I became a lawyer to help people with their problems, and to work for justice. It hasn't always been easy or glamorous, but there is nothing quite like convincing a jury your client is not guilty, or like collecting settlement funds or winning a judgment for a person who has been injured. So, I'd happily do it again.
I am very proud to have earned the Washington State Bar Association's commendation for "Pro Bono Publico" services for every year it has been offered. I am also very proud to have provided services to persons of all genders, races, religions, colors, and sexual orientations, and of numerous ethnicities.
I grew up in a sheltered suburban area near Chicago. But, at age 12, I watched the Chicago Police clubbing protestors outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention. I was 13 when Fred Hampton was assassinated and Mark Clark murdered. In 1983, as a college student, I interned with high profile Chicago Attorney Donald Page Moore, who twice ran for election against the corrupt encumbant prosecutor involved in the Hampton/Clark killings and cover-up. As a result, in 1972, that corrupt prosecutor lost his office, and never held elected office again. By the time the FBI's agent provaceteur and informer confessed to his role in the raid and killings, I was in a law student. In January 1990 - 21 years later - when that man ran out in front of a car and killed himself, I was nearing graduation. So, as an attorney, I have never lacked a sense of purpose.
I began my practice as a public defender appealing felony convictions. Then I opened my office. For a time I also joined the office of two other high profile attorneys in Seattle. I then became the Prosecuting Attorney at the Quinault Indian Nation and later at the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. Thereafter, I went into private practice full time. In 2016 and 2017, I returned to public defense for a portion of my practice, and by late 2018, I had returned to private practice full time.
I have worked for individuals, governments, and corporations (including non-profits). I much prefer to help individuals or non-profits. I have worked in other areas of law, but I prefer criminal defense, plaintiff's personal injury, and estate planning.
In the criminal defense field, on the trial or appellate levels, I have defended charges ranging from Murder 1, to Driving While under the Influence, to Driving While License Suspended. I have also succesfully obtained vacation, correction, and deletion of criminal records and reinstatement of certain civil rights.
In the plaintiff's personal injury field, I have successfully represented victims of accidents involving cars, trucks, transit buses, motorcycles, bicycles, and wheelchairs, including wrongful death actions. I have also sucessfully represented victims of dental malpractice, mold exposre, food poisoning, defective products, inadequate warnings about dangerous conditions, and slip-, trip-, tip-and-fall incidents.
I also available to prepare wills, living wills/health care directives, powers of attorney.
It would be my privilege to help you.
|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|Pro Bono Publico Service Commendation||Washington State Bar Association||2017|
|Pro Bono Publico Service Commendation||Washington State Bar Association||2016|
|Pro Bono Publico Service Commendation||Washington State Bar Association||2015|
|Pro Bono Publico Service Commendation||Washington State Bar Association||2014|
|Pro Bono Publico Service Commendation||Washington State Bar Association||2013|
|Pro Bono Publico Service Commendation||Washington State Bar Association||2012|
|Pro Bono Publico Service Commendation||Washington State Bar Association||2011|
|Pro Bono Publico Service Commendation||Washington State Bar Association||2010|
|Pro Bono Publico Service Commendation||Washington State Bar Association||2009|
|Pro Bono Publico Service Commendation||Washington State Bar Association||2008|
|Pro Bono Publico Service Commendation||Washington State Bar Association||2007|
|Pro Bono Publico Service Commendation||Washington State Bar Association||2006|
|Pro Bono Publico Service Commendation||Washington State Bar Association||2005|
|Pro Bono Publico Service Commendation||Washington State Bar Assoication||2004|
|Pro Bono Publico Service Commendation||Washington State Bar Association||2003|
|Principal||Michael John Wardell, Attorney at Law||1991 - Present|
|Supervising Prosecuting Attorney||Puyallup Tribe Of Indians||1998 - 1999|
|Prosecuting Attorney||Quinault Indian Nation||1993 - 1995|
|Of Counsel||Browne & Ressler||1992 - 1994|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|Washington State Bar Association||Member||1991 - Present|
|Washington State Bar Association||Member, Criminal Law Section||N/A|
|Washington Council Trout Unlimited||President/CEO||2001 - 2002|
|Washington Council of Trout Unlimited||Officer of Non Profit Corporation||1994 - 2003|
|Universtity of Washington School of Law Library, Permenant Collection, 1989||The Right to Slience Under the International Bill of Rights||1989|
|University of Washington School of Law||Juris Doctorate||1990|
|Fairhaven College, Western Washington University||Bachelor of Arts||1985|
|Lummi Indian Nation v. Johnnie, Lummi Tribal Court of Appeals #92.11.CA3839 (1994)||We won at trial, but were reversed and lost on appeal.|
|Vazquez v. Vazquez, Washington Court of Appeals, #447947 (2001)||We (generally) won at trial, except for one issue, which we then won on appeal.|
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