(NOTE: Be advised–Eric has been afforded ample opportunity here, in the ‘reply’ exchanges, unlike most blogs, for rebuttal, but has, unsurprisingly, primarily used it for blanket denials and gaslighting. UPDATED @ article’s end)
Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus
Shelton, WA — This reporter was present when a bench warrant was issued for Eric Valley, a local attorney, for failure to appear (as noted below) in Mason County District Court as required. Today (8-12-2018) Mr. Valley is one of the surviving two candidates (Valley and Steele) for Mason County District Court judge…there being only one such position for this important county office.
Eric Stephen Valley, defendant – Mason District Court – case #: 4Z0704742 – filed 7-7-14
Click>HERE<to view NY State Bar Disciplinary action against Eric S. Valley, et ux. (1988)
Click>HERE<for list of disciplinary actions & critical client reviews of Eric S. Valley, esq on AVVO.
Mr. Valley, who has a checkered past and long acted as a local attorney, both on the criminal docket as well as the civil. Unfortunately, due to his respected family’s long residence in Mason county, Valley undeservedly garners the benefit of strong name recognition from local voters…a local boy familiarity he expertly exploited in his primary campaign. Yet he not only has been embroiled in some serious litigation as either a defendant or a plaintiff (including an action seeking a protection order against Mr. Valley in the abstract below), but now has been sanctioned by the Washington State Bar (and previously the New York State bar) for professional misconduct. In 1988, Mr. Eric Valley resigned from the NY State bar for misconduct…conduct Mr. Valley attempts to trivialize, but was punished (in both NY & WA) by a public reprimand (or worse) from the respective State bars.
What doesn’t appear in these records is Mr. Valley’s history of substance/alcohol abuse and using his familiarity with local law enforcement to successfully urge at least one Mason county sheriff’s detective (Dean Byrd, now retired since 2013) to harass, bully, threaten, and intimidate this reporter (circa 2005) for having the temerity to serve Mr. Valley with a notice of default at his office on behalf of Marylou Bishop, the note holder for his deed of trust from the sale of her home to Eric Valley, an instrument whose terms he soon breached, putting Mary’s (a retired nurse) collateral and retirement at risk. Mason county was scheduled to foreclose on said home for want of property taxes Valley owed and hadn’t paid. Mary had to pay them out of her own pocket to avoid losing her most valuable asset.
Mr. Valley promptly filed for bankruptcy relief singling out Mary Lou Bishop as his creditor although the IRS also had an interest in Valley’s financial affairs for unpaid taxes. Singling out a creditor is considered abuse/misuse of the bankruptcy code. In his sworn declarations submitted to the bankruptcy court, Eric claimed his monthly gross income was ~$2,500. He failed to declare his business or office expenses, an office he maintains on Railroad Ave. in Shelton to this day and appears to never have missed a payment on the lease (to Transamerica Title), unlike his obligation to Marylou Bishop, who could not find an area attorney to sue Eric for breach of contract BECAUSE (they indicated) HE WAS A LAWYER!
The most damning part of this incident arises from the fact Eric Valley attempted to suborn perjury from Marylou Bishop. She was desperate to have Eric resume payments to her for the house he was purchasing from her (and continues to live in to this day). He suggested to her that if she would write a letter attesting to the false assertion that he had never been late on a payment to her, he would use it to refinance the loan (which Mary was personally carrying) with a bank and pay her off for the remaining principle. Had she done so, Eric would have succeeded in making Mary a co-conspirator to bank fraud! Mary was counseled to do NO such thing, and Eric’s bankruptcy petition followed shortly thereafter. Eric had also let the casualty and fire insurance for the home lapse, leaving Mary utterly exposed and unable to secure insurance to protect her interests. According to the owner, at the time, of Angle Insurance Agency, the industry considered Mary’s predicament a “moral hazard”. A corrupt attorney’s moral failure had left Mary virtually without an effective remedy.
While on the phone with the Angle Insurance Agency’s owner (a woman who was very familiar with Eric’s parents) attempting to find an insurance policy to protect Mary, who should call but the devil himself. In accepting the call, Eric was patched into a 3-way call, but the insurance agency owner chose to remain silent. Eric sounded heavily inebriated and aggressively became belligerent and verbally abusive before the call was terminated. Rather than being sympathetic to the recipient of the abuse, she accused him of ‘planning’ it! How she squared this with serendipity wasn’t immediately apparent.
