State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 89-04
Is a district court judge obligated to take any action regarding a deputy prosecuting attorney and the deputy's spouse appearing as opposing counsel (either as a legal intern or licensed attorney) in event that, (a) the deputy prosecuting attorney and any other member of the spouse's firm appearing as opposing counsel, and (b) the deputy prosecuting attorney's spouse or other member of the firm appears as opposing counsel opposite any other deputy prosecutor who serves in the district court?
The Code of Judicial Conduct does not automatically require a judge to make a disclosure on the record as to the marital relationship of the deputy prosecuting attorney and the deputy's spouse. However, it may be prudent for the judge to make an inquiry on the record as to the nature of the disclosure of that relationship for the benefit of the client in view of RPC 1.8(i). If the judge finds that adequate disclosure has not been made, then the judge should require it to be done on the record. This would also be the case when other deputy prosecutors face the deputy prosecuting attorney's spouse or other members of the spouse's firm as opposing counsel.
See RPC 1.8(i) and APR 9 (c)(1)
The Supreme Court adopted new Rules of Professional Conduct effective September 1, 2006.. In addition to reviewing the ethics advisory opinions, the following should be noted:
RPC 1.8(i) became RPC 1.8(l)
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