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Michael John Tario
Avvo
Pro

Michael John Tario

Practice areas:

Car Accidents, Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death

About Me

I have been practicing law for over 35 years, handling over 2,000 personal injury cases. My practice is focused on personal injury cases and criminal defense. I have represented over 2,500 citizens accused of criminal conduct ranging from simple traffic violations to multiple count murder charges. My focus is on the more serious personal injury and wrongful death cases and serious criminal matters. For over 30 years I have also represented many persons harmed or killed by medical negligence.


 


It would be impossible for me to list every case that I have taken to trial and won since 1979. And, yes, I have lost a few cases too. No attorney, not even Perry Mason, can win every case. The cases listed on this AVVO website are examples of some of the cases I have taken to trial. Many criminal cases are settled without a trial. Often, criminal charges are dismissed or reduced to lesser charges. Most injury cases are settled out of court because eventually I am able to get the insurance company to agree to pay my injured client fair compensation. Most of my biggest personal injury and medical malpractice cases can't be listed on this website because commonly, with a very large settlement, the insurance company requires that the settlement remain "confidential". My clients get the money they deserve, but neither the law firm nor the client are allowed to discuss the terms or amount of the settlement with anyone.


 


Since the beginning of my career, I have always fought hard  to protect my clients' rights. If you have an attorney who has not regularly fought the insurance companies in court, or an attorney who has been afraid to turn down a plea bargain and take deserving criminal cases all the way through a jury trial, then you will probably not be able to acheive the best possible result on your criminal or personal injury case. If the other side thinks that you have a weak attorney, who either cannot, or has not earned a reputation of knowing how to win a case in court, you will be greatly disadvantaged. All attorneys are not the same! One thing that has always bothered me is that  the general public often has no way of knowing just how competent their attorney really is. People often just don't know if their attorney has ever taken a case to trial and if the attorney can get the job done properly. It is a mistake to assume that if a person has gone to law school and has passed the bar exam that they will be able to competently represent them. Some attorneys are very competent and some are average and some are less than average. You should be very carefull in hiring an attorney. The skill, experience, and ability of your attorney matters very much.     


 


You can learn more about me by looking at my personal profile at my firm's website which you can find at tariolaw.com. Remember: Any attorney can buy a big yellow page ad or say how good they are. I can show you what I have actually done in and out of court over the last 35 years. No attorney can "win" every case, some cases will always end up better than others, no attorney will ever make 100% of their clients happy 100% of the time.  I am proud of my record of success and achievements over the last thirty one years practicing law. Thanks for listening to some of my thoughts.

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Languages Spoken: Spanish, English

Photos and Videos

10161 1352937784

Practice Areas

Licensed since 1980

  1. Car Accidents: 25%
    36 years, 2 thousand cases
  2. Medical Malpractice: 20%
    32 years, 300 cases
  3. Personal Injury: 20%
    36 years, 2 thousand cases
  4. Criminal Defense: 20%
    36 years, 2.5 thousand cases
  5. Wrongful Death: 15%

Payment

Fees:

Contingent (33-40%), Fixed (Sometimes), Retainer (Sometimes), Free Consultation (60 minutes)

Payment Types:

Cash, Check, Credit Card

Attorney Endorsements

13 total 

  • Michael S. Waddington

    I endorse Michael. He is a highly skilled attorney that is well respected in the legal community.

    More 

    Michael Waddington Military Law Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Christian K. Lassen

    Top-notch attorney. Highly respected in the legal community.

    More 

    Christian Lassen Personal Injury Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact Info

Tario & Associates, P.S.

119 North Commercial Street #1000
Bellingham, WA, 98225

Resume

License
StateStatusAcquiredUpdated
WAActive198006/06/2015

Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo Contributions
Legal Answers
Awards
Award NameGrantorDate Granted
BV Distinguished Attorney for 18 YearsMartindale-Hubbell2015
Top 100 Trial LawyersNational Trial Lawyers Association2014
Superb RatingAVVO2014
Client Distinction AwardMartindale-Hubbell2014
Top 100 Trial LawyersNational Trial Lawyers Association2013
Top Lawyers in WashingtonThe Legal Network2013
Very High Legal Ability Distinguished for Fifteen YearsLexis Nexis2013
Highest-Ranking Law OfficesBellingham Business Journal2013
Clients' Choice AwardAVVO2012
MemberMillion Dollar Advocates Forum2010
Best Attorney in Bellingham to Defend YouBellingham Business Journal2007

Work Experience
TitleCompany NameDuration
Judge ProTem - Part timeWhatcom County District Court1982 - 1983
OwnerTario & Associates P.S.1980 - Present
Legislative & Statute AnalystWashington State Counsel on Crime and Deliquency1977 - 1979

Associations
Association NamePosition NameDuration
National Trial Lawyers AssociationTop 100 Trial Lawyers2013 - Present
The Million Dollar Advocates ForumMember2010 - Present
Law Advocates - Whatcom CountyBoard of Directors1994 - 1996
Washington Association of Criminal Defense AttorneysFounding Member1986 - Present
National Association of Criminal Defense AttorneysMember1981 - Present
American Trial Lawyers AssociationMember1980 - Present
American Bar AssociationMember1980 - Present
Washington State Bar AssociationMember1980 - Present
Washington State Association for JusticeMember1980 - Present
Federal Bar Association Western District WashingtonMember1980 - Present

Legal Cases
Case NameOutcome
State vs Jason Bunger (Homicide Case)Not Guilty All Counts
State vs Brett Lee Johnston (Homicide Case)Not Guilty All Counts
State v. Oliver C. Christensen - (Appeal)Reversed and Remanded

See all Legal Cases 

Publications
Publication NameTitleDate
People Magazine - InterviewAlaska Fishing Boat Murders1984

Education
School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Puget Sound School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1979
University of Wisconsin, SuperiorCommunicationMA - Masters - Honors1976
University of Minnesota, DuluthCommunication PsychologyBA - Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude1975

Speaking Engagements
Conference NameTitleDate
O'Reilly Factor - No Spin Zone - Bill O'Reilly - Fox NewsPrivacy and Eavesdropping2004
National Public RadioThe Fourth Amendment and Privacy Interests2004
Criminal Defense SeminarJury Selection1985