Updated: May 6, 2020

The Washington Supreme Court and Lawyer Discipline

The Washington Supreme Court has exclusive responsibility in Washington state to administer the lawyer discipline and disability system and to maintain appropriate standards of professional conduct. The Supreme Court delegates authority for the operation of that system to the Washington State Bar Association's Office of Disciplinary Counsel, the Disciplinary Board, and hearing officers. Only the Supreme Court can suspend or disbar a lawyer. All lawyers admitted to practice law in Washington are subject to lawyer discipline.

The lawyer discipline system protects the public by holding lawyers accountable for ethical misconduct. Under Title 13 of the Washington Supreme Court's Rules for Enforcement of Lawyer Conduct, disciplinary actions include admonition, reprimand, suspension up to three years, disbarment, restitution, and probation.

The Washington Supreme Court issues written opinions in disciplinary cases it considers. Read recent written opinions that have been issued:

In re Disciplinary Proceedings Against Muenster, Feb. 20, 2020

In re Disciplinary Proceedings Against Jensen, Nov. 29, 2018

In re Disciplinary Proceedings Against Cottingham, Aug. 16, 2018

In re Disciplinary Proceedings Against Waechter, June 14, 2018

In re Disciplinary Proceeding Against Placide, April 12, 2018


Resource Links

Washington Supreme Court
TVW — View Washington Supreme Court oral arguments