Learn About the Discipline System
The Washington Supreme Court has exclusive responsibility for the lawyer discipline and disability system in Washington. Under the Washington Supreme Court's Rules for Enforcement of Lawyer Conduct, the Supreme Court delegates regulatory authority to the Washington State Bar Association through the Office of Disciplinary Counsel and the Supreme Court's Disciplinary Board and hearing officers. Ethics rules adopted by the Washington Supreme Court are the Rules of Professional Conduct. For information on discipline for limited practice officers and limited license legal technicians, see the 2016 Discipline System Annual Report.
Structure of the Washington Lawyer Discipline System
Washington Supreme Court: Has exclusive authority over the entire system, conducts appellate review, and orders all suspensions and disbarments, interim suspensions, and reciprocal discipline.
Washington Supreme Court's Disciplinary Board: Reviews disciplinary recommendations and dismissals, reviews hearing records and stipulations, and is appointed by the Washington Supreme Court.
Hearing Officers: Conduct public disciplinary hearings and other proceedings and are appointed by the Washington Supreme Court.
Office of Disciplinary Counsel: Receives, reviews, and may investigate grievances; recommends disciplinary action or dismissal; presents cases at hearings.
Information and statistics about the lawyer discipline system