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John L. Messina

John L. Messina

Personal Injury Attorney

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Practice Areas:

  • Personal Injury


Early in his career, John L. Messina won the biggest personal injury verdict in Washington State history. That record stood for numerous years. He has been practicing law for more than 45 years and is known by peers and clients alike for his excellent reputation, diligence, and passion for justice.

John has won hundreds of settlements and verdicts involving negligence by Department of Corrections, Social and Health Services, and the Department of Transportation, among other government agencies. He has also won cases against product designers, manufacturers, and contractors. His representation also includes many ordinary citizens injured by negligent driving and medical malpractice. He brings dedication and compassion to every case and is committed to helping clients cop with the devastating injuries they have suffered.

Aside from his legal work, john is also extremely active in his community. He serves for 13 years on the committee of the Washington State Supreme Court that writes standardized trial jury instructions. He has also served on the boards of the Gonzaga Law School, the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association (now called the Washington State Association for Justice) and the Washington Sons of Italy. He helped write changes to the Tacoma City Charter and authored the provisions regarding election of the council by districts and term limits. Recently he joined the Tacoma Athletic Commission.

Attorney John Messina has practiced personal injury law for most of his career. Having obtained record setting results for clients over more than four decades, John has an established reputation for tenacious advocacy.  


  • Gonzaga University School of Law, Spokane, Washington
    • J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence - 00/1969
    • Honors: magna cum laude
  • University of Puget Sound School of Law, Tacoma, Washington
    • Honors: cum laude

Bar Admission

  • Washington, 1969
  • U.S. Federal Court, 1969
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1987

Published Works

  • The Human Factors Expert in Tort Litigation Trial (2 Volumes), Jan., 1984
  • Highway Design Liability (Text), 1983

Representative Cases

  • Couch v. Mine Safety Appliances Co., 728 P.2d 585, 1986, Wash., 1986157313
  • Glasgow v. Georgia-Pacific Corp., 693 P.2d 708, 1985, Wash., 1985102577
  • Martin v. Abbott Laboratories, 689 P.2d 368, 1984, Wash., 1984146427
  • Doyle v. Nor-West Pac. Co., 594 P.2d 938, 1979, Wash.App. Div. 1, 1979123985


  • Washington State Trial Lawyer of the Year, 1979
  • Graduated first in his class at Gonzaga Law School
  • Numerous articles published in the Gonzaga Law Review
  • Recognized by peers as one of the 100 Best Trial Lawyers in Washington State
  • Highest rating for more than 25 years from Martindale-Hubbell
  • Law & Politics "Super Lawyer" since 1998
  • 100 Best Trial Lawyers in Washington State
  • Certified in civil trial advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1998
  • Served on the Committee of Washington State Supreme Court that writes standardized trial jury instructions
  • Best Attorney In the South Sound for 2014 as voted by South Sound Magazine readers
  • Named one of the Nation's Top 1% of Lawyers in the USA by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel


  • First Interstate Bank


  • Italian

Professional Associations

  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 1972, 00/1972
  • Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 1972, 00/1972
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1989, 00/1989
  • Tacoma Stars Professional Soccer Team, 1988 to 1990
  • Member of Million Dollar Advocates Forum

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Trial Law, Nat'l. Board of Trial Advocacy