Dave is a sociologist and social psychologist and a pioneer of the trial consulting field. He turned to trial consulting in 1986 after a successful research and teaching career in sociology at Cal State Hayward, where he chaired the Sociology Department for six years. He took over leadership of Trial Behavior Consulting in 1990. He has grown Trial Behavior from a small two-person shop into a firm with fourteen consultants and research staff, a national presence, and offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
As a sociologist and social psychologist, Dave won numerous major government grants to study subjects as diverse as drug use, perceptions of noise among Bay Area citizens, and the social uses of humor. Once he turned to trial consulting, Dave pioneered the application of survey and focus group research to the mass tort litigation that dominated the legal landscape in the late 1980s.
Since then he has applied his expertise to a wide range of cases, including employment, insurance coverage, insurance defense, high stakes personal injury, environmental and toxic torts, complex commercial and contract disputes, and antitrust cases. Dave excels in seeing a case from a juror’s point of view, cutting through the jargon and overwhelming detail in complex civil cases to the heart of the story.
Dave frequently presents and publishes on a wide range of trial-related topics. Recent presentations include “Jumping into the Jury Pool: Influencing a Jury after a Catastrophic Event,” presented to Mealey’s catastrophic loss conference; “Risk Communication,” at another Mealey’s conference; and “Strategic Jury Selection: Keys to Winning Your Case,” for CLE Audio Conferences.
Dave is also a sought-after commentator on trial and jury topics. He has been quoted by the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, and has appeared on such television news programs as Good Morning America and CBS Morning News. He has also contributed to the ABA publications: Jury Trial Innovations, Toxic Mold Litigation, and Managing Notorious Trials. In addition, Dave has served on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Trial Consultants.
Despite his years of experience, Dave keeps a fresh perspective and an open mind, regularly reviewing scholarly publications for new insights and tools to apply to litigation research. Besides continuing to work on a wide range of cases, he also plays a key role in bringing in and mentoring new consultants.
He received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Iowa and taught as a Professor of Sociology at California State University for more than twenty years, acting as Department Chair for six years.
In 2014, in addition to his work as a Senior Consultant and President of Trial Behavior Consulting, Dave wrote a chapter in the ABA Publication Business Torts: A Practical Guide to Litigation.