Based on 11 reviews
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Posted by Ivan, a Employment client,
Mike provided advice to me around a non-compete agreement. He was direct, thorough and his advice informed me of the risks and issues with the agreement.
Posted by Richard, a Business client,
Mike Tonsing and I were both starters on the same high school football team. He was highly respected by everyone at school who knew him (and everyone did), whether teachers or fellow students. He was very near the top of our class academically, but he was definitely at the top in terms of both integrity and leadership.
I saw him recently at a class reunion. It was immediately obvious to me that he was still the same great guy I had known so well back then. Needing business and legal advice, I approached him and was delighted when he agreed to take me on, on an ongoing basis, as a business client. That was about a year ago, and since then, Mike has provided me with excellent business and legal advice on several different matters.
I’m the owner of a small company that has been around for more than three decades and is about to become a partnership; and, I’m on the verge of launching another company that, with Mike’s help, could blossom into a much larger and more lucrative business. As a business owner and entrepreneur, I’ve worked with other lawyers and business agents in the past. Mike is head and shoulders above them, both in terms of his personal ethics and the soundness of his business and legal advice. Mike was actually the CEO of an online business for a while, a comforting fact when one seeks advice. He actually had to meet payrolls and prepare balance sheets himself!
There are those who say that most lawyers are “deal-breakers” and only a few who are “deal-makers.” Mike has proven to me by his performance under pressure that, within the bounds of his ethics and mine, he will make a deal work. From my experience, too many lawyers seem to feel as though earning their fee requires creating obstacles to success. Mike is the first one to point out the hazards in a proposed course of conduct, but he is just as quick to suggest appropriate ways around potential problems, ways that actually create opportunities not only for me but also for those with whom I am negotiating. In other words, he’s adept at creating win-win situations.
I don’t think it’s because I knew him many years ago that he makes himself so available to me. I know that I can reach him and get a quick answer when I need one and I’ve done it more than a few times. I have never known another lawyer to be as responsive. I’ve also never known a lawyer to take a greater interest in what it is that I am trying to accomplish. He has spent hours of non-billable time getting to know my business. That makes a huge difference to me.
I cannot speak to his skills as a litigator from my own personal knowledge because, fortunately, with Mike believing very strongly in “preventive law,” keeping clients out of trouble rather than having to rescue them once they’ve gotten themselves into a regrettable situation, I am much less likely to ever need such services and, I hope I never do. However, I do know that he has an excellent reputation in that regard as well. As a businessman, I value a lawyer who is as interested as Mike is in keeping clients from making preventable mistakes that could lead to expensive and dispiriting lawsuits.
Having gone our separate ways after graduation from high school, it was great to reconnect with Mike at the class reunion. When we made time to exchange life path stories, I was not surprised to discover how consistently his path matched the person we all knew and respected back then and the teammate who played next to me on the football team. I was impressed, but not too surprised, to find that his career as an attorney took him all the way to the halls of the United States Supreme Court, where he was chosen in a national competition to work directly, as a Fellow, for our highest Court’s Chief Justice. Having Mike on my side as a friend and General Counsel, as I move forward in my entrepreneurial efforts is a priceless gift, to say the least.
Posted by David, a Litigation client,
As a lawyer, Mr. Tonsing has so many problems that I would strongly suggest that you totally AVOID HIM regardless of what your legal situation requires. First of all, he bills you for work which he actually never does on your case. Or I should say that he asks you to send him retainer money - but then never bills you for the work which he says he has performed as he exhausts your retainer. His scam is to get you to send him money until you figure out you are being gouged and then you fire him as your counsel. He also disappears for months at a time and it is basically impossible to reach him as his multiple email addresses end up being full. Also, there really is no "law office" as he works out of his home but basically rents in-boxes at San Francisco law firms to make it look like there is actually a law firm. His internet presence describes a well rounded lawyer who has "done it all" but my opinion of him is that most of his legal accomplishments are totally bogus. My bottom line, without delving into more details of his multiple shortcomings, is that there is a lot of "bark" but the "bite" is weak or even nonexistent. AVOID him at all costs!
Posted by a Elder Law client,
I have talked and dealt with few attorneys in my life. I have also done some legal papers myself, so I have a very good understanding of attorneys. From everybody I have ever talked in my life, this attorney is the most knowledgeable, competent, professional, honest, decent, kind, compassionate, trustworthy, caring person. I have never met anyone like him. It is with the highest degree of confidence that I recommend this attorney to anyone who is need of legal help. I don't think that there is anyone better than him.
Posted by Dan, a Employment client,
I met Mr. Tonsing through Avvo. I’ve previously interacted with many other lawyers on a broad range of matters. I’ve never met a lawyer who so very quickly grasped the legal issues I brought to him. Almost surgically, he cut to the particulars that would make a difference in my case. Impressive! Add to his “surgical skill” a large helping of compassion. He truly understood me and the angst I was experiencing. The only thing standing in the way of long-haul representation by him was geography. Too bad! He’s in the North. I’m in the South. After generously giving me great advice, he selflessly referred me to another specialist whom he personally vetted and recommended as best fitted to my location and needs. Mr. Tonsing exceeded all expectations. Truly a lawyer’s lawyer. I wouldn’t hesitate to use his professional services again.
Posted by Amy, a Contracts client,
Michael is straightforward, honest and he's not afraid to give you his personal as well as legal advice. I never felt like he was trying to sell me on his services - just the straight facts, even if they were not in his favor for an engagement. He was also very generous with his advice during our consultation. I've researched and consulted many lawyers in the past and he stands out by far. I would highly recommend him.
Posted by Steve, a Litigation client,
We had a difficult and complex court case, and we needed someone who was experienced and knowledgeable about Federal court litigation. Well, Mike fit the bill. We were getting into matters that were rather complex and Mike’s many years of dealing with discovery and other pre-trial matters came in handy. Mike is a gift writer and his writing skills proved most useful for the briefs and other documents that we had to file with Court or to send to opposing counsel. Mike gave his heart and soul to our case, and his efforts are most appreciated.
Posted by Bob,
Mr. Tonsing called me the same day I posted my question. His insight was extremely valuable to me and he help me layout a plan of action for my dispute with a former employer. Additionally, he shared a couple of options with me and pointed me in the proper direction to research each option. Thank you Michael!
Posted by a Debt Collection client,
I have nothing but great things to say about the counsel Mr. Tonsing's provided for me on a small claims debt collection case. He explored every legal avenue available to me to collect on my judgement and along the way explained the details, and pros/cons of each action in ways that were very easy for a lay person to understand.
Posted by Karen, a Wrongful Termination client,
We met Mr. Tonsing as a result of a question he answered for us on Avvo. He was able to immediately cite a case that would give me information and to understand all the implications of our particular situation.
We were so impressed that we scheduled an appointment and spent several hours being educated in all of the complexities of the legal system as it relates to our concern.
Mr. Tonsing is extremely knowledgeable and we found him to be quite candid. We also found him to be very approachable and willing to listen in order to fully understand what we needed to communicate.
His honesty and straightforward manner combined with his charm and easy communication style made what could have been a very difficult meeting feel more like coffee with a brilliant friend.
I am writing this after our first meeting but felt compelled to post as the experience was so positive.