FONG LAW, PLLC
569 Division Street, Suite A
Port Orchard, Washington, 98366
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 the public defender for Bremerton. There 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 society looked down upon. I learned to find the beauty in people who had lost the ability to see the beauty in themselves. I learned that there are many people who have been damned and forgotten, who still have a chance if somebody just believes in them. The benefits of hard work and being prepared were reinforced. Soon I was doing public defense for the cities of Poulsbo, Port Orchard, felonies for Kitsap County, appellate work for the State’s Courts of Appeal, and federal cases as a CJA panel attorney.
I poured my heart and soul into public defense, doing some of the hardest legal work imaginable for the criminally accused. Many clients were wrongfully accused, and many deserved punishment. Most of my clients were destitute and without hope. I did not do this work for money; I did it because it gave me meaning and I realized that I was all that many of these people had. I learned first hand how our criminal justice systems are often ineffective and unjust. That often our system takes advantage of people when they are down and misuses our precious resources.
Don’t get me wrong, we need jails and police, but often times our society and systems go overboard and as a result we have big problems. A huge segment of our population is left behind, and terrible things result. I found beauty and goodness in many people who made poor choices and bad mistakes. I counseled them on how to do better in the future. Every chance I get, I tell government leaders, judges and politicians how we are failing our communities. I hope that others, especially our leaders, can start seeing the inherent goodness in people, and invest in the future of forgotten communities instead of locking people up for as long as possible.
As time passed over the years, I also did civil work. Over the past 10 years I have done more and more, and I have been fortunate to gain a national reputation as a lawyer capable of handling complex civil litigation. I work with lawyers all over the country, both here in Washington, from the sunny beaches of California to the farming communities in Iowa and on the other side of our country in Florida. I have experience dealing with complex brain injury, products liability, personal injury, medical malpractice, and complex toxic tort cases. I have successfully handled nursing home abuse cases and Catholic priest abuse cases.
I now volunteer my time and pay my way to teach and create legal systems in Africa. I spend as much time there as I can. In Africa there are millions of people who suffer each day because the minute they were born, they had no chance. Nobody disputes this when I tell them about it. Then, I ask people here in the U.S.A. if they would leave room for the possibility that there are millions of people in our country who are also born without a chance! Perfect babies born into a cruel world of abuse, drugs, alcohol, violence and more. I have seen this first hand here in our own great nation.
While my life has not been without struggles (for which I am thankful, as it is that adversity that molds us to be the persons we are), comparatively speaking, I am very lucky. 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, and my brother is a biomedical engineer with a Ph.D. from Yale.
Above all else, the most precious things in my life are my two girls, Olivia and Ella. I am a single father and want to spend more time with my girls. We live on a plot of land that forms part of a wetland estuary. Land like this is rare these days, as most of its kind has been filled in for development. Five different kinds of salmon migrate up the creek that runs up our property. As such, we have dedicated the land to preservation and to work with the State of Washington so that we can preserve and dedicate it for future generations.
Areas of Practice
Washington State Bar Association