WSR 08-01-014

RULES OF COURT

STATE SUPREME COURT


[ December 6, 2007 ]

IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF THE AMENDMENT TO NEW GR 12.3 -- IMMUNITY, APR 1(c) -- IN GENERAL; SUPREME COURT, PREREQUISITE TO THE PRACTICE OF LAW, COMMUNICATIONS TO THE ASSOCIATION, APR 15(i) -- LAWYERS FUND FOR CLIENT PROTECTION -- COMMUNICATIONS TO THE ASSOCIATION, APR 16(e) -- MEDIATION -- COMMUNICATIONS TO THE ASSOCIATION, APR 19(f) LAWYER SERVICES DEPARTMENT -- COMMUNICATIONS TO THE ASSOCIATION AND ELC 2.12 -- COMMUNICATIONS TO THE ASSOCIATION PRIVILEGED )

)

)

)

)

)

)

)

)

)

)

)

)

)

)

)

)

ORDER

NO. 25700-A-887


The Washington State Bar Association having recommended the adoption of the proposed amendments to New GR 12.3 -- Immunity, APR 1(c) -- In General; Supreme Court, Prerequisites to the Practice of Law, Communications to the Association, APR 15(i) -- Lawyers Fund for Client Protection -- Communications to the Association, APR 16(e) -- Mediation -- Communications to the Association, APR 19(f) Lawyer Services Department -- Communications to the Association and ELC 2.12 -- Communications to the Association Privileged, and the Court having determined that the proposed amendment will aid in the prompt and orderly administration of justice and further determined that an emergency exists which necessitates an early adoption;

Now, therefore, it is hereby

ORDERED:

(a) That the amendments as attached hereto are adopted.

(b) That pursuant to the emergency provisions of GR 9(i), the amendments will be published expeditiously and become effective upon publication.

DATED at Olympia, Washington this 6th day of December, 2007.
Alexander, C.J.


C. Johnson, J.



Madsen, J.


Owens, J.


Sanders, J.


Fairhurst, J.


Bridges, J.


J.M. Johnson, J.



New GR 12.3

Immunity


All boards, committees, or other entities, and their members and personnel, and all personnel and employees of the Washington State Bar Association, acing on behalf of the Supreme Court under the Admission to Practice Rules, the rules for Enforcement of Lawyer Conduct, and the Disciplinary Rules for Limited Practice Officers, shall enjoy quasi-judicial immunity if the Supreme Court would have immunity in performing the same functions.


SUGGESTED AMENDMENT


ADMISSION TO PRACTICE RULES (APR)


RULE 1. IN GENERAL; SUPREME COURT; PREREQUISITES TO THE PRACTICE OF LAW; IMMUNITY COMMUNICATIONS TO THE ASSOCIATION



(a) Supreme Court. [No change].

(b) Prerequisites to the Practice of Law. [No change].

(c) Immunity Communications to the Association. The Washington State Bar Association, its officers and agents (including but not limited to its staff, members of the Board of Governors, the Committee of Bar Examiners, the Character and Fitness Board, the Law Clerk Committee, or any other individual acting under authority of these rules) are immune from all liability for conduct and communications occurring in the performance of their official duties relating to the examination, character and fitness qualifications, admission, and licensing of persons seeking to be admitted to the practice of law or for a limited license to practice law, provided only that the Bar Association, officer, or agent shall have acted in good faith. The burden of proving bad faith in this context shall be upon the person asserting it. The Bar Association shall provide defense to any action brought against an officer or agent of the Bar Association for actions taken in good faith under these rules and shall bear the costs of that defense and shall indemnify the officer or agent against any judgment taken therein. Communications to the Association, the Board of Governors, the Committee of Bar Examiners, the Character and Fitness Board, the Law Clerk Committee, mediators, mediation staff, or any other individual person, board, committee or other entity acting under authority of these rules, are absolutely privileged, and no lawsuit may be predicated thereon.


SUGGESTED AMENDMENT

ADMISSION TO PRACTICE RULES (APR)

APR 15 LAWYERS' FUND FOR CLIENT PROTECTION



(a) Purpose. [No change].

(b) Establishment. [No change].

(c) Funding. [No change].

(d) Enforcement. No change].

(e) Restitution. [No change].

(f) Administration. [No change].

(g) Subpoenas. [No change].

(h) Reports. [No change].

(i). Communications to the Association: Communications to the Association, Board of Governors (Trustees), Committee, Association staff, or any other individual acting under authority of these rules, are absolutely privileged, and no lawsuit predicated thereon may be instituted against any applicant or other person providing information.


SUGGESTED AMENDMENT


ADMISSION TO PRACTICE RULES (APR)


RULE 16. MEDIATION



(a) Policy. [No change].

(b) Mediation Program. [No change].

(c) Confidentiality. [No change].

(d) Selection and Appointment of Mediators. [No change].

(e) Exoneration From Liability. Communications to the Association.

(1) Bar Association and Its Agents. No cause of action shall accrue in favor of any person, arising from any action or proceeding pursuant to these rules, against the Bar Association, or its officers or agents (including but not limited to its staff, members of the Board of Governors, mediators, or any other individual acting under authority of these rules) provided only that the Bar Association, officer or agent shall have acted in good faith. The burden of proving bad faith in this context shall be upon the person asserting it. The Bar Association shall provide defense to any action brought against an officer or agent of the Bar Association for actions taken in good faith under these rules and shall bear the costs of that defense and shall indemnify the officer or agent against any judgment taken therein.

(2) Parties and Witnesses. Communications to the Bar Association, Board of Governors, mediator, mediation staff, or any other individual acting under authority of these rules, are absolutely privileged, and no lawsuit predicated thereon may be instituted against any party to a mediation, witness or other person providing information.


SUGGESTED AMENDMENT

ADMISSION TO PRACTICE RULES (APR)

RULE 19

LAWYER SERVICES DEPARTMENT



(a) - (e) [No change].

(f) Communications to the Association. Communications to the Bar Association, Board of Governors, staff, or any other individual acting under the authority of this rule, are absolutely privileged, and no lawsuit predicated thereon may be instituted against them or other person providing information.


SUGGESTED AMENDMENT


RULES FOR ENFORCEMENT OF LAWYER CONDUCT (ELC)


RULE 2.12 EXONERATION FROM LIABILITY COMMUNICATIONS TO THE


ASSOCIATION PRIVILEGED



(a) Association and Its Agents. No cause of action accrues in favor of a respondent lawyer or any other person, arising from an investigation or proceeding under these rules, against the Association, or its officers or agents (including but not limited to its staff, members of the Board of Governors, the Disciplinary Board, review committees, and hearing panels; hearing officers; disciplinary counsel; adjunct investigative counsel; adjunct review committee members; lawyers appointed under rule 7.7, 8.2 (c)(2), or 8.3 (d)(3); probation officers appointed under rule 13.8; or any other individual acting under authority of these rules) provided only that the Association or individual acted in good faith. The burden of proving bad faith in this context is on the person asserting it. The Association must defend any action against an officer or agent of the Association for actions taken in good faith under these rules, bear the costs of that defense, and indemnify the officer or agent against any such judgment.

(b) Grievants and Witnesses. Communications to the Association, Board of Governors, Disciplinary Board, review committee, hearing officer or panel, disciplinary counsel, adjunct investigative counsel, Association staff, or any other individual acting under authority of these rules, are absolutely privileged, and no lawsuit predicated thereon may be instituted against any grievant, witness, or other person providing information.

Reviser's note: The typographical error in the above material occurred in the copy filed by the State Supreme Court and appears 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.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office