(1) A licensee, certificate holder, or licensed firm, or any of their employees shall
not disclose any confidential information obtained in the course of a professional
transaction except with the consent of the client or former client or as disclosure
may be required by law, legal process, the standards of the profession, or as disclosure
of confidential information is permitted by *RCW 18.04.350 (3) and (4), 18.04.295(8), 18.04.390, and this section in connection with quality assurance, or peer reviews, investigations,
and any proceeding under chapter 34.05 RCW.
(2) This section shall not be construed as limiting the authority of this state or
of the United States or an agency of this state, the board, or of the United States
to subpoena and use such confidential information obtained by a licensee, or any of
their employees in the course of a professional transaction in connection with any
investigation, public hearing, or other proceeding, nor shall this section be construed
as prohibiting a licensee or certified public accountant whose professional competence
has been challenged in a court of law or before an administrative agency from disclosing
confidential information as a part of a defense to the court action or administrative
(3) The proceedings, records, and work papers of a review committee shall be privileged
and shall not be subject to discovery, subpoena, or other means of legal process or
introduction into evidence in any civil action, arbitration, administrative proceeding,
or board proceeding and no member of the review committee or person who was involved
in the peer review process shall be permitted or required to testify in any such civil
action, arbitration, administrative proceeding, or board proceeding as to any matter
produced, presented, disclosed, or discussed during or in connection with the peer
review process, or as to any findings, recommendations, evaluations, opinions, or
other actions of such committees, or any members thereof. Information, documents, or records that are publicly available are not to be construed
as immune from discovery or use in any civil action, arbitration, administrative proceeding,
or board proceeding merely because they were presented or considered in connection
with the quality assurance or peer review process.
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