New Court Rule, New Columns, Newer Normals


By the time this “Back to the Office” issue comes out, we may have retreated (temporarily, we hope) to our home offices again. As we continue to waver between new and newer normals, there’s not much we can do but keep ourselves and each other safe, do our jobs, and in the words of WSBA member Jim Senescu, profiled in this month’s Beyond the Bar Number, “Be nice. … Just be nice.”

In this issue, I want to highlight three new developments.

First, as you probably know by now, the Washington Supreme Court approved a change to RPC 1.4(c) that, starting Sept. 1, requires lawyers to disclose to their clients if they lack malpractice insurance at the minimum level of $100,000 per occurrence and $300,000 in the aggregate. Read about the rule change, and how it came to be, on page 36.

Second, we are debuting a new column this month entitled “Ask a Legal Administrator.” Developed with the help of Amy Strok, president of the Association of Legal Administrators Puget Sound Chapter, this column will be a semi-regular Q&A with law firm administrators from across the state at small to large firms. The first edition of this column is all about returning to the office: Will employees be required to disclose their vaccination status? Will they be required to return to in-person work? Will they be allowed to work outside the state? Read how some law firms are answering these questions and more on page 26.

Finally, we are dedicating space in this issue and in future issues to let you know what’s happening at your local county bar associations. For example, did you know that Ferry County is reviving its bar association this year? Find the first edition of Bar Notes on page 48.

Also in this issue: a look at what Washington’s new Long-Term Care Act means for employees, employers, and those who advise them; an ethics column on documenting fee agreements and modifications; and an overview of a new program proposed by the Washington Supreme Court’s Practice of Law Board called the Legal Regulatory Sandbox (page 34).

About the author

Kirsten Abel is the editor of Washington State Bar News.