Soon thereafter (perhaps a week) Detective Dean Byrd (Eric’s drinking buddy at the time) called and proceeded to announce he was an inspector with the Mason County Sheriff (true) but initially refused to identify himself when asked to repeat who he was. He attempted to threaten and intimidate on Eric’s behalf, repeatedly asking just who had prepared the document (notice of default) Eric had been served with. (“Mr. Byrd, you know what?–I don’t have to answer that question…and I’m not going to!” was the response Byrd got before bidding him goodbye. Subsequent research revealed that no sheriff’s official or prosecuting attorney had authorized Byrd’s actions. It was entirely a ‘favor’ of intimidation for Eric, Byrd’s drinking buddy–a shakedown.
The obvious QUESTION arises:
IS THIS CORRUPT ATTORNEY, ERIC VALLEY, THE KIND OF JUDGE MASON COUNTY RESIDENTS WANT SITTING ON THE BENCH?
George Steele may not be adequately competent, but at least he hasn’t been sanctioned by the bar multiple times, had a petition for a protection order filed against him, subjected himself to the disabilities of drug and alcohol abuse, had a bench warrant issued against him for failure to appear, suborned perjury, and conspired with county law enforcement to abuse their authority in order to harass, bully, threaten, and intimidate. Neither has George Steele submitted suspicious bankruptcy declarations in an effort to vex and delay his lawful debt to a retired nurse dependent on the income from the sale of her home.
TORT for Vehicle Collision Damage & Eric’s Response:
Court: Mason Co Superior Ct
Case Number: 13-2-00255-1 (Unlawful Harassment)
[Please read the court record documents below the index, added due to Eric’s repeated denial he was a defendant in this action, NOT merely appointed/hired counsel!]
VALLEY, EMILY KATHLEEN
VALLEY, ERIC STEPHEN
HUFFMAN, ERIN CHRISTINE
HUFFMAN, JOESEPH ADAM
Attorney for Involved Party (Participant)
JUDGE AMBER FINLAY RECUSED, NFN
Attorney for Involved Party (Participant)
ADAMSON RECUSED, NFN
Attorney for Involved Party (Participant)
SAUERLENDER RECUSED, NFN
Eric Stephen Valley, esq, (360)426-4959 email@example.com
209 W. Railroad Ave.
Shelton, WA 98584
|WSBA Bar#:||21184||Member Name:||Eric Valley|
|RPC:||1.4 – Communication
1.5 – Fees
1.15A – Safeguarding Property
|Description:||Eric Valley, (WSBA No. 21184, admitted 1991), of Shelton, was reprimanded, effective August 7, 2012, pursuant to an Order Approving Stipulation to reprimand. This discipline is based on conduct involving failure to safeguard client property, failure to communicate, and failure to communicate the rate or basis of fees.
On April 8, 2011, Client A paid Mr. Valley $500 to represent him in his dissolution matter. There was no written fee agreement. Mr. Valley failed to deposit the fee into his trust account. On April 11, 2011, Client A paid Mr. Valley an additional $1,500; Mr. Valley again failed to deposit the funds into his trust account. Over the next two months, Mr. Valley periodically asked Client A for additional funds. Mr. Valley never gave Client A a contemporaneous billing statement or explained whether the money would be put in trust for future fees or used for fees already incurred. Client A made three additional payments to Mr. Valley between April 27, 2011, and May 9, 2011. At least part of these funds were unearned when received but Mr. Valley did not deposit any of the funds into his trust account.
In January 2011, Client B hired Mr. Valley to represent her in a custody modification action against Ex-Husband. Over the next two months, Mr. Valley met with Client B several times. On April 1, 2011, Client B’s mother (Mother) delivered a check to Mr. Valley for $1,500. On August 1, 2011, Mother delivered an additional $300 to Mr. Valley. Mr. Valley did not provide either Client B or Mother with a receipt for these funds and never provided a billing statement detailing the work that he had done on the case, the amount of fees that he had incurred, and when they had been incurred. On June 20, 2011, Ex-Husband filed a petition seeking to relocate to California with the children and served a copy on Mr. Valley, not Client B. Mr. Valley did not provide Client B with a copy of the petition. On August 5, 2011, Ex-Husband filed a proposed parenting plan and served it on Mr. Valley; the proposed parenting plan restricted all of Client B’s residential time to the state of California. Mr. Valley did not provide a copy of the proposed parenting plan to Client B
Francesca D’Angelo represented the Bar Association. Mr. Valley represented himself. J.C. Becker was the Hearing Officer.