PO Box 40100
Olympia, WA 98504-0100
The Solicitor General’s Office is comprised of eight attorneys and three professional staff. The office coordinates the involvement of the Attorney General’s Office in cases before the United States Supreme Court, assists the AGO in preparing and presenting appellate cases in state and federal courts, directly handles select appeals, and coordinates the AGO’s involvement with amicus curiae “Friend of the Court” briefs. The SGO also is responsible for preparing and issuing Attorney General Opinions to officials statutorily authorized to request them, and works in conjunction with the Attorney General Opinions Committee to accomplish this responsibility.
The Solicitor General’s Office carries out the Attorney General’s duties to prepare ballot titles and explanatory statements for ballot measures, and represents the state in litigation involving the powers of initiative and referendum. The Solicitor General’s Office serves as counsel to the Secretary of State, Lieutenant Governor and Administrative Office of the Courts. The Solicitor General serves as the chair of the AGO Ethics Committee, and the SGO plays a role in coordinating legal advice on issues of statewide significance.
In 2013 Attorney General Bob Ferguson appointed Seattle attorney Noah Guzzo Purcell as the Solicitor General for the Washington State Attorney General's Office, replacing retiring Solicitor General Maureen Hart.
Prior to joining the office, Purcell worked as an attorney in Perkins Coie's Litigation and Appellate practices. Purcell's diverse litigation experience includes constitutional issues, antitrust claims, environmental law, preemption, campaign finance, and administrative law.
Purcell served in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of General Counsel from 2009-2010, advising on security and immigration issues and working extensively on the federal government's challenge to Arizona's immigration law.
After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review, Purcell worked as a law clerk to former U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge David Tatel of the D.C. Circuit.
"Noah was a terrific law clerk, and he'll be a terrific Solicitor General," said Souter, who also served as New Hampshire Attorney General from 1976-78.
A native of Seattle, Purcell attended Franklin High School, where he was introduced to the law by renowned teacher and mock trial coach Rick Nagel. Purcell attended the University of Washington, where he received a Mary Gates Leadership Award for his work founding and running Affordable Tuition Now!, a student advocacy group dedicated to keeping tuition at UW and other state universities affordable.