David E. Chawes

Of Counsel, Seattle

David E. Chawes Profile Picture

Phone: (206) 287-1775
Fax: (206) 287-9113
Email: dchawes AT pregodonnell.com
Linkedin: David E. Chawes
Vcard: vcard file

901 5th Ave., Suite 3400
Seattle, WA 98164

Areas of Practice

Professional Experience

David Chawes's years of practice have focused primarily on occupational safety and health issues, including construction site safety and environmental contamination. His experience has afforded him a unique and balanced perspective on ways to approach a wide variety of cases related to his fields of practice.

In order to develop these vital problem-solving skills, he has attended the National Institute of Trial Advocacy's Deposition Practice and Trial Advocacy training programs. While attending law school, David worked at Preg O'Donnell & Gillett and served as a Research Assistant for the Seattle University School of Law Legal Writing Department. David was a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) before becoming an attorney. He previously served as Environmental Health and Safety Director for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and as Health and Safety Manager for Hart Crowser, Inc., an environmental and geotechnical engineering consulting firm.

David has held a number of managerial positions related to environmental and safety projects, all of which have contributed to his keen ability to relate to his clients and develop unique and efficient methods to apply in his legal practices. Because of David’s extensive experience, he has honed his skills as a litigator and has developed a valuable work ethic to provide the best service to his clients.

David was selected as the King County Bar Association Pro Bono Volunteer of the Month for November 2013 for his four-year long effort to obtain disability benefits for a disabled member of the community.


David graduated magna cum laude from Seattle University School of Law in 2004. He served as Executive Editor (Note & Comment) for the Seattle University Law Review.

Prior to law school, David attended the University of Washington, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree, cum laude, in Environmental Health, and a Master of Science degree in Public Health, majoring in Industrial Hygiene and Safety.

Admitted to Practice

  • Washington State Courts (WSBA #36322)
  • United States District Court, Western and Eastern Districts of Washington
  • United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Professional & Community Activities

  • David is a member of Washington State Bar Association, Washington State Defense Trial Lawyers Association, King County Bar Association and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (Pacific Northwest Section).
  • He served as a pro bono attorney at King County Bar Association's Housing Justice Project, where he represented indigent tenants threatened with eviction.
  • He also judged the Jim E. Bond Moot Court Competition and Legal Writing appellate oral arguments at the Seattle University School of Law.

Publications & Presentations

  • Co-author, "Federal Arbitration Act Preemption: Washington Supreme Court to Decide Consolidated Cases," DRI: For the Defense, August 2008 issue.
  • Co-author, "Improving the Construction and Litigation Resolution Process: The 2005 Amendments to the Washington Condominium Act Are a Win-Win for Homeowners and Developers," Seattle University Law Review, Spring 2006.
  • Presenter, “Defense Perspective on Third Party Liability at Worksites,” Legal Aspects of Worksite Safety and Health, Seattle, WA, Feb. 24, 2010.
  • Presenter, “Toxic Torts,” ENVH 584 Occupational and Environmental Health: Policy and Politics, University of Washington Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, March 2009 and March 2010.
  • Author, "Time Is Not on Your Side: Establishing a Consistent Statute of Limitations for the Alien Tort Claims Act," Seattle University Law Review, Summer 2003 (27 Seattle U. L. Rev. 191 (2003)).
  • Presenter, "Investigating Employee Exposure History: Environmental and Occupational Considerations," American Society of Safety Engineers and the Washington Self-Insurers Association's 3rd Annual Safety Professional Development Conference, Lynnwood, WA, September 24, 2009.
  • Presenter, Master Builders Association University course entitled "Healthy Homes Training for Building Professionals," on the topic of legal issues relating to indoor air quality, Bellevue, WA, April 16, 2009.
  • Presenter, "Is Pre-Inspection Remote Surveillance a Violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act?" at the 2008 Northwest Occupational Health Conference, SeaTac, WA, October 16, 2008.
  • Presenter, "Introduction to the Alien Tort Claim Act," Seattle University School of Law, 2004.
  • Presenter, "Mold: Fact or Fiction," 10th Annual Conference on Washington Construction Law & Dispute Resolution, Seattle, WA, 2003.
  • Presenter, "Discovery and Depositions," Paralegal Program, Edmonds Community College, Edmonds, WA, 2002, 2004, 2005.


  • David's Seattle University Law Review article, "Time Is Not on Your Side: Establishing a Consistent Statute of Limitations for the Alien Tort Claims Act," was awarded the prestigious Burton Award for Excellence in Legal Achievement at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
  • Other law school honors include Seattle University Law School Dean's List, Year-End Achievement Scholarship, Law Trustee Scholarship, and was the first-place winner of the Reasonable Doubts moot court competition. He received CALI Awards for exemplary performance in UCC-Sales and Secured Transactions, Advanced Constitutional Law, and Advanced Legal Writing.