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About me

My practice focuses on representing people who are in conflict with government. I have specialized in criminal defense in both trial and appellate courts, and in civil rights litigation. More information about my appellate criminal defense work can be found at In my civil rights practice, I have represented people whose rights have been violated by police, social workers, teachers, mayors, governors, and military agencies.


Practice areas


  1. Criminal Defense: 35%
    37 years
  2. Appeals: 25%
    37 years
  3. Civil Rights: 20%
    37 years
  4. Employment & Labor: 10%
    33 years
  5. Other: 10%
  6. More 



Hourly ($285-300/hour), contingent (33-40%)

Payment types:

Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

2 total 

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  • James Egan

    Go figure the Avvo ratings; they are fixed as very low unless the lawyer spends energies getting endorsements or beefing up the Avvo profile. Jim is not the kind of lawyer who wastes time on such matters. Jim Lobsenz has earned an excellent reputation in the community as a cerebral, relentless lawyer for the underdog mistreated by the government, and for those denied proper public records. He is regarded as a guru in Public Records Act litigation. He is personable and makes himself regularly available for consultations about the nuances of civil procedures against the government. I have nothing but the highest of recommendations for Jim Lobsenz. He is a good listener, has a great work ethic and is a reliable partner in obtaining recourse from government transgressions. I am honored to have worked with Jim Lobsenz.


    James Egan DUI & DWI Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • Christopher R Carney

    Having worked with Jim, I can say with confidence that he is one of the most brilliant, well-respected attorneys in the State of Washington. I learned a tremendous amount from him, and I would highly recommend him to anyone.


    Christopher Carney Civil Rights Attorney
    Relationship: Co-worker

Contact info

701 5th Ave Ste 3600
Seattle, WA, 98104-7010


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2011
Top Lawyers 2010Seattle Metropolitan Magazine2010
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2010
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2009
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2008
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2007
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2006
Top Seattle Lawyer, Constitutional LawSeattle Magazine2005
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2005
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2004
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2003
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2002
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2001
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2000
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine1999
Abolitionist Day AwardWashington Coalition Against the Death Penalty1995
Civil Libertarian AwardAmerican Civil Liberties Union1991
Human Rights Day AwardUnited Nations Association1985
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Adjunct ProfessorSeattle University School of Law2000 - Present
ShareholderCarney Badley Spellman 1989 - Present
PartnerWolfe & Lobsenz1985 - 1989
Public DefenderWashington Appellate Defender Association1983 - 1985
AssociateEdwards & Barbieri1982 - 1983
Prosecuting AttorneyKing County Prosecuting Attorney's Office1979 - 1982
Association namePosition nameDuration
Washington Appellate Lawyers AssociationMember2004 - Present
Washington Association of Criminal Defense LawyersMember1987 - Present
American Civil Liberties Union of WashingtonLegal Committee Member1979 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Alleged Violation by Seattle Police Department of Washington State's Public Disclosure LawThe Seattle Police Department agreed to pay $32,000, including $22,050 covering 441 days that disputed information from a police manual had been withheld.
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Washington Criminal DefenseRaising and Litigating Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Claims2002
Marine Digest & Transportation NewsFederal Criminal Law in the Maritime Setting1991
University of Puget Sound Law ReviewThe Residential Tenant's Right to Freedom of Political Expression1987
University of Puget Sound Law ReviewA Constitutional Right to an Appeal: Guarding Against Unacceptable Risks of Erroneous Conviction1985
University of Puget Sound Law ReviewUnbridled Prosecutorial Discretion and Standardless Death Penalty Policies: The Unconstitutionality of the Washington Capital Punishment Statutory Scheme 1984
Arizona Law ReviewDependent Indian Communities: A Search for a Twentieth Century Definition1982
Maine Law ReviewBakke, Lochner & Law School: The Nobility Clause Versus a Republican Form of Medicine1980
Criminal Law BulletinProsecutorial Ethics: Managing the Uncooperative Victim-Witness1979
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1978
Stanford UniversityPolitical ScienceMA - Masters1975
Stanford UniversityPolitical ScienceBA - Bachelor of Arts1974