Eric W. Vandermey

Eric W. Vandermey
Concord Office
Education: BS in Business and Finance, California State University, Sacramento
Juris Doctorate: Williamette College of Law, Salem, OR
Joined BM&M in 2018

Eric Vandermey's approach to Workers' Comp Defense is much the same as his approach in a previous career as a Command Judge Advocate for the U.S. Army.

"I've always tried to work out positive outcomes for my clients," says Vandermey. "Whether I was providing legal assistance to a solider or prosecuting a case for the U.S. Government, I've always worked hard to arrive at a resolution that represents the facts at hand while benefitting my client."

Vandermey is a combat veteran who served in Iraq and at one time held the distinction of being one of the few JAG attorneys in California having served in active combat.

"I think the fact that I served overseas in combat situations made a difference to my clients who had also served and respect the military, and it gave me a keen insight into what they may have experienced. I'm a firm believer that the more facts you have going in to a situation, the better the outcome in the end."

One of the facts he learned early on was that not all attorneys are created equally. He became an attorney because he was once represented by one such representation that he wasn't quite satisfied with.

"I fired my attorney," he says recalling his own divorce proceedings. "I had always thought about going into law, but I didn't think about it seriously until my divorce. When I saw how bad this guy was, I knew I could do better."

And better he did, although it wasn't an entirely direct route. Eric had joined the Army after high school and having scored in one of the highest percentiles in Government Testing, he was assigned to Army Intelligence. He served abroad and went on to serve in the Reserves after his initial tour. It was during this time that he encountered the "bad attorney," and decided to pursue a career in law.

While in the Reserves he worked no less than two jobs--including as a portrait photographer for J.C. Penney's, worked at an amusement park, a car salesman and various other jobs--putting in 55 hours a week while attending full time at Solano Community College, earning an Associate's degree in both general business and in Liberal Arts. He eventually transferred to CSU Sacramento, where is earned his Bachelors of Science in Business with a double concentration of Real Estate and Finance, then went on to earn his JD from Willamette College of Law in Salem, OR. The year was 2001 and just after he took the bar exam and prepared to move into the phase of his career the worst terrorist attack in American history unfolded on September 11.

Eric was summoned to duty and went on to serve in Washington State and in Iraq where he was an MP in the field and in combat. Having earned is Juris Doctorate, and passing the Bar in 2004, he joined the Judge Advocate General's office full time. He spent most of the next four years providing legal assistance to the California National Guard on both sides of the aisle. He established a record of winning 28 of 30 hearings and four-out-of-four trials during a four-year period. He sat First Chair on all but the two hearings he lost during that period.

Following his retirement from the military in 2008, he pursued his career in law and after a short stint with a bankruptcy firm--"hey, it was 2008!"--he opened his own shop practicing real estate litigation and consumer bankruptcy before moving to a construction defect law firm.

"I had been working closely with various insurance companies on the defense side for years, and when I saw an opportunity to join a respected Workers' Comp Defense firm--Benthale, McKibbin and McKnight--I jumped on it."

Eric joined the Concord Office of Benthale, McKibbin and McKnight in August of 2018.

"I grew up in this area and have lived here most of my life, so that part was easy. After interviewing with the partners, I felt confident that I had found my niche. Today, I can say that it is the best work environment I've ever had, and I look forward to each new day and each new case."

Away from the office, Eric spends time with his family and together they enjoy his lifelong passion for cars and motorcycles. He has recently restored a vintage 1968 Ford Fairlane and loves to take it to shows, and take his new Honda Fury "chopper" on long trips.

"I absolutely love the Workers' Comp community and the interaction of all the parties. Working in the civil litigation environment was more adversarial in nature and while I can fight and litigate with the best of them, I've come to enjoy an equitable resolution with all involved."