Suzanne Lee Elliott is one of the most experienced appellate lawyers in Washington State. Shortly after graduating from law school in 1982, she worked as a staff attorney for the Washington State Supreme Court. Since that time, her practice has always focused on criminal appeals and post-conviction matters in the state and federal courts.

It does not matter what the charge is; a criminal conviction is a serious matter. And, in Washington, persons convicted of a crime have a state constitutional right to appeal. Ms. Elliott has pursued appeals for all kinds of convictions. In 2007, Ms. Elliott argued before the United States Supreme Court in Uttecht v. Brown, a death penalty case. But she also assists clients who are challenging misdemeanor convictions from the municipal and district courts statewide.

Even if time for appeal has passed, it may be useful to consult with Ms. Elliott about whether a previous conviction can be sealed or expunged or protection orders lifted. Previous convictions and protection orders – even juvenile ones – can affect a person’s credit rating, job prospects or immigration status. It is important for clients to take the initiative on these issues.

  • In March 2012, in Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. ___, 132 S.Ct. 2455, 183 L.Ed.2d 407 (2012), the United States Supreme Court held that mandatory impositions of life without the possibility of parole on juvenile offenders convicted of murder is unconstitutional. Ms. Elliott has joined a work group organized by Columbia Legal Services designed to assist those inmates who were sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for crimes they committed as juveniles.
  • On May 15, 2012, Ms. Elliott was quoted in “The Twitter Defense” an article by Rick Anderson for the Seattle Weekly. She was discussing her challenge to a murder conviction during a trial where one juror posted messages on Twitter during his jury duty.
  • In October 2012, Ms. Elliott argued State v. Kurtz in the Washington State Supreme Court. She urged the Court to hold that Washington common law recognizes medical necessity as a defense to a charge of illegal possession of marijuana.  Watch the entire oral argument video here.


Ms. Elliott welcomes referrals from other lawyers practicing in the Washington State Courts and all federal courts. Frequently conferring with experienced appellate counsel before and during trial provides substantial benefits to the client. And, even after conviction, in some cases, the referring attorneys may wish to stay active in the appeal as co-counsel.

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