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Michael John Tario

About me

I have been practicing law for over 36 years, handling over 2,000 personal injury cases. My practice is now focused on personal injury: auto accidents, other accident cases, wrongful death, negligence cases, and medical malpractice cases.  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 but the cases listed in my profile are examples of some of the cases I have taken to trial. Many cases are settled without a trial.  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. Note that 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 is afraid to go to trial and settles for whatever the insurance company offers,  then you will definitely  not be able to acheive the best possible result on your personal injury case. If the insurance company knows that your attorney is inexperienced, has no trial experience 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 you. 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 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 six years practicing law. Thanks for listening to some of my thoughts.


Languages spoken: Spanish, English

Photos and videos

10161 1352937784

Practice areas


  1. Personal Injury: 40%
    37 years, 2 thousand cases
  2. Car Accident: 25%
    37 years, 2 thousand cases
  3. Medical Malpractice: 20%
    33 years, 300 cases
  4. Wrongful Death: 15%



Contingent (33-40%), Fixed (sometimes), Retainer (sometimes), Free consultation (60 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

13 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Michael S. Waddington

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


    Michael Waddington Military law Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Christian K. Lassen II

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


    Christian Lassen Wrongful death Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Tario & Associates, P.S.

119 N. Commercial St.
Bellingham Towers, #1000
Bellingham, WA, 98225


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
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
OwnerTario & Associates P.S.1980 - Present
Judge ProTem - Part timeWhatcom County District Court1982 - 1983
Legislative & Statute AnalystWashington State Counsel on Crime and Deliquency1977 - 1979
Association namePosition nameDuration
National Trial Lawyers AssociationTop 100 Trial Lawyers2013 - Present
The Million Dollar Advocates ForumMember2010 - Present
Washington Association of Criminal Defense AttorneysFounding Member1986 - Present
National Association of Criminal Defense AttorneysMember1981 - Present
American Bar AssociationMember1980 - Present
American Trial Lawyers AssociationMember1980 - Present
Washington State Bar AssociationMember1980 - Present
Washington State Association for JusticeMember1980 - Present
Federal Bar Association Western District WashingtonMember1980 - Present
Law Advocates - Whatcom CountyBoard of Directors1994 - 1996
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
John Zweber vs. State Farm Insurance Co. No. 10-2-00335-8Jury Verdict $1,300,000.00
Tidiman vs. Allstate Insurance Company No. 08-2-0153-3Jury Verdict $300,375.00
Rogers vs The Fairhaven Pub & Martini BarDefense Verdict
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
People Magazine - InterviewAlaska Fishing Boat Murders1984
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