Valerie Portner has been an attorney licensed to practice in Maryland and Washington DC since 1989. She was selected into both The Top 100 National Trial Lawyers, as well as the Nation's Premier Top 10 Attorneys in Personal Injury. In 2020, she was recognized by the American Institute of Trial Lawyers as the “Litigator of the year” for her work in the area of criminal law.
Currently, Valerie provides valuable input on all of the Firm's larger personal injury cases. In fact, in 2020 she lent her support in a wrongful death case that was pending in Northern Virginia. In part, as a result of her work, the Firm obtained a $2.15 million settlement. Since Valerie's training came from the defense side, she was able to provide our personal injury team with insight into the insurance defense attorneys' arguments. Furthermore, Valerie continually advises the Marketing Department and assists with personnel management.
Education & Professional Background
Valerie grew up and was educated in the Baltimore area. She graduated from Randallstown High School, and thereafter obtained an undergraduate degree from The Johns Hopkins University and a law degree from the University of Maryland. Valerie initially gained experience clerking for Judge Robert Karwacki on the Maryland Court of Specials Appeals. Thereafter, she spent six years working for what was then Maryland's largest law firm, Venable, Baetjer, and Howard.
While litigating at Venable, the Labor Department relied on Valerie's writing and analytical skills to end large lawsuits through winning at the summary judgment stage. She earned a reputation for being one of the few litigators who was able to consistently win without ever having to go to trial.
Next, she took an in-house legal position with The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Howard County. There she advised Human Resources and continued to work closely with Hopkins' outside counsel – her prior law firm, Venable, Baetjer, and Howard.
Working while raising three children led her to decide to leave Johns Hopkins APL and join Portner & Shure. She remains active with the Firm and currently has a Superb 10.0 Rating with Avvo. All of the Firm's large motions are reviewed and are recrafted by Valerie. As a result, we don’t lose a case on summary judgment, win many of our motions, including motions in limine, which often result in trial victories.
Additionally, Valerie is involved with the education and sports endeavors of her children. Two of her children were Division I athletes (Georgetown tennis and Davidson lacrosse). Her oldest graduated near the top of her class at the University of Maryland Law School, clerked for a federal Judge in Baltimore, and has taken an associate position at Venable.
Without a doubt, Valerie's input has enabled Portner & Shure to grow and be more responsive to the needs of our clients. Her insight has been especially helpful in obtaining our multiple million-dollar injury awards. Truth be told, many of our cases have been won at the motions stage, tried successfully, or resulted in large settlement awards, due to Valerie's involvement.