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Michael John Harrington

Divorce and separation Attorney at Palm Desert, CA

3.2   5 reviews
  • Licensed for 30 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1992
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Michael

Learn Michael’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Divorce and separation

    32 years, 250 cases

  2. Business

  3. Child custody
    Physical custody Move Aways Parental Alienation

    32 years, 315 cases

  4. Family
    Divorce guardianship

    32 years, 500 cases

      An understanding lawyer with compassion. Listens to his clients concerns and develops a plan to best meet them.  

 Come visit our 1,000 square foot law center and meet our friendly, professional staff. 


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Contact Michael

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Michael Harrington
77711 Flora Rd
Palm Desert, CA, 92211


3.2 / 5.0
  5 customer reviews
Posted by Alicia | June 4, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best experience I have ever had at a lawyer's office!
I encountered some unfair treatment from my previous landlord. Luckily, I was referred to Harrington Law Center to resolve my issues and exercise my rights as a tenant. I met with Mr. Michael Harrington at his office in Palm Desert and sat down with him to discuss my situation. During our session, I felt his generosity. He showed interest to my case. He carefully listened to my words, and he repeated my information back to clarify what I said. It was comforting to know that my lawyer was trying his best to be on the same page with me. I knew I was in good hands because he cared. His assistant was present in the room to take notes and write down bullet points of my case. Mr. Michael made sure to ask me what my goal was, why I was there, and what kind of help did I need from him. Then, he addressed what rights I have as a tenant in California. He explained my rights to me in simple terms. I was able to follow what he was saying with no confusion. He was happy to answer all my concerns and questions, and he talked to me with a good attitude. I must say that I felt welcomed, and I was extremely satisfied with his advice and service. I would recommend Mr. Michael to anyone in need of a decent lawyer.
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Posted by Kari | January 8, 2013
I recommend Michael John Harrington without hesitation
Michael Harrington is a professional who is quite knowledgeable in his field of expertise. As a professional he takes the time to listen and understand the facts of the case. I sincerely appreciated how well he explained the process in layperson's terms and conveyed a level of compassion that is rare among his peers. I recommend Michael John Harrington without hesitation.
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Posted by April | January 13, 2014
Helpful and understanding
We are in a difficult situation because our case is in Riverside county, but neither myself, the children, nor my ex-husband live in Riverside county any more. Mr. Harrington was the only attorney who would take our case, and we couldn't have done it without him. Even though I couldn't be physically present for any of the hearings or mediation, I was involved in everything. He was compassionate of our dilemma, and helped us take care of our custody issues.
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Posted by anonymous | March 21, 2023
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Was not clear, not helpful, very insulting
He was insulting and disrespectful during our phone consultation. He said he wanted to talk about money and felt that my questioning his ability to understand my situation meant that I 'couldn't afford his services.' Totally unacceptable. He never even spoke about what he charged so what grounds did he have to make such a flippant statement? I went with another attorney who actually made sense, immediately understood my situation from the types of questions he was asking and the information he was sharing in return, and was extremely helpful. If you're referred to attorneys like Michael Harrington, don't settle and don't accept insulting or gaslighting behavior. Having to seek legal advice puts us in a vulnerable position and people like him try to take advantage of that. Please keep seeking and you'll find someone who is honorable, respectful, and helpful.
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Posted by Dee | October 29, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Would not recommend
After weeks and weeks of no response- I finally got a hold of Mr. Harrington. When I asked for clarification as to where he stood on getting my documents done- he started yelling at me and accused me of "harassing" him like the person I was trying to get him to protect me from! I was pleasant and only asking for clarification to what I thought had been too long of time to get me items done. My first guess that he wasn't professional was when I was at his office for our first meeting and he was very late. He claimed he was running an errand for his wife. That should have been my first clue. Oh yeah, and he changed his office location. Wouldn't you let your clients know that?
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Response from Michael Harrington July 21, 2022
Dee was never a client she was a friend of a pro bono client with a mental illness and I was able to stop client from losing her child to the county adoption system , instead she has supervised visits. What Dee described , never happened. Sadly because of AVVO policies im hesitant to volunteer my time to help the mentally ill anymore. Defamation such as this can destroy a lawyer's practice. Where county attorneys are more shielded from this sort of thing. You are not in our data base as a client. Please come in our office to resolve this. To add, this was a friend of a court appointed client calling and harassing our office. The Judge asked the person to stop it.
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  • Free Consultation 30 minutes
Payment methods
Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 9.5 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Co Chair (past)
  • National Lawyers Guild
  • 2014 - 2014
  • Board Member
  • Riverside County Mental Health Bd
  • 2013 - 2014
  • Mediator
  • Riverside Co. Court Mediation Panel
  • 2012 - 2014
  • Guardianship Assitance Attorney
  • Public Service Law Corporation
  • 2005 - 2007
  • Staff Attorney
  • Lake Tahoe Womens Shelter
  • 1995 - 1995
  • Alternate Public Defender
  • County of Alpine
  • 1994 - 1995
View all work experience


