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David P. Dean


202-496-0500 Phone

202-496-0555 Fax

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David P. Dean Believing that people should be able to participate in the decisions that shape their lives, David Dean seeks to empower employees through aggressive prosecution of their legal rights to organize and bargain freely.


David P. Dean has successfully represented labor unions and employees for over twenty years in multiple forums. For example, he is co-lead counsel in federal antitrust class actions instigated by the Service Employees International Union (“SEIU”) on behalf of Registered Nurses against hospitals in multiple cities for wage collusion. These suits have currently won over $100 million in settlements, along with agreed injunctions on information exchanges in Albany and Detroit. Mr. Dean is also now advising and litigating in support of accountability and organizing efforts by fast food workers, both in federal court and before the National Labor Relations Board. In 2014, the Department of Justice entered a $98 million settlement with a hospital chain in a Qui Tam suit Mr. Dean developed and litigated with the SEIU over inappropriate emergency room admissions. Among many other victories for unions and individual workers, he previously succeeded on behalf of the United Farm Workers and Farm Labor Organizing Committee enjoining the Department of Labor to raise minimum wage rates annually for over 50,000 migrant farm laborers.

Mr. Dean also litigates on behalf of nonprofit organizations. For example, he successfully enjoined the United States Air Force on behalf of the National Security Archive Fund to create a functioning FOIA system, including instituting agency-wide centralized computer tracking of requests; retaining additional and higher level FOIA personnel; instituting regular required trainings; and reforming the Air Force’s electronic reading rooms. As a further result of the suit, the Air Force was forced to produce critical documents on the history of U.S. nuclear policy and the Archive received one of the largest fee awards ever procured in a FOIA suit.

Mr. Dean has been awarded an AV Preeminent rating by Martindale Hubbell, the highest rating achievable by attorneys, and was voted by his peers as one of the Best Lawyers in America, and chosen as a District of Columbia Super Lawyer in 2013 – 2015. Mr. Dean is a Senior Editor of the ABA’s Treatise on the Railway Labor Act. He is a frequent faculty member at ALI-ABA conferences on Airline and Railroad Labor Law and has authored numerous presentations and papers in that area.

Graduating with Parker School Recognition of Achievement with Honors in International and Comparative Law, Mr. Dean received his Juris Doctorate from Columbia University Law School in 1990. He was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, research assistant to Professor Jack Greenburg and an Ella Baker intern at the Center for Constitutional Rights. Mr. Dean received his Bachelors in Philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1987. Mr. Dean is admitted to the bars of New York and the District of Columbia and to practice in the United States Supreme Court; the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits, and the federal district court for the District of Columbia and the District of Arizona.

Before receiving his law degree, Mr. Dean was the Executive Director of the Neighborhood Action Council of Troy, New York, which organized and provided services to low-income tenants, and he also directed the East Bay organizing project for the California ACORN affiliate, Citizens Action League. He is a member of the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee, the American and D.C. Bar Associations, and the National Lawyers Guild.