Title 5: Privileges


The following citations are to certain statutes that make reference to privileges or privileged communications. This list is not intended to create any privilege, nor to abrogate any privilege by implication or omission.

(a) Attorney-Client. (Reserved. See RCW 5.60.060(2).)

(b) Clergyman or Priest. (Reserved. See RCW 5.60.060(3), 26.44.060, 70.124.060.)

(c) Dispute Resolution Center. (Reserved. See RCW 7.75.050.)

(d) Counselor. (Reserved. See RCW 18.19.180.)

(e) Higher Education Procedures. (Reserved. See RCW 28B.19.120(4).)

(f) Spouse or Domestic Partner. (Reserved. See RCW 5.60.060(1), 26.20.071, 26.21A.275(8).)

(g) Interpreter in Legal Proceeding. (Reserved. See RCW 2.42.160; GR 11.1(e).)

(h) Journalist. (Reserved. See RCW 5.68.010.)

(i) Optometrist-Patient. (Reserved. See RCW 18.53.200, 26.44.060.)

(j) Physician-Patient. (Reserved. See RCW 5.60.060(4), 26.26.120, 26.44.060, 51.04.050, 69.41.020, 69.50.403, 70.124.060, 71.05.250.)

(k) Psychologist-Client. (Reserved. See RCW 18.83.110, 26.44.060, 70.124.060.)

(l) Public Assistance Recipient. (Reserved. See RCW 74.04.060.)

(m) Public Officer. (Reserved. See RCW 5.60.060(5).)

(n) Registered Nurse. (Reserved. See RCW 5.62.010, 5.62.020, 5.62.030.)

[Adopted effective September 1, 1988; amended effective September 1, 1992; January 4, 2005; September 1, 2012.] Comment 501 [Deleted effective September 1, 2006.]


The following provisions apply, in the circumstances set out, to disclosure of a communication or information covered by the attorney-client privilege or work-product protection.

(a) Disclosure Made in a Washington Proceeding or to a Washington Office or Agency; Scope of a Waiver. When the disclosure is made in a Washington proceeding or to a Washington office or agency and waives the attorney-client privilege or work-product protection, the waiver extends to an undisclosed communication or information in any proceeding only if:

(1) the waiver is intentional;

(2) the disclosed and undisclosed communications or information concern the same subject matter; and

(3) they should, in fairness, be considered together.

(b) Inadvertent Disclosure. When made in a Washington proceeding or to a Washington office or agency, the disclosure does not operate as a waiver in any proceeding if:

(1) the disclosure is inadvertent;

(2) the holder of the privilege or protection took reasonable steps to prevent disclosure; and

(3) the holder promptly took reasonable steps to rectify the error, including (if applicable) following CR 26(b)(6).

(c) Disclosure Made in a Non-Washington Proceeding. When the disclosure is made in a non-Washington proceeding and is not the subject of a court order concerning waiver, the disclosure does not operate as a waiver in a Washington proceeding if the disclosure:

(1) would not be a waiver under this rule if it had been made in a Washington proceeding; or

(2) is not a waiver under the law of the jurisdiction where the disclosure occurred.

(d) Controlling Effect of a Court Order. A Washington court may order that the privilege or protection is not waived by disclosure connected with the litigation pending before the court-in which event the disclosure is also not a waiver in any other proceeding.

(e) Controlling Effect of a Party Agreement. An agreement on the effect of disclosure in a Washington proceeding is binding only on the parties to the agreement, unless it is incorporated into a court order.

(f) Definitions. In this rule:

(1) "attorney-client privilege" means the protection that applicable law provides for confidential attorney-client communications; and

(2) "work-product protection" means the protection that applicable law provides for tangible material (or its intangible equivalent) prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial.

[Adopted effective September 1, 2010]