Michael grew up in the Midwest. One of eight children, he attended Chaminade Prep in St. Louis, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri, and obtained his J.D. from Washington University in
St. Louis in 1983.
Michael has been exposed to public policy issues since his days as a political science major, and has worked on public policy in a variety of capacities, including as a law clerk to the U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Minority staff during law school, and as Counsel to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging in 1985-1986. He has extensive experience as a policy consultant, having advised clients including school boards, special purpose districts, city councils, real estate developments and tribal entities.
Michael’s litigation experience began with a boutique litigation firm in Seattle, Perey & Smith, in 1983-84, and continued at the Seattle firm of Betts, Patterson & Mines from 1987 to 1991. He began his own practice in 1991, and was a partner at Northcraft & Tierney, P.C. until founding the Tierney Law Firm in 1999. With over 35 years of experience, Michael has tried more than 50 cases and handled more than 40 appeals in federal and state courts. He has compiled an extensive trial and appellate record, litigating cases in most counties in Washington, Federal District Courts in Eastern and Western Washington, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is admitted to practice in Washington, Oregon and the United States Supreme Court.
Michael lives on Mercer Island with his wife, and is active in community
affairs, especially the Mercer Island Lacrosse Club.