Meet Our Attorneys At Law
Find out more about our team of legal professionals by clicking an attorney’s name below.
Blaine Tamaki has been a trial lawyer for over 30 years. He graduated with a J.D. from the University of Washington Law School in 1982. He obtained his B.A. in Economics with Honors Distinction from the University of Washington in 1979. He founded Tamaki Law in 1994 and has record breaking settlements in cases throughout the Northwest.
In August 2012, Blaine received the distinguished “Trial Lawyer of the Year” award. This award, presented by the Washington State Association for Justice, honors a lawyer who advances the art and skill of adovacy, either in trial or by training others so as to benefit humankind. He was also designated a Super Lawyer by Washington Law & Politics, a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations.
Some of his noteworthy results:
- Settling or achieving verdicts for over a million dollars seventeen (17) times in his career.
- Serving as one of the lead lawyers announcing the settlement of $167.3 million record breaking settlement against the Northwest Jesuits which made global news.
- Achieving a $30 million settlement for his own Native American clients who suffered sexual abuse as children.
- A $6.4 million dollar settlement against State Department of Corrections for negligent supervision of a serial rapist and murderer.
- A $6.55 million settlement against the State Department of Social and Health Services for negligent protection of 4 foster children.
- A record $12 million medical malpractice settlement in Central Washington
- A series of multi-million dollar settlements for Tribal victims including a $3.5 million settlement of a two young children who were drowned in an irrigation canal.
Blaine was born in Berkeley, California but raised in Yakima, Washington since he was 8 years old. He has practiced law in Yakima since he graduated from law school.
He attributes his success as a trial lawyer to his hard work, persistence, and competitiveness. He has pride in his savvy, negotiation skills, and knowledge of his business.
Blaine is very committed to the Washington State Association of Justice (WSAJ) and has been on the Board of Directors for decades. He is currently Vice President of WSAJ and Chairman of several committees and events. He is also a graduate of the Trial Lawyers College in Dubois, Wyoming.
Blaine has been very active in community civic activities. He now supports dozens of non-profits charities through his charitable donations every year. He likes to spend time with his wife and three children, enjoys traveling, and participating in and watching sports, especially the Mariners, Seahawks, and the Huskies.
Bryan Smith grew up in Yakima, Washington. After obtaining a psychology degree from Western Washington University and a law degree from Seattle University, he came back to Yakima to practice law in the community where he was raised. Before becoming an attorney, he worked as an advocate for children suffering from mental illness. As an attorney, he continues to advocate for children and their families in the civil justice system. Bryan now represents victims of sexual abuse, medical malpractice, serious injuries, and wrongful death.
With his law partner Blaine Tamaki, Bryan has successfully handled complex litigation cases which have resulted in numerous multi-million dollar recoveries. Blaine and Bryan recently recovered $30 million on behalf of victims of clergy sexual abuse, $6.55 million on behalf of children whom DSHS negligently left in an abusive home, and $6.4 million on behalf of victims of violent criminal whom the Department of Corrections allowed to roam unsupervised. Blaine and Bryan also recently recovered a record $12 million settlement on behalf of a victim of medical malpractice in Central Washington, the largest medical settlement in the history of Central or Eastern Washington. Although he spends a great deal of time with complex litigation matters, Bryan still handles automobile cases, and recently obtained a $1.5 million recovery on behalf of a dentist whose wrists were injured in a car collision, and $1.15 million on behalf of the victims of a head on collision caused by a drunk driver.
While Bryan enjoys working on cases throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, where he is admitted to practice, his law practice also takes him across the country, including California, Nevada, Montana, South Dakota, and Hawaii, where he represents clients through association with local counsel. Bryan is frequently invited to speak at legal education seminars on personal injury law, wrongful death, and injuries occurring on Indian reservations. He is also a contributing author of a forthcoming book on medical malpractice litigation.
