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Michael John Wardell


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About Michael

Providing cost-effective quality legal services in Seattle.

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 protesters 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 incumbent 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 provocateur 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 successfully 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 successfully represented victims of dental malpractice, mold exposure, 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 and more complex estate matters.

It would be my privilege to help you.