Eric D. Gilman, Partner
  • Eric represents victims of wrongful termination, unfair wage and hour practices, workplace harassment, and discrimination; whistleblowers who suffer retaliation after standing up for themselves or others; and entrepreneurs crossed by former business partners. As a civil litigator and class action attorney, he routinely assists individuals and entities in employment litigation, consumer protection actions, and complex business and contract lawsuits. Eric has prevailed in numerous appellate cases supporting worker rights, 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 and his wife recently welcomed a baby girl. The family enjoys cooking, travelling, and enjoying the outdoors with their dog, Potato.

  • Education

    • J.D., Seattle University School of Law, 2009
    • cum laude
    • B.A., University of Washington-Seattle, 2006
    • Majors: Law, Societies & Justice; Political Science

    Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice

    • 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

    Professional & Bar Association Memberships

    • Washington State Bar Association
    • Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington
    • Washington Employment Lawyers Association (WELA)
    • Washington Association for Justice (WSAJ), Eagle Member
    • Pierce County Bar Association
    • American Inns of Court (Hon. Robert J. Bryan, Ch. XXV)

    Professional History

    • Joined Firm in 2009
    • Judicial Extern to Hon. Ronald E. Cox, Washington State Court of Appeals (Division I)
    • Deputy Prosecuting Attorney (Rule 9 Intern), Snohomish County

    Honors & Awards

    • Named "40 Under Forty" in the South Sound by The Business Examiner (2016)
    • Named "Rising Star" in litigation by Washington Super Lawyers (2012-18)
    • Order of the Barristers (2009)

    Community Activities

    • WSBA Litigation Section, Executive Committee (2019)
    • 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 to present)
    • Co-Chair, Pierce County Law Firm Campaign for Equal Justice (2016, 2017)
    • University of Washington School of Law 1L Mentor Program (2010 to 2016)

    Articles & Presentations

    • 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)
  • Representative Matters

    • Employment Litigation - Discrimination, Retaliation, Wage and Hour

    • • 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 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 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.
    • Business Litigation

    • • 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).
    • • Part 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.
    • • 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 before the Washington Court of Appeals on behalf of a newspaper that had been wrongly denied access to public records. The unanimous appellate panel dissolved 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).
    • • 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.
    • Civil Rights Litigation

    • • Prevailed in trial, successfully defending an action under The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The federal 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).
10.0Eric Daniel Gilman
2019 EAGLE Badge
  • Duwamish Waterway and brown field cleanup
  • Fireboats on the Seattle Waterfront
  • Reflection pond by the Tacoma Glass Museum
  • Pioneer Square
  • Tacoma Arches at the History Museum
Gordon Thomas Honeywell LLP

Tacoma

1201 Pacific Ave, #2100
Tacoma, WA 98402

Telephone: 253.620.6500
Fax: 253.620.6565

Seattle

One Union Square
600 University St, #2100
Seattle, WA 98101

Telephone: 206.676.7500
Fax: 206.676.7575

Visit the Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs Web Site

Tacoma

1201 Pacific Ave, #2100, Tacoma, WA 98402
Telephone: 253.620.6500  Fax: 253.620.6565

Seattle

One Union Square, 600 University St, #2100, Seattle, WA 98101
Telephone: 206.676.7500  Fax: 206.676.7575