WSR 04-07-040

RULES OF COURT

STATE SUPREME COURT


[ March 8, 2004 ]

IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO APR 13 AND ELC 3.4 )

))

ORDER

NO. 25700-A-790


The Washington State Bar Association having recommended the adoption of the proposed amendments to APR 13 and ELC 3.4, and the Court having approved the proposed amendments for publication;

Now, therefore, it is hereby

ORDERED:

(a) That pursuant to the provisions of GR 9(f), the proposed amendments as attached hereto are to be published for comment in the Washington Reports, Washington Register, Washington State Bar Association and Administrative Office of the Court's websites in January 2005.

(b) The purpose statement as required by GR 9(d), is published solely for the information of the Bench, Bar and other interested parties.

(c) Comments are to be submitted to the Clerk of the Supreme Court by either U.S. Mail or Internet E-Mail by no later than April 29, 2005. Comments may be sent to the following addresses: Supreme Court Clerk's Office, P.O. Box 40929, Olympia, Washington 98504-0929, or Lisa.Bausch@courts.wa.gov. Comments submitted by e-mail message must be limited to 1500 words.

DATED at Olympia, Washington this 8th day of March 2004.
For the Court
Gerry L. Alexander
CHIEF JUSTICE



GR 9 COVER SHEET



Suggested Amendment


ADMISSION TO PRACTICE RULES (APR)

APR 13. SIGNING OF PLEADINGS AND OTHER PAPERS; NOTICE OF CHANGE OF ADDRESS, TELEPHONE NUMBER, OR NAME

(as revised December 5, 2003)




Purpose: As the licensing agency for Washington lawyers, the Washington State Bar Association maintains members' addresses and telephone numbers as a public record pursuant to APR 13. The suggested amendment of that rule has two purposes. First, it would add language to the rule to clarify that the mailing address provided to the Washington State Bar Association by WSBA members is the address of record for that member.

Second, it would add a new section to require that lawyers must also provide a business electronic mail address if one exists for them. Electronic addresses facilitate delivery of official WSBA mail to members. Concurrent with approving this suggested amendment, the Board of Governors amended the Member Contact Policy to provide that electronic mail addresses will not be sold to anyone other than vendors of continuing legal education.

The Board of Governors requests that this amendment be adopted effective January 1, 2005 to allow notice to members and collection of data with the 2005 license renewal process.


SUGGESTED AMENDMENT

ADMISSION TO PRACTICE RULES (APR)

APR 13. SIGNING OF PLEADINGS AND OTHER PAPERS; ADDRESS OF RECORD; ELECTRONIC MAIL ADDRESS; NOTICE OF CHANGE OF ADDRESS, TELEPHONE NUMBER, OR NAME

(revised, December 5, 2003)



(a) Signing of Pleadings and Other Papers. All pleadings and other papers signed by an attorney and filed with a court shall include the attorney's Washington State Bar Association membership number in the signature block. The law department of a municipality, county, or state, public defender organization or law firm is authorized to make an application to the Administrative Office of the Administrator for the Courts for an office identification number. An office identification number may be assigned by the Administrative Office of the Administrator for the Courts upon a showing that it will facilitate the process of electronic notification. If an office identification number is granted, it shall appear with the attorney's Washington State Bar Association membership number in the signature block.

(b) Address of Record; Change of Address. An attorney must advise the Washington State Bar Association of a current mailing address and telephone number. The mailing address shall be the attorney's address of record. An attorney whose office mailing address or office telephone number changes shall, within 10 days after the change, notify the Executive Director of the Washington State Bar Association, who shall forward changes weekly to the Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court for entry into the state computer system. The notice shall be in a form acceptable to the Bar Association and, in addition to shall include (1) the attorney's full name, the notice shall contain (1) (2) the attorney's Washington State Bar Association membership number, (2) (3) the previous address and telephone number, clearly identified as such, (3) (4) the new address and telephone number, clearly identified as such, and (4) (5) the effective date of the change. The courts of this state may rely on the address information contained in the state computer system in issuing notices in pending actions.

(c) Electronic mail address: An attorney must advise the Washington State Bar Association of a current business electronic mail address if one exists. An attorney whose business electronic mail address changes shall, within 10 days after the change, notify the Executive Director of the Washington State Bar Association, who shall forward changes weekly to the Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court for entry into the state computer system. Use of electronic mail addresses for court notice, service and filing must comply with GR 30.

(c) (d) Change of Name. [No change].

(d) (e) Requirements of Local and Other Court Rules Not Affected. [No change].



GR 9 COVER SHEET



SUGGESTED AMENDMENT


RULES FOR ENFORCEMENT OF LAWYER CONDUCT (ELC)

ELC 3.4 RELEASE OR DISCLOSURE OF OTHERWISE CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION




Purpose: The Practice of Law Board unanimously approved an amendment to the Rules for Enforcement of Lawyer Conduct (ELC) regarding disclosure of confidential disciplinary investigation information. The amendment was also unanimously approved by the Board of Governors of the Washington State Bar Association. The draft rule is based on a similar provision for release of information to the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection Committee. Its purpose is to permit the sharing of information between regulatory agencies whose investigations may overlap, for example, when the Practice of Law Board is investigating allegations of unauthorized practice of law that may also involve allegations that a lawyer assisted the unauthorized practice.

An issue of concern is the preservation of confidentiality of any disciplinary investigation information released to the Practice of Law Board. The Board Regulations provide that "the POL Board may meet in executive session and records and files may be made confidential where the preservation of confidentiality is desirable or where public disclosure might result in the violation of individual rights or in unwarranted private or personal harm. All discussions of particular complaints and investigations will be held in Executive Session." This proposed amendment makes clear that the Board's obligation is to maintain the confidentiality of any such information unless release is authorized by the ELCs or by the WSBA Executive Director pursuant to her authority under the ELCs.


SUGGESTED AMENDMENT

RULES FOR ENFORCEMENT OF LAWYER CONDUCT (ELC)

ELC 3.4 RELEASE OR DISCLOSURE OF OTHERWISE CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION



(a) Disclosure of Information. [No change].

(b) Investigative Disclosure. [No change].

(c) Release Based upon Lawyer's Waiver. [No change].

(d) Response to Inquiry or False or Misleading Statement. [No change].

(e) Discretionary Release. [No change].

(f) Statement of Concern. [No change].

(g) Release to Judicial Officers. [No change].

(h) Cooperation with Criminal and Disciplinary Authorities. [No change].

(i) Release to Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection. [No change].

(j) Conflicts Review Officer. [No change].

(k) Board of Governors Access. [No change].

(l) Release to Practice of Law Board. Information obtained in an investigation relating to possible unauthorized practice of law may be released to the Practice of Law Board. Such information shall remain under the control of the Office of Disciplinary Counsel and the Practice of Law Board must treat it as confidential unless this title or the Executive Director authorizes release.

Reviser's note: The typographical errors in the above material occurred in the copy filed by the State Supreme Court and appear in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.

Reviser's note: The brackets and enclosed material in the text of the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appear in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.

Legislature Code Reviser 

Register

Washington State Code Reviser's Office