About David Sulzbacher
Since graduating with honors from American University, Washington College of Law, David has acquired a wide range of litigation experience working as a law clerk for a Montana trial court judge, as a public defender in Montana’s Office of the State Public Defender, and as a litigation associate at an established law firm handling civil rights, commercial, property, criminal, and other litigation matters. During law school, he sought out numerous experiential learning opportunities, including working for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, taking summer associate positions at a major plaintiffs’ law firm in Seattle, WA, and the Bangkok office of a multinational law firm, and interning at the American Bar Association. He also competed in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Hong Kong, represented family law and immigration clients through the Women and the Law Clinic, and worked at a prestigious Southeast Asian think tank.
Throughout his varied legal career, he has found fighting against the U.S. criminal [in]justice system to be the most rewarding work. He particularly enjoys and excels at researching complex legal issues and crafting high quality briefs advocating for the rights of the accused and the wronged. He founded Sulzbacher Law, PLLC with the mission of using his research and writing skills to support criminal defense attorneys as they fight against powerful institutions to protect their clients’ rights and uphold the promises enshrined in the Constitution.
Prior to law school, David taught English as a second language and coached basketball in northeastern Thailand. He also spent his summers while an undergraduate student at Willamette University working on a U.S. Forest Service trail crew in the North Cascades.
- J.D. (cum laude) – The American University Washington College of Law, Washington, DC
- M.A., International Affairs – The American University School of International Service, Washington, DC
- B.A., English – Willamette University, Salem, OR
- Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
- Montana (inactive)
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
- Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL)
- WACDL Certificate of Appreciation (2017) – for co-authoring a WACDL amicus brief in State of Washington v. James-Buhl, 190 Wash. 2d 470, 474, 415 P.3d 234, 237 (2018).
Notable Published Cases:
- State of Washington v. James-Buhl, 190 Wash. 2d 470, 474, 415 P.3d 234, 237 (2018) (serving as amicus counsel for WACDL) – reversing convictions of teacher convicted under mandatory reporting laws for abuse uncovered outside the scope of employment;
- State v. Loughbom, No. 97443-8 (Wash. Aug. 20, 2020) (serving as brief writer for counsel of record) – drug convictions reversed due to “flagrant and ill-intentioned” prosecutorial misconduct for the prosecutor’s use of an inflammatory “war on drugs” theme throughout trial;
- In Re Personal Restraint of Ali, 474 P.3d 507 (Wash. Sept. 2020) (serving as brief writer for counsel of record) – establishing that the decision in Houston-Sconiers, which declared rigid imposition of adult sentences on juvenile offenders unconstitutional, applies retroactively. Petitioner’s adult sentence is therefore reversed and the case is remanded for resentencing in accord with Houston-Sconiers.