MICHAEL T. ZORETIC, Founding Member
My practice focuses on commercial and real estate-related litigation, with a special emphasis on construction law. My basic philosophy in all of my cases is Strategic Thinking -- finding innovative and carefully tailored plans that are intended to obtain the end result most desired by the client. Following this approach in the wide variety of civil litigation I have handled since becoming an attorney in 1991, I have become adept at mapping out thoughtful game plans that tend to achieve my client’s goals in a cost-effective and prompt manner.
Prior to starting my own practice at Zoretic Law, I was the Chair of the Commercial Litigation Group and a partner for many years in one of downtown Seattle’s finest law firms. A few years back, I began to realize that the emergence of the internet, email and smartphone technology changed the legal world so that I could seamlessly service clients throughout the State while living outside the Seattle metro area. In fact, my clients were able to have greater access to me than ever before because my calls went directly to my cell phone! I always remember the advice a senior lawyer gave me: “They’re your clients! Pick up the phone!” By routing all of my calls to my cell phone, my clients had greater communication -- and higher satisfaction -- than ever before.
In 2010, my family and I began living full-time in the lower Methow Valley, while at the same time maintaining my practice at my downtown Seattle law firm. Three years later, after proving that I could provide clients throughout the State with top-notch legal help on a variety of cases in all levels of courts, I decided to start my own practice.
As Zoretic Law, I serve my clients in Central and Eastern Washington from my primary office in the beautiful town of Pateros, located just north of Chelan at the confluence of the Columbia and Methow Rivers. I also continue to serve my clients in the Puget Sound area from a state-of-the art satellite office on the 42nd floor of the Columbia Center. With these two offices, I can effectively handle cases in virtually any County or Federal court throughout the State of Washington.
I am very proud of my track record of providing the highest level of legal services to my clients throughout my career. I am an AV-Rated lawyer by Martindale Hubbell, a perennial Washington SuperLawyer and rated Excellent by Avvo. I have gone against the finest lawyers and law firms across the region during my career and have met the challenge. My clients can expect the best when they give me the privilege of representing them.
Over the last 22 years. I have handled a wide range of cases, which has allowed me to develop a deep knowledge base and practical experience. In the business litigation area, I have represented individuals and companies in disputes over the management and operation of partnerships and businesses, damages resulting from the breach of development agreements, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and other commercial issues.
A significant percentage of my practice involves property disputes, including cases involving nuisance, trespass, misrepresentation, easements, boundary disputes and other issues impacting ownership rights in land. I also provide business and litigation counsel to golf course and resort owners, wineries, vineyards, and orchardists. I also handle environmental and water rights matters.
Perhaps the biggest focus area of my practice has been construction law. In the construction arena, I have represented owners, general contractors and subcontractors in payment disputes in federal and state courts, as well as arbitration. I have successfully resolved well over a hundred cases involving federal, state and municipal projects, as well as disputes arising from privately owned developments such as condominiums and office complexes. My representation of construction clients also includes bid protests and appearances before administrative agencies.
Regardless of the issue at hand, clients should be able to trust their lawyer to devise a strategy that gives them the best chance of reaching their goals. Skillful lawyering takes many forms, but my clients walk away at the end of their case knowing that their lawyer had a thoughtful plan that was designed to pave the way to a successful result.
Zoretic Law also provides a critical benefit relating to attorney’s fees. Clients should not have to pay high hourly rates just to receive outstanding legal services. As a solo practitioner, my overhead is dramatically less than other lawyers of my practice level. My practice will also utilize the newest cloud-based and paperless file technologies. These innovations allow me to pass on my savings to clients by offering my legal services at a reasonable price.
One of the things I am most excited about in starting Zoretic Law is that my reduced (and flexible) billing rate will allow my clients more options for pursuing their case to the fullest measure. Going to trial is – and always will be – expensive. But it should not be so cost-prohibitive that it is not even an option. As the sole owner of Zoretic Law, I look forward to working with my clients to develop economical case budgets that allow the client full access to the civil justice system if the case warrants it.
When not practicing law, I spend most of my time with my wife Yvonne and three beautiful daughters. I also thoroughly enjoy the great outdoors and the four seasons of North Central Washington. I am an avid runner, cyclist, golfer, hunter, snow skier and waterskier -- depending on the season! I am also an enthusiastic, but very mediocre, guitar player and enjoy playing in my church band and for our kids.