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Douglas Cowan

Doug Cowan is one of the country's most respected and experienced DUI defense lawyers. He is a founder of the National College for DUI Defense, served on its Board of Regents from 1994-2000, served as Dean of the College for the 199601997 academic year, and was Board Certified in DUI defense by the College* in July, 2000. That same year the College presented Doug with the Richard Erwin Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of a career committed to excellence in the representation of his clients, and for his many contributions to the betterment of the DUI Defense Bar. It was only the second time that honor has been bestowed. Doug is also the recipient of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer's highest award, the William O. Douglas award, which he received in 2014.  He is also a founder of the Washington Foundation for Criminal Justice, a state organization dedicated to DUI defense, and served as President of the Foundation from 1989-1998. Doug is also a Founding Member of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (Board of Governors, 1987 – 1989), and belongs to the other following organizations:

  • Washington State Bar Association (Since 1968)
  • Seattle-King County Bar Association (Since 1969)
  • East King County Bar Association (Since 1974; Board of Trustees, 1976 – 1978; President, 1979)
  • The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

A 1965 graduate of Washington State University, and a 1968 graduate of the University of Washington School of Law, Doug is a frequent contributor to local and national legal publications on the subject of DUI defense, is co-author of the textbook for lawyers, Defending DUIs in Washington (Lexis Law Publishing), wasregularly called upon to serve on legislative and other governmental task forces realated to DUI issues, has appeared on numerous local radio and television news programs and shows (KOMO's “Town Meeting,” and KIRO's “Dave Ross Show) and is regularly quoted in the local press. Doug has been named a state of Washington “Super Lawyer” by the publication “Washington Law & Politics” every year since 2000, was named by the same publication as one of Washington's “Top 25 Criminal Defense Lawyers” and has been listed in both Kingston's National Registry of Who's Who in America (2002 ed.) and Marquis' Who's Who in America (2002 ed.) and has been given Martindale & Hubbell's highest Lawyer rating, AV, since the mid 1980's.

With over 40 years of experience defending and prosecuting DUIs (Prosecuting Attorney for the City of Bellevue, Washington State's fourth largest city, 1974 – 1978) Doug helped establish an annual seminar on DUI Defense that regularly draws over 400 lawyers, making it the largest state DUI defense seminar in the country. A nationally recognized authority on DUI defense, Doug has lectured or conducted workshops for other lawyers in 19 states on such diverse topics as “Cross-examination of the Arresting Officer,” “Pre-trial Litigation,” “Opening Statements in a DUI Case,” “Jury Selection in DUI Cases,” “Opening Statements,” “The Data Master,” “Cross-examination of the State's Breath Test Expert,” “Bench Trials in DUI Cases,” “Legal Ethics in DUI Defense,” “Closing Arguments in DUI Cases,” and “Demonstrative Evidence in DUI Defense.” Doug received certification in administering Standardized Field Sobriety Tests in 1996, and again in 2001.


Doug has received Certificates of Appreciation or Recognition from the following organizations:

  • The National College for DUI Defense
  • The University of Washington Law School Foundation
  • The Northwest College for DUI Defense
  • The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • The Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • The Washington Foundation for Criminal Justice
  • The Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice
  • The Washington Traffic Safety Commission
  • The Washington State Trial Lawyers Association

An avid golfer, Doug is married and has three children and five grandchildren and one great grandchild.

*The Supreme Court of Washington does not recognize certification of specialties in the practice of law, and certification is not a requirement to practice law in the state of Washington.

Cowan Kirk Kattenhorn


At Cowan Kirk Kattenhorn, there is a combined experience of over 75 years defending DUIs, and each lawyer has extensive training, not only in the science of breath and blood testing, they have hands on experience with the DataMaster, the breath testing device used in the state of Washington, and have one of the devices in their library, and they have lectured to other lawyers both in Washington and around he country on how to deal with that machine in court.

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Experience, knowledge, commitment, passion and integrity: that is what Cowan Kirk Kattenhorn are about. That is what they are known for, and it is why you should contact them for an initial consultation.