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Getting to Know Attorney Joe Shannon

I’m one of ten kids. I grew up in a little town called Yakima, Washington. Growing up one of ten kids, I grew up lower on the economic scale, but we grew up rich in love and rich in family. I grew up across the street from a cathedral in Yakima, Washington. I went to St. Paul’s grade school and Carroll High School in Yakima.

I ended up moving to Portland, Oregon, where I ran cross country and track in college. I ended up traveling out to the Midwest to go to Notre Dame for law school. The best part about Notre Dame Law School was that I met my wife there, Michelle.  We have been married since 1990, and we have been blessed with six lovely children: Emma, Clare, Kate, Will, Norah and John.

I went to Notre Dame Law School fully believing that I would be an international lawyer. In fact, I studied in London, England, for a year and learned about international law and comparative law. When I got back to the U.S., I decided that I wanted to be a trial lawyer; I’ve been a trial lawyer since 1988.

For the first eight years of my practice, I represented insurance companies and large companies. I learned from the best. I learned how the system works (how the civil system works). If somebody is injured, they are entitled to compensation. But how much? I learned from the insurance companies about the business side of insurance. How they limit the amount a person recovers and how large companies think.

In 1996, I decided to forge my own path. I decided to represent the little guy. In fact, I wanted to go back from where I came from. It fit my personality better and it fit the way I think a little bit better. I learned that I felt more comfortable in a courtroom walking in sitting next to the person who needed me, not a big large corporation who already had a ton of other lawyers — but one lawyer that represents them and their family and made sure they get justice. 

Recent FAQ Videos

What’s The Difference Between A Trial Lawyer And A Settlement Lawyer?

Settlement Attorney vs. Trial Lawyer

Do you want to go to a lawyer that’s what they call a settlement lawyer, or do you want to go to a trial lawyer? Every case that we accept in our office, we intend to try before a jury of your peers or before a judge. The reason being is because we don’t want the insurance company or the other large company that you are against to set the amount of money that you are going to recover. We want you to recover what is fair and reasonable. In my experience, if we can put the case in front of a jury, we can explain to them what your injury is and they will make the decision as to whether your case is worth X or Y.

Typically, the amount the insurance company will set for a settlement case is a lot less than what a jury would award. Now the caliber of lawyer that you hire for this type of case is pivotal. The reason being is that you need to level the playing field between you and the insurance company. We have handled these cases over and over again for decades. We know how the insurance company operates. In fact, I used to work for insurance companies and large companies. Having a lawyer who understands the courtroom and understands the insurance industry is pivotal to you.