Ulster County District Attorney
Dave began his career as clerk at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund where he worked on appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the death penalty. After law school, he became a VISTA volunteer, where he represented the Lakota Sioux Community in Nebraska and South Dakota. Dave challenged the disproportionate application of the habitual criminal statute against Native Americans, won numerous criminal trials, and several landmark civil rights cases. He then became the senior litigation attorney at Western Nebraska Legal Services where he won important impact cases including a landmark Native American Rights Case, Hawkman vs. Parratt.
Over the past decades, his legal advocacy has changed the direction of thousands of lives for the better. He has defended many individuals who have been seriously harmed by corporate predatory practices and misconduct. He served for nine years as a part-time Assistant Public Defender in the criminal and civil courts, representing individuals who could not afford to hire an attorney. He won every jury trial he tried as a Public Defender. Throughout Dave’s legal career, he has forcefully advocated for rehabilitative approaches to nonviolent crimes and worked to help clients with addictions to get treatment instead of jail time. As the chairperson of the Ulster County Human Rights Commission, he works to stop the school-to-prison pipeline and to defend the rights of immigrants and the civil liberties of the LGBTQ community.