Richard Hansen (Retired)

Retired 2017

Richard Hansen retired from the practice of law in 2017. Before retiring Richard accumulated extensive trial and appellate experience in both state and federal court, including the United States Supreme Court. He tried nearly 100 jury cases over 32 years and was counsel of record in over 100 appeals. He also represented lawyers in disciplinary proceedings before the Washington State Bar Association during his career.

His experience encompassed a full range of cases from aggravated murder to white collar and environmental crimes, and his clients included doctors, lawyers, politicians, athletes, and prominent members of the business community. In recent years, he handled many large and complex cases, including the first state racketeering prosecution, difficult murder and vehicular homicide trials requiring scientific and technical expertise, and bank fraud charges with voluminous documentary evidence.

Awards and Distinctions

Selected by His Peers in 2012 as the Single Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in the State of Washington Best Lawyers in America Annual Survey, Seattle Business (January 2012 Issue).

Richard Hansen "wins cases he has no business winning . . . because he's better prepared than anyone else," according to one of the judges quoted in a one-time poll of 100 state and federal judges in 1991. That poll ranked Mr. Hansen one of the 20 best trial lawyers, civil or criminal, in the State of Washington. Another judge commented that "the quality of his work has always been excellent."

The judges of Washington are not alone in their assessment of his qualifications. Other distinctions include:

An "av" rating by Martindale-Hubbell (highest possible in both ability and ethics).

He has been ranked in the top 1% of criminal defense lawyers in the United States by The Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc., in every edition since it was first published in 1990.

He and his partner, David Allen, were the first two lawyers from the State of Washington elected to the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. Membership is limited to the top 1% of appellate lawyers nationally. Both were nominated by Washington Supreme Court Justice Robert Utter.

He organized the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and served as its first president for two terms, from 1987-89. This statewide organization of private defense lawyers and public defenders currently has more than 1100 members.

He has been invited to teach courses as an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Procedure at the University of Washington Law School, and Criminal Law at Seattle University Law School.

He was listed as one of Washington's Super Lawyers in the August-September 1999 issue of "Washington Law & Politics."

Richard Hansen is the only Washington State lawyer included in all three "Best Lawyer" categories of the 2010 edition of the Puget Sound Business Journal's "Best Lawyers": Appellate Law, White Collar Criminal Defense and Non-White Collar Criminal Defense."

Service to the Profession

Richard Hansen has devoted much of his time and energy to improving the quality of the defense bar, and to ensuring adequate legal representation for the indigent.

He served for ten years, from 1987-1997, as President of the Board of Directors for the Seattle-King County Public Defender Association, the oldest and largest public defense agency in Washington State.

He organized the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and served as its first President for two terms, from 1987-89. This statewide organization of private defense lawyers and public defenders currently has more than 700 members.

He has served as a Faculty member for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, 1986 to present, and taught at its week long, intensive course at Boulder, Colorado.

He served as Chairperson, Criminal Law Section, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association from 1989-1991.

He was elected to the Executive Committee, Criminal Law Section, of the Washington State Bar Associateion from 1987-1991.

He has served on many task forces and committees for various bar associations that have worked to improve the delivery of legal services to the indigent.

He has lectured at more than 50 Continuing Legal Education seminars and served as a mentor to young lawyers.

Education and Professional Background

Mr. Hansen received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University in philosophy and economics, and graduated with Honors in 1970. He attended the University of Washington School of Law from 1971-74 and served on the Law Review. He earned his Juris Doctorate degree in 1974 and was admitted to the Washington Bar later that year. From 1974-76, Mr. Hansen clerked for United States District Court Judge Marshall A. Neill in the Eastern District of Washington. Following his clerkship, he joined the Seattle Public Defender in 1976 where he and his partner David Allen established the first Appellate Division. He then spent two years in the felony unit trying cases, and joined Mr. Allen in private practice in 1979. In the 30 years they have been working together, Allen, Hansen & Maybrown have limited their practice to the defense of state and federal criminal charges, both at trial and on appeal. They have also successfully represented plaintiffs in civil rights litigation involving police misconduct, and in major personal injury litigation.


Mr. Hansen has published articles in both national and local journals and periodicals. His publications include:

Washington State Bar Association, "Wanted! Motivated people to earn $10,000 a month or more in their spare time," December 2002

"Courting the Supremes: A Ray of Hope at the End of a Bleak Term," The Champion (publication of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers), January/February 1996."

Defensive Use of the Child Hearsay Statute," Criminal Law Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 1990

"Criminal Law: No Longer a Farce or a Mockery," Trial News, Vol. 25, No. 7, Feb. 1990

"The Key to an Impartial Jury," Trial News, Vol. 24, No. 12, Oct. 1989"Coe Revisited Once Again," Criminal Law Newsletter, Vol. 2, No. 2, Summer 1988

"The Unpopular Victim," Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Vol. 2, No. 1, March 1987

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