Skip to main content

David Wachtel

About me

I joined Trister Ross to start an employment law practice  on February 1, 2016. The firm has a nationally known non-profit tax and election law practice.  The partners represent organizations with causes they believe in.


The new firm gives me a great deal of flexibility.  I'll continue to fight for employee rights, bringing disability, race, sex, and age discrimination cases, which has been the staple of my practice.


I'll bring a whole variety of skills to negotiations.  I spend a lot of my time now negotiating in all kinds of individual employment situations.


And I'll also spend some time proactively helping the firm's clients comply with employment law.


Before Trister Ross, I was a name partner for almost 10 years in a civil rights firm, that emphasized whistleblowers and discrimination.   And before that, I began my career working for the Law Offices of David L. Rose, the original Employment Section chief in the Department of Justice.


I try constantly to apply my experience in new ways for better results for my clients.






Practice areas


  1. Employment: 40%
    23 years
  2. Discrimination: 20%
    23 years
  3. Sexual Harassment: 20%
    23 years
  4. Civil Rights: 10%
    23 years
  5. Wrongful Termination: 10%
    23 years

Attorney endorsements

5 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Edgar F Ndjatou

    I endorse this lawyer.


    Edgar Ndjatou Employment & Labor Attorney
    Relationship: Worked for lawyer

  • No photo

    I worked with Dave for more than 10 years and have known him for 30. He is smart, honest, well versed in the law and dedicated to protecting employee rights


    Joshua Rose Employment & Labor Attorney
    Relationship: Co-worker

Contact info

Trister, Ross, Schadler & Gold, PLLC

1666 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Suite 500
Washington, DC, 20009


DCActive 199111/29/2015
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Employment Litigation -- PlaintiffSuper Lawyers2014
Civil RightsBest Lawyers in America2014
Civil RightsBest Lawyers in America2013
Employment Litigation -- PlaintiffSuper Lawyers2013
Employment Litigation -- PlaintiffSuper Lawyers2012
Civil RightsBest Lawyers in America2012
Civil RightsBest Lawyers in America2011
Employment Litigation -- PlaintiffSuper Lawyers2011
Employment Litigation -- PlaintiffSuper Lawyers2010
Civil RightsBest Lawyers in America2010
Civil RighsBest Lawyers in America2009
Best Civil Rights and Employment Lawyers in WashingtonWashingtonian Magazine2009
Best Civil Rights Lawyers in WashingtonWashingtonian Magazine2007
Best civil rights attorneys in WashingtonWashingtonian Magazine2004
Outstanding Notes EditorTexas Law Review1989
Outstanding ResearchTexas Law Review1988
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerBernabei & Wachtel, PLLC2005 - Present
MemberRose & Rose, PC1993 - 2005
AssociateWeinberg, Bergeson & Newman1992 - 1993
AssociateO'Melveny & Myers, LLP1989 - 1991
Association namePosition nameDuration
Maryland State Bar AssociationMember1997 - Present
Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers AssociationMember1996 - Present
State Bar of CaliforniaMember1990 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Solomon v. Vilsack (US Dept. of Agriculture)The DC Circuit vacated summary judgment.
Smith v. England, Department of the NavyEEOC, on appeal, ruled for my client
Newkirk v. BerryRuling for the Employee
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
CCH Employment Law Daily AlertsWalmart v. Dukes: Future prospects for plaintiff classes2011
Policy & PracticeAmended Disabilities Act Widens Protection2009
Policy & PracticeInteractive Process for Hiring the Disabled2007
The HR SpecialistWhat Does Broad New Definition of ‘Retaliation’ Mean to You?2006
You & the LawShop Smart for Insurance Against Employee Bias Claims1999
You & The LawManaging Your Employees' Emotional Disability Claims,1999
You & the LawSexual Harassment: Supreme Court Says You're Safe if You Exercise "Reasonable Care." What Does That Mean?1998
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Texas School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1989
Washington University in St. LouisN/ABA - Bachelor of Arts1984
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Annual ConventionAddressing Smart Technology: Ethical and Evidentiary Issues2015
WebcastSexual Orientation and Identity in Employment Law2014
Labor & Employment SectionSmart Phone Discovery, Privacy, and Practice -- a Braver Newish World2014
WebcastUnmanned Aerial Vehicles, Drones and Privacy2012
Seminar on Issues in the Administration of JusticeLitigating a Civil Case -- Summary Judgment and Pretrial Issues2012
Seminar on Issues in the Administration of JusticeSummary Judgment Motions and Pretrial Issues2012
TelebriefingEEOC's Final ADAAA Regulations2011
National Institute of Business ManagementAge Discrimination--Supreme Court Spurs New Litigation2005