David S. Marshall

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Criminal Defense Attorney in Seattle, WA

The Marshall Defense Firm
1001 Fourth Avenue, Suite 4400
Seattle, WA 98154
Phone: 206-627-4434
Fax: 206-826-1462
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2003 - 2005, 2019 - 2021
Licensed Since: 1981
Practice Areas: Criminal Defense (70%), Administrative Law (10%), Appellate (10%), Personal Injury - General: Defense (10%)
Attorney Profile

Founder of The Marshall Defense Firm, David S. Marshall defends clients in Seattle and throughout western Washington against allegations of sex offenses, child abuse and assault, domestic violence and other violent crimes. Mr. Marshall understands how sensitive these cases are, and each of his clients receive the benefits of his decades of experience as prosecutor and defender, and his deep knowledge of special assault defense.

In addition to his formal education, which includes a B.A. in government from Cornell University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law in the early 1970s, Mr. Marshall continues to educate himself on current issues and developments regarding the psychology, medical aspects and legal changes in the special assault defense arena.

Mr. Marshall is admitted to practice in Washington state courts, as well as before federal district and appellate courts in the state and in the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Other attorneys recognize Mr. Marshall’s legal acumen in special assault defense and often refer clients to him. For his dedication to clients, legal knowledge, communication skills and high ethical standards, Mr. Marshall has received the highest peer rating possible of AV Preeminent* from Martindale-Hubbell. In addition, Seattle Met magazine has listed him as a Top Lawyer, and he received a Pro Bono Award from the National Law Journal in 2000. He has also received recognition from the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Southern Poverty Law Center for his pro bono work.

In his free time, Mr. Marshall enjoys spending time with his family, participating in outdoor sports and cheering for the Seattle Seahawks.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice Areas
  • 70%Criminal Defense
  • 10%Administrative Law
  • 10%Appellate
  • 10%Personal Injury - General: Defense
Focus Areas

Sex Offenses, Government Benefits, Licensing, Appeals, Assault, Personal Injury - Defense


6 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2003 - 2005, 2019 - 2021

White Papers

  • SSOSA: Washington's Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative (2018) - Washington’s Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative is a rarity in American law: an opportunity for persons who have committed sex offenses to receive treatment for sexual compulsion in lieu of most of the time behind bars they would otherwise have to serve. For a person who has done more or less what he’s charged with doing, exploring this alternative is essential. SSOSA is not available in every Washington sex offense case, and even when the judge is authorized to give it, persuading the judge to do so can be difficult. At the Marshall Defense Firm, we have 25 years of experience advocating for SSOSA for our clients who want it. I share some of what we’ve found makes the difference between getting SSOSA and being denied it.
  • Defending Against Civil Claims and Lawsuits for Compensation for Childhood Sexual Abuse (2020) - A person who can prove she or he has been sexually abused is entitled to be compensated with money. To get that compensation the person can file a suit against the abuser. A jury or judge will then decide, after a trial, both whether the abuse happened and, if the decision is that it did happen, how much the abuser must pay. A person accused in such a claim can defend on the basis that they did not abuse the claimant or that the claimant is demanding more than fair compensation. In this white paper I answer common questions about defending against this kind of claim.

About David S. Marshall

Admitted: 1981, California

Professional Webpage: https://marshalldefense.com/attorney/david-s-marshall/

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Member, King County Bar Association
  • Member, Washington State Bar Association
  • Past co-chair, Continuing Legal Education Committee of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Volunteer Attorney for Central American refugees in the 1980’s
  • Volunteer Attorney for ACLU in the 1980’s
  • Volunteer Attorney for three men imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, 2006-2015
  • Charter Member, National Child Abuse Defense and Resource Center
  • Volunteer Attorney, Innocence Project Northwest
  • Defense Bar Representative, Child Sex Abuse Investigation Work Group
  • Defense Bar Representative, Washington Governor’s Sex Offender Task Force
  • The Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Courts of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
  • Washington State, 1981
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Washington

Other Outstanding Achievements

  • Appointed by the governor and legislature to Washington task forces dealing with child abuse issues in the justice system.


  • One of several attorneys who received the National Law Journal’s Pro Bono Award for 2000, for freeing persons wrongly imprisoned in the Wenatchee, Washington “child sex abuse ring” scandal
  • Honored by the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and by the Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Atlanta.
  • Top Rated in Avvo for Child Abuse Law
  • Listed as a Top Lawyer, Seattle Met magazine
  • Rated AV Preeminent (highest possible for legal skills and ethics) by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recognized as a Washington Super Lawyer


  • From 2018 to 2019, this newsletter covered topics of interest to lawyers and judges in Washington State., The Washington Defender, Law
  • This bi-weekly blog focuses on issues of interest to persons accused of sex crimes, child abuse, and domestic violence., Marshall Defense Firm Blog, Law

Educational Background

  • Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, B.A. in Government, 1970
  • National Institute for Trial Advocacy, 1983
  • Trial Lawyers College, 2004

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Habeas corpus counsel for prisoners interned at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Co-recipient of the 2007 Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award from the Southern Center for Human Rights., 2014
  • I provided pro bono public representation to a man charged with assaulting his infant daughter. I was confident the child was safe with the man, and I knew that he would have much trouble staying strong for trial if, as is customary, the court required him to live apart from his family while awaiting trial. I persuaded the court to set aside its usual practice and to allow the man to live at home with his wife and child during the long wait for trial., 2020
  • After winning a new trial for a person wrongly convicted of child rape, I undertook his defense in the new trial pro bono publico. As trial approached, the prosecution made an attractive plea offer--no sex offense conviction, immediate release from prison--and he accepted it. He is now a free man rather than a man serving a 28-year prison sentence., 2019

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • My then-partner (and now judge) and I reported to the Washington bar on the true life of a criminal defense lawyer., Co-author, In the Footsteps of Clarence Darrow: Fiction and Reality for Modern Criminal Defense Lawyers, Washington State Bar News (formerly known as NW Lawyer), Law, 2016
  • At the annual convention of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, I presented an advanced program on direct examination of witnesses at trial., Lecturer and author, Direct Examination: So Easy, Yet So Hard, Law, 2018


Industry Groups

  • Bars Of The U.S.Courts Of Appeals For The 9th Circuit And For The District Of Columbia Circuit
  • National Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • State Bars Of Washinton And California
  • Washington Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers
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Office Location for David S. Marshall

1001 Fourth Avenue
Suite 4400
Seattle, WA 98154

Phone: 206-627-4434

Fax: 206-826-1462

Last Updated: 7/21/2021

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