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About me

Doug Cowan, founder and senior partner of Cowan Kirk Gaston, a law firm exclusively dedicated to the defense of DUI cases, is one of the country's most respected and experienced DUI defense lawyers. He is a Founder of the National College for DUI Defense, served on its Board of Regents from 1994-2000, served as Dean of the College for the 1996-1997 academic year, and is one of only two lawyers in Washington to receive Board Certification in DUI Defense. 


Doug has been defending DUI cases since 1969, and literally wrote the book on defending DUIs in Washington, a textbook for other lawyers. Doug has been named as a "Super Lawyer" by Washington Law & Politics every year since 2000, and has twice been named by the same publication as one of Washington's top 25 criminal defense lawyers.  He has lectured in 17 states to other lawyers on how to defend DUIs on such diverse topics as cross examination of the officer, cross exmaination of the state's breath test expert, pre-trial litigation, opening statements, closing arguments, the DataMaster (Washington's breath test machine) and legal ethics in DUI defense.


Doug received certification in the adminstration of Standardized Field Sobriety Testing in 1998, and again in 2001.


An avid golfer, Doug is married and has three children and four grandchildren.




Contact info

The Cowan Smith Kirk Gaston Law Firm

4040 Lake Washington Boulevard NE
Suite 300
Kirkland, WA, 98033-7874

Practice areas


  1. DUI & DWI: 100%

Attorney endorsements

11 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Sean P Cecil

    I endorse this lawyer. Doug is one well known and respected in the legal community, even outside the criminal defense world. He literally wrote the book on DUI defense! I would not hesitate to refer any client to Doug and his firm.


    Sean Cecil Personal injury Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Luke Edward Baumgarten

    Mr. Cowan’s DUI defense credentials are well-known across the country and there is nothing I could say to add to those credentials. However, I can say that I have known few lawyers who are as down-to-earth, generous with their time, and dedicated to the finest traditions of the profession as Mr. Cowan. He is a true a colleague who selflessly serves as a mentor and role-model to DUI defense attorneys across the country. Mr. Cowan doesn’t need my endorsement, but I hope he knows how much I -- and so many other lawyers -- value his contributions to our profession. It truly is a great honor to call Mr. Cowan a colleague.


    Luke Baumgarten Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Super LawyerWashington Journal of Law & Politics2009
Top 25 Criminal Defense/DUI AttorneyWashington Journal of Law & Politics2008
Super LawyerWashington Journal of Law & Politics2008
Super LawyerWashington Journal of Law & Politics2007
Super LawyerWashington Journal of Law & Politics2006
Super LawyerWashington Journal of Law & Politics2005
Super LawyerN/A2004
Super LawyerN/A2003
Who's Who in AmericaN/A2002
Who's Who in AmericaKingston's National Registry of Who's Who in America2002
Super LawyerN/A2001
Richard Erwin Lifetime Achievement AwardN/A2000
Super LawyerN/A2000
Association namePosition nameDuration
Washington Foundation for Criminal JusticeFounding Member1983 - Present
East King County Bar AssociationN/A1974 - Present
King County Bar AssociationMember1969 - Present
Washington State Bar AssociationMember1968 - Present
Washington Association of Criminal Defense AttorneysFounding MemberN/A
National College of DUI DefenseFounding MemberN/A
National College of DUI DefenseDean1996 - 1997
National College of DUI DefenseBoard of Regents1994 - 2000
Washington Foundation for Criminal JusticePresident1989 - 1998
Washington Association of Criminal Defense AttorneysBoard of Governors1987 - 1989
East King County Bar AssociationPresident1979 - 1979
East King County Bar AssociationBoard of Trustees1976 - 1978
Publication nameTitleDate
Lexis Nexis PublishingDefending DUIs in Washington1987
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Washington School of LawLawN/A1968
Washington State UniversityN/AN/A1965