Bertha Fitzer

Education

Harvard Law School (LL.M.);University of Washington School of Law (J.D.),
Member and a Managing Editor, Washington Law Review;
University of Washington B.A. (Dual Honors Program; Cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa)

Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association logo
American Inns of Court logo
Washington Defense Trial Lawyers
WHCRMS logo

Bertha’s education, diverse career and public service bring serious legal talent to FVL’s trial teams. As a law clerk to two justices of the Washington State Supreme Court and then continuing through a career in multiple areas of the law, Bertha has finely tuned her knowledge of evidence, ethics, civil procedure and the court system. At trial she ensures not only that the firm obtains defense verdicts, but also that they retain them.

Bertha has served as a member of the Washington Pattern Jury Instruction Committee, the WSBA Hearing Officer panel, the WSBA Court Rules Committee, and as an author of multiple chapters in various WSBA publications. Having tried over 55 civil and criminal trials, Bertha is as comfortable before a jury as she is writing the appellate briefs that shape the course of the law.

Professional Activities

  • WSBA Court Rules & Procedure Committee (1989-91; 2018- );
  • Washington Supreme Court Jury Instruction Committee (2003 to 2011);
  • Washington State Bar Association: Hearing Officer (2005-2015);
  • Past Chair WSBA Amicus Committee;
  • Emeritus Member, Hon. Robert J. Bryan American Inn of Court (Past President);
  • Washington Health Care Risk Management (WHCRMS)
    Member: Washington Defense Trial Lawyers

Work Experience

  • Senior Shareholder, Fitzer Veal Law, P.S. (2017–)
  • Shareholder, Fitzer, Leighton, Fitzer, P.S. (2013-2017)
  • Owner, Fitzer Law, LLC. (2011-2013)
  • Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Pierce County Superior Court (2001-2010)
  • Owner, Law Office of Bertha B. Fitzer (1985-2000)
  • Law Clerk, Washington State Supreme Court (1981-1983)

Publications

  • Contributing author, WSBA Washington Civil Procedure Desk Book (1992; 2002; 2007 and 2013 editions)
  • Contributing author, WSBA Washington Civil Trial and Evidence Manual (Fifth Ed. 2004)
  • Contributing author, WSBA Washington Appellate Practice Desk Book (1992 Edition)
  • Author, Comment: Balancing the Interests of Insureds and Insurers, University of Washington Law Review (1981)

My approach to the practice of law has been shaped by my outstanding mentors. My law school professors at both the University of Washington School of Law and Harvard Law School forced me to write and rewrite my legal arguments until they met their exacting standards.  From Justice Hugh Rosellini of the Washington Supreme Court, I learned the importance of establishing a solid trial record and conveying that information to the appellate judges. From my husband and legal partner, I learned the importance of civility, professionalism and what a truly gifted trial attorney could accomplish for the wonderful, compassionate clinicians who we are honored to represent.