B.A., Economics, Phi Beta Kappa, Wesleyan University, 1983; J.D., Order of the Coif, Bates Award for Outstanding Graduating Student, University of Michigan Law School, 1988; Law Clerk, Barbara Jacobs Rothstein, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, 1988-90.
Todd, a partner with the firm, has represented individuals in a broad range of litigation and appellate cases since 1990. For nearly twenty years, he has provided the highest quality legal representation to clients facing the full spectrum of criminal charges and civil claims. Todd provides legal advice to businesses and individuals facing investigations and inquiries from federal and state regulatory agencies, as well as vigorous representation at the trial and appellate stages of the criminal justice system. He is well known for having successfully handled numerous trials, appeals and post-conviction cases.
Although Todd’s practice focuses upon the defense of complex criminal charges in the federal and state courts, he has also handled numerous appeals, juvenile cases, civil cases, forfeiture matters, disciplinary proceedings, administrative hearings, and habeas corpus cases. His clients have included corporations, doctors, dentists, lawyers, judges, elected officials, politicians, business executives, professors, professional athletes, juveniles, and members of the clergy.
Todd has represented individuals in all types of criminal and civil cases. He is recognized for his expertise in the defense of capital murder and other felony cases. Recently, Todd’s practice has emphasized the defense of complex federal cases, including cases involving drug charges and allegations of racketeering, fraud, copyright infringement, and violations of environmental and securities laws.
Todd has represented individuals in state prosecutions in Washington and all corners of the Northwest. Since 2000, he has been deemed as qualified by a committee of the Washington Supreme Court to represent capital defendants in trials, appeals and post-conviction cases. Todd also has been qualified as “learned counsel” to represent defendants in federal capital trial.
Todd has also handled federal criminal cases all over the United States. He is currently admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit, the United States District Courts for the Western District of Washington, Eastern District of Washington, District of Idaho, District of Montana, District of Alaska, Southern District of New York, and Southern District of Michigan.
Todd is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Washington Law School where he teaches in the Trial Advocacy Program. He has served as an expert on various topics relating to criminal litigation and he is a frequent lecturer on topics of interest to defense lawyers. Since 1991, he has lectured on topics ranging from trial strategy, misdemeanor practice, forfeiture law, sentencing issues in drug cases, civil rights litigation, the First Amendment, legal ethics, prosecutorial misconduct to tactics in personal restraint cases and habeas corpus litigation. Todd is the author of a supplement to the Washington Appellate Practice Deskbook entitled “Relationship of State Appellate Courts to Federal Courts.”
Todd has received numerous awards and accolades from his peers. During 2007, the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers presented Todd with its most prestigious honor, the William O. Douglas Award, in recognition of his extraordinary dedication to the practice of criminal law. In 1997, Todd was awarded the Abolitionist Award from the Washington Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. He was awarded the Pro Bono Award from Seattle-King County Bar Association in 1990.
Todd has also been named a Washington Law and Politics’ Super Lawyer for each of the last six years. Like his partners, Todd was named as one of the eight top criminal lawyers by Seattle Magazine in December 2006. In February 2009, he was identified as one of Washington’s top 25 criminal lawyers by Washington Law and Politics. He is listed as “AV” in Martindale Hubbell. An AV rating is the highest peer review rating given for the standard of professional ability and other professional qualifications.
Todd is a longtime member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (“NACDL”) and Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (“WACDL”). Beginning June 2009, he will serve as WACDL’s president. Todd is presently serving as co-chair of the Death Penalty Committee of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
He is also committed to numerous community issues. Todd has served for more than ten years on the legal committee of the Northwest Women’s Law Center and he was the chair of that committee for nearly five years. Also, he is a founder of the King County Legal Task Force for the Homeless.
