Seattle University School of Law, 2009
Juris Doctor, cum laude
University of Washington–Seattle, 2006
Bachelor of Arts | Law, Societies & Justice; Political Science
“40 Under Forty” | South Sound by The Business Examiner (2016)
“Rising Star” in Litigation | SuperLawyers (2012–2022)
Order of the Barristers (2009)
Washington State Courts
U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S. Supreme Court
Eric is an experienced litigator, trial attorney, and appellate advocate. He represents individuals in a variety of employment law matters including wrongful termination, unfair wage and hour practices, workplace harassment and discrimination, retaliation, and whistleblower cases. Eric has successfully handled matters in state and federal court and prevailed in numerous appellate cases, including before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Washington Supreme Court.
Mindful that most people seldom interact with the legal system, Eric uses his knowledge and experience to guide his clients through an often-intimidating process. He is always looking for ways to use technology to better serve his clients and is a frequent speaker on trial advocacy and visual presentation skills.
Eric was born in Fukuoka, Japan and grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He dedicates his free time to his wife and their two daughters (now ages 2 and 5). The family enjoys cooking together, weekend getaways, and hitting the outdoors with their dog, Potato.
- Washington State Bar Association (WSBA)
- Washington State Association for Justice, Eagle Member (WSAJ)
- American Association for Justice (AAJ)
- Washington Employment Lawyers Association (WELA)
- American Inns of Court (Hon. Robert J. Bryan, Ch. XXV)
- Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association (TPCBA)
- Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington
- American Bar Association (ABA)
- WSBA Litigation Section, Executive Committee (2019–present)
- Board Member, Emergency Food Network (2020–present)
- Treasurer, Hon. Robert J. Bryan Inn of Court, Ch. XXV (2021) (Exec. Cmte. Member since 2017)
- Seattle Clemency Project & University of Washington | Student Mentor and Pro Bono Advocate (2020–present)
- President, Tacoma–Pierce County Bar Foundation (2016, 2017) (Board Member since 2014)
- Board Member, Campaign for Equal Justice for the Legal Foundation of Washington (2016–2020)
- Co-Chair, Pierce County Law Firm Campaign for Equal Justice (2016, 2017)
- University of Washington School of Law 1L Mentor Program (2010 to 2016)
- Partner, Gordon Thomas Honeywell LLP
- Judicial Extern to Hon. Ronald E. Cox, Washington State Court of Appeals (Div. I)
- Rule 9 Intern, Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office
- Speaker, “Temporary Restraining Orders & Preliminary Injunctions” | Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association Potpourri CLE (Dec. 3, 2016)
- Speaker, “The Galaxy’s Cloud Storage & Data Protection” | Tacoma–Pierce County Bar Association Annual Convention (Oct. 2, 2016)
- Speaker, “The Visual Trial and Today’s Technology” | Advanced Trial Advocacy Institute at Seattle University School of Law (June 2014; June 2015)
- Panelist, “Effective Tools for the 21st Century Litigator: Getting Information out of Expert Witnesses” | WSBA CLE (Sept. 21, 2016)
- Author, “OneNote: Great Legal Software You Didn’t Know you Had” | Pierce County Lawyer (Sept./Oct. 2016 ed.)
- Author, “3 Rules for Organizing Your ‘Paper-on-Demand Office” | Pierce County Lawyer (May/June 2015 ed.)
- Speaker, “iPad in Trial” | Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association Potpourri CLE (Dec. 6, 2014)
- Co-author, “Rule 37: Failure to Make Discovery: Sanctions” | WSBA Civil Procedure Deskbook (3d ed. 2014)
- Speaker, “Tablet Computers in Practice” | Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association Technology CLE (May 10, 2013)
- Presenter, “Lawyers Can’t Be Luddites” | American Inns of Court (Hon. Robert J. Bryan, Ch. XXV) (Apr. 15, 2013)
- Speaker, “Technology in Practice” | Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association Potpourri CLE (Dec. 8, 2012)
- Speaker, “A Picture is Worth 1000 Words: Effectively Presenting Visual Evidence at Trial” | ABA GP Fall Meeting (Oct. 10, 2012)
- Prevailed before the Washington Supreme Court, securing a ruling rejecting a government contractor’s effort to force wage violation claims into private arbitration. A unanimous Court held that the arbitration clause in the employer’s form contract was unconscionable and unenforceable in its entirety, allowing a class action of over 300 misclassified Washington workers to proceed. The parties reached a confidential settlement. Brown v. MHN Gov’t Servs., Inc., 178 Wn.2d 258, 306 P.3d 948 (2013).
- Prevailed before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed the lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit against two military recruiters who allegedly forged reenlistment documents. The court held that the Feres doctrine, which generally immunizes military personnel from civil suit, did not apply. Jackson v. Tate, 648 F.3d 729 (9th Cir. 2011).
