Neil Tardiff

Firm: Tardiff Law
Location: San Luis Obispo - CA

  • 6699 Bay Laurel Pl # 1
    Avila Beach, CA 93424
  • Tel : 805.544.8100
  • Fax : 805.544.4381

A certified specialist in appellate law, Neil has practiced law for almost 40 years. is and has extensive experience in a myriad of different areas of law. His work and contributions to the legal field and community at large have earned him continuous recognition and accolades in the legal field and beyond.

Neil Tardiff is Of Counsel with the litigation firm of Ford, Walker, Haggerty & Behar overseeing its appellate department and assisting the firm with post-trial matters.  Mr. Tardiff also has his own boutique trial and appellate firm in San Luis Obispo, California. For the first thirty years of his practice, Mr. Tardiff defended large-exposure products liability cases, police brutality cases, dangerous condition of public property cases and professional liability cases, including legal and medical malpractice. For the past ten years, Mr. Tardiff has dedicated his career to handling appellate and post-trial matters. Clients include law firms, insurance companies, public entities, developers and contractors, public and closely held corporations, professionals and other self-insureds.

Mr. Tardiff joined the State Bar of California in 1980 and is admitted to practice in all California state and federal courts.  Mr. Tardiff graduated With Distinction from McGeorge School of Law in 1980.  He received a number of scholastic awards during law school and is an honored member of the Order of the Coif.

Mr. Tardiff did his under-graduate studies at California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo earning a Bachelor of Science in Business.

Prior to starting his private law practice, Mr. Tardiff clerked for Justice William P. Clark, Jr. in the California Supreme Court in 1979. Mr. Tardiff began his private practice in 1980 working for a small insurance defense firm in Santa Barbara, California and trying a variety of insurance defense cases.  In 1983, Mr. Tardiff started his own firm trying multiple police brutality cases and dangerous road cases for the County of Santa Barbara and trying multiple high exposure product liability cases for several major manufacturers of juvenile products throughout the State of California.

In 1994, Mr. Tardiff moved his practice to San Luis Obispo, California with his family and became a certified specialist in appellate law with the State Bar of California where he now continues his busy appellate and trial practice. He is overseeing the appellate department of Ford Walker Haggerty & Behar as well as having a boutique trial and appellate practice in San Luis Obispo.

Mr. Tardiff has served on many state and local attorney boards, including being President of the San Luis Obispo County Bar Association, Chairman of the Appellate Advisory Board for the State Bar of California, and serving as a member of the board of directors and as a committee chairperson for the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel for over a decade. He was past co-chairman of the Association’s annual law firm management seminar for many years. He is currently Director of the Pro-Bono Program for the San Luis Obispo County Bar Association and oversees SLOLAWLINE, a community twenty-four-hour telephone hotline service providing legal assistance to those that cannot afford an attorney. Mr. Tardiff also serves on the board of several local non-profit organizations.

Mr. Tardiff is also a Professor of Law at Monterey School of Law at the San Luis Obispo campus and oversees their Clinical Program.  He is also a law professor for the Center for International Studies doing periodic assignments overseas teaching American Appellate and Trial Practice.

Mr. Tardiff has volunteered his services as a settlement officer for the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Civil Settlement Program and also serves as a private mediator.  Mr. Tardiff frequently lectures in the field of appellate and trial practice.


  • Chairman of the State Bar of California Appellate Commission
  • Certified Specialist in Appellate Law
  • Premier Appellate Lawyers, Featured Attorney (2023)
  • Super Lawyers Appellate Advocacy (2019 – 2023 )
  • San Luis Obispo County Bar Association (2009 President)
  • AV Rated
  • Circle of Service Award Recipient (2014)
  • Recognition by County Board of Supervisors for Creation of San Luis Obispo Pro Bono Program, Legal Services Hotline, and San Luis Obispo Lawline
  • Recognition by County Board of Supervisors for Exemplary Service to Children and Families in SLO County
  • Superlawyer – Top Attorney in California 2009
  • Superlawyer – Top Attorney in California 2010

Tardiff Law Offices

Tardiff Law was established in 1980 in San Luis Obispo and has seen several generations of experienced attorneys succeed and retire within its walls. It continues to be a Central Coast staple providing elite legal representation in San Luis Obispo and throughout California. Neil S. Tardiff has practiced law on the Central Coast for over 30 years and his son, Dustin M. Tardiff, a San Luis Obispo native, joined his practice in 2011. Tardiff Law has extensive appellate experience and has handled well over 100 jury trials since its inception with many published opinions. We specialize in Civil, Criminal, and Administrative Appeals and Writs and offer trial consultations, settlement evaluations, and the drafting of pre-trial and post-trial motions. We provide attorneys, corporate, government and individual clients with excellent litigation and appellate advice with 40 years combined trial and appellate experience in both State and Federal Courts. Located next door to the Avila Bay Athletic Club in Avila Beach, California, Tardiff Law is a full service law firm with deep roots in the Central Coast.

Tardiff Law also serves as legal counsel for: CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, an organization devoted to supporting and promoting court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children; the Family Care Network, a local non-profit serving families and children for the purpose of creating family-based treatment programs as an alternative to group home or institutional care for children and youth; and for the San Luis Obispo Tourism and Visitor’s Bureau – to name a few. Our work is our passion and we will always devote our time, effort, and expertise to making the Central Coast and California a better place.