The Washington State Bar Committee on Professional Ethics recently released advisory opinion No. 201802 addressing “quadripartite” relationships.
Tripartite relationships among an insurer, the insured, and defense counsel have been delineated extensively in both court decisions and advisory opinions. “Quadripartite” relationships, by contrast, are a fairly new development and remain comparatively unplumbed.
While the addition of a fourth party to the insurer/insured/defense counsel relationship is rare, it can occur. This raises the question: can defense counsel share confidential information with the fourth party?
The answer under advisory opinion no. 201802 is yes – if the client consents and if doing so is in client’s interest and does not jeopardize attorney/client or work product privilege.
Oregon has no opinion on quadripartite relationships.
All Rights Reserved 2019 Beverly Michaelis