Updated: Sept. 5, 2018

Our Authority

Acting under delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) is the department of the Bar Association responsible for reviewing, investigating and prosecuting grievances about the ethical conduct of Washington lawyers.

After a confidential investigation, if disciplinary counsel believes there is evidence of an ethical violation or a lawyer's disability, disciplinary counsel may refer a matter to a review committee of the Washington Supreme Court's  Disciplinary Board. Among other things, a review committee may dismiss the matter, order further investigation, or order a hearing. Disciplinary counsel may divert less serious matters to rehabilitative programs. 

Disciplinary hearings are public. Volunteer hearing officers appointed by the Washington Supreme Court conduct the hearings. The Washington Supreme Court's Disciplinary Board considers appeals from hearing officer decisions. Disciplinary actions include admonition, reprimand, suspension up to three years, disbarment, probation, and restitution. The Disciplinary Board and the Washington Supreme Court review all cases involving suspension or disbarment. 

Resource Links
Concerns About a Lawyer
Discipline Notices
Resources for Lawyers
Washington Supreme Court's Rules for Enforcement of Lawyer Conduct (ELC)
Washington Supreme Court's Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC)