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David Gehrke: High-Profile Attorney with a Good Heart

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An impressive figure in the law profession, David Gehrke is no stranger to fame. After all, he's had his frequent share of the limelight, having handled more than a few controversial criminal cases throughout the years and appeared several times on national television and in international media – from Today on CNN to Oprah.

But what sets this noteworthy attorney apart from his peers in his industry is not something rooted in fame or recognition. David Gehrke, once dubbed as a “good guy” by a Snohomish County deputy prosecutor, is a lawyer with a heart. In one of the columns by Susan Paynter at the Seattle Post Intelligencer, she wrote about Gehrke and the way he handled the famous Letourneau case: “The public sees labels like killer or rapist. Gehrke sees human beings in pain from making horrible mistakes. He sees their families, and the families of their victims who will never be the same.”


The Beginnings of David Gehrke

Prior to his admission to the law profession in Washington State in 1978, David Gehrke used to be a backpacker across Europe and was once drafted for the Vietnam War. He was born to a modest farming family in Moscow, Idaho, but the family relocated to Federal Way by the time he was five. His father worked as an airplane mechanic, while his mother made sure that all her children participated in regular church services at the Grace Lutheran Church in Des Moines, while they were growing up.

Law School and the Law Profession


David attended Western Washington State College for a couple of years before traveling through Europe and serving in the U.S. Army. He returned to Seattle to obtain his degree in Economics at the University of Washington and to pursue law studies at the University of Washington Law School. He obtained his Juris Doctor degree in 1977 and became eligible to practice law in 1978. His career in the law profession now spans more than 34 years.

Currently he has admissions to practice in the following courts: United States Tax Court, Lummi Tribal Court, United States District Court for the Western and Eastern Districts of Washington, and finally the Washington State Supreme Court. His membership in various legal associations and groups is proof of his active, hard-working participation in the legal industry. A member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the King and Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Associations, David also sat as one of the board directors of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers for two terms.

An Active Player in the Community


An engaging and intelligent public speaker, David has regularly graced high school and college events as well as church-related affairs to deliver his speeches. His media appearances and speaking engagements are diverse, from The Today Show to Oprah to Good Morning America. He also believes in giving back to the community, having coached basketball and soccer for young players for several years and being a sponsor for the Des Moines 5k Run.

Lawyer with a ‘Heart'


Throughout his solid and satisfying career as an attorney, David Gehrke has specialized in several high-profile criminal and personal injury cases. One of his most well-known cases is the Mary K. Letourneau case, and very recently the McIntosh Manslaughter case, wherein he is representing Eric Vita. But his reputation as a stellar attorney does not end with handling popular cases, which usually required him to deal with international media. In fact, many of those he has represented in small personal injury or misdemeanor cases have only positive comments to share. He is often described to be a genuine, highly knowledgeable, attentive and straightforward professional. David Gehrke's ability to connect and empathize with his clients – and to offer them the best rates without a compromise on his services or professionalism - has earned him a status within the legal industry that is nothing short of commendable.

David is moreover well-endorsed by his peers. Joshua Doull, a personal injury attorney at Des Moines recommends David Gehrke as a highly-experienced, well-connected, and erudite professional. He is also described as “passionate about the law” and “one of the best lawyers in Washington” by Philip Sayles, another lawyer in Washington. And according to Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Mark Roe, who has clashed with David in the past, David Gehrke is a “good guy who's not going to slime you.”

Perhaps his passion and dedication as a lawyer come from his innate love for the legal profession. With David Gehrke, you can see that there is more to this industry than money and repute. And with his compassion and ‘heart' for everything he does, from his professional commitments to his contributions to the community, there is more to David Gehrke the lawyer than meets the eye.

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