February 2014 Bar Bulletin
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Profile / Steve Fury

A Rose by Any Other Name ...

By Mark Wagner

 

When I was asked to write a profile about Steve Fury, my first thought was that I am probably not the most objective one to do so, as Steve is a dear friend of mine. That being said, I think he is an awesome friend, husband, father and teacher - and a damned fine trial lawyer.

He was born and grew up in the backwoods of Snoqualmie, when it used to be the backwoods. A gifted student and a hard worker from the outset, he was rewarded for his talent and effort by winning admittance to Stanford. After graduating with a degree in human biology and with the future at his feet, he decided to become an attorney.

After a year in Washington, D.C., as a staff person for the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, he attended Harvard Law School and graduated, cum laude, in 1979. (I am not sure what "cum laude" means, but I am certain that it indicates he did well at Harvard.) Steve then clerked for the Honorable William Wayne Justice (really), chief judge for the Eastern District of Texas. For a few short months then, the law in the Lone Star State was made by the righteous combination of Justice & Fury -what a law firm name that would have made.

Soon after, he returned to his Washington roots and immersed himself in personal injury and maritime work at Levinson Friedman in Seattle. He made partner in 1984, right before things really took off. That year he married Nancy E. Lawton, his soul mate. In each other, Steve and Nancy found perfect intellectual and emotional matches. An accomplished nurse practitioner, Nancy is committed like Steve to improving the lots of those less fortunate than we, locally and globally.

After marriage, Steve took a sabbatical from the firm and moved with Nancy for a year to Thailand, to provide comfort and relief in Cambodian refugee camps. Nancy taught health workers as Steve, working for the Catholic Office of Emergency Relief and Refugees, instructed the refugee camp leaders in leadership, communication and administration.

The experience of aiding men, women and children after their flight from the "killing fields" of Cambodia left a lasting impression on Steve, confirming his instinct to help people less fortunate, around the corner or around the globe.

Steve's dedication, compassion and skills have led to numerous professional recognitions. All are well deserved, but a couple stand out and deserve to be highlighted. He is a faculty member of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyer's College, which is an outlet for his passion for teaching. He also teaches advocacy at the University of Washington School of Law. He is a faculty member and sponsor of a program called Trial Skills Workshop, a one-evening-per-month program for younger attorneys in the Seattle-Tacoma area. Super Lawyers magazine routinely awards him the distinction of Super Lawyer.


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