In his spare time, Bryan enjoys running, playing guitar and piano, traveling, and spending time with his family. He also volunteers in the community (Toys for Tots, Law Day Mock Trials in Schools, Easter Basket donations to the homeless), and supports causes related to poverty, childhood education, and the arts.
In 2011, Vito de la Cruz joined the Tamaki team with over 27 years of trial experience. Vito earned his undergraduate degree from Yale and law degree from the University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law in Berkeley, California.
Over the years, Vito has tried over a hundred cases to verdict and represented thousands of clients. He has taught trial advocacy at the National Criminal Defense College, the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, and internationally for the American Bar Association Rule of Law Institute. He strives for justice for his clients and his community.
Vito is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and conversant in Portuguese. His tri-culturalism (Latino, Native, and American) and experiences growing up in poverty have given him the ability and passion to champion the causes of those injured by others. With Vito, non-English speakers have an attorney who understands and can communicate directly with them. Native clients have someone with whom they share many cultural elements. All of his clients benefit from his aggressive, persistent, ethical, and quality representation.
Vito is admitted to practice in California, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. He has been admitted to practice before the federal courts of the Eastern and Western Districts of Washington, the Eastern District of California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as well as the Supreme Courts of the States of California, Oregon, and Washington. He is an active Eagle Member of the Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ), the Hispanic National Bar Association, and the Indian Law Section of the Washington State Bar.
En el 2011 Vito de la Cruz se unió al equipo de Tamaki trayendo consigo 27 años de experiencia. Vito obtuvo su licenciatura de la Universidad de Yale y su título de abogado de la Universidad de California, Boalt Hall School of Law en Berkeley, California.
A través de los años Vito ha litigado más de cien casos y ha representado a miles de clientes. El ha dado clases de advocacia en el National Criminal Defense College, el National Institute of Trial Advocacy, e internacionalmente para el American Bar Association Rule of Law Institute. El lucha por lograr justicia para sus clientes y su comunidad.
Vito es completamente bilingüe en inglés y español y puede conversar en portugués. Se considera tri-cultural, es decir latino, indígena y americano y la experiencia de haber sido criado en pobreza le han dado la habilidad y la motivación de luchar por los que han sido lesionados. Con Vito, los que no hablan inglés como primer idioma tendrán un abogado que los entiende y se podrá comunicar directamente con ellos. Los clientes indígenas encontrarán a alguien quien comparte muchos aspectos de sus culturas. Todos los clientes de Vito se beneficiarán de su representación agresiva, persistente, ética y de calidad.
Vito está autorizado para litigar en California, Montana, Washington y Oregon. Ha sido admitido para practicar ante las cortes federales de los distritos del este y oeste de Washington, el distrito del este de California, el Noveno Circuito de la Corte de Apelaciones así como la Suprema Corte de los Estados de California, Washington y Oregon. Vito es un miembro activo de Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ), the Hispanic National Bar Association, y la sección de leyes indígenas de la Barra de Abogados del Estado de Washington.
Llámenos hoy para hablar con alguien en español. Marque al (800) 801-9564.
Megan Chang-Ngaruiya was born in Kailua, Hawaii and grew up in Eastern Washington. She graduated summa cum laude from Walla Walla University in 2005 with a degree in business administration and went on to receive her Juris Doctorate in 2008, graduating cum laude, from Gonzaga University. She first joined Tamaki Law Offices as a law clerk in 2006 and subsequently started her career as an attorney in 2008 after graduating from law school.
With her interest in business, passion for helping others, and love for Eastern Washington, Megan transfered from our Yakima office to our Kennewick office in 2011. She handles a variety of personal injury cases, including auto accidents, injuries on school premises, and medical malpractice. Regardless of the type of case, what Megan enjoys most about being an attorney is helping her clients individually and doing her best to make a difference in their lives.
