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About Me

Tacoma Attorney Darrell L. Cochran is a lawyer with a background not unlike many people in Washington. He was born in Shelton, Washington, and grew up in Olympia, with parents who worked hard to make ends meet. Early in life, people recognized the inner fire that fuels the success of Darrell’s legal practice. His kindergarten teacher called him “the sandbox lawyer” for his spirited arguments over Matchbox cars and marbles. Darrell went on to college at the University of Washington, where he graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He then followed his childhood dream to be a trial lawyer, graduating from the University of Michigan School of Law in 1993, one of the top five law schools in the nation.

Darrell began his legal career in 1993 at Gordon Thomas Honeywell. He became a partner in 1998 at the age of thirty. Since then, Darrell has helped clients win some of the largest and most important cases in the state of Washington. He has been selected as a “Super Lawyer” by Washington Law & Politics every year since 2003.

Darrell has been on the Boards of the Families and Friends of Violent Crime Victims organization and the Tacoma Symphony, he is a supporter of the Special Olympics and Experimental Education Unit for children with disabilities at the University of Washington, he often sits as a judge for Seattle University School of Law’s mock trial competitions, and he is active in his children‘s PTAs. His wife, Wendy, a paralegal herself, is an active supporter of his practice and is PCVA’s Firm Administrator. Darrell has five beautiful children: Cooper, Cade, Skylar, Taylor, and Decker. When not cheering on his children’s sporting activities, Darrell can be found spending his free time snowboarding, hiking, mountain climbing or fishing.

Representative Cases/Transactions

  • Joyce v. Department of Corrections, Pierce County Superior Court Cause No.: 99-2-10179-6 Obtained $22.5 million jury verdict for a family & estate of a woman killed by a dangerous parolee whom the state failed to supervise.

  • Wright v. BCTI, Pierce County Superior Court Cause No.: 05-2-05763-2Class action lawsuit against a vocational school that failed to provide an adequate computer & career training. Recovered $13.25 million for roughly 1500 students.

  • Couch v. State of Washington, Pierce County Cause No.: 99-2-11902-4 - $15 million jury verdict for woman raped & murdered by unsupervised parole offender.

  • Aba Sheikh v. King County, DSHS & Shell Oil, King County Superior Court Cause No.: 02-2-05199-5 - $10.3 million jury verdict against DSHS, a $4.5 million settlement against King County, & over $300,000 in settlement from a store owner for a teenage boy who suffered brain damage when beaten by violent foster boys at a gas station.

  • Thomas v. Puyallup School District, Cause No.: 01-2-08646-0 - Represented minority students against the school district with claims of race discrimination, securing a $7.5 million settlement & a landmark order from the court requiring special negotiations & procedures at the school to help reduce discrimination.

  •  McFarland v. Department of Corrections, Pierce County Superior Court Cause No.: 96-02005934-5 - $6.3 million jury verdict for slain teenage cheerleader stabbed to death by unsupervised parolee.

  • Seyler v. Blair Construction, Pierce County Superior Court Cause No.: 01-2-08881-1 - $4.75 million settlement for widow whose wife was struck & killed by a truck at a construction work site.

  • Northern Oyster v. State of Washington, et al., Pacific County Superior Court Cause No.: 03-2-80472-5 $1.4 million jury verdict against the State of Washington for unlawful and tortious conduct that interfered with the client's business expectations.

  • Plemmons v. Pierce County, Pierce County Superior Court Cause No.: 04-2-07032-1 - $1 million settlement against Pierce County for illegal strip search practices against detainee. The case was successful argued at the WA State Court of Appeals Div. 2, 134 WA. App 449 (2006).

  • Mendoza v. Brewster School District, U.S.D.C. Eastern district of Washington Cb-05-327-rhw - Anti-racism injunction secured for Latino school students against Brewster School District; nationally acclaimed damage awards & measures to eliminate racism in district.


Photos and Videos

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Practice Areas


  1. Catastrophic injury: 40%
  2. Government: 20%
  3. Wrongful Death: 20%
  4. Class Action: 10%
  5. Civil Rights: 10%



Contingent (40%)

Attorney Endorsements

1 total 

  • James Walter Beck

    I endorse this lawyer.


    James Beck Personal Injury Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact Info

Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala PLLC

911 Pacific Ave, Ste 200
Tacoma, WA, 98402



Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo Contributions
Legal Answers
Award NameGrantorDate Granted
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2013
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2012
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2011
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2010
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2009
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2008
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2007
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2006
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2005
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2004
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2003
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2002
Super LawyerWashington Law & Politics Magazine2001
Work Experience
TitleCompany NameDuration
Managing PartnerPfau Cochran Vertetis Amala PLLC2009 - Present
AttorneyGordon, Thomas, Honeywell, Malanca, Peterson & Daheim1993 - Present
Association NamePosition NameDuration
Washington-Hoyt Elementary PTAMember2006 - Present
National Police Accountability ProjectMember2005 - Present
Seattle University Mock Trial CompetitionsJudge2005 - Present
Lowell Elementary PTAMember2005 - Present
Family and Friends of Violent Crime VictimsBoard Member2003 - 2006
Tacoma SymphonyBoard Member2003 - 2007
American Association for JusticeMember1994 - Present
Washington State Association for JusticeN/A1994 - Present
American Bar AssociationMember1993 - Present
Pierce County Bar AssociationMember1993 - Present
Washington State Bar AssociationMember1993 - Present
International Society of BarristersMemberN/A
Legal Cases
Case NameOutcome
Plemmons v. Pierce County, 134 Wn. App. 449, 140 P.3d 601 (2006)Class Action setttlement on behalf of plaintiffs
Aba Sheikh vs. Choe, et al., 156 Wn.2d 441 (2006)4.8 million dollar settlement
Krista Osborne vs. Tom Seymour, et al.Verdict for damages and punitive damages
See all Legal Cases 
Publication NameTitleDate
Oregon State Legislature - Legislative SessionPrivate Vocational School Regulations2007
Advanced Trial SkillsEffective Use of Demonstrative Exhibits/Voice Dire2007
Not Above the Law: The Government as DefendantNot Above the Law: The Government as Defendant2006
School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Michigan Law SchoolLawJD - Juris Doctor1993
University of WashingtonPolitical Science and CommunicationsBA - Bachelor of Arts1990
Speaking Engagements
Conference NameTitleDate
Seattle University School of Law Tausend Mock Trial CompetitionTausend Mock Trial Competition Judge2007
Oregon State Legislature - Legislative SessionPrivate Vocational School Regulations2007
Advanced Trial SkillsEffective Use of Demonstrative Exhibits/Voir Dire2007
Seattle University School of Law Tausend Mock Trial CompetitionTausend Mock Trial Competition Judge2006
Not Above the Law: The Government as DefendantFederal Issues That Arise With State and Local Claims2006
Washington State Paralegal AssociationEffective Use of a Paralegal in Litigation2004
Highline Community College - Paralegal Certification CourseCivil Rights Litigation2004
Highline Community College - Paralegal Certification CourseCivil Rights Litigation2003
The Nuts & Bolts of TrialOpening Statements2002
South Sound SmorgasboardTrial Skills2002
Highline Community College - Paralegal Certification CourseCivil Rights Litigation2002
Where there's smoke there's fire - Grappling with Motions to CompelDiscovery2001
Washington State Legisture - Legislative SessionParolee Supervision Regulations2001
Washington State Legislature - Legislative SessionJoint & Several Liability1996