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Michael John Tario
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Michael Tario’s Legal Cases

9 total

  • State vs Jason Bunger (Homicide Case)

    Practice Area:
    Criminal Defense
    Date:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Outcome:
    Not Guilty All Counts
    Description:
    This was a case I defended in 2005 where My client Jason Bunger was accused of Murdering a child. The young boy had been left in Jason's care by the child's parents. The prosecution tried to prove that Jason slammed the boys head on the floor in a fit of anger. My client said the boy got injured when he fell off he bunk bed. The jury trial was long and involved and involved substantial medical issues requiring extensive cross examination of the government's expert medical witnesses. I Believe the case lasted about 3 weeks. After a long hard fought legal battle, I was able to convince the jury that my client was not guilty.
  • State vs Brett Lee Johnston (Homicide Case)

    Practice Area:
    Criminal Defense
    Date:
    Oct 04, 1996
    Outcome:
    Not Guilty All Counts
    Description:
    My client Brett Lee Johnston was charged , along with two other men, with murdering a waiter in the parking lot of a resturant in Ferndale Washington. The case was tried to a jury in September and October of 1996. After a very lengthy trial involving about 40-50 witnesses Mr Johnston was found not guilty on all counts. The other two co-defendants were found guilty. They were represented by independent attorneys.
  • State v. Oliver C. Christensen - (Appeal)

    Practice Area:
    Appeals
    Date:
    Dec 09, 2004
    Outcome:
    Reversed and Remanded
    Description:
    My Client Oliver C. Christensen had been convicted on a Felony Robbery Charge in the Island County Superior Court. I was not his origninal trial attorney. I was hired to appeal his conviction to the Supreme Court for the State of Washington. The case involved Washington's wiretapping and privacy statute which prohibits unauthorized interception of private telephone conversations. The trial court had allowed the prosecution to use certain evidence at trial which had been obatined without a warrant and (in my opinion) in violation of Washington Law. I took the case and appealed to the Supreme Court of Washington to attempt to get the underlying conviction vacated and have the case remanded for a new trial. I briefed and argued the case to the Washington Supreme Court and was successfull ( In a 9-0 opinion) in getting the conviction reversed. The case gained substantial national and state attention. The case made the law more clear with regard to the protection of privacy and undue government intrusion into protected communications.
  • Rogers vs The Fairhaven Pub & Martini Bar

    Practice Area:
    Litigation
    Date:
    Jun 02, 2010
    Outcome:
    Defense Verdict
    Description:
    Although I normally represent injured persons, occasionally I am asked to defend a person or a business being sued for one reason or another. In this case, a man named Leon Rogers sued Mr. Brian Tines who owns and operates several Bellingham resturants and Night Clubs. Mr. Rogers sued Mr. Tines personally along with three of his business establishments. Mr Rogers claimed that he was knocked over by bouncers during a musical event. He initally claimed damages exceeding $1,000,000.00. Prior to the end of the trial I was successful in getting two of the three business defendants dismissed, and I was also successfull in getting Mr. Tines personally dismissed as a defendant in the lawsuit. The trial lasted about two weeks. After less than 30 minutes of deliberation the jury found the employees of the defendant Big Fat Fish Company not negligent. The jury returned a defense verdict and the plaintiff (Mr. Rogers) who sued my client got nothing.
  • Michael Montes vs State Farm Insurance Co

    Practice Area:
    Personal Injury
    Date:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Outcome:
    Damage Award of $1,071,064.10
    Description:
    My client Michael Montes was very seriously injured in two automobile accident caused by no fault of his own. State Farm Insurance Company was legally obligated to pay Michael for his damages pertaining to his serious personal injuries. State Farm thought his cases were worth slightly more than $5,000.00. State Farm denied the nature and extent of Michael's injuries. I filed a lawsuit against State Farm because I felt that Michaels damages were far greater than $5,000.00. The Whatcom County Superior Court appointed Judge Gilbert Mullen to act as an arbitrator to hear the case and to determine what the proper amount of monetary damages should be. The case was heard and I called both medical and lay witnesses to prove the worth of Michaels case. After hearing all of the evidence Arbitrator Mullen awarded Michael Montes monetary damages of $1,071,064.10
  • State vs Kuchenreuther - (Marijauana Grow Operation)

    Practice Area:
    Criminal Defense
    Date:
    May 31, 1989
    Outcome:
    All Charges Dismissed
    Description:
    My clients Terry and Connie Kuchenreuther were charged with running a large indoor marijuana grow operation. ( Case No. 89-2-00541-3 ) The State sought to convict both defendants and seize and forfeit my clients personal assets. The case involved hundreds of marijuana plants. The search warrant was obtained from the testimony of a confidential informant. I worked on the case for many months. After a lot of hard work and investigation I was able to find out who the informant was. I felt that the police officer who got the warrant violated my clients constitutional rights. I also believed that the police office lied to the judge to get the warrant and misrepresented what the informant had told him. After discussing the case with the informant things became even more suspicious. I filed a motion with the court to dismiss the charges based on police misconduct. I put the police officer on the witness stand and questioned him under oath. I felt that I was able to show the judge that he had either intentionally lied to get the warrant or he was very reckless and misrepresented the facts to the judge. The judge agreed with me and held that the search warrant was invalid. All of the evidence was suppressed (The Marijuana) and all charges against my clients were dismissed. All of the seized property was returned. The case was a complete success. The local newspapers reported the case noting that there was police misconduct. I was able to convince the judge that a police officer had lied to get a searh warrant. This does not happen very often. It took a lot of work to win this case. Justice was done. Cops are fairly honest most of the time in my experience. When something is not right about a case a good defense attorney has to have the experience and knowledge to get to the real truth and work like hell to protect his/her client's rights.
  • Alaska vs. John Kenneth Peel - (8 Counts of Murder)

