In the News

  • Ms. Elliott and her co-counsel presented oral argument on challenging Mr. Conner Schierman’s death penalty conviction on May 5, 2014. The arguments before the Washington State Supreme Court can be streamed on TVW.
  • Ms. Elliott presented at the Washington Defender Association training entitled “Preparing Defense Counsel for Resentencing for Youth Serving Life Without Parole” on July 25, 2014.
  • On July 3, 2014, Ms. Elliott won a partial reversal in State v. Markwart, 31158-9-III,  2014 WL 3351971. The Court of Appeals held that Mr. Markwart had been improperly denied the opportunity to present his medical marijuana defense against some of the State’s charges.
  • In termination of parental rights cases, indigent parents represented by appointed counsel must petition the government for public funding for expert witnesses and other services necessary in the course of their defense. In State, Dep’t of Soc & Health Servs. v. Parvin, 326 P.3d 832 (Wash. Ct. App. 2014), Ms. Elliott convinced the Court of Appeals that such requests could be made without notice to DSHS because revelation of the names or expertise of potential experts would prejudicial to parents and provide a considerable tactical advantage to the State. And such a procedure would be at odds with the fact that parents with means, need neither petition the court to obtain expert services, nor disclose the identity of an expert witness until they decide the expert will testify at trial.
  • In State v. Kurtz, 178 Wash, 2d 466, 309 P.3d 472 (2013), the Washington State Supreme Court accepted Ms. Elliott’s argument that the common law medical necessity defense to charges of possession of marijuana was not abrogated by enactment of Washington State Medical Use of Marijuana Act. Mr. Kurtz’s conviction was reversed.
  • In November 2013, Ms. Elliott argued Personal Restraint of Rice in the Washington Supreme Court.
  • 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.

  • 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 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.
  • Tacoma man’s DNA plea denied, The News Tribune, 6/12/2009
    A Tacoma man who hoped to use DNA evidence to overturn his criminal conviction lost his battle at the state Supreme Court but might have helped others convicted of crimes in Washington gain access to the powerful tool.
  • State Supreme Court delays Brown execution, Seattle Times, 3/13/2009
    The state Supreme Court issues a stay of execution until a judge rules on whether Olympia’s lethal-injection policy violates the law.
  • Lawyer says Ridgway is ‘out of whack’ but cooperative, The News Tribune, 11/6/2003
    Gary Leon Ridgway’s attorneys say their client should be commended for his courage.
  • Wenatchee Defendant Tries to Clear Name, Seattle PI, 11/16/1999
    On Sunday night, in the dark hours before she was to risk her freedom, Doris Green couldn’t sleep. Last week, she had turned down a deal: If she agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor, prosecutors would erase the child sex-abuse convictions that sent her to prison for 23 years.