  • University of La Verne College of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1991
  • University of California - Santa Barbara
  • B.A.
  • 1981
  • University of Southern California
  • N/A

Legal Cases

  • ------ vs [school bus co. ]
  • Confidential
  • Guardianship of _______
  • Pro Bono protection of parental rights for mental health patient


  • Santa Barabra Business College
  • Board Member
  • 2017 - Present
  • Riverside County Mental Health Bd.
  • Member
  • 2013 - 2014
  • National Lawyers Guild (Los Angeles chapter)
  • Legal Observer Program
  • 2011 - 2014
  • Natl Assoc Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyers
  • 2007 - 2008
  • Desert Bar Association
  • N/A
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Top Lawyer
  • Palm Springs Life Magazine
  • 2016
  • Top Lawyer
  • Palm Springs Life Magazine
  • 2015
  • Top Lawyers
  • Palm Springs Life Magazine
  • 2013
  • Certificate of Appreciation
  • Inland Counties Legal Services
  • 2013
  • Top Lawyers
  • Palm SpringsLife Magazine
  • 2012
  • Top Lawyers
  • Palm Springs Life Top Lawyers 2011 edition
  • 2011
  • Certificate of Appreciation
  • Riverside County Court, Judge Sharon Waters
  • 2006
  • Certificate of Appreciation (Guardianship Program)
  • Riverside County Courts
  • 2004
  • Certificate of Appreciation
  • Neighborhood Legal Services
  • 1990
View all awards


  • State Party Platform (D) /proposed Labor Legislation
  • Human Trafficking
  • 2014
  • Desert Sun
  • School Bus Safety ____vs __--(school distrcit, --bus co,)
  • 1999

Speaking Engagements

  • Housing
  • Landlord -Tenant Law
  • 2014
  • Indio Teen Center
  • Human Trafficking
  • 2013
  • Radio Show Guest
  • School Bus Safety ____vs __--(school distrcit, --bus co,)
  • 1999
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (25)
Given (7)
Endorse Michael
Unknown Attorney | Jun 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Dec 26
Relationship: Other
"This lawyer is very professional at all times. I endorse this lawyer.."
Child custody Attorney | Oct 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"An extremely talented and well respected attorney in the legal community, I wholeheartedly recommend him to anyone looking for a lawyer who knows the law and truly cares about protecting the rights of his clients and getting them the most favorable result possible."
Family Attorney | Sep 24
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Michael is a very competent and ethical attorney. He is a credit to his community."
Family Attorney | Sep 12
Relationship: Other
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Sep 04
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"With a 22 year career spanning criminal, juvenile and family law Michael is certainly experienced. Experience counts! Reviews, local endorsements and contributions are just part of his legal legacy. If you are in or near Murietta do yourself a favor and schedule a consultation, I would."
Child custody Attorney | Jul 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Jun 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Michael. He is a highly skilled attorney that is well respected in the legal community."
Child custody Attorney | Jan 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Harrington has made a substantial number of contributions on I have read several of his contributions and have found them to be thoughtful, informative and practical. I endorse this lawyer's work."
Family Attorney | Dec 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Aug 29
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Harrington is an exceptional attorney. Although I have been practicing law for 24 years as a judge, magistrate, law professor, prosecutor, and private attorney, I learn from his responses on Avvo every time that he posts. If I needed an attorney, I would hire him. I recommend him with no reservation. It would be the best investment of your life to hire him to represent you."
Child custody Attorney | Dec 18
Relationship: Other
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Dec 09
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Attorney Harrington. From his answers and time on Avvo, it is clear he is dedicated to serving those in need and his clients. It's rare that lawyers spend so much valuable time helping the community, for free, and I applaud him for doing it to such a great level. Kudos."
Family Attorney | Aug 31
Relationship: Other
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Aug 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Harrington has a firm grasp on the law and would be a stellar advocate for his clients."
Family Attorney | Aug 27
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Harrington is a great advocate on his clients behalves. He is knowledgeable and professional. I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Aug 27
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer - a great Family Law attorney."
Family Attorney | Aug 27
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Mr. Harrington. All of the postings I have seen by him on are intelligent and compassionate. He knows his stuff, and he actually cares about people and their family law needs. If you have a legal matter in California involving any family issues, please consider contacting Mr. Harrington for sage counsel and advice."
Unknown Attorney | Aug 25
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Harrington is an excellent lawyer and a prollific contributor to the Avvo community. I endorse him without hesitation."
Family Attorney | Mar 09
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. This lawyer's ansers are insightful and show great knowledge of the law. This lawyer is an asset to the community."
View more endorsements
Criminal defense
Child custody
Child custody
Divorce and separation