before the UnitedStates Patent and Trademark Office may use the designation "PatentAttorney" 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 ina particular field of law, except upon issuance of an identifyingcertificate, award, or recognition by a group, organization, orassociation, a lawyer may use the terms "certified", "specialist","expert", or any other similar term to describe his or her qualificationsas a lawyer or his or her qualifications in any subspecialty of the law.If the terms are used to identify any certificate, award, or recognitionby 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 recognizecertification of specialties in the practice of law and that thecertificate, award, or recognition is not a requirement to practice lawin the state of Washington.
RPC RULE 7.5: FIRM NAMES AND LETTERHEADS
- (a) A lawyer shall not use a firm name, letterhead or otherprofessional designation that violates Rule 7.1. A trade name may beused by a lawyer in private practice if it does not imply a connectionwith a government agency or with a public or charitable legal servicesorganization and is not otherwise in violation of Rule 7.1.
- (b) A law firm with offices in more than one jurisdiction may use thesame name or other professional designation in each jurisdiction, butidentification of the lawyers in an office of the firm shall indicate thejurisdictional limitations on those not licensed to practice in thejurisdiction where the office is located.
- (c) The name of a lawyer holding a public office shall not be used inthe name of a law firm, or in communications on its behalf, during anysubstantial period in which the lawyer is not actively and regularlypracticing with the firm.
- (d) Lawyers may state or imply that they practice in a partnership orother organization only when that is a fact.
RPC RULE 7.6: POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO OBTAIN GOVERNMENT LEGAL ENGAGEMENTS ORAPPOINTMENTS BY JUDGES
A lawyer or law firm shall not accept a government legal engagement oran appointment by a judge if the lawyer or law firm makes a politicalcontribution or solicits political contributions for the purpose ofobtaining or being considered for that type of legal engagement or appointment.
RPC RULE 8.1: BAR ADMISSION AND DISCIPLINARY MATTERS
- An applicant for admission to the Bar, or a lawyer in connection witha bar admission or reinstatement application, or in connection with adisciplinary matter, shall not:
- (a) knowingly make a false statement of material fact; or
- (b) fail to disclose a fact necessary to correct a misapprehensionknown by the person to have arisen in the matter, or knowingly fail torespond to a lawful demand for information from an admissions ordisciplinary authority, except that this Rule does not requiredisclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.
RPC RULE 8.2: JUDICIAL AND LEGAL OFFICIALS
- (a) A lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to befalse or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerningthe qualifications, integrity, or record of a judge, adjudicatoryofficer or public legal officer, or of a candidate for election orappointment to judicial or legal office.
- (b) A lawyer who is a candidate for judicial office shall comply withthe applicable provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct.
RPC RULE 8.3: REPORTING PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT
- (a) A lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation ofthe Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question asto that lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in otherrespects, should inform the appropriate professional authority.
- (b) A lawyer who knows that a judge has committed a violation ofapplicable rules of judicial conduct that raises a substantial questionas to the judges fitness for office should inform the appropriate authority.
- (c) This Rule does not permit a lawyer to report the professionalmisconduct of another lawyer or a judge to the appropriate authority ifdoing so would require the lawyer to disclose information otherwiseprotected by Rule 1.6.
RULE 8.4: MISCONDUCT
- 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'shonesty, 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 governmentagency or official or to achieve results by means that violate the Rules ofProfessional Conduct or other law;
- (f) knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer in conduct that is aviolation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or other law;
- (g) commit a discriminatory act prohibited by state law on the basis ofsex, race, age, creed, religion, color, national origin, disability, sexualorientation, or marital status, where the act of discrimination iscommitted in connection with the lawyer's professional activities. Inaddition, it is professional misconduct to commit a discriminatory act onthe basis of sexual orientation if such an act would violate this Rule whencommitted on the basis of sex, race, age, creed, religion, color, nationalorigin, disability, or marital status. This Rule shall not limit theability of a lawyer to accept, decline, or withdraw from the representationof a client in accordance with Rule 1.16;
- (h) in representing a client, engage in conduct that is prejudicial tothe administration of justice toward judges, other parties and/or theircounsel, witnesses and/or their counsel, jurors, or court personnel orofficers, that a reasonable person would interpret as manifesting prejudiceor bias on the basis of sex, race, age, creed, religion, color, nationalorigin, disability, sexual orientation, or marital status. This Rule doesnot restrict a lawyer from representing a client by advancing materialfactual or legal issues or arguments.
- (i) commit any act involving moral turpitude, or corruption, or anyunjustified act of assault or other act which reflects disregard for therule of law, whether the same be committed in the course of his or herconduct as a lawyer, or otherwise, and whether the same constitutes afelony or misdemeanor or not; and if the act constitutes a felony ormisdemeanor, conviction thereof in a criminal proceeding shall not be acondition precedent to disciplinary action, nor shall acquittal ordismissal thereof preclude the commencement of a disciplinary proceeding;
- (j) willfully disobey or violate a court order directing him or her todo 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 forEnforcement 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.
RULE 8.5: DISCIPLINARY AUTHORITY; CHOICE OF 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 inthis jurisdiction is also subject to the disciplinary authority of thisjurisdiction if the lawyer provides or offers to provide any legal servicesin this jurisdiction. A lawyer may be subject to the disciplinary authorityof both this jurisdiction and another jurisdiction for the same conduct.
- (b) Choice of Law. In any exercise of the disciplinary authority of thisjurisdiction, 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 rulesof the tribunal provide otherwise; and(2) for any other conduct, the rules of the jurisdiction in which thelawyer's conduct occurred, or, if the predominant effect of the conduct isin a different jurisdiction, the rules of that jurisdiction shall beapplied to the conduct. A lawyer shall not be subject to discipline if thelawyer's conduct conforms to the rules of a jurisdiction in which thelawyer reasonably believes the predominant effect of the lawyer's conduct will occur.