David Allen

David Allen, a member of the Washington and Massachusetts bars, is a partner at Allen, Hansen, Maybrown & Offenbecher, P.S. Allen has practiced in Washington State since his graduation from law school in 1969. He limits his practice to criminal defense, both trial and appellate practice, and representing lawyers and judges in disciplinary proceedings.

Allen has had very good outcomes defending criminal cases. For example, from 2006 through 2019 Allen tried 24 serious criminal cases, which included charges of homicide, assault, sexual assault and fraud in State and Federal courts. Allen won 20 of these cases (a win includes a not guilty verdict or a hung jury where charges were then dismissed by prosecutor) while losing just 4. Allen has kept track of his results over the years and has won a substantial majority of his over 275 jury trials. While this is no guarantee of a successful outcome in a future case, it is a measure of his effectiveness as a litigator.

Allen has also had good success in either convincing prosecutors to decline filing charges or having charges dismissed prior to trial. Recent cases where charges were dismissed prior to trial after defense investigations and motions as well as a list of significant trials are listed below.


In 2019 Allen was voted by his peers as Seattle's Best Criminal Defense Lawyer. He has been continually listed in The Best Lawyers in America; Seattle Magazine's list of top lawyers; and Washington Law and Politics magazine "Super Lawyers" since the early 1990's when these listings began.

He was the recipient of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer's William O. Douglas Award in 1995, for "extraordinary courage and dedication to the field of criminal law."


Allen graduated from Tufts University in 1966 and Boston University School of Law in 1969.


Allen began working for Seattle Legal Services as a staff attorney in 1969, where he handled a variety of cases, including class action prisoner civil rights cases and civil Indian treaty fishing cases. He also defended flag desecration cases as an ACLU cooperating attorney and volunteered his time representing Puyallup and Nisqually tribal members charged with crimes resulting from the exercise of their treaty fishing rights.

In 1974, Allen joined the Seattle/King County Public Defender's Office as a staff attorney and assistant felony division supervisor. During his five years with the office, Allen handled serious felonies and appeals.

Allen entered private practice in 1979, and was soon joined by Richard Hansen, with whom he had worked at the Public Defender's Office. In his 50 years of practice, Allen has tried more than 275 criminal jury trials in both state and federal courts, as well as handled serious criminal appeals. Besides his criminal defense and appellate practice, Allen also represents attorneys and judges in disciplinary and ethics matters.

Voluneer Work and Service To Legal Community

Allen has served on many bar association committees and was chairperson of the Seattle/King County Bar's Criminal Law Section, the Bar's Prison Reform Section (which won a national ABA award for its accomplishments) and is a founding member of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Allen has lectured at over 150 continuing legal education seminars (a list of representative seminars available on request), and has been a lecturer in criminal procedure at the Seattle University Law School.

In 1973 Allen served as a volunteer attorney in South Dakota for Native Americans charged in the Wounded Knee demonstrations. He has done volunteer legal work for Northwest Native American tribes and the ACLU. Allen also volunteers his services to the Innocence Project Northwest, an organization of concerned attorneys and law students who assist wrongly convicted individuals.

The Washington State Bar Association has recognized him for his pro-bono legal volunteer work.

Selected Cases

Recent Dismissals of Pending Cases

Listed below is a sample of recent cases (and some notable older ones), he has tried. Many more cases are settled out of court or dismissal prior to trial (see List of Recent Dismissals below). Names of clients are used only where case was prominently reported in the news and therefore in the public domain.

State v. J., Pierce County Superior Court, 2019: Police officer charged with felony assault after he and his partner advised a grandmother that she could legally use corporal punishment on her grandson who was threatening her and acting out. After extensive briefing and oral argument, Judge granted motion of dismiss all charges two days before trial.

State v. P., King County Superior Court, 2019: High school senior charged with sexual assault after he had sex with another student who claimed she was too intoxicated to consent. After extensive investigation and witness interviews, the State dismissed all charges three days before trial.

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State v. S, King Co. Superior Court, 2016: Father charged with felony Assault in Second Degree when he questioned his 18 year old drug addicted son about his current drug use, and argument ensued during which son pulled knife which forced father to defend himself, although very fortunately no one was seriously injured.  Case dismissed outright a few days before trial. 

State v. W., King Co. Superior Court, 2016:  Attorney charged with sexually assaulting his date who was alleged to have been too intoxicated to consent. After extensive litigation, discovery and investigation, case dismissed outright 3 days before trial.

