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David P. Dean


202-496-0500 Phone

202-496-0555 Fax

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Believing that people should be able to participate in the fundamental 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 thirty years in multiple forums. For example, in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Herrera and SEIU USWW v. Command Security Corp., he established the effectiveness under the Railway Labor Act (RLA) of voluntary recognition of unions by employers, building on an earlier en banc win protecting the right of unrepresented RLA workers to strike. He has been co-lead counsel in federal antitrust class actions instigated by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) on behalf of Registered Nurses against hospitals in five cities for wage collusion, winning over $100 million in settlements. Mr. Dean is also now advising in support of accountability and organizing efforts by fast food workers in the “Fight for $15” campaign, recently helping to win the first preliminary injunction under the public nuisance doctrine to protect workers from COVID, forcing McDonalds to improve protections at several Chicago-area stores. In 2014, the Department of Justice entered a $98 million settlement 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. 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, as voted by his peers. He was listed as one of the Best Lawyers in America, chosen as a District of Columbia Super Lawyer in 2013 – 2023, and Lawdragon listed him as one of the 500 Leading Civil Rights & Plaintiff Employment Lawyers in 2021, 2022 & 2023. Mr. Dean was a Senior Editor of the ABA’s Treatise on the Railway Labor Act.

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. 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. 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.