- Prevailed in a jury trial on behalf of a poker dealer who was wrongfully discharged after refusing to gamble as a condition of employment. Subsequently prevailed before Washington Court of Appeals, which reversed the lower court to hold that the casino’s owner and manager could be held individually liable for forcing workers to gamble. Jumamil v. Lakeside Casino, LLC, 179 Wn. App. 665, 319 P.3d 868 (2014).
- Prevailed before the Washington Court of Appeals, which reversed the dismissal of discrimination claims brought by a disabled combat veteran of Mexican-American heritage. The court held that there was sufficient evidence supporting disparate treatment and hostile work environment claims. Alonso v. Qwest Commc’ns Co., LLC, 178 Wn. App. 734, 315 P.3d 610 (2013).
- Prevailed in Public Records Act litigation on behalf of a newspaper that had been wrongly denied access to records. The Washington Court of Appeals unanimously ordered the dissolution of a trial court injunction, finding that several large broadcasters could not shield their contracts with a municipal cable system from the public. Belo Mgmt. Servs., Inc. v. Click! Network, 184 Wn. App. 649, 343 P.3d 370 (2014).
- Prevailed at trial in a multimillion-dollar federal court lawsuit involving complex business, real estate, and environmental issues. A former business partner falsely alleged that misrepresentations were made regarding an industrial property at the center of a buyout deal, resulting in substantial environmental cleanup liability. Following a seven-day trial, the U.S. District Court entered a verdict and judgment rejecting the claims in their entirety.
- Prevailed at trial in a federal court action under The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The United States District Court denied a petition to send two minor children to live in Mexico with client’s estranged and abusive husband. Etienne v. Zuniga, No. C10-5061-BHS (W.D. Wash. 2010).
- Prevailed in a jury trial on behalf of a disabled veteran who was fired after requesting medical leave. Established through computer forensic evidence that the employer had created backdated documentation purporting to legitimize the termination. Perryman v. Fitts Industries, Inc., No. 12-2-08111-1 (Pierce County. Sup. Ct. 2013).
- Obtained confidential settlement for a worker who was fired in retaliation for opposing wage and hour violations by his employer. The lawsuit alleged that the defendant corporation, a cellular communications equipment installer, required its employees to fix “punch list” items while off the clock. The suit sought damages for wrongful discharge and wage and hour violations.
- Obtained $1,800,000 settlement as litigation counsel hired by a court-appointed receiver to represent an LLC against former managers accused of mismanaging a significant rental complex. The lawsuit alleged embezzlement, self-dealing, violations of the Washington Consumer Protection Act, negligence, and breaches of various contractual and fiduciary duties. The case settled through mediation one month before trial with affirmative dispositive motions pending. Johnson Invs. Co./Forest Park Estates, LLC v. Johnson, Case No. 17-2-08620-2 (Pierce Cnty. Sup. Ct. 2017).
- Member of litigation team that secured a $1,750,000 class action settlement and other relief on behalf of a residential neighborhood that was harmed by a nearby sewage treatment facility. The lawsuit sought damages for nuisance and lost property values stemming from ongoing odor issues at the defendant’s facility. The matter settled shortly before trial. Final court approval of the negotiated settlement is pending.
- Obtained favorable class action settlement for truck drivers wrongfully deprived of wages. The defendant, a short-haul trucking company, unlawfully deducted wages from drivers’ paychecks to pay for incidental damage to company equipment. The defendant agreed to repay each driver double the amount wrongfully withheld and more than half of the individual class members collected over one thousand dollars, with the largest single recovery exceeding $13,000. As part of the settlement, the defendant was also required to discontinue the illegal wage rebating scheme.
- Prevailed in anti-robocall litigation against political marketers. Our lients received nuisance calls—auto-dialed and pre-recorded—to their cell phones ahead of the 2016 election. The trial court found multiple violations of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) as well as the Washington Consumer Protection Act. The decision, including a $121,000 judgment for the five plaintiffs, was affirmed by the Washington Court of Appeals. Farrell v. Friends of Jimmy, 13 Wn. App. 2d 1134 (unpublished), review denied, 98927-3, 2020 WL 7060060 (Wash. Dec. 2, 2020).
- Obtained a favorable confidential settlement in Consumer Protection Act case against construction materials manufacturer and contractors. The suit alleged that certain defendants had engaged in unfair and deceptive practices in selling and installing a defective building system to the client.
- Prevailed at trial, successfully defending timber company in a lawsuit by a homeowners’ association. The client had removed dead, dying, and otherwise hazardous trees from areas along a roadway easement over the client’s property. The HOA sought substantial damages, asserting breach of neighborhood covenants, waste, and timber trespass. The court granted a motion to dismiss the remaining claims after the HOA rested at trial, agreeing that the HOA had not complied with its own rules in bringing the lawsuit. The HOA was subsequently ordered to pay the client’s legal expenses.
- Prevailed in Public Records Act litigation on behalf of a large information technology services company whose competitor had sought proprietary materials through a public records request. Obtained a court order permanently enjoining the state agency from releasing the client’s confidential business information.