Chris Black’s entire career has been devoted to defending those charged with crimes. By the time he graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in 2001, he already knew exactly how he wanted to use his law degree: to defend people whose liberty, livelihood and future were threatened by allegations of criminal conduct. Mr. Black understands the incredible power the government holds over peoples’ lives and is dedicated to overcoming the imbalance through a combination of expertise, experience and a willingness to do whatever is necessary to vindicate his clients’ rights in every single case.
Mr. Black has extensive experience handling cases at both the trial and appellate levels in federal, state and local courts throughout Washington. He also routinely represents people who are under investigation prior to being charged or who are the subject of other proceedings where potential criminal culpability is an issue. Mr. Black has honed the different skills necessary for success in cases in all of these different postures. These include being able to identify and take advantage of legal issues that can lead to positive outcomes such as suppression of evidence or dismissal of charges, analyzing and developing the facts to find holes in the prosecutors’ cases, acting as an effective and persuasive oral advocate before judges and juries, researching cutting-edge legal issues and writing well-reasoned and thorough briefs for the court, and the reputation as a tough and tireless advocate who serves his clients well in negotiating resolutions to cases in appropriate situations.
The bulk of Mr. Black’s practice is in federal, appellate and state superior (felony) courts, but he brings the same aggressive, thorough approach to every case. He recognizes that the stakes in all criminal cases are incredibly high and uses every tool at his disposal to achieve the best possible result no matter the court or the charge.
Mr. Black earned his undergraduate degree in economics, with honors, from the Johns Hopkins University in 1997. He graduated from the prestigious University of Washington law school in 2001. During law school Mr. Black began working as an intern at a criminal defense firm. He became an associate and eventually a partner, before opening his own firm in 2009. Mr. Black is highly respected by his peers and has been elected to serve as the President of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He has been rated as a Super Lawyer every year since 2014.
Mr. Black served as the President of the Board of Directors of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project from 2009 to 2011. This service both arose from and strengthened his dedication to the protection of the legal status of those who might face additional peril in the criminal justice system based solely on the place they were born. Mr. Black routinely works with immigrants to this country and is very well-versed in the complexities of how the criminal justice system interacts with the immigration system. He understands what is often truly at stake for immigrants charged with crimes and has the experience and knowledge needed to achieve outcomes that protect immigration status.
Mr. Black represents clients from all walks of life in all sorts of cases. He is sympathetic and understanding of the many circumstances that can cause people to find themselves embroiled in a criminal case. Mr. Black understands that being charged with a crime is something that most people never planned on and that it can be confusing and overwhelming. He makes a point to explain every aspect of each case to his clients, so that they can make the best decisions and move through the process with the least stress possible.