“Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things,
man will not himself find peace” - Albert Schweitzer

  • Elderly Woman
  • Small Elephant
  • Family playing at beach
  • Small Elephant
  • View of evergreen forests and montains and a blue sky
  • Golden Retriever Pup
  • Brown bear looking up from behind rock face


Valerie Bittner in light blue business suite knealing next to her dog Rocky, a red-sable Malamute

I believe that the practice of law should be infused with dedication, and when called for, conviction and courage. Twenty-three years of practice, including my law clerkship under the auspices of the Washington Supreme Court and tenure as an Assistant Attorney General, forged my unfailing allegiance to the highest professional and ethical standards and honed my problem-solving skills. I believe the practice of law should be infused with conviction, courage, and passion.

If you are in need of a lawyer for estate planning, property transactions, personal injury, bankruptcy, guardianship/disability, or elder law services, be assured that your concerns and objectives will be handled with respect, precision, and customized care.

If you are seeking an animal law attorney, expect me, as a nationally recognized trailblazer in the fight for humane justice, to provide you with cutting-edge animal law expertise and the utmost empathy for the human-animal bond.

If you are seeking an environmental advocate, with scientific training, applied experience, and an intensive understanding of interlocking federal and state natural resources law, I look forward to serving you and/or your organization on behalf of endangered species and the fragile ecosystems they depend on - our "geography of hope".

Representative Cases

  • Northwest Animal Rights Network v. Woodland Park Zoo and the City of Seattle. High-profile Lawsuit concerning cutting-edge claims of harm to captive and endangered Asian elephants. The case garnered an unprecedented level of public discourse and extensive coverage in The Seattle Times (July 2006) and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (June 2006).
  • Coxe v. Guptil. Achievement of Washington's largest judgment for economic and mental distress damages in connection with wrongful theft by equine "killer-buyers". This case was the subject of the leading feature on Seattle's Evening Magazine. (February 2003). Its precedent-setting judgment was addressed in Rebecca J. Huss, Recent Developments in Animal Law, 40 Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal 233 (2005).
  • Swift v. Fleck. Achievement of Washington's largest settlement for gross veterinary malpractice by an equine surgeon upon a companion jumping horse. (December 2003).
  • Amicus curiae for the Animal Legal Defense Fund in re: animal cruelty cases. (1997); (2001); (2002); (2005).
  • Shoreline School Dist. v. Washington Department of Natural Resources (March 2002).
  • Owa v. City of Everett. Secured settlement for RV operator to maintain business on civil rights grounds. (Fall 2000).
  • Heitz v. Woodinville Water Association (January 2001).
  • Noblitt v. Issaquah Highlands Association. Secured settlement for minority couple with the association on civil rights grounds, thereby allowing the couple to keep their friendly pit bull in residence. (Fall 2002).
  • Bitner v. King County Animal Control Authority. Freed malamute, in precedent-setting case, from King County's canine death row. (July 1996).
  • Nat'l Audubon Society; Western Regional Audubon Society v. Olympic National Forest (October 1995)

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Gray wolf recovery under the Endangered Species Act in the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies. Sponsored by the Animal Law Section under the auspices of the Washington State Bar Association. Seattle, WA (June 8, 2012)
  • Peer-reviewed speaker for the 20th North American Wolf Conference co-sponsored by the National Park Service and Defenders of Wildlife. Chico, MT (April 2008)
  • Highly rated Continuing Legal Education instructor for the Washington State Bar Association on veterinary malpractice issues. Seattle, WA (2003; 2004)

Selected Publications, Commentary & Interviews

  • Horse Owners Deceived: Their Pets Sold to Slaughter, Seattle (February 11, 2012)
  • Exposé of wildlife hit men upholding western ranching culture and custom, Amazon Book Reviews (December 16, 2011)
  • Wolves in the Crosshairs: A Scientific Case Against the Proposed Rule of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Removing Northern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolves from the Endangered Species List, West-Northwest Journal of Environmental Law & Policy. (May 2009).
  • Conservation Nadir of the 21st Century?, Idaho Statesman (May 2008)
  • Big Draw, Big Controversy: Bamboo's Life at the Zoo, Seattle Times (July 13, 2006)
  • Swift v. Fleck: Record Equine Malpractice Settlement, Animal Law Newsletter (Spring 2004)
  • Everett Man to Pay for Selling Couple's Pets for Slaughter, Seattle Times (June 4, 2003)
  • Horsemeat, Evening Magazine Television (February 6, 2003)
  • Perilous Pooch or Pitbull Profiling?, Homeowner's Group: Dog Owner Head to Court, Eastside Journal (June 21, 2002)

Valerie Bittner ©2019