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Michele C. Atkins

Michele’s practice focuses on defense of complex litigation, including claims of medical and other professional liability. She has represented a wide variety of healthcare providers and has tried their cases before civil juries and professional disciplinary boards.


  • Medical Professional Liability Defense
  • Licensing and Disciplinary Actions
  • General Civil Litigation

Representative Cases

  • On 4th day of trial, Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed failure to diagnosis spinal epidural abscess that left him paralyzed.
  • Defense verdict for an interventional radiologist where plaintiffs alleged he was negligent and caused the death of a patient by failing to perform a blood patch at or near the level of a spinal epidural leak caused during a bilateral breast reduction surgery.
  • Unanimous defense verdict for two retina specialists where Plaintiffs alleged a failure to diagnose endophthalmitis (eye infection) that led to the patient’s blindness and loss of that eye
  • Unanimous defense verdict in wrongful death lawsuit where emergency medicine provider was alleged to have been negligent for failing to diagnose a pulmonary embolism.
  • Unanimous defense verdict for emergency medicine provider alleged to have been negligent in the evaluation of a patient who suffered subarachnoid hemorrhage after presenting to the emergency department.
  • Defense verdict in a wrongful death lawsuit alleging premature discharge resulting in death two days later
  • Defense verdict for large hospital in medical malpractice lawsuit where the allegation was that hospital staff caused median nerve injury leading to permanent disability.
  • Defense verdict for two trauma surgeons in medical malpractice lawsuit where it was alleged that the surgeons failed to identify a peroneal tendon injury leading to permanent disability.
  • Defense verdict for Public Hospital District in medical malpractice lawsuit where plaintiff/patient suffered traumatic brain injury.
  • Defense verdict for family practice physician in medical malpractice lawsuit where allegation was delayed diagnosis of colon cancer.
  • Multiple successful professional disciplinary board trials where allegations were of sexual and other unprofessional misconduct.
  • Multiple criminal trials.


  • ‍University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, J.D., 1999
  • University College of London, England, Completed program in international law, Summer, 1997
  • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California, B.S., Social Science, 1995

Admitted to Practice

  • ‍Washington State
  • California State
  • United States District Court Western and Eastern District of Washington, Northern District of California
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Professional Experience

  • Fain Anderson VanDerhoef Rosendahl O’Halloran Spillane, PLLC, Principal / Owner, 2015 – Present
  • Fain Anderson & VanDerhoef, PLLC, Member, 2009 – 2015
  • Fain Anderson & VanDerhoef, PLLC, Associate, 2002 – 2009
  • McIntyre & Barns, Associate, 2002
  • San Francisco Public Defenders Office, 1999 - 2001

Professional Memberships

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • American Bar Association
  • Washington State Bar Association
    - Health Law Section
  • California State Bar Association
  • Washington Healthcare Risk Management Society
  • Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association

Publications & Presentations

In addition to being asked to be a presenter on a wide-variety of topics in the health care arena, in her “first life” as a criminal defense attorney in San Francisco, Michele was one of four featured attorneys in the PBS documentary, “Presumed Guilty”

Honors & Awards

Named a “Rising Star” by Washington Super Lawyers on five occasions

Michele C. Atkins