Updated: April 8, 2020

COVID-19 Information and Resources

Announcements, resources, and event changes that may affect Washington State Bar Association members, the legal community, and the public.

WSBA President Declaration of Emergency Operations. While Washington state is operating under emergency directives, WSBA will likewise implement certain emergency operations to safely continue services to support members and the public. Read the President's declaration.

How COVID-19 is Affecting Bar Operations

The Washington State Bar Association is complying with Gov. Inslee’s “Stay Home-Stay Healthy” Order by shutting its Seattle office to the public through at least April 6. WSBA employees are working remotely and are committed to continuing high service levels. We are available via phone, email, and online resources. If you need assistance, please refer to our service directory and/or use questions@wsba.org for general inquires. Many of our phone lines will go to voicemail, including our main service-line number; leave a message, and we will return your call within at least two business days. You may receive a faster response using email.

Members and applicants should submit any payments and documents online for timely processing as mail will be delayed. For service of process or delivery of subpoenas, etc, please send an email to Julies@wsba.org or Lisaa@wsba.org to discuss appropriate arrangements. Please note: We are currently working with the Washington Supreme Court to determine which regulatory functions may be “essential” and require some on-site work. Keep checking this webpage for updates.

Important WSBA and court updates:

  • Suspension of Rules of Appellate Procedure (RAP). The Washington Supreme Court has temporarily suspended RAP 18.8(b) and (c). Read the Court Order.
  • Court emergency operations and closures. The Washington Supreme Court has published a COVID-19 response page, which is a compilation of its emergency orders and court modifications. The Court has suspended most civil and criminal cases throughout Washington state until at least April 24 and has compiled a clearinghouse for statewide court emergency modifications (please check back regularly).
  • Need to make a delivery? WSBA’s Seattle office is operating under limited public access. If you need to make a delivery, please call 800-945-9722 to be connected to the appropriate employee.
  • Disciplinary and disability proceedings. The Washington Supreme Court and the Chief Hearing Officer and Disciplinary Board Chair have entered orders regarding modified procedures during the pendency of the COVID-19 public health emergency for matters in the licensed legal professional discipline and disability system. Read the Court Order and Administrative Order.
  • Coronavirus Response Task Force. WSBA has convened a new Coronavirus Response Task Force to vigorously support, advise, and help triage the WSBA’s response to support members and the public during this emergency. Task force members represent the public, rural, solo/small-firm, new member, and technology backgrounds.
  • Office of Disciplinary Counsel operations. While WSBA’s physical office is closed, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel is continuing its work through online communications. Please communicate with us by sending messages and required information to the email address of the assigned disciplinary counsel on the matter. If there is not an assigned disciplinary counsel or you do not have disciplinary counsel’s email address, send email to caa@wsba.org. If you are filing a grievance, please use our E-Grievance Form. Responses to mailed grievances will be delayed. We will update this information as soon as WSBA onsite processes resume.
  • License suspension deadline moved to June 30. The Washington Supreme Court has extended the deadline for WSBA to send its recommendations for licensing suspensions from May 5 to June 30. This applies to all members who are currently late complying with licensing payments and MCLE requirements (members on the presuspension list will be notified directly). The WSBA Board of Governors requested the deadline extension.
  • Remote administration of oaths or affirmations. As supported by WSBA in conjunction with the Washington Court Reporters Association, the Washington Supreme Court has suspended any local or state court rule that requires administering any oath or affirmation in-person where such oaths or affirmations can be administered remotely by available technologies … and is not otherwise prohibited.” Read the Order.
  • Virtual notarial acts:As requested by WSBA leaders, Gov. Inslee has immediately allowed for the use of electronic/remote notarization, with specific conditions authorized in Senate Bill 5641 (originally slated to go into effect Oct. 1, 2020).
  • Waiver of Admissions Oath. Until Washington is no longer in a state of emergency, the Washington Supreme Court has waived the APR 5 requirement of an open-court oath in the admissions process for attorneys, limited practice officers, and limited license legal technicians; any judge of any court is authorized to administer the oath by telephone, video, or online technology.
  • On-demand Legal Lunchbox for April and other WSBA CLEs. April’s Legal Lunchbox on-demand CLE is free throughout April. We plan to use webinar technology for other WSBA CLE offerings throughout April to allow for remote faculty and attendee participation with minimal disruption. 
  • Practice support. Our free legal research platforms—Casemaker and Fastcase—offer services that also may be beneficial if you are affected by closures of local law libraries. Please also see our Resources for Legal Practitioners box (above) for more information.

Guidance for Legal Professionals

We have also gathered resources and advice for legal professionals to prepare for a pandemic. Please see Are You Prepared for a Pandemic in the Legal Community for more information.

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