|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|Washington Super Lawyers 2007||N/A||2007|
|One of the Top Lawyers in Seattle||N/A||2006|
|One of the Top Lawyers in Seattle||N/A||2005|
|One of 50 Female Super Lawyers||N/A||2005|
|Washington State Professionalism Award||N/A||2003|
|Top Ten Female Attorneys in Washington||Washington Journal||1996|
|President||DeCosta Law Firm||1996 - Present|
|Attorney||Messina Bulzomi||1989 - Present|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|Washington Employment Lawyers Association||Member||2000 - Present|
|Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association||Member||1996 - Present|
|National Employment Lawyers Association||Member||1996 - Present|
|Washington State Trial Lawyers Association||Member||1989 - Present|
|Washington State Bar Association||Member||1989 - Present|
|Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association||Board of Trustees||2003 - 2004|
|Washington State Trial Lawyers Association||Vice President - Board of Governors||2001 - 2005|
|Washington State Trial Lawyers Association||Vice President - Continuing Legal Education||2001 - 2002|
|Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association||Board of Trustees||1998 - 2000|
|Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association||Chairperson - Continuing Legal Education Committee||1998 - 1999|
|Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association||Disability Discrimination: Two Branches of Government at Odds in How Much Protection Washington Citizens Have in the Workplace -- The Supreme Court v. The Legislature||2007|
|Employment Handbook - Washington State Trial Lawyer's Association||Motions in Limine and Pretrial Motions||2004|
|Tacoma Pierce County Bar News||Gender Discrimination Update: Washington Law Prohibits Discrimination Against Women Based Upon Their Potential to Become Pregnant||2002|
|Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association||Focus on Employment Law - Any Adverse Tax Consequences to a Plaintiff in an Employment Law Claim are "Actual Damages" and Defendants Must Pay||2002|
|Motor Vehicle Handbook||Obtaining Client Information||2001|
|Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association Bar News||Focus on Washington Employment Law - Disability Discrimination Update: No Duty Under Washington Law to Reasonably Accomodate on Employee's Disability by Providing a New Supervisor||2001|
|Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association||Disability Discrimination Update: Pulcino v. Federal Express Corporation||2000|
|Washington State Trial Lawyers Association Trial News||Ambiguity in Underinsured Motorist Policies||1999|
|Trial Magazine||Tragedy of Poor Highway Maintenance||1991|
|Seattle University School of Law||N/A||Jurisdoctorate||1996|
|Chaminade University||Psychology||BA - Bachelor of Arts, cum laude||1985|
|Worker's Compensation Seminar||Pertinent Washington Law Affecting Injured Workers||2007|
|Insurance Bad Faith Seminar||Insurance Bad Faith - Five Things You Need to Know||2006|
|Hot Topics in Tort||Washington's Vulnerable Adult Statute||2006|
|Trial Stars Seminar||Arbitration||2003|
|Seminar||Evaluating The Case From the First Interview to the Day of Trial||2003|
|Seminar||Current Issues in Employment Law - Retaliation||2002|
|Seminar||Employment Law - Torts in Transition||2002|
|Seminar||Employment Law Update||2002|
|Seminar||You've Won The Trial - Now The Motion for Attorney Fees||2001|
|Seminar||Employment Law - Sexual Harassment||1999|
|Seminar||Settlements on Behalf of Minors||1998|
|Seminar||First Party Policies: What's Covered and What's Not||1997|
|Seminar||Washington's Employment Law Update||1997|
|Employment Law Seminar||Representing Plaintiffs in Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment Cases Under Glasgow||1996|
Posted by Chrissy
I was referred to Virginia after being terminated from a position of over 5 years with no notice. Friends had told me that Virginia had experience with this same employer in a different case, and there was a positive outcome. This job meant the world to me. I was a dedicated employee with national awards to back up my performance. However, I was experiencing sexist remarks for almost the entire duration of my tenure there. After a particularly loud and hostile confrontation, I finally told my supervisor that I was going to go against the advice of HR and final a formal grievance. I was fired 4 days later.
