Advisory Opinion: 1031

Year Issued: 1986

RPC(s): RPC 1.14

Subject: Multi-state practice; compliance with conflicting trust account rules

The Committee is of the opinion that the Rules of Professional Conduct do not address the issue of conflicts arising regarding trust account rules in more than one state for lawyers conducting multi-state practice. The Committee is generally of the opinion that when a lawyer acquires funds belonging to clients as a result of practice under the lawyer's Washington license, that the lawyer must comply with the Washington Rule. Therefore, in answer to your specific questions, the Committee is of the opinion that when you represent a client who resides in Idaho selling property to another resident of Idaho, even though the property itself is in Washington, that practice would not arise under your Washington license and therefore you should comply with Idaho rules. On the other hand, where you are representing an Idaho resident in Washington courts, that practice clearly is pursuant to your Washington license and therefore you should comply with the Washington rules.


Advisory Opinions are provided for the education of the Bar and reflect the opinion of the Committee on Professional Ethics (CPE) or its predecessors. Advisory Opinions are provided pursuant to the authorization granted by the Board of Governors, but are not individually approved by the Board and do not reflect the official position of the Bar association. Laws other than the Washington State Rules of Professional Conduct may apply to the inquiry. The Committee's answer does not include or opine about any other applicable law other than the meaning of the Rules of Professional Conduct.