Updated: Dec. 13, 2023

Committee on Professional Ethics

The Committee on Professional Ethics (CPE) issues advisory opinions to address recurring or emerging ethics issues facing WSBA members. The advisory opinions cover a broad context and provide in-depth guidance on the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) as applied to a wide variety of practice areas. Advisory opinions issued by the committee are published online.

Bar members seeking an advisory opinion from the CPE should direct their request to the staff liaison or the chair. See contact information listed below. If the request is accepted by the committee, a lengthy review process generally follows before a final opinion or other recommendation is issued. Those seeking a more immediate response should contact the Bar's Ethics Line.

The committee also plays a key role in reviewing and suggesting amendments to the RPC.

Recent Advisory Opinions

2022

Advisory Opinion 201601 regarding updated opinion on remote and virtual law practice.

Advisory Opinion 202201 regarding whether a lawyer may “reply all” when responding to an email in which the initiating lawyer has cc’d their own client.

Advisory Opinion 202202 regarding new RPC 1.4 amendments requiring malpractice insurance disclosures.

More advisory opinions can be found on the Ethics Advisory Opinions Database

Recent Amendments to Rules of Professional Conduct

For RPC 1.4(c) insurance malpractice disclosure requirement, and other amendments effective on Sept. 1, 2021, see Ethics.

On April 7, 2021, the Washington Supreme Court adopted an amendment to Cmt. 2 of RPC 1.11, effective May 4, 2021. A reference to the Court's decision in State v. Nickels (2020) was added to the comment.

On Jan. 8, 2021, the Washington Supreme Court adopted amendments to RPC 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5 and 5.5 regarding lawyer advertising, effective Jan. 26, 2021. See Washington Supreme Court Order 25700-A-1333

See the Court's website for information on suggested amendments to the RPC published for comment.

Committee Meetings

Meetings are held 10 a.m.–3 p.m. by Zoom teleconference only.

Next meeting: Feb. 24, 2024. 

Join the Zoom Meeting.

Call-in Lines: 253-215-8782 || Toll-free: 888-788-0099

Meeting ID: 862 6079 2807 || Passcode: 959842

Meeting Minutes

Oct. 6, 2023

Aug. 25, 2023

July 26, 2023

June 9, 2023

April 7, 2023

Feb. 24, 2023

Past minutes available by public records request


Contact Us

To submit a request for a written advisory opinion from the committee, please contact the staff liaison or the committee chair. For meeting information, please contact the staff liaison.

Committee Chair: Monte Jewell, mjewell@jfsseattle.org

Staff Liaison: Jeanne Marie Clavere, jeannec@wsba.org

Support Professional Responsibility Counsel: Sandra Schilling, sandras@wsba.org