Michael “Charb” Charbonneau
Charb has always felt compelled to side with the ‘little guy’ and to stand up to power on behalf of those with no voice. His legal career has been dedicated to protecting the rights of his clients in court. While still in law school, he worked as a Rule 9 intern for a public defense firm, meeting with clients facing criminal charges and helping to explain their options while listening to learn their stories. Before even becoming a licensed attorney he successfully argued an appeal, overturning a conviction for a client who was unfairly and illegally stopped by an officer for no legitimate reason.
After graduation he continued working as a public defender, taking over twenty cases to trial and resolving countless others in ways that helped clients avoid overburdening convictions and conditions.
Charb transitioned to the civil side of the law, working for a law firm that primarily helped low-income, immigrant victims of vehicle collisions get full and fair compensation for their injuries. He developed a passion for fighting insurance companies who were willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to lawyers and experts in order to prevent paying a few thousand on a legitimate claim.
Charb is an accomplished litigator, having arbitrated close to a hundred cases, regularly obtaining awards significantly higher than the best offers extended by the insurance companies.
Many very skilled lawyers focus on larger cases involving catastrophic injuries. Charb enjoys being a thorn in the insurance company’s side and making them defend their unreasonably low offers on cases where the insurance company has basically assumed “No big deal.” Cases where the vehicles don’t sustain a lot of visible damage but the occupants are hurt are some of his favorite. He has told many an adjuster “I feed my family with low property damage cases.”
When he is not writing scathing letters to insurance adjusters, taking depositions, or appearing in court, you can find Charb spending time with his wife, Carrie, and their two young children Avery (4 and a half) and Sullivan (1). He also enjoys ice hockey (playing and soon-to-be watching), poker, and finding (and justifying) demolition projects around his house.
- Washington State Association for Justice – current
- VP for New Members – current
- New Member Committee member – current
- Past CLE Committee member
- Past Co-chair North Seattle Round Table
- American Association for Justice – current
Licensing/Admission to Practice
- Washington State Bar Association
- Federal Court -Western District of Washington