"Your communication, honesty, and straightforwardness were refreshing and appreciated." - Bailiff for murder trial in which Kim Gordon won acquittal.


Jason B. Saunders, Partner

Jason B. Saunders is a passionate, experienced defense attorney who has argued more than 400 cases in the Court of Appeals throughout Washington and in the Washington Supreme Court.

From an early age, Jason focused on defending individuals charged with crimes and championing the rights of the underrepresented. During high school, he visited the El Paso County Superior Court to witness criminal trials and sentencing hearings first-hand. While completing law school at Suffolk University in Boston, he began work in social justice by assisting individuals unlawfully denied housing, employment and health care because of their race, age, sex, sexual orientation or the perception of having AIDS.

After graduating from law school, Jason moved to Seattle and began his legal career as a public defender at the Washington Appellate Project, where he helped indigent juveniles and adults appeal their convictions. As a Senior Appellate Attorney, he not only handled his own appeals but was responsible for case management and advising other attorneys in finding, developing and litigating issues. Jason launched numerous constitutional and statutory challenges to reverse convictions and reduce sentences.

Over the past decade, Jason has garnered a stellar reputation among his peers for his diligent work and in-depth understanding of criminal law. He has worked on high-profile cases, representing the murderer of Mia Zapata and the individual convicted of the Pioneer Square Mardi Gras riot killing.

Jason has also filed multiple personal restraint petitions and petitions for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court. He has repeatedly convinced the courts to reverse the convictions of individuals who were denied fair trials, and who were charged with murder, assault, sex and drug crimes.

Of Note

Jason has done groundbreaking work in child dependency cases.

  • As a result of his victory in In re Dependency of Brown, parents now have the right to appeal a trial-court finding that their child is dependent on the State.
  • In In re Dependency of H.W., Jason helped a developmentally delayed mother prevent the State from taking her children away before giving her classes and services designed to help someone with her disabilities parent her children.

Jason has been repeatedly recognized for his expertise in dependency cases. He has lectured on the topic for the Washington Office of Public Defense (OPD) and has authored two chapters in the Washington Parents’ Representation Deskbook.


  • Lewis & Clark College, B.A., Cum Laude, 1988
  • Suffolk University School of Law, J.D., 1995
  • Member of the Suffolk Transnational Law Review

Bar Admissions

  • Washington State
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington

Professional and Civic Involvement

  • Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member, Washington Defender Association
  • Member, Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member, National Legal Aid and Defender Association
  • Lectured on trial strategies for dependency and termination fact-finding hearings for the Office of Public Defense


  • Note, “International Health Care -- U.S. v. Denmark and Netherlands,” 18 Suffolk Transnat’l L. Rev. 711 (1995)
  • Chapter 2, “Reasonable Efforts,” Parents’ Representation Deskbook, Washington State Juvenile Non-Offender Benchbook, Washington State Office of Public Defense (2004).
  • Chapter 8, “Dependency and Termination Appeal Issues,” Parents’ Representation Deskbook, Washington State Juvenile Non-Offender Benchbook, Washington State Office of Public Defense (2004)