Michael W. Howard joined the firm in an of Counsel position in 2016. He provides representation in the areas of probate, estate and trust planning, fiduciary services, elder law, guardianship and trust services. He serves as a court-appointed Guardian ad Litem for Title 11 matters, including as attorney for alleged incapacitated adults and minors. Mr. Howard also serves as both court and privately appointed personal representative in probates.
Mr. Howard’s reputation is that of a thoughtful and reasoned problem solver with solid communication skills. He brings years of diverse civil litigation and alternative dispute resolution experience to the table on every case. Depending on the facts of the case and the client’s goal, Mr. Howard forcefully advocates for creative, non-litigation solutions to resolve complex financial, and often emotional, family issues.
From November 1996 through 2015, Mr. Howard was the principal of his own firm. His practice focused on estate and trust planning, probate, fiduciary services, elder law, residential real estate transactions and alternative dispute resolution through mediation, arbitration, and non-judicial agreements. During this time, Mr. Howard developed significant experience in cases involving drug and alcohol dependency, mental illness, dementia, and physical and emotional disabilities.
From 1989 to October 1996, Mr. Howard was a senior attorney for John A. Henry and Associates where he managed a diverse civil litigation practice in residential real estate, family law, bodily injury cases, and treatment options for those with drug and alcohol dependencies. During this period, he served as a judge pro tem in Municipal and District Court, as a special district investigator for the Washington State Bar, and began training as an arbitrator for bodily injury cases.
From 1982 through 1989, Mr. Howard practiced criminal defense with an emphasis on treatment options for offenders with drug or alcohol dependencies and other forms of disability. He expanded his practice into civil litigation by associating with law firms in transition to clear their litigation and transactional backlogs. These associations allowed Mr. Howard to gain training and experience in representing individuals in all aspects of family law, bodily injury, construction defect, and real estate litigation. He also conducted probates and provided estate-planning services.
- University of Washington, BA, Business Administration, June 1974
- University School of Law, J.D., June 1981
Admissions and Licenses
- Washington State Bar Association: 1981
- United States District Court, Western District of Washington: 1981; Eastern District of Washington: 1983
- King County Superior Court Mandatory Arbitration Panel: 2004
- RCW 11.88 Guardian ad Litem: 2016, Pierce County and Kitsap County
- Washington State Bar Association
- Elder Law Section of the Washington State Bar Association
- Real Property, Probate and Trust Section of the Washington State Bar Association
- Tacoma/Pierce County Bar Association
- Guardianship Section of the Tacoma/Pierce County Bar Association