Since 1990, Todd has specialized in criminal defense and appellate litigation in Washington’s state and federal courts. His well known cases include:
- United States v. Roueche (2009), where the federal government has leveled charges against members of the so-called “UN gang” from British Columbia, Canada;
- United States v. Bonnar (2008), where a federal jury acquitted King County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Bonnar of all charges, including claims that he had committed assault and perjury;
- Covington v. Simpson (2008), where the Covington Prosecuting Attorney agreed to dismiss all charges against Washington State Representative Geoff Simpson;
- In re Hubert, 138 Wn.App. 924 (2007), where Washington Court of Appeals set aside conviction of defendant convicted of attempted rape in Whatcom County Superior Court;
- Dhaliwal v. Lambert (2007), where King County Prosecutor agreed to vacate murder conviction of cab driver sentenced to 25 years in prison, after a federal judge ruled that a defendant had received deficient representation during his trial;
- State v. McIver (2007), where, after losing several pretrial motions, the King County Prosecuting Attorney agreed to dismiss all charges against Seattle City Councilmember Richard McIver;
- United States v. Rollness (2006), where the federal government prosecuted four members of the Hells’ Angels Motorcycle Club for numerous charges, including RICO and murder;
- United States v. _____ (2006), where the federal government prosecuted the owner of a home in Whatcom County, Washington affiliated with a 360-foot tunnel from Canada to the United States;
- State v. Cross, 156 Wn.2d 580 (2006), where, in a 5-4 decision, the Washington Supreme Court concluded that Washington’s death penalty system does not violate the Eighth Amendment;
- State v. Arntsen (2005), where trial court sets aside murder conviction of defendant who went to trial during 1999;
- LH v. Lummi Indian Tribe (2005), where Lummi Indian Tribe paid large settlement to a young child injured on Lummi property;
- Averill v. Seattle Ethics and Election Commission (2003), where United States District Judge Robert Lasnik issued an injunction to protect the First Amendment rights of members of the Freedom Socialist Party;
- Pirtle v. Morgan, 313 F.3d 1160 (9th Cir. 2002), where the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the conviction and death sentence of Blake Pirtle from Spokane, Washington;
- United Methodist Church v. DS (2001), where the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church exonerated a pastor who was accused of providing false testimony in a criminal trial;
- State v. JC (2000), where a Snohomish County jury aquits a defendant charged with felony assault of a child;
- Kirkland v. Green (1998), where the City of Kirkland agreed to dismiss all charges against then-Seattle Seahawk running back Ahman Green;
- Rupe v. Wood, 93 F.3d 1434 (9th Cir. 1996), where the Ninth Circuit set aside the death sentence of Mitchell Rupe based upon trial court’s refusal to allow defendant to present evidence that a State’s witness had failed a polygraph examination;
- United States v. Chick, 61 F.3d 682 (9th Cir. 1995), where the Ninth Circuit concluded that a criminal defendant is entitled to immediately appeal a district court’s pretrial decision that his prosecution does not violate the double jeopardy clause;
- Rupe v. Wood, 863 F.Supp. 1307 (W.D.Wa. 1996), where United States District Judge Thomas Zilly concluded that Rupe’s hanging would constitute cruel and unusual punishment within the meaning of the Eighth Amendment;
- Doe v. Gregoire, 960 F.Supp. 1478, 1486-87 (W.D.Wa. 1997), where United States District Judge William Dwyer concluded that Washington’s sex offender notification laws were unconstitutional;
- Compassion in Dying v. Washington (1993-97), appointed by federal court to provide amicus briefing regarding legal issues surrounding patient rights and assisted suicide;
- Aldrich v. Knab, 858 F.Supp. 1480 (W.D. Wa. 1994), where United States District Court Judge Thomas Zilly ruled that KCMU-FM, a public radio station at the University of Washington, had adopted policies and practices that violated the First Amendment.
Based on his work in these and other cases, syndicated columnist (and former Pulitzer Prize Winner) Jimmy Breslin has described Todd as “a brilliant young lawyer” and “the best of his business.”
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