    Practice Area:
    Criminal Defense
    Date:
    Jan 01, 1984
    Outcome:
    Not Guilty on All Charges
    Description:
    Case # 1KE-S84-1010 Cr. On September 7, 1982, a commercial fishing boat was discovered burning near shore in Craig Alaska. The owner of the boat, his wife, and their two children died along with four other crew members. The prosecution alledged that some or all of the deceased had also been shot. After a two year investigation, in 1984, the State of Alaska indicted and charged 22 year old fisherman John K Peel with eight counts of first degree murder and Arson. The legal proceedings mostly took place in South East Alaska. The first trial took place in Ketchikan Alaska and involved several hundred witnesses and multiple expert witnesses. The trial took many months and ended up with a hung jury. I moved to Alaska for many months to help try and defend the case. The case was retried in Juneau and ended up in a finding of not guilty on all charges. I was the first attorney hired by Mr. Peel and his family. I worked on the case for over two years. It was my decision to hire co-counsel in Alaska to assist in the trial of a case of this magnatude. This case was the largest and most complicated homicide trial in the history of the State of Alaska. After Mr. Peel was found not guilty he filed a civil lawsuit against the State of Alaska for wrongful prosection. He prevailed and obtained a very substantial monetary settlement.
  • Tidiman vs. Allstate Insurance Company No. 08-2-0153-3

    Practice Area:
    Personal Injury
    Date:
    Mar 17, 2011
    Outcome:
    Jury Verdict $300,375.00
    Description:
    Michael Tidiman and his Wife were traveling westbound on the Mt. Baker Highway at about 11:35 PM. A drunk driver with a suspended license hit Mr. and Mrs. Tideman head on. The drunk driver was totally uninsured and was operating his vehicle on the wrong side of the road. Michael Tideman and his wife were seriously injured. Mr Tideman brought an Insured Motorist claim against his own insurance company (Allstate). Mr Tideman's policy limit with Allstate was $100,000.00. Allstate refused to pay the policy limits to Mr. Tidiman. Allstate made an initial offer to Mr. Tidiman in the amount of $5,000.00. Shortly before trial, Allstate offered Mr. Titiman $50,000.00. As Mr.Tidimans attorney, I felt Allstate was acting in bad faith and that Mr. Tidimans case was worth much more than the $100,000.00 policy limit. Even so, I offered to settle with Allstate for the $100,000.00 policy limit. Alstate Refused to accept my offer and I took the case to a Whatcom County Jury trial. At trial, Alstate's attorney told the jury that Mr. Tidiman's case was only worth slightly more than $20,000.00. Mrs Tidman had insurance with Allstate for more than 25 years. Mr. Tidiman and his wife had excellent driving records. Allstate fought us every inch of the way. After the trial finally ended, the jury awarded my client $300,375.00. This was about 15 times more than Allstates attorney suggested that the jury award to Mr. Tidiman. Allstate appealed the jury verdict. My firm represented Mr. Tidman in the Court of Appeals. Allstate lost the appeal. Right now I am filing a lawsuit against Allstate for Bad Faith. I will be requesting another jury trial and I will ask the Jury to award over $1,000,000.00 to Mr Tidiman for Allstate's Bad Faith Conduct.
  • John Zweber vs. State Farm Insurance Co. No. 10-2-00335-8

    Practice Area:
    Personal Injury
    Date:
    Mar 08, 2012
    Outcome:
    Jury Verdict $1,300,000.00
    Description:
    The Plaintiff John Zweber was insured by State Farm Insurance Company. He was involved in a medium speed collision with moderate damage to his vehicle. He did not go to the emergency room. The other driver was totally at fault. This driver's insurance company paid John Zweber its full policy limit of $100,000.00. John Zweber then demanded that his own insurance company (State Farm) pay him $250,000.00 which was the full amount of his Underinsured Moterist benefits. State farm refused. Mr Zweber was not represented by an attorney at that time. After fighting with State Farm Insurance for several months, and after having his claim repeatedly denied, John Zweber hired me to file an Under Insured Motorist claim against State Farm. After considerable effort I finally got State Farm to pay Mr. Zweber $100,000.00. of the $250,000.00 insurance proceeds available. I continued to demand that State Farm pay Mr. Zweber the remaining $150,000.00 in insurance monies under the policy. State Farm said that Mr. Zwebers case was not worth more than the $250,000.00 he had received. I then sued State Farm in the Skagit County Superior Court and demanded a jury trial. During the four day jury trial, I called many lay and expert witnesses at trial. To make a long story short, the jury believed our presentation and completely rejected State Farms arguement that Mr. Zweber was not seriously injured and that he should not be awarded more than 20-30 thousand. The jury award was about 40 times more than State Farm felt the case was worth. Right now I am bringing a lawsuit for Bad Faith against State Farm and I will be requesting tripple damages and an award in excess of $5,000,000.00 for State Farm's Bad Faith action in failing to treat Mr. Zweber fairly and pay him what his case was realy worth.