Proposed Amendments to Discipline Rules; Public comment period extended to July 29


By request of the WSBA Board of Governors, the Washington Supreme Court has extended the comment period through July 29, 2021, on proposed amendments to the rules governing the discipline and incapacity systems for all license types. These amendments, known as the Rules for Discipline and Incapacity (RDI), would replace the existing disciplinary procedural rules with a single rule set for all licenses.

The stated goals of the amendments are to streamline the disciplinary process by eliminating and/or modifying certain rules to make the process more efficient, and to obtain more consistent decisions on discipline matters that were not purportedly achieved through the use of volunteer hearing officers. Read more.

Some of the criticisms to the proposed amendments are about the use of paid adjudicators, the selection of paid adjudicators by the WSBA, and the inability of parties to remove an assigned adjudicator without cause. Others are concerned that the proposed amendments do away with the option to issue an advisory letter or an admonition in lieu of authorizing the filing of formal charges, provide a respondent only 15 days to respond to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel’s request for authorization to file formal charges, and increase the Office of Disciplinary Counsel’s discretion in the way grievances are processed in a number of respects. Read more. These are some of the highlights of the proposed changes; there are others as well.

The comment period is extended to ensure ample time for notification to and feedback from legal professionals and the public. More information on how to submit comments.

Members are encouraged to read the proposed changes and to submit comments to the Supreme Court.