More About Susan
Ms. Seahorn returned to North Carolina in the fall of 1986 and worked in the Public Defender’s office in Fayetteville North Carolina under Mary Ann Tally until 1994. During that time Ms. Seahorn defended numerous sex offense cases, drug cases, assault cases and various other types of cases, and introduced the jurisdiction to eye witness expert testimony, winning a number of eyewitness identification cases. Ms. Seahorn assisted in the preparation of the defense of Bob Kelly in the multi-defendant day care sex offense case in Edenton, North Carolina, which was later overturned on appeal.
In 1994, Ms. Seahorn took a position at the North Carolina Legislature as the research person for criminal law issues. During this time, Ms. Seahorn published an article in the Champion, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers magazine, on child witnesses in sexual abuse cases. Ms. Seahorn left the Legislative Research Division to go to work for the Federal Defender’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina where she defended multiple cases involving drug offenses, and one bank robbery that included a sex offense. Ms. Seahorn tried several cases during this time and won several motions to suppress and successfully defended a forgery of currency case.
In 1998, Ms. Seahorn returned to the State Public Defender system where she tried numerous cases involving sexual abuse allegations. Ms. Seahorn never had a client whose case resulted in a sentence worse than the plea offer after trial. Ms. Seahorn had several clients who were acquitted or whose charges were dismissed or reduced after hung juries. Ms. Seahorn has won multiple suppression motions in State and Federal court. In 2011, Ms. Seahorn tried a case for 7 weeks involving defending a day care owner against an accusation of shaking baby. There were two weeks of motions and 5 weeks of trial. At the conclusion, the jury was hung and the charges were dismissed. Ms. Seahorn was appointed Chief Public Defender for District 15B, Orange and Chatham Counties in North Carolina on June 1, 2017.
Ms. Seahorn has been a regular speaker at presentations for organizations around the State of North Carolina including the North Carolina Bar Association, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, the North Carolina School of Government, Indigent Defense Services, and the Public Defender’s Association. Ms. Seahorn had an article published in the North Carolina Bar Association News letter in April 1999 on The Rule of Lenity. Ms. Seahorn won the James Williams award in 2015 for fighting for racial equity in the NC Criminal Justice System. The summer of 2020, Ms. Seahorn headed a committee that presented a series of speakers and witnesses to racism in her jurisdiction.
Ms. Seahorn and Ms. Dubs have been colleagues in criminal defense since the early 1990s and have always respected and sought each other’s advice. They have now decided to work together to help other lawyers improve their client’s results in trial and court. Ms. Seahorn and Ms. Dubs seek to have everyone receive excellent representation and will consult on issues such as adult and child sexual abuse allegations, drug cases, suppression cases, murder and assault cases, and identification issues. Ms. Seahorn and Ms. Dubs will operate on a sliding scale of fees so that all attorneys seeking consultation will be able to get it for the benefit of their clients regardless of their wealth or lack thereof.