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News and InformationThe Anthony Savage Award recognizes an outstanding trial performance or result achieved by an attorney in practice less than ten years. The recipient also becomes the caretaker for Tony Savage’s briefcase, up to the time the next Savage Award is given.
We are pleased to announce this year’s recipients: Rachel Ryon and Stephen Ritchie.
In 2020, Rachel Ryon and Stephen Ritchie worked tirelessly on a Writ of Habeas/PRP challenging the continued detention of inmates at Snohomish County Jail in unsafe conditions due to COVID-19. The Writ was a serious undertaking that Rachel and Stephen took on of their own volition to advocate for their clients’ safety and wellbeing in every avenue available to them. The daily jail population was reduced dramatically (from more than 800 to a low of 290 at one point in the early pandemic) in response to efforts by Rachel and Stephen and the Snohomish County Public Defender Association.
Their Writ helped create lasting change in numerous ways. The jail reduced the population so that all remaining inmates had single cells and were not in congregational settings. New guidance with the jail and State led to not holding or seeking bail on a number of low-level offenses moving forward to keep jail population low. Additionally, the jail implemented more stringent cleaning and PPP requirements, benefiting the health and safety of all.
Rachel Ryon is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Law. She has worked at the Snohomish County Public Defender Association since 2017 and currently practices in the felony trial unit. Before finding her passion for public defense, she provided low-bono legal services across a variety of practice areas and worked at Amazon in legal compliance. Some of Rachel’s favorite activities include cross-examining lying cops and challenging coworkers to karaoke duels.
Stephen Ritchie started his career in New York City as a public defender in state and federal courts. After a few years in that role, he returned home to Seattle and joined the Snohomish County Public Defender Association as a staff attorney. A majority of his time there was spent in the felony trial unit, but he also performed rotations in juvenile court and in the sexually violent predator unit. He left SCPDA a year ago to enter private practice at the Mazzone Law Firm. Although now in private practice, Stephen Ritchie will always be a public defender at heart, and he continues his passion for public defense by serving on the conflict attorney panel in both state and federal courts. When not in the courtroom, Stephen Ritchie spends his time playing softball and volleyball, singing karaoke, and building a life with his partner, Robert Lamas, and his French bulldog, Chopper.
Do you know someone sentenced as a juvenile who is seeking resentencing after the Houston-Sconiers, Ali and Domingo-Cornelio decisions?
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