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Anne Bremner

Anne Melani Bremner (born June 4, 1958) is an American attorney and television personality.[1] She has been visible as a television commentator on a number of high-profile cases, including in the murder of Meredith Kercher in Italy as legal counsel and as a spokesperson for the Friends of Amanda Knox.

Anne M. Bremner
Anne Bremner.jpg
Professional headshot of Bremner in 2008
Born (1958-06-04) June 4, 1958 (age 60)
Alma materSeattle University School of Law
Stanford University
Television personality


Early life and educationEdit

Bremner was born in McAlester, Oklahoma.[1] Bremner attended Stanford University, where she studied medieval history, graduating in 1980 with honors.[2] She describes her student self as "a liberal, an idealist, and a Democrat" who was opposed to capital punishment.[3] She went on to Seattle University School of Law, where she completed her J.D. degree in 1982.[2]



From 1983 to 1988, Bremner was a deputy prosecuting attorney with the criminal division of the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, specializing in sex crimes.[2] During these years she came into contact with a number of high-profile cases, such as the Wah Mee massacre trials; this experience, along with those later in her career, began to modulate her views on the death penalty.[3] In 1985, she was deputy prosecuting attorney in a case against a University of Washington policeman believed to be the first person to be charged under the state's new computer trespass law; a trial court convicted the policeman of the charges, but the Washington Court of Appeals overturned his conviction.[4][5]

Private practiceEdit

Bremner was a lawyer at Stafford Frey Cooper in Seattle from 1988 to 2012.[6][7] During her career in private practice, Bremner represented law enforcement and judges in various civil and criminal cases. In 1996, she successfully defended the Seattle Police Department's use of police dogs to find and bite suspects against an American Civil Liberties Union challenge claiming that it violated suspects' civil rights and constituted excessive force.[8] In 2001, she represented the Bellevue Police Department during the inquest into the conduct of officer Mike Hetle during his second fatal shooting that year; the jury found that Metle had reason to fear death or serious bodily harm.[9] In the 2002 case Vili Fualaau v. Highline School District and the Des Moines Police Department, filed by the family of Mary Kay Letourneau's student Vili Fualaau, Bremner successfully defended the police department against liability for damages.[10] She became acquainted with Letourneau during the course of the lawsuit, and the two remained friends afterwards.[11]

Media attentionEdit

Bremner appears on television as a legal analyst, explaining prominent cases to the general public. In 2004, she appeared on Court TV and other cable networks covering the trial of Scott Peterson for the murder of Laci Peterson.[3] Similarly in 2005, she took an unpaid leave of absence from her job to offer television commentary on People v. Jackson, stating that the publicity had brought in millions of dollars of business for her firm.[12] In 2009, she appeared variously on CNN with Nancy Grace to discuss the Casey Anthony case.[13][14]

In October 2008, Bremner took up the cause of Amanda Knox, a University of Washington student charged with the murder of Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy.[15] She was contacted by family members of Knox's classmates, including Mike Heavey, a superior court judge with whom she was previously acquainted.[16] The group subsequently held fundraisers to pay for Knox's defense, lobby lawmakers, and conduct public relations activities, turning media focus toward the conduct of the prosecution, especially Perugia chief prosecutor Giuliano Mignini.[17] Bremner made various television appearances regarding the case, describing Knox as "naive" and comparing her to the title character in the French film Amélie.[18]

She represents the parents of Susan Powell, a homemaker who went missing in Utah in 2009, in their lawsuit for insurance money. The lawsuit ended in a settlement in March 2015.[19]

In 2011, Bremner was hired by family of Rebecca Zahau Nalepa, a woman who committed suicide after being present in a house during an incident where her boyfriend's young son died.[20][21][22] Bremner, representing Zahau's family, sued the deceased boy's parents, Jonah and Dina Shacknai, claiming that Zahau had actually been murdered, contrary to the conclusion of the police investigation which ruled Zahau's death a suicide with no foul play.[23] Bremner went on many television shows and made statements such as, "this doesn't pass the smell test" and claimed that "This would be the first case in the history of the world that a woman killed herself like this ... It's ridiculous on the face of it"; however, officials said that the way Zahau killed herself is "not unprecedented and there is no evidence that there was foul play".[24][25]

In 2013–2014, Bremner represented true crime author Ann Rule in a defamation suit against Seattle Weekly and lost.[26] The state Supreme Court reversed a matter that reinstated Ann Rule's case.

Other activitiesEdit

In 2003, Bremner was one of the founding members of the Committee for a Two-Newspaper Town, along with Washington Supreme Court justice Phil Talmadge. The group was formed to pressure the Hearst Corporation and The Seattle Times Company to continue printing their respective newspapers, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and The Seattle Times, under their joint operating agreement signed in 1982.[27] The group specifically opposed an attempt by the Times to dissolve the JOA and permit Hearst to close the Post-Intelligencer in exchange for 32% of the Times' profits for 80 years.[28] However, in March 2009, the Post-Intelligencer printed its last paper edition and moved to an online-only format. In an e-mail about the event, Bremner stated: "What a terribly sad day this is. Only tomorrow will be worse."[29]

DUI caseEdit

On June 3, 2010, Bremner had automobile difficulties and called 9-1-1. A county sheriff suspected she was intoxicated and arrested her.[30][31] She pleaded guilty to DUI on September 1[31] and was sentenced to two days in jail.[32]


