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Tim Ford

Tim has handled major civil and criminal trials and appeals, in courts in Washington and around the country, for almost fifty years.

Tim’s civil practice ranges from major civil rights cases to claims of legal and medical malpractice, negligence and products liability, to highway design and car, truck and bicycle accidents.  At the trial level, he has won clients in those areas millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements.  In the appellate courts, his cases have repeatedly made law expanding the legal rights of patients, workers, criminal suspects, and prisoners.  He has been called by one authority “the preeminent civil rights litigator in this region.”

Tim’s criminal trial experience ranges from misdemeanors to capital murder cases.  He chaired the Washington Supreme Court’s Capital Defense Qualification Committee for over a decade, and, before the abolition of Washington’s death penalty was one of a handful of lawyers in the state qualified to handle capital murder cases at all three levels:  trial, appeal, and post-conviction proceedings.  He has argued landmark criminal appeals in Washington and several other states, in the federal courts, and in the Supreme Court of the United States.  He is a nationally recognized authority on capital punishment, habeas corpus, and civil rights law, and has been recognized by the federal courts as an expert on standards for effective assistance of counsel in criminal cases.

Tim was named one of Washington’s top 100 “Super Lawyers” in 2020.  He has a 10.0 “Superb” rating in Avvo and has held an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell for over thirty years.  He has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America for more than two decades; and has been in nearly every “best lawyers” list of Washington lawyers published in the popular press since the 1990s. 

Professional and Civic Involvement

  • President of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (1994-95)
  • Eagle Member of the Washington State Association for Justice (1995-present)
  • Member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • ACLU of Washington Legal Committee (1977-2015)
  • Washington Appellate Lawyers’ Association (Founding member)


  • B.A. with high honors Washington State University (1970)
  • J.D. Stanford Law School (1974)
  • Law Clerk to Hon. Robert F. Utter, Washington State Supreme Court (1974-75)

Honors and Awards

  • Carl Maxey Award, Washington State Association of Justice (2018)
  • Fellow, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers (1993 – present)
  • Thurgood Marshall Award, the Association of the Bar of New York (1998)
  • Presidents’ Award, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (1997)
  • Courageous Award, Washington State Bar Association (1995)
  • William O. Douglas Award, Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (1992)
  • Civil Libertarian Award, ACLU of Washington (1982)
  • “Best Lawyers in America” (1995-present)
  • Catalyst of Change Award, Washington Innocence Project (2023)

Bar Memberships

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits
  • U.S. District Courts of Arizona, Northern California, Eastern and Western Washington.
  • Supreme Court of Washington

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