Born and raised on the Kenai Peninsula, attorney Eric Derleth has spent his entire legal career defending Alaskans against criminal charges and representing them in personal injury cases. He concentrates his practice in these areas so that he can protect the rights of individuals against powerful entities—whether the government or large corporations. Based in Soldotna, Eric represents clients in courts throughout much of Alaska, including Anchorage, Palmer, Wasilla, Juneau, and Fairbanks.

Criminal defense and personal injury law both involve placing a client’s future in the hands of a jury or judge. That is a responsibility Eric takes very seriously. It’s not enough for his clients that he knows the law; he must also immerse himself in the psychology of decision-making and be able to reach the people deciding his their fate. He understands not only how to persuade juries, but how to motivate them to act in his client’s favor. Eric is widely respected for his meticulous preparation and his clear, effective communication of both the facts and the law. As he observes, “I can’t promise my clients that I will win every case. But I can promise that I will outwork the opposition in preparing and presenting every case.”

Eric’s approach has paid off for his clients. In more than 25 years of practice, he has successfully defended clients against the most serious criminal charges in Alaska, including winning all of his murder trials. (In one case, the jury returned three verdicts of “innocent” as opposed to merely “not guilty.”) Many of his criminal cases never reach jury deliberation; Eric’s thorough preparation of each case often results in a dismissal of charges by the judge. Eric’s diligent preparation, strategic advocacy, and use of technology has yielded numerous verdicts in his clients’ favor in injury cases. His unique approach and track record of success has earned Eric the nickname “the Trial Guy.”

Most of Eric’s cases come to him by referral from previous clients and other professionals throughout Alaska. Unlike many attorneys in his practice areas, he prefers to devote his attention and resources to helping his clients, rather than advertising. He is proud to have built his practice on the strength of his work and reputation.

Eric Derleth graduated with honors from the University of Alaska Anchorage and Lewis & Clark Law School, receiving his law degree at the age of 25. He is a founding member of the Alaska Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and a longtime member of the Alaska Trial Lawyers.

When not practicing law, Eric enjoys spending time with his family and enjoying Alaska’s natural beauty while rollerblading, skydiving, playing hockey, boating, and hiking.

Practice Areas


  • Lewis & Clark Law School, J.D. (1995)
  • University of Alaska Anchorage, B.A. with honors (1992)

Admissions to Practice

  • Alaska
  • United States District Court, District of Alaska

Professional Memberships and Affiliations

  • Alaska Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, founding member
  • Alaska Trial Lawyers
  • Alaska Bar Association