Lenell Nussbaum

Lenell Nussbaum

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Criminal Defense Attorney in Seattle, WA

Law Office of Lenell Nussbaum, PLLC
 | 2125 Western Avenue, Suite 330
Seattle, WA 98121
Phone: 206-728-0996
Fax: 866-496-5644
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2003 - 2020
Licensed Since: 1980
Practice Areas:
  • Criminal Defense (50%),
  • Appellate (40%),
  • Criminal Defense: White Collar (10%)
Attorney Profile

Lenell Nussbaum represents individuals in criminal investigations, trials, appeals, and post-conviction relief in state and federal courts. She is counsel of record in more than 70 published appellate opinions. The Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers presented her with its William O. Douglas Award for extraordinary courage and dedication to the practice of criminal law. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, a past president of WACDL, and a founding member of the Washington Appellate Lawyers Association.  She served as a Justice on the Suquamish Tribal Appeals Court until 2018, and served as Commissioner on the Washington Sentencing Guidelines Commission, 2002-2014.  She has testified before the Washington State Legislature and frequently teaches legal seminars on criminal law topics.  She taught about the United States Constitution at Petrozavodsk State University in Russia.

Ms. Nussbaum was counsel in the first appellate case in the United States to recognize battered child syndrome for purposes of self-defense.  She continues doing significant work developing the law of self-defense and histories of abuse.  She represented an AIDS patient to obtain clemency, converting a prison sentence to an AIDS hospice.  She successfully represented a plastic surgeon accused of raping a patient.  She obtained a reversal of a manslaughter conviction for an elderly woman accused of killing her husband where the court excluded psychological evidence of past abuse.  

Ms. Nussbaum graduated in 1980 from the University of Michigan Law School.

Certificates and Credentials

About Lenell Nussbaum

Admitted: 1980, Washington

Professional Webpage: http://www.nussbaumdefense.com/about.html


  • Inducted into American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, Fellow, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, 2013
  • Honored for service as counsel in Washington Supreme Court seeking relief for juvenile sentenced to mandatory life without possibility of parole.  In re PRP of McNeil, 181 Wn.2d 582, 334 P.3d 548 (2014), Pro Bono Honoree, Columbia Legal Services, 2014


  • State v. J.E.:  Court of Appeals reversed misdemeanor domestic violence assault conviction for violating right of confrontation, 2019
  • In re Pardon of L.B.:  Governor granted full unconditional pardon for multiple felony convictions from 1987-88., 2019
  • Bothell v. L.F.:  Misdmeanor domestic violence assault conviction reversed and dismissed for insufficient evidence., 2018
  • In re PRP of C.O.:  First degree murder conviction reversed for ineffective assistance of counsel, failing to consult domestic violence expert., 2017
  • State v. S.K.:  State dismissed charge of second-degree assault with firearm after pretrial motions, before jury selection, 2017
  • State v. M.H.:  Acquittal on charge of assault 2 by strangulation., 2016
  • State v. Thomas, Court of Appeals No. 70438-9-I:  Reversal of conviction for second degree assault with a firearm, 2015
  • State v. Hudson, Court of Appeals No. 68807-3-I:  reversed conviction for witness tampering, 2014
  • State v. M.P.:  Two counts of attempted murder, not guilty by reason of insanity; Superior Court granted final discharge from conditional release., 2014
  • State v. Green, 182 Wn. App. 133, 328 P.3d 988 (2014):  reversed manslaughter conviction for client accused of killing husband where court excluded expert evidence of history of abuse, 2014
  • State v. Hudson, Court of Appeals No. 70147-9-I:  reversed convictions for residential burglary, attempting to elude, and violations of no-contact orders., 2014
  • Investigation of K.C.:  no charge filed, full custody returned to client after investigation of infant's broken bone; expert assessments showed infant's special needs could cause fracture, 2014
  • State v. Gensitskiy, Court of Appeals No. 71640-9-I:  reversed six counts of child molestation, rape of a child, and incest, 2014
  • Investigation of A.K.:  no charge filed, full custody of child returned to client after criminal and CPS investigation into allegations that client's fiance molested client's son, 2014
  • Investigation of H.G.:  no charge filed after investigation of alleged embezzlement; provided prosecutor documentation contradicting complaining witness's version of business expenditures, 2013

Representative Clients:

  • I represent individuals accused or convicted of crimes from all walks of life, for example:  doctor, mechanic, lawyer, judge, engineer, inventor, truck driver, restaurant manager, chemical engineer, software engineer, police officer's child, children who have no career yet, nurse, retired bookkeeper, retired accountant.

Educational Background:

  • J.D., The University of Michigan Law School, 1980
  • B.A., Indiana University:  double major in Russian Language and Literature and Political Science, 1977
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Office Location for Lenell Nussbaum

2125 Western Avenue
Suite 330
Seattle, WA 98121

Lenell Nussbaum:

Last Updated: 2/5/2020

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