The Public Disclosure Commission may suspend or modify the reporting requirements if it decides that the law works a "manifestly unreasonable hardship" on the filer and the modification "will not frustrate the purposes" of the disclosure law. If you believe your situation meets these two statutory tests and you can provide convincing arguments to that effect, you have the option of requesting a reporting modification. For a quick overview, see our FAQ.
To apply for a modification,
Apply at least five weeks in advance of your filing deadline so that the Commission will have an opportunity to act on your request before the due date of the report. A hearing will be scheduled to consider your request. It's best if you attend the hearing, but your presence is not required. By law, a modification may only be granted for one reporting period. Another application must be made in following years if you still need the modification.
Due to the volume and similarity of F-1 reporting modification requests from certain professions, the Commission has developed standards that it applies for common reporting requests. These standards can be found online at WAC 390-28-100.
The F-1 requires filers to disclose any real estate assets owned, sold, or bought during the reporting period. The Commission considers requests to exempt disclosure of real estate holdings when the applicant or an immediate family member has received a threat, been issued a no-contact order or presents evidence of a similar personal safety concern. No modification will be necessary if the filer describes the property using one of the alternatives in WAC 390-24-200 (street address of each parcel, the assessor's parcel number, the abbreviated legal description appearing on property tax statements, or the complete legal description), plus the name of the county.
Filers who are officers, directors or trustees of an organization, association or union may request exemptions from having to report the names of business customers or governmental agencies that paid their businesses, organizations, associations, and the like of $12,000 or more during the reporting period. Please note that the Commission rarely grants an exemption for governmental customers. If you are including this in your request, you will be asked to provide additional detail regarding the hardship.
Lawyers and law firms
Ordinarily, the identity of a client does not fall within the purview of the information protected by the attorney-client privilege unless there is a “strong probability” that the disclosure would convey the substance of a confidential communication between client and attorney. Splash Design, Inc. v. Lee, 104 Wn.App. 38, 14 P.3d 879 (2001) (describing Rule of Professional Conduct 1.6 and citing to Dietz v. Doe, 131 Wn.2d 835, 935 P.2d 611 (1997)); Karl Tegland, Washington Practice, Vol. 5A, § 501.15 (1999); United States v. Hunton & Williams, 952 F.Supp. 843 (D.C. 1997) (under federal law, absent special circumstances, identity of a client of a lawyer or law firm is not protected by attorney-client privilege); C.K. Liew v. Breen, 640 F.2d 1046 (9th Cir. 1981) (citing to California law for same proposition, and to J. Wigmore, Evidence § 2313).
Lawyers who are judicial candidates but are not incumbent judges and who are seeking a modification request regarding client information should review WAC 390-28-100(1)(e)(i). The Commission’s likely approach to judges and their former law firms is explained at WAC 390-28-100(1)(e)(ii).
WAC 390-28-100(1)(e)(iv) explains the Commission’s likely approach to modification requests concerning disclosure on the F-1 form of the reportable information of a spouse or registered domestic partner. Generally, the Commission will require disclosure of information of which the filer is aware.