Mo Hamoudi
About Mo Hamoudi

I am Irani-Iraqi and grew up in Tehran.  Iran was in a middle of a war with Iraq.  Our city was bombed at night. My mom was scared that I would be sent off to fight in the war like other children my age.  She was scared that we would die.  She decided that we needed to leave our homeland.

My sister and I the night we left Iran, tickets in hand, family in our arms, no smile.

Mom did not have a visa. We traveled to Pakistan, with my stepdad who was from there, a man she did not love.  He abused all of us physically. 

Mom’s visa was secured after a year.  Our family arrived in America with a hundred dollars and a couple of suitcases. 

I enrolled in an elementary school.  My English was terrible.  The teacher asked me to memorize the national anthem before I started my first day in class.  I worked so hard to do that.  I performed it for the class.  Then she asked me to recite Texas’s state anthem. I could not and everyone laughed at me.   I had no friends in school and the children made fun of the way I talked.  

We moved to northern California and lived in a small apartment. People were kinder.  Mom worked at a deli.  Stepdad at a gas station. My new elementary school teacher, Ms. Gilbert, told the students about me before I showed up.  She assigned me friends!  They are still my friends. 

School was better but the abuse at home kept getting worse.  This is a poem I wrote that was published locally:

Who am I?
I am a boy in a mirror.
The reflection of a praised soul
With beautiful brown eyes like the skin of a bear
The mirror thinks I am just a Pegasus but I don’t have wings
The mirrors says your body does not have wings, your soul does

One day stepdad hit mom so hard that I threw up.  Over time mom learned that she could ask for help.  He was arrested. They divorced.  He was later deported.   

I started working when I was thirteen.  Washed dishes, bussed tables, and made pizzas.  Then in the ninth grade, mom was diagnosed with Lymphoma.  She worked full-time selling car insurance while she fought with the disease. 

After high school, I went to community college and worked in real estate, real estate finance, insurance, and taxation.  I moved to New York City to study arts at university.  I was involved in theater and wrote two books of poetry.  Mom’s passing in 2001 refocused my world. I sought out counseling and confronted my past.  During this journey, I dedicated my life to helping others.

I went to law school in California.  Practiced for four years and began to teach law school in the Bay Area before moving to Seattle to serve as a Federal Public Defender.  In 2022, after thirteen years in criminal law, I became a plaintiff lawyer.

I am an adjunct professor at Seattle University, lecture about legal subjects to my peers and the court, am in leadership in the Federal Bar Association, and volunteer with organizations that teach civics to the public.

Mom, before her death and to this day, teaches me courage, resilience, and empathy. She teaches me to never give up on myself, never run away when life presents challenges, and stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.  

the Office

When not working, Mo enjoys spending time with his family and friends, playing basketball, teaching law, and coaching youth basketball.
  • Federal Bar Association, Western District of Washington, Treasurer. (2023-2024).
  • Chair of Lawyer’s Representative to the Ninth Circuit and United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. (2019-2024).
  • Federal Bar Association, Western District of Washington, Executive Membership Committee. (2016-2022).
  • Seattle University School of Law, Korematsu Center, Task Force 2.0. (2020-2022).
  • United States District Court, Western District of Washington, Round Table.
  • f2021 Round Table discussion with all stakeholders regarding systemic racism in the wake of George Floyd’s murder (2021).
  • Federal Public Defender, Diversity Committee. (2021).
  • Judicial Institute for Teachers. (2019-2022).
  • Youth Law Day (2019-2022).
  • High School Mock Trial (2016-2020).
  • San Francisco Law School, Alliant University, Professor of the Year (2014)
  • A Legal Primer for Journalists United States District Court and the Federal Bar Association Western District of Washington, Federal Bar Association, September 12, 2018
  • Nuts & Bolts of Federal Criminal Defense, Western District of Washington, June 27, 2019.
  • Challenging Digital Evidence Obtained through RoundUp and Torrential Downpour, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, August 11, 2020
  • Keeping Probation Honest, Successful Guidelines Challenges and Creative Approaches to Mitigation, United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, September 28, 2020.
  • Courts During COVID: Challenges and Successes, The Ninth Circuit Judicial Historical Society, February 9, 2021
  • The Due Process Protection Act, Brady, and the Ninth Circuit Model Orders: a Debate on Disclosure Reform, 9th Circuit Conference of Chief District Judges, February 23, 2021
  • How Technological Progress and the Investigative Tools Associated with it Impacts the Fourth Amendment, Las Vegas Federal Defender’s Office, May 27, 2021.
  • Electronic Ethics, Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, November 5, 2021.
  • NIBIN Misrepresentations and Racial Profiling, a Franks Study, DPD Training, March 8, 2022
  •, Death of Manuel Ellis, NBC King 5, 2023
  • Bernstein, Maxine, 2-hour wait to approach man shot by officers in Milwaukie contributed to his death, federal suit claims, The Oregonian, December 1, 2023.
  • Talbot, Peter, No charges filed in Tacoma wreck that killed 6 AZ residents, The News Tribune, October 20, 2023.
  • Kroman, David, Mother of man killed in Tacoma crash that killed 6 files $20M claim, Seattle Times, September 9, 2023.
  •, Legal expert speaks about ‘strategic move’ to bring Moscow murder case to grand jury, CBS, KREM 2, May 17, 2023.
  • Moudy, Shannon, Newly unsealed documents reveal even more disagreements among attorneys in Kohberger case, CBS, KREM 2, March 1, 2023.
  • Geraldo, Renata, No prison for Seattle hacker behind Capital One $250M breach, Seattle Times, October 4, 2022.
  • Conger, Kate, Fraud and Identity Theft Trial to Test American Anti-Hacking Law, New York Times, June 8, 2022.
  • Martha Bellisle, Tool for police reform rarely used by local prosecutors, Associated Press, October 21, 2021.
  • Mike Carter, Charges tossed after judge rules King County detective used false statements for warrant, may have relied on racial stereotypes, Seattle Times, December 20, 2021.
  • Gene Johnson, Judge: Detective made false statements to obtain warrant, Associated Press, December 20, 2021.
  • Ashley Hiruko and Liz Brazile, This Auburn cop killed 3 and injured others. His department didn’t stop him – outsiders did, NPR, October 30, 2020.
  • Mike Carter, Auburn officer charged with murder has history of using force, be it dog, first or gun, Seattle Times, August 22, 2020
  • John F. Kennedy University School of Law 2007 – 2010, JD
  • New School University (formerly New School for Social Research), MFA 2004 – 2006
  • New School University (formerly New School for Social Research), BA in Liberal Arts 2003 – 2005
  • New York School for Film and Television 2000 – 2002, 2-year Degree

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