Recent Trials

State v. Ryan, Whatcom County Superior Court, February 2018.  Financial advisor charged with forcibly sexually assaulting his children’s teenage babysitter as well as other related charges.  After a trial that lasted almost a month the jury acquitted him on all charges. Jury afterwards said that while they agreed the young woman was sexually assaulted, they believed it was by some other person and she transferred it to Mr. Ryan. See: 


State v. Hansen, Yakima County Superior Court, May 2017 and retrial in August of 2017.  Attorney charged with attempting to rape; unlawfully imprison and forcible indecent liberties against his paralegal.  The defense was that they had a long term consensual sexual relationship which she was falsely denying and made the accusations to extort money.  First trial ended with acquittal on attempted rape charge and hung jury on two other counts.  Second trial ended with acquittal on unlawful imprisonment charge and was hung 8-4 for acquittal on the indecent liberties count which was then dismissed by State.  Attorney maintained his law license.



State v. Buff, King Co. Superior Court, 2016: Music teacher charged with communicating with one of his minor students for immoral purposes. Jury returned verdict of not guilty. See:



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State v. Gately, Spokane County Superior Court, 2016:  Spokane Police Sergeant, who was president of the Spokane Police Officer's Guild, was charged with two counts of rendering criminal assistance and one count of obstruction for allegedly tipping off another officer that he was under investigation and a search warrant was pending.  After extensive briefing and argument, the trial judge granted the defense's motion and dismissed the two counts of rendering criminal assistance prior to trial.  At trial on the obstruction charge, the jury deadlocked 8 not guilty to 4 for guilty and the prosecutor dismissed the case the next day.  Sgt. Gately was reinstated with department after the dismissal.  See:


State v. Thompson, King County Superior Court, October 2015: Police detective was previously the Student Resource Officer at a local high school. She was charged with several counts of felony sexual misconduct with a minor for allegedly having sex with a high school senior, who reported the allegation several years later. Jury verdicts of not guilty on all charges and officer was returned to duty. See: 


State v. C.E., King County Superior Court, March 2015: High school senior, who was captain of the soccer team and had been awarded a college scholarship, had a 'hook up' with another student on New Year's Eve 2013 and was charged with rape in the third degree for allegedly having non-consensual sexual intercourse after a night of drinking and partying. Jury verdict of not guilty.

Seattle v. Bullene, Seattle Municipal Court, November 2014: Firefighter charged with multiple assault and malicious harassment charges as a result of fights with several individuals that occurred while he, his girlfriend and another firefighter were walking through a park after attending a Seattle Sounder's soccer game. Defense was self-defense. Jury verdicts of not guilty on all charges. See: 


State v. Carlile, Snohomish County Superior Court, November 2012: Marysville Police Officer was charged with manslaughter after he accidentally left his "off duty" police pistol in his van when he exited to speak with a friend right outside the vehicle, and his 3 year old son found the pistol and tragically shot and killed his 7 year old daughter. The jury was hung 8 for not guilty; 4 for guilty; and the State subsequently dismissed the prosecution. Officer Carlile was returned to duty as a police officer following trial after an arbitration appeal. See:


State v. Meade. Snohomish County Superior Court, May 2010. Everett Police Officer charged with murder in the second degree and manslaughter in the first degree when he shot and killed a DUI suspect who refused to cooperate and tried to run him down. Defense was self-defense. Jury returned verdicts of not guilty on all charges. See: 


United States v. Bonnar, United States District Court, Western District of Washington, December 2008: King County Sheriff's deputy charged in criminal indictment with violation of civil rights and committing perjury in his testimony before a grand jury, based on an incident where deputy allegedly assaulted female drug suspect after a car pursuit.  Jury returned not guilty verdicts on all counts.  The deputy was returned to duty. See: 


State v. J.R., King County Superior Court, August 2006: Physician in residency program at the University of Washington School of Medicine,  charged with felony assault in the second degree as a result of a bar fight with another individual (who turned out to be an off-duty police officer).  Jury hung 8 (for acquittal) - 4.  Charge subsequently dismissed.

Older Trials of Note

State v. Keller, King County Superior Court, April 2004: King County Sheriff’s deputy, who the prior year was chosen as the outstanding officer in his department, was charged with assault and unlawful imprisonment of one of his undercover informants.  Jury verdict of not guilty on assault charge, hung jury (8 (for not guilty) to 4) on unlawful imprisonment charge, which was subsequently dismissed and deputy returned to duty. See: 


State v. C.W., King County Superior Court, July 2002: College student charged with date rape (he had previously gone to trial with another attorney and the case was hung, 9 for guilty – 3 for not guilty).  Not guilty verdict at retrial.

State v. S.J., King County Superior Court, July 2000: Personal fitness trainer charged with two counts of assault with deadly weapon for allegedly threatening her former boyfriend and his brother with a pistol.  Jury verdict of not guilty on all charges.  Jury also awarded reimbursement of attorney’s fees and costs, finding her actions were justified self-defense.

