RPC 1.18: DUTIES TO PROSPECTIVE CLIENT
(a) A person who discusses with a lawyer the possibility of forming a client-lawyer relationship with respect to a matter is a prospective client.
(b) Even when no client-lawyer relationship ensues, a lawyer who has had discussions with a prospective client shall not use or reveal information learned in the consultation, except as Rule 1.9 would permit with respect to information of a former client or except as provided in paragraph (e).
(c) A lawyer subject to paragraph (b) shall not represent a client with interests materially adverse to those of a prospective client in the same or a substantially related matter if the lawyer received information from the prospective client that could be significantly harmful to that person in the matter, except as provided in paragraphs (d) or (e). If a lawyer or LLLT is disqualified from representation under this paragraph or paragraph (c) of LLLT RPC 1.18, no lawyer in a firm with which that lawyer or LLLT is associated may knowingly undertake or continue representation in such a matter, except as provided in paragraph (d).
(d) When the lawyer has received disqualifying information as defined in paragraph (c), representation is permissible if:
(1) both the affected client and the prospective client have given informed consent, confirmed in writing, or:
(2) the lawyer who received the information took reasonable measures to avoid exposure to more disqualifying information than was reasonably necessary to determine whether to represent the prospective client; and (i) the disqualified lawyer is timely screened from any participation in the matter and is apportioned no part of the fee therefrom; and (ii) written notice is promptly given to the prospective client.
(e) A lawyer may condition conversations with a prospective client on the person's informed consent that no information disclosed during the consultation will prohibit the lawyer from representing a different client in the matter. The prospective client may also expressly consent to the lawyer's subsequent use of information received from the prospective client.
[Adopted effective September 1, 2006.]
 Prospective clients, like clients, may disclose information to a lawyer, place documents or other property in the lawyer's custody, or rely on the lawyer's advice. A lawyer's discussions with a prospective client usually are limited in time and depth and leave both the prospective client and the lawyer free (and sometimes required) to proceed no further. Hence, prospective clients should receive some but not all of the protection afforded clients.
 [Washington revision] Not all persons who communicate information to a lawyer are entitled to protection under this Rule. A person who communicates information unilaterally to a lawyer, without any reasonable expectation that the lawyer is willing to discuss the possibility of forming a client-lawyer relationship, is not a "prospective client" within the meaning of paragraph (a). See also Washington Comment .
 It is often necessary for a prospective client to reveal information to the lawyer during an initial consultation prior to the decision about formation of a client-lawyer relationship. The lawyer often must learn such information to determine whether there is a conflict of interest with an existing client and whether the matter is one that the lawyer is willing to undertake. Paragraph (b) prohibits the lawyer from using or revealing that information, except as permitted by Rule 1.9, even if the client or lawyer decides not to proceed with the representation. The duty exists regardless of how brief the initial conference may be.
 In order to avoid acquiring disqualifying information from a prospective client, a lawyer considering whether or not to undertake a new matter should limit the initial interview to only such information as reasonably appears necessary for that purpose. Where the information indicates that a conflict of interest or other reason for non-representation exists, the lawyer should so inform the prospective client or decline the representation. If the prospective client wishes to retain the lawyer, and if consent is possible under Rule 1.7, then consent from all affected present or former clients must be obtained before accepting the representation.
 [Washington revision] [Reserved. Comment  to Model Rule 1.18 is codified, with minor modifications, as paragraph (e). See Rule 1.0A(e) for the definition of informed consent.] [Comment  amended effective April 14, 2015.]
 Even in the absence of an agreement, under paragraph (c), the lawyer is not prohibited from representing a client with interests adverse to those of the prospective client in the same or a substantially related matter unless the lawyer has received from the prospective client information that could be significantly harmful if used in the matter.
 [Washington revision] Under paragraph (c), the prohibition in this Rule is imputed to other lawyers as provided in Rule 1.10, but, under paragraph (d)(1), imputation may be avoided if the lawyer obtains the informed consent, confirmed in writing, of both the prospective and affected clients. In the alternative, imputation may be avoided if the conditions of paragraph (d)(2) are met and all disqualified lawyers are timely screened and written notice is promptly given to the prospective client. See Rule 1.0A(k) (requirements for screening procedures). Paragraph (d)(2)(i) does not prohibit the screened lawyer from receiving a salary or partnership share established by prior independent agreement, but that lawyer may not receive compensation directly related to the matter in which the lawyer is disqualified. [Comment  amended effective April 14, 2015.]
 Notice, including a general description of the subject matter about which the lawyer was consulted, and of the screening procedures employed, generally should be given as soon as practicable after the need for screening becomes apparent.
 For the duty of competence of a lawyer who gives assistance on the merits of a matter to a prospective client, see Rule 1.1. For a lawyer's duties when a prospective client entrusts valuables or papers to the lawyer's care, see Rule 1.15A. Additional Washington Comments (10 - 13)
 Unilateral communications from individuals seeking legal services do not generally create a relationship covered by this Rule, unless the lawyer invites unilateral confidential communications. The public dissemination of general information concerning a lawyer's name or firm name, practice area and types of clients served, and contact information, is not in itself, an invitation to convey unilateral confidential communications nor does it create a reasonable expectation that the lawyer is willing to discuss the possibility of forming a client-lawyer relationship.
 This Rule is not intended to modify existing case law defining when a client-lawyer relationship is formed. See Bohn v. Cody, 119 Wn.2d 357, 363, 832 P.2d 71 (1992); In re McGlothen, 99 Wn.2d 515, 522, 663 P.2d 1330 (1983). See also Scope .
 For purposes of this Rule, "significantly harmful" means more than de minimis harm.
 Pursuant to statute or other law, government officers and employees may be entitled to defense and indemnification by the government. In these circumstances, a government lawyer may find it necessary to obtain information from a government officer or employee to determine if he or she meets the criteria for representation and indemnification. In this situation, the government lawyer is acting on behalf of the government entity as the client, and this Rule would not apply. The government lawyer shall comply with Rule 4.3 in obtaining such information. [Comments adopted effective September 1, 2006.]