Member, Washington State Bar Association (1986 to present)
Professional Engineer (Civil), State of Washington (1980 to present)
JD (cum laude), 1985,
University of Puget Sound School of Law
(now Seattle University School of Law)
BS, Civil Engineering (magna cum laude), 1976,
University of Washington, Seattle
WSBA Section Memberships
Environmental and Land Use Law
Real Property, Probate, and Trust
Since 1986, Dave has provided legal services to clients in the Puget Sound real estate community, including real estate developers, land subdividers, home builders, property owners, construction companies, gravel mine operators, property buyers and sellers, businesses, churches, private schools, nonprofit organizations, architects, and engineers. Throughout his legal career, his passion has been to counsel and represent private-sector clients.
Prior to establishing his private law practice in 1986, Dave for seven years (1976 to 1983) did consulting civil engineering and project management work on real estate development projects with Triad Associates (a Kirkland, Washington land use planning, civil engineering, and land surveying firm) and for three years (1983 to 1986) was staff engineer and a development project manager for Gary Merlino Construction Company (a Seattle-based public works and real estate infrastructure construction company). During those first ten years of his career, he worked on residential, commercial, and industrial real estate development projects in Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Renton, Kent, Everett, and unincorporated King and Snohomish Counties and interacted with not only the other technical professionals at Triad but with numerous architects and landscape architects and with other engineers, land use planners, and land surveyors, as well as with geotechnical, traffic/transportation, acoustical, and environmental consultants.
As one of the few attorneys in Washington State who is also a licensed civil engineer, Dave is well equipped to deal with land development-related matters and controversies (especially ones involving technical issues) and to champion client interests before local and state land use regulatory review officials and approval bodies. He negotiates and advocates on behalf of real estate developers and other property owners in regard to their dealings with (1) city and county planning departments, public works/engineering departments, and building departments [such as the Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD), the City of Tacoma Building and Land Use Services (BLUS) division, the King County Department of Permitting and Environmental Review(DPER), and the Pierce County Planning and Land Services Department (PALS)] and their respective city and county attorneys; (2) utility companies (such as Puget Sound Energy) and sewer and water districts; and (3) Washington State governmental agencies and officials and their respective designated assistant attorneys general. He speaks their language. Dave represents his developer and property owner clients at public hearings and contested project hearings before land use hearing examiners, planning commissions, city and county councils, specialized hearings and appeals boards, administrative law judges, and courts.
Some of Dave’s real estate developer clients have him (1) work early on with them and with their professional design and consulting teams to (a) assess feasibility of potential site acquisition and project site development options and (b) outline strategies for securing appropriate site zoning and the various governmental land use approvals and permits needed for a desired real estate development proposal and (2) represent them through (a) the applicable governmental review and approval processes, (b) project financing arrangements, (c) project construction, and (d) project sale or leasing. Other clients involve him in only particular aspects of their projects depending upon their needs.
Dave reviews (and advises clients and their design and technical consultants regarding) land development-related drawings and technical studies and reports that need to be submitted to governmental agencies as part of the development application review process, including documents required under Washington’s State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review process. Over his legal career, he has successfully navigated numerous and various Comprehensive Plan Amendments, rezones, land subdivisions, and project development applications through the challenges of governmental review and approval processes and Washington’s complex web of planning, land use, subdivision, development, and environmental laws and regulations.
In regard to his real estate law practice, Dave (1) helps clients and their real estate agents and leasing agents in negotiating and preparing documents for real estate purchase and sale transactions and lease transactions involving commercial, residential, industrial, and natural-resource properties; (2) represents and advises property-owner borrowers in regard to real estate financing transactions; (3) reviews title insurance policies (and title company commitments for the issuance of such policies) and underlying title documents and maps and works with client property owners, title companies, and land surveyors to resolve outstanding title issues and problems; (4) prepares and assists in the negotiation of project construction contracts; and (5) prepares, reviews, and negotiates the terms and conditions of numerous types of legal documents, including complex easement documents and covenants running with the land.