Seattle Criminal Appeals
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James E. Lobsenz

The criminal justice system is not perfect by any means. Mistakes are made and innocent people are wrongfully convicted. That is why James Lobsenz has devoted himself to appellate work, and the correction of miscarriages of justice.


James Lobsenz

Mr. Lobsenz has an extensive appellate practice in both the state and federal appellate courts. His substantive areas of experience are constitutional law, freedom of speech, police misconduct, civil rights, criminal defense law, employment law and evidence. Mr. Lobsenz has argued over 25 cases in the Washington Supreme Court and over 150 appeals in the state and federal courts.

After clerking for the Honorable Mathew O. Tobriner, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, and the Honorable Vincent L. McKusick, Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine, Mr. Lobsenz came to Seattle and served as a deputy prosecuting attorney in King County for three years. Later he served as a public defender before going into private practice.

Mr. Lobsenz is the author of several law review articles, and he is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Seattle University, where he teaches courses on constitutional law, the First Amendment and civil rights litigation.

Mr. Lobsenz's experience in the courtroom and working for an appellate court have been instrumental in his success as an appellate attorney.

Awards & Achievements

Mr. Lobsenz is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. In 2009, Mr. Lobsenz received the William O. Douglas Award from the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in recognition of exceptional lifetime courage and dedication to the defense of persons accused of crime. He also has received the 2010 Community Leadership Award from Washington's GLBT Bar Association for his work opposing discrimination against gays and lesbians in the armed forces; the 1991 Civil Libertarian Award from the Washington ACLU; and the 1985 Human Rights Day Award from the Seattle Chapter of the United Nations Association.

He has been named by Washington Super Lawyers magazine as one of the top attorneys in the state for each of the last sixteen years, including 2016, and a Top Lawyer by Seattle Magazine for multiple years.

He was recognized by Seattle Metropolitan Magazine as one of King County's "Top Lawyers 2010." Seattle Metropolitan Magazine culled their list using the Martindale-Hubbell® ratings. He has been awarded an "AV" Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell. This rating is given to attorneys who demonstrate the highest ethical standards and professional ability.

Mr. Lobsenz is a member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, and previously served on its legal committee for thirty-seven years. He also is a member of the Northwest Women's Law Center and is on the board of directors of the Society of Counsel for the Representation of Accused Persons.

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"The criminal justice system is not perfect by any means. Mistakes are made and innocent people are wrongfully convicted. Trial judges make serious errors, and prosecutors and police sometimes engage in unfair and illegal conduct in a misguided zealous effort to punish the bad guy.

James Lobsenz

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