  1. ^ a b Member directory: Anne M. Bremner Esq., International Academy of Trial Lawyers, retrieved 2011-10-08
  2. ^ a b c Attorneys: Anne M. Bremner, Stafford Frey Cooper, archived from the original on 2009-01-01, retrieved 2011-10-01
  3. ^ a b c Paynter, Susan (2004-12-07), "A tough case to the very end", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, retrieved 2011-10-01
  4. ^ "Ex-policeman faces computer charge", The Spokesman-Review, 1985-05-01, retrieved 2011-10-01
  5. ^ "STATE v. OLSON", 47 Wn. App. 514 (1987), 1987-04-29, retrieved 2011-09-30
  6. ^ Jennifer Sullivan and Mike Carter (April 12, 2012). "High-profile Seattle defense lawyers quit firm to form own". The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  7. ^ "Lawyer Anne Bremner Seattle, WA Attorney". Avvo. Retrieved April 23, 2015. Shareholder at Stafford Frey Cooper 1988–present
  8. ^ "Jury rejects suit challenging police dog policy", Lewiston Morning Tribune, 1996-12-25, retrieved 2011-10-01
  9. ^ Taus, Margaret (2001-11-09), "Inquest clears policeman in fatal shooting; Officer's use of gun vindicated for the second time this year", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, retrieved 2011-10-01
  10. ^ Skolnik, Sam (2002-05-20), "Schools, police absolved in Fualaau case", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, retrieved 2011-10-01
  11. ^ "Mary Kay Letourneau released from prison", USA Today, 2004-03-08, retrieved 2011-10-01
  12. ^ Broder, John M. (2005-04-02), "To Some, Jackson Trial Is Another Shot at TV", The New York Times, retrieved 2011-10-02
  13. ^ Grace, Nancy (2009-03-23), "New Search in Natalee Holloway Disappearance", CNN, retrieved 2011-10-08
  14. ^ Grace, Nancy (2009-06-11), "Missing Ohio Mom Spotted in Wal-Mart", CNN, retrieved 2011-10-08
  15. ^ Pulkkinen, Levi (2008-10-03), "Prominent Seattle lawyer to help Knox", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, retrieved 2011-10-02
  16. ^ Dietrich, Heidi (2008-12-05), "Questions for Anne Bremner, trial lawyer, Stafford Frey Cooper", Puget Sound Business Journal, retrieved 2011-10-01
  17. ^ Sherwell, Philip; Harrison, David (2009-12-05), "Amanda Knox: 'Foxy Knoxy' was an innocent abroad, say US supporters", The Telegraph, retrieved 2011-10-01
  18. ^ "Lawyer: Alleged killer Knox 'naive, imprudent'", MSNBC, 2009-11-30, retrieved 2011-10-01
  19. ^ "Settlement ends court battle for Susan Powell insurance money". The Salt Lake Tribune. March 26, 2015. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  20. ^ Elliot Spagat (September 3, 2011). "Woman's death at mansion was suicide". Associated Press via Seattle Times. Retrieved April 23, 2015. Zahau, 32, was discovered dead six hours after she retrieved a voice mail that said the condition of her boyfriend's 6-year-old son had suddenly worsened and that he was unlikely to survive, investigators said.
  21. ^ "Rebecca Zahau suicide likely tied to boy's injuries, officials say". Los Angeles Times blog. September 2, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2015. Rebecca Zahau, the girlfriend of pharmaceutical executive Jonah Shacknai who committed suicide at his Coronado mansion, was distraught over injuries his son suffered in her care and that is apparently why she decided to hang herself, authorities said Friday.
  22. ^ Shin, Tony (2011-09-22), "Attorney: Zahau Death Might Not Be Suicide", NBC San Diego, retrieved 2011-10-01
  23. ^ Tony Perry (September 3, 2011). "Woman killed herself after learning that boy would die". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  24. ^ "Rebecca Zahau suicide likely tied to boy's injuries, officials say". Los Angeles Times blog. September 2, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2015. Although how she killed herself may seem unusual, it is not unprecedented and there is no evidence that there was foul play, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said at a Friday morning news conference.
  25. ^ Welch, William M.; Leger, Donna Leinwand (2011-09-02), "Coronado mansion death called suicide; family objects", USA Today, retrieved 2011-09-09
  26. ^ Levi Pulkkinen (February 26, 2014). "Judge tosses Ann Rule defamation lawsuit". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  27. ^ "Citizens group formed to maintain P-I, Times", Puget Sound Business Journal, 2003-06-30, retrieved 2011-10-01
  28. ^ Richman, Dan (2006-08-02), "Group will seek close look at Seattle papers' finances", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, retrieved 2011-10-01
  29. ^ Richman, Dan; James, Andrea (2009-03-16), "Seattle P-I to Publish Last Edition Tuesday", Salem News, retrieved 2011-10-01
  30. ^ Green, Sara Jean (2010-08-04), "Lawyer Anne Bremner tries to block records about DUI arrest", The Seattle Times, retrieved 2011-10-01
  31. ^ a b Gutierrez, Scott; Pulkkinen, Levi (2010-09-02), "Report: Bremner called cop a 'Nazi' during DUI arrest", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, retrieved 2011-10-01
  32. ^ "Bremner: 'I represent Seattle police, you can't arrest me'", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 2010-09-06, retrieved 2011-10-01

External linksEdit