Brad Meryhew is a passionate and highly regarded advocate for individuals accused in state and federal criminal courts in Washington of any form of sexual misconduct. Brad’s track record of success at jury trials, negotiations, and in getting cases dismissed has earned him a reputation as a leading trial attorney in his very challenging practice area. More than that, he has been a leader in improving the sex offender management system statewide through his advocacy for changes in public policy over the last fifteen years. Brad has handled many high profile cases over the years and is experienced in media relations and protecting his client’s rights and reputation in those cases. Brad has represented teachers, coaches, elected officials, school bus drivers, daycare operators, group home counselors and many others who have gained media attention.
Brad is recognized as a leading voice among the criminal defense bar in advocating for a higher standard of practice in defending sex crimes, as well as sound and reasonable sex offender legislation and policy. He speaks regularly at continuing legal education events and at conferences, including the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Washington Defender Association, the Washington State Superior Court Judges Association, and the Washington Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers among many others. He is recognized as an expert in many aspects of the “sex offender management system,” and speaks before a wide variety of audiences, including medical professionals, housing advocates, HIV service organizations and many others.
In 2022 Brad was awarded the William O’Douglas Award by the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL). The William O’Douglas Award is WACDL’s most esteemed award, and is given to recognize a pattern of extraordinary achievement, courage, and dedication in the practice of criminal law. WACDL noted, “Brad is venerated among his peers as an expert on the standard of practice in sex crime litigation. Brad has been instrumental in guiding the legislature to consider more sensible and humane management of sex offenders. He generously offers support and guidance to colleagues while sustaining his own busy practice. Brad is being recognized for a career full of impressive accomplishments in and out of the courtroom.”
Brad has represented the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Washington Defender Association on the Washington Sex Offender Policy Board since its creation in 2008. Brad has served for the last three years as the Chair of the Sex Offender Policy Board and is the only member to have been on the Board since 2008. This Board was created by the Washington Legislature with the responsibility to review and apply the emerging research and best practice policy analysis related to the management of sex offenders, and to make “evidence based” recommendations to the Legislature in regard to sex offender policy. Recent projects include reforms to the procedure for releasing Sexually Violent Predators, juvenile sex offender registration, lifetime supervision for certain individuals convicted of sexual offenses, and treatment alternatives to prison for certain sex offenses. The projects and successes of the Sex Offender Policy Board are summarized in this document. Brad regularly testifies before the Washington Legislature and is actively engaged in developing and lobbying for Legislative action to achieve sound and reasonable policies regarding individuals who commit sex offenses.
Defending individuals accused of sex offenses requires a great deal of knowledge and experience with complex issues, expert witnesses, and a large body of research on the investigation of sexual assault allegations. Brad has taken the time to study the research and is familiar with the way these cases should be investigated and with how to attack the often-inadequate investigations that lead to charges being filed. Defending against false allegations, or mitigating the effects of true allegations, requires an attorney with experience, and an understanding of the research and literature in these areas. Brad brings that combination of experience, skills, and reputation to the table to ensure his clients get the best results possible.
Brad’s work on public policy issues and in the courtroom has convinced him that the best lawyers are those who are always direct and honest with their clients, opposing counsel and the Court. Brad’s philosophy is to play well with others, and if that doesn’t work then politely fight them hard in the courtroom. He believes very strongly in building professional relationships with his adversaries and the many people who work in the criminal justice system, and in treating them with the respect they deserve. In turn he works to insure he and his clients are also treated fairly and with respect. Brad’s passion for his work and his clients, his common sense and his sense of humor leave a lasting impression on those who meet him.
In college Brad was a very successful intercollegiate debater, eventually placing in the top ten debaters in the nation in 1980. Brad graduated from the University of Puget Sound School of Law with honors in 1994, where he was on Law Review and active with the Student Bar Association. His legal career included several years as a public defender, where he gained extensive felony trial experience and was a member of the firm’s management team.
Prior to his legal career Brad enjoyed careers in both governmental affairs and business. He attended graduate school at the University of Maryland, College Park outside on Washington, D.C. studying political communications and teaching public speaking and communication theory at the University. He worked in Washington D.C. for political advocacy groups as a communications professional, including the Center for Environmental Education, the National Association of Manufacturers and Business Executives for National Security. After that he worked in the private sector as a small business consultant for a national consulting firm, then as a manager for a large national warehouse outlet before attending law school. This breadth of real world experience allows Brad to bring a broad perspective to his work in the law.
Brad Meryhew is a Seattle native who was raised in Tukwila, Washington. He graduated from Foster High School in 1976. He resides in Seattle’s Central District in a home that allows him to indulge his passion for gardening and the great outdoors. He has traveled extensively all over the world, including recent trips to China, Tibet, Costa Rica, Croatia, France, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Morocco, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Vietnam, Egypt and Jordan.
Professional & Bar Association Memberships
- Washington State Bar Association
- Federal Bar, Western District of Washington
- King County Bar Association
- Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Washington Defender Association
- American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children
- Association for the Treatment & Prevention of Sexual Abusers
- Washington Association for the Treatment & Prevention of Sexual Abusers
- American Civil Liberties Union
- National Wildlife Federation
- Audubon Society
- University of Puget Sound School of Law, Tacoma, Washington - 1991-1994 - JD
(now Seattle University School of Law)
cum laude Honors: Law Review, Moot Court , Student Bar Association.
- University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, 1981 - 1983
Major: Political Communications
- University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1978-1980 - BS
Major: Political Science/International Relations.
- Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA, 1976–1978
Major: Political Science/Communications
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