She is a member of the Washington State Bar Association, the Yakima County Bar Association, the Benton Franklin County Bar Association, and an active Eagle Member of the Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ). Megan currently serves on WSAJ’s Diversity Committee, as well as the Membership Committee. She is admitted to practice in all Washington state courts and the United States District Court of Eastern Washington. In 2013, Megan was designated a Rising Star by Washington Law & Politics. This designation is awarded to no more than 2.5% of lawyers in the state and recognizes the top up-and-coming attorneys. In 2015, she was nominated and honored as one of AIOPIA’s “10 Best” Personal Injury Attorneys in Washington State for Client Satisfaction.
Outside of work, Megan enjoys mentoring children and young adults. In years past, she has been a Big Sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. She also enjoys music, reading, sports, spending time with her husband, friends, and family, and most of all – good food.
Jeff Kreutz grew up in Richland, Washington and has been a trial lawyer for more than fifteen years. After graduating from Richland High School, he attended Columbia Basin College (CBC) on a basketball scholarship. He later obtained an English degree from Brigham Young University and a law degree from Seattle University. Following law school, he returned to his Eastern Washington roots and practiced for 11 years as an insurance defense attorney in Yakima and then another 4 years in Richland.
From 1997 to 2013 Jeff handled a wide variety of cases, including product liability, employment discrimination, personal injury, medical negligence, governmental liability and professional liability. He successfully tried numerous bench and jury trials on behalf of his clients.
Motivated by his growing desire to help injured individuals, in 2013, Jeff made the decision to completely change his practice to representing only plaintiffs. After years of representing insurance companies and their insured’s, Jeff has a unique perspective on the strategy and techniques necessary to vigorously represent injured clients and a passion for assisting those in need. He has earned significant settlements on behalf of injured clients and victims of church sex abuse.
Jeff is a member of the Washington State Bar Association, the Benton Franklin County Bar Association and admitted to practice in all Washington state courts and the United States District Court of Eastern Washington. He has argued successfully before the Washington State Court of Appeals and the Washington State Supreme Court. He has also been recognized as a Rising Star by Washington Law & Politics Magazine. He is also an Eagle member of the Washington State Association for Justice.
Outside of work, Jeff enjoys coaching youth football, baseball, basketball and soccer. He also relishes time spent with his wife and children. He is involved in numerous non-profit organizations and provides pro bono legal services to non-profit groups such as Habitat for Humanity, Tri-City Youth Choir, Richland Gunners Basketball Club, Elijah’s Pit Stop, Goodwill Industries, and others. Jeff is fluent in written and spoken Spanish.
Megan Hale was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Megan obtained her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and criminal justice, summa cum laude, from Indiana University-Bloomington, and her Juris Doctorate, magna cum laude, from Seattle University School of Law. During law school, she worked as a legal extern for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office before joining Tamaki Law Offices as an associate attorney in March 2010.
Megan is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and the Washington State Association for Justice. She remains active in the community, where she serves as the Yakima County Roundtable Chair as well as on the Academic Affairs Committee of Heritage University’s Board of Directors. She is licensed to practice in all Washington state courts, the United States District Court of Eastern Washington, and the Yakama Nation Tribal Court.
Megan has a strong interest in social justice and has volunteered her time with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. Her personal interests include reading, traveling, theater, cooking, and fitness.
Sergio Garcidueñas-Sease was born in Seattle, Washington. Due to his father’s employment with the United Nations, Sergio grew up living and traveling throughout Africa and Latin America. Sergio earned his undergraduate and graduate degree from the American University in Washington, D.C. where he studied international human rights. He earned his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Seattle University School of Law in 2013. During law school, he worked for the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica as a law clerk, Columbia Legal Services as a farmworker advocate, and for the American Civil Liberties Union.
Sergio is a proud member of the Washington State Bar Association, the Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ), and the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington (LBAW).
During his free time, Sergio enjoys photography, traveling, exploring the outdoors, fitness, cooking, and good wine.
Growing up a witness to extreme poverty and civil war, he has an enormous passion for social justice and civil rights. He looks forward to serving and empowering the Latino community in the Yakima Valley and beyond.
Sergio is fluent in written and spoken Spanish.