Dave was born on the Eastern Slope of the Rocky Mountains in Great Falls, Montana. Dave graduated from Charles M. Russell High School in 1977 and was a member of the last State Championship Legion baseball team to come from Great Falls.
In 1981, Dave graduated from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash. While attending classes at Whitman, Dave majored in history-American studies and played NCAA Division III college baseball. Dave earned All-Conference Honorable Mention Honors in 1981. After college, Dave returned to Montana to take a paid position coaching baseball and worked tending bar.
In the fall of 1983, Dave entered law school at Seattle University, formerly known as University of Puget Sound. While attending law school, Dave interned at a local law firm. He earned his law degree and passed the Washington State Bar examination in 1986. Shortly after, Dave gained invaluable experience clerking for two esteemed members of the King County Superior Court bench: The Honorable Frank Howard and The Honorable R. Joseph Wesley.
In 1989, Dave accepted a position with the Society of Counsel Representing Accused Persons where he represented indigent defendants charged with crimes ranging from complex fraud to aggravated murder. Dave tried over fifty criminal jury trials between 1989 and 1995. In 1995, Dave was recruited by Allstate Insurance Company and accepted a position in their Seattle staff counsel office. While at Allstate, Dave tried over fifty cases to jury verdict.
In 1997, Dave was promoted to senior trial attorney and managed a team of trial lawyers and paralegals in a high-volume insurance defense practice. Dave left Allstate in 1998 to enter private practice, where he remains today.
While in private practice, Dave has enjoyed unprecedented success representing both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of civil disputes. In 2004, Dave was lead trial counsel in the case of Kevin Locke v. City of Seattle. Dave represented Kevin Locke, a firefighter for the City of Seattle. Kevin sustained significant injures after falling from a ladder during a training evolution at the Washington State Patrol Fire Training Academy. After a hotly contested two-month trial, the jury awarded Kevin $1,800,000 in damages. The verdict was appealed, but with the help of John O’Brien and Bill Rutzick, the verdict was upheld at both the Washington State Court of Appeals and the Washington State Supreme Court. Dave is also a member of the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association.
Dave is married to Kathleen A. O’Brien, an attorney with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. They live in Bellevue, Wash. with their three precocious children: Courtney, Danielle and Matt. Dave enjoys running and has completed five marathons, including Boston in 2005 and 2008. He also enjoys hiking, climbing mountains and volunteering his time to coach Little League Baseball, youth football and for the Catholic Youth Organization.