When I first met with Virginia I was a total wreck. I sobbed almost our entire meeting, and I wasn’t even sure myself of what I was looking for out of our initial meeting. She listened patiently, and at the end of my story she gave me a very honest account of what it would look like to pursue a lawsuit. She didn’t paint a rosy version of events, and she didn’t even commit to taking on the case. Instead, she told me what I would need to do to prepare, and gave me a choice.
Throughout the case I felt confident that I was in good hands. Virginia was always open to questions, trustworthy, and diligent in her preparation of evidence. I truly believe that her reputation of ironclad groundwork played an emotional role in the final decision of my past employer.
Virginia understood my needs from this endeavor where greater than the financial outcome. We have many healing (albeit concise) conversations about how these types of cases influence organizational behavior. In the end, I felt like I got to experience justice thanks to Virginia. I would recommend her to anyone.
Posted by Margaret
It is never a good way to start the New Year being terminated from your current position. Not only was I taken by surprise when the HR Director asked to speak with me early morning of Jan 10, 2017, she was the only person besides myself in the the meeting. I was given termination paperwork and told that I had 21 days to return it if I was going to receive any type of additional severance from the company. I was also told that I should be able to collect unemployment. Considering it was only myself and the HR Director in the meeting - it would come down to my word against hers if I was unable to collect unemployment or if there was an issue with the termination/severance paperwork. Virginia was able do an initial phone consult with me which put my mind at ease during this stressful time. She let me know what information and paperwork she needed from me to review my case and a fair estimate of the cost involved in the review. I put together all the necessary documentation and met with her at her Downtown Tacoma office. Meeting Virginia in person was one of the best things to come out of my employment being terminated from my previous employer in Fife. Virginia reviewed the paperwork and settlement agreement and set up a phone consult to let me know what she found. I was able to ask questions of her on the phone and was given step by step changes to the wording of the settlement agreement that she recommended. She explained some of the legal wording that was listed so that I would be able to understand what my previous employer was trying to impose on me. Talking to Virginia gave me the confidence to stand up to my previous employer and to ask for changes to be made to the settlement agreement that was mutually beneficial to both parties involved. If I had not contacted Virginia, I probably would have just signed the paperwork and took my chances. I am so glad that my previous employer made the necessary changes to the paperwork that Virginia recommended. I felt like I left the company on my terms, rather than theirs. I was able to collect unemployment as well. I have gone to work for another company and am grateful that Virginia was able to help out during the transition from unemployed to employed. I would recommend her to anyone looking for guidance/legal advise as a result of an employment termination. I will use Virginia's Legal services in the future if I find myself unemployed again or in a motor vehicle accident. She takes the time to communicate with you and follows-up in a timely manner. So many legal issues now a days are so time sensitive. I received e-mails from her over the weekend as well as in the evening. She genuinely cares about her clients.
Posted by Cynthia
After working in the workforce for decades and having numerous encounters with discrimination, I had never sought the advice of a lawyer. Rationale was that it was too hard to relive the incidents over and even harder to try to prove that the actions of your employer were discriminatory. The behavior of my current employer became so egregious and unprofessional I had to seek consultation on either to sue or plan an exit strategy. I called and left a message and Virginia called me back while in training out-of-state. She spoke to me multiple times and instructed me on what she needed to get started while still away from the office. I was impressed right away with her efficiency!
As instructed, I provided her with input. She reviewed my input and we setup a date to meet. Prior to meeting, she was honest and informed me right away that she was not inclined to take my case on. When we met she asked some pointed questions and allowed me to talk, while she attentively listened. She observed my body language and passion. She then assessed my current situation and cared enough to tell me about what she could see in me as an individual being that she had been in employment law for 28 years. She offered me alternatives (i.e., a referral for potential employment elsewhere and/or encouraged me to do more with my small business). In addition, she clarified that even though she was not willing to take on my potential case another lawyer may view my current situation differently. She informed me of the statutory limitations, if I wanted to pursue further.
Based on her feedback, it validated what I already knew, removing all emotions. Her neutral, but caring, review brought me peace that I had not experienced since my encounter with my employer two months prior and it resolved issues I had internally NOT dealt with for decades. I will always be thankful for her efficient, honest and forthright consultation. The universe gives you what your heart desires. For me, it was meeting and consulting with Virginia DeCosta.