Meet Tacoma Personal Injury Attorney Eric Fong

Partner

I started my legal career in 1993 as an intern for a lawyer in Tacoma, Washington. That experience gave me many insights, and simply put, it is the reason why I am in Port Orchard, doing what I do. Ask me and I’ll tell you all about it.

In 1996, I took a job as a public defender in a busy court doing thousands of misdemeanors a year. This was before caps on how many cases a public defender could take, and I threw myself into the workload. I learned a plethora of skills. I got comfortable in court. I learned how to deal with, respect and appreciate all sorts of personalities. I learned how to negotiate cases and stand up for people that society looks down upon. I learned to find the beauty in people who lost the ability to see the beauty in themselves. I learned that there are many people who are damned and forgotten, yet if someone, or some judge just believed in them, they could go on to find their destiny. The benefits of hard work and being prepared were reinforced. Soon I was doing public defense felonies for Kitsap County, appellate work for the state’s Courts of Appeal, and federal crimes as a Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panel attorney.

To this day, one of the things I am most proud of is the dedication, commitment and integrity with which I represented the damned and downtrodden. Yet at the same time, there was something else pulling at me; the broken promises, betrayals and dishonest tactics of the insurance industry. I love standing up for a person victimized twice, first by a careless driver, then again by that person’s insurance company. It is a little known fact that almost all defendants in a personal injury matter would gladly compensate the person they hurt, but their insurance company refuses to help out, often refusing to pay even the medical bills.

In the early days, often my civil clients were my public defense clients that got hurt by someone else’s negligence. Soon my civil work load, passion and reputation as a civil lawyer equaled or exceeded that of my criminal reputation.

I am fortunate to have a national reputation as a lawyer capable of handling complex civil and criminal litigation. I work with lawyers all over the country. I have experience dealing with brain injury, products liability, personal injury, medical malpractice and toxic tort cases. I successfully handled nursing home abuse and Catholic priest abuse cases. As George Clinton’s lawyer, I was with him when Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams unsuccessfully filed their declaratory action against Mr. Clinton and the estate of Marvin Gaye for the song Blurred Lines. I am one of a handful of
lawyers in the country that can walk into a murder trial as competently as a complex civil trial.

Since 2011 I have been recognized by my peers as in the top 5% SuperLawyer with over 100 cases argued to verdict in high stakes civil and criminal cases. In 2013 I was awarded Plaintiffs Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers, and in 2006 Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Trial Lawyers College. I am recognized as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by National Trial Lawyers. I am an instructor at Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College and taught for the Washington State Bar Association, the Washington State Association for Justice, and other associations.

I volunteer my time and pay my way to teach and create legal systems in Africa. In Africa, millions of people suffer each day because the minute they were born, they had no chance. Nobody disputes this. I ask people here in the U.S. if they can leave room for the possibility that there are millions of people in our country, likewise born without a chance; perfect babies born into a cruel world of abuse, drugs, alcohol, violence, hunger and more. At times my life has not riddled with failure and struggles, for which I am thankful for, as it is this adversity that spawned the growth that makes me all the better. I am comparatively blessed.

My dad was a professor at Purdue University by way of China. My mom, from Sweden, stayed home with my brother, my sister and me. My sister is a professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University, and my brother is a biomedical engineer with a Ph.D. from Yale University.

Above all else, the most precious things in my life are my two girls, Olivia and Ella. We live on a plot of land that forms part of a wetland estuary that is on the Puget Sound. Land like this is rare, as most of its kind is filled in for development. Chinook, Silver and Chum salmon, Steelhead and Searun cutthroat migrate up the creek that runs through our property. As such, we have dedicated the land to preservation and work with the State of Washington as forest stewards; we will preserve and dedicate this land for future generations.

I look forward to meeting and helping you.

Eric

Licenses

Washington State
United States District Court Western Washington
United States District Court Eastern Washington
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
United States Supreme Court
United States Tax Court

Bar/Professional Associations and Memberships

Washington State Association of Justice
Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
American Association for Justice

Board of Directors, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, 2007 – 2012
President, Kitsap County Bar Association, 2011 – 2012
President F-Warrior Board of Directors, Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College,
2008 – 2009
Board of Directors, Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College, 2008 – 2009
F-Warrior board member, Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College, 2004 – 2011
Board of Directors/Legislative Affairs, Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce, 2004
– 2008
Trustee, Kitsap County Bar Association, 2002
Board of Directors/Treasurer, Port Orchard Rotary, 2001 – 2003