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State v. A., King County Superior Court, April 2000: Restaurant owner was essentially facing life in prison when charged with attempted murder, burglary, several felony assaults with deadly weapons and violation of no contact order for breaking into estranged wife’s house and assaulting her new boyfriend, who unbeknownst to him turned out to be his best friend. Defense was diminished capacity in that he was in a blackout due to severe insulin shock. Acquitted by jury on all charges except for one count of felony assault (lesser degree, without a deadly weapon finding) and lesser charge of misdemeanor trespass, and he received a six month work release sentence and probation.

State v. Dr. Bruce Rowan, Clallam County Superior Court, October 1998: ER physician charged with first degree murder for killing wife with ax, found not guilty by reason of insanity after a 4 week jury trial and sent to mental hospital, rather than life in prison, and later paroled to community housing.  This trial was the subject of a book: Smith, Carlton, Bitter Medicine, St. Martin’s Paperbacks, N.Y.C. (2000).  (This was reported by the news media to be the first jury insanity acquittal in a homicide case in the last forty years in Washington State.) See: 


 USA v. Almajose, United States District Court for WD of Washington, July 1997: Doctor charged with federal mail fraud as result of alleged scheme to cheat insurance companies after an FBI sting operation.  Jury hung 10 (for acquittal) to 2, prosecution subsequently dismissed.

State v. T. Hansen, Snohomish County Superior Court, April 1997: Everett City Council member charged with felony theft for using city credit cards for gambling.  Jury verdict of not guilty. See: 


State v. Soldat, King County Superior Court, May 1996:  High school teacher, who was formerly captain of University of Washington football team, charged with sexually assaulting student.  Jury verdict of not guilty. See:


State v. H. Ross Perot, Jr., King County District Court 1993:  H. Ross Perot, Jr., son of former presidential candidate, charged with carrying concealed weapon through airport security.  Jury verdict of not guilty. See: 


State v. Hunter, King County Superior Court, 1990: Starting cornerback for the Seattle Seahawk professional football team charged with several felonies and misdemeanors for assaults and threats to kill against his girlfriend who was a Seahawk cheerleader. Jury verdicts of not guilty on all charges. See: 


State v. Olsen, King County Superior Court, 1989: Captain of Dutch Harbor crab boat charged with assault with intent to kill police officer when police raided a home where he was visiting a friend, defense was self-defense, jury verdict of not guilty and jury awarded defendant reimbursement of attorney's fees and time loss.

State v. J.G., King County Superior Court, 1988:  University of Washington senior who was also a Naval ROTC cadet, charged with armed bank robbery after a former high school friend turned State’s evidence to get a favorable deal and claimed J.G. participated as a "thrill" type event. Jury verdict of not guilty.

State v. Hanson, Snohomish County Superior Court, 1987:  Businessman who was also captain in Army reserves and decorated Vietnam veteran charged with assault with intent to kill store clerk.  He was convicted at his first trial (represented by another attorney) and sentenced to eight years in prison.  Allen won his appeal (see State v. Hanson infra) and retried case, which resulted in a not guilty verdict.  Defense was one of alibi and mistaken identity based on improper and very suggestive police identification procedures.

State v. Negrin, San Juan County Superior Court, 1985: Homeowner convicted at first trial of manslaughter (represented by another attorney) after firing a warning shot into an unlit area which struck and killed mentally ill person yelling threats outside his desolate cabin at night.  Allen won his appeal (see State v. Negrin infra); retrial resulted in jury verdict of not guilty; jury also awarded reimbursement of attorney's fees and wages.

State v. Cady, King County Superior Court, 1981. Ms. Cady went to aid of woman who was being assaulted by the woman’s boyfriend, shot and wounded him and was charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Jury verdict of not guilty based on self-defense of another even though the abused woman, who by trial had returned to her boyfriend, testified for the prosecution. See: 


State v. Manuel, King County Superior Court, 1979: Army Sgt. Major; a decorated Vietnam veteran who the prior year was selected by The Army Magazine as the outstanding enlisted man in the service; charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter for shooting and killing a woman, whose body was discovered by police in the trunk of his car; defense of self-defense based on her trying to shoot him; jury verdict of not guilty on all charges.

State v. Jones, King County Superior Court, 1978:  Mr. Jones was charged with assault with intent to kill after shooting a person who was threatening him and others at a low income hotel where they were living; jury verdict of not guilty based on self-defense.  The preparation and trial were televised on national TV by ABC News as a documentary, "The Shooting of Big Man -- Anatomy of a Criminal Case" in June of 1979, and at the time was the first TV coverage of an entire trial.  The project was filmed under the direction of Harvard evidence professor Charles Nesson, and is still used as a training tool at the University of Washington and Seattle University law schools. See: 


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