Bio

Memberships:

  • Washington State Bar Association
  • United States Supreme Court Bar
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Eastern and Western District of Washington Bar
  • Alaska District Federal Bar

Awards/Honors:

  • 2015, William O. Douglas Award, Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • 2015 AVVO Rating 10.0/10 Superb [view profile]
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV rating of 5.0/5.0
  • Seattle Metropolitan Magazine: Top Lawyer, July 2010
  • Certified as “learned in the law of capital punishment” by the Washington State Supreme Court Capital Qualifications Committee for over 5 years
  • 2005, President’s Award, Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • 2004, King County Bar Association Outstanding Lawyer Award (as part of the Gary Ridgeway Defense Team)

Education

  • University of Puget Sound School of Law, Tacoma, WA
    J.D. 1982, Managing Editor, Law Review, 1981-82
  • Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA
    B.A. Political Science, 1979

Experience

LAW OFFICE OF SUZANNE LEE ELLIOTT
Practice focused on state and federal criminal defense with significant emphasis on appeal and post-conviction proceedings. Recent and important cases include:

  • State, Dep’t of Soc. & Health Servs. v. Parvin, 326 P.3d 832 (2014) (reversing requirement to disclose name & expertise for potential expert witnesses)
  • State v. Markwart, 329 P.3d 108 (2014) (partial reversal allowing the opportunity to present additional defense)
  • Uttecht v. Brown, 551 U.S. 1 (2007) (5-4 decision affirming conviction in capital case)
  • State v. Gregory,158 Wash.2d 759, 147 P.3d 1201 (2006) (death sentence reversed)
  • In Re Lavery, 154 Wash. 2nd 249, 111 P.3rd 837 (2005) (reversing “three strikes” sentence)
  • Benn v. Lambert, 283 F. 3rd 1040(9th Cir. 2002) (reversing death penalty)
  • State v. Clark, 143 Wash. 2nd 731, 24 P. 3rd 1006 (2001) (reversing death penalty)
  • State v. Cronin, 142 Wn.2d 568; 14 P.3d 752 (2000) (Criminal complicity liability statute in aggravated murder case required that appellants know that their conduct was facilitating the crimes for which they were eventually charged, assault and murder, rather than that they were merely facilitating a general crime)
  • State v. Flieger, 91 Wn. App. 236, 955 P.2d 872 (1998) (reversing defendant’s conviction for second degree murder)

Currently co-counsel in Woods v. Uttecht, a capital habeas pending in the Eastern District of Washington, and USA v. Wade, a capital trial case pending in the district of Alaska.

WASHINGTON APPELLATE DEFENDER ASSOCIATION
1990 to 1995

Director, nonprofit corporation devoted to representing indigent criminal appellants in the Court of Appeals, Division I and the Washington State Supreme Court.

ASSOCIATED COUNSEL FOR THE ACCUSED
July, 1985 to June, 1990

Staff Attorney responsible for representing indigent criminal defendants in the trial courts of the State of Washington. Represented clients in the Courts of Limited Jurisdiction, Seattle Municipal Court, Juvenile Court and the King County Superior Court. Drafted all pleadings necessary for trial including pretrial motions, trial briefs and jury instructions. Was assigned for a considerable period of time to writing RALJ appeals.

WASHINGTON STATE SUPREME COURT
May, 1983 to July, 1985

Staff Attorney assigned to the Court Commissioner’s Office. Reviewed petitions for review and motions for discretionary review. Prepared bench memos for the Court’s departmental conferences to advise the Court as to whether or not the petition or motion met the criteria for review.

Professional Organizations

  • Washington State Bar Association, Pattern Jury Instructions Committee
  • Cooperating Attorney, Innocence Project Northwest
  • Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Co-Chair Amicus Committee, 2000 to present
  • Former CJA Panel Representative, Western District of Washington

Publications and CLE Presentations

  • July 2014, Presenter, Washington Defender Association Training, “Preparing Defense Counsel for Resentencing for Youth Serving Life Without Parole”
  • June 2012, Speaker, Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Annual Conference, “Tweeting Jurors”
  • August 2011, Author, “Prisoner: AG Bill Limits Options for Prisoners,” Washington Criminal Defense Magazine
  • 2009, Speaker, Criminal Law Boot Camp, May 1, 2009, “Making the Record For Appeal”
  • 2008, Speaker, Washington State Appellate Judges, Spring Conference
  • 2007, Speaker, “Crimes of Violence, Defense with a Passion”
  • 2005, Speaker, “Thrills and Skills, Spokane, Washington”
  • 2005, Speaker, “Dealing with Drugs: Defending Drug Cases in the 21st Century”
  • 2001, Author, “Evidence: The Common Scheme or Plan Problem” Vol. 15, No. 4 Washington Criminal Defense Magazine
  • 2000, Presenter, “Innocence Found: Wenatchee and Beyond,” April 14, 2000, Washington Law School Foundation
  • 1998, Contributing Author, Washington Appellate Practice Handbook, Supplement
  • 1997, Speaker, Washington Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, “Cutting Issues in Criminal Law”
  • 1995, Editor, “Defense of a Drug Case,” 2nd Ed., Published by the Washington Defender Association
  • 1995, Moderator and Speaker, Appellate Practice for the Trial Attorney
  • 1994, Moderator, Washington Criminal Justice Institute, I-593 Panel
  • 1994, Editor, “Washington State Criminal Forms,” Published by the Washington Defender Association
  • 1993, Editor, “Defense of a Drug Case,” Published by the Washington Defender Association
  • 1993, Speaker, SKCBA CLE, Appellate Practice, “Oral Argument»
  • 1993, Speaker, Defender Annual Conference, “Caseload Control”
  • 1992, Speaker, WSBA Criminal Law Section Annual CLE, “Significant Evidentiary Cases in 1992”
  • 1992, Speaker, WSBA Bar Convention, “Recent Developments in SRA Sentencing”
  • 1989, Speaker, Defender Annual Conference, “New Challenges to Charging Documents”