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About me

I grew up on Badger Mountain, in Eastern Washington, on a dry land
dirt farm in an area the locals refer to as “Poverty Point.” No TV. No
electricity. No inside plumbing. But we did have books -- lots of books.
I talked before I could walk, and carried a book everywhere, so my dad
used to pat me on the head and say “This one’s going to be a lawyer.” 
He knew what kind of a lawyer I would be: a lawyer for real people, not a
lawyer for big corporations -- a lawyer for the little guy with a big

The administrators at Whitman College couldn’t understand how a kid
from Poverty Point could score so well on the college entrance exams, so
they offered me a scholarship.  Moving to Whitman in Walla Walla was a
move to a bigger town for me, and like many kids my age, I wanted to
move to an even bigger city.  That took me to Stanford Law School near
San Francisco, where most of my graduating class went on to large firms
in New York, L.A., Seattle, or D.C. But by then I had realized I wanted
to move back to the Pacific Northwest.

As an injury lawyer I started out in 1972 doing whatever came in the
door, mostly trial work, and soon found that helping people who had been
injured through no fault of their own and who were stuck dealing with a
heartless insurance company was the perfect place to accomplish my
three goals in life: to do good, to do well, and to have fun doing it. 

My family has a long history in horse racing --  my Uncle Lloyd raced
as a jockey for 25 years.  You build a law practice just like you build
a career as a jockey.  At first you get only horses no one else wants
to ride.  If you can get a few of those horses to  finish better than
next to last, you get a mount that has a chance to finish in the money.
And if you can ride a few of those horses into Win, Place or Show,
eventually stables with fast horses looking for successful jockeys find
you.   So it has been  with my personal injury law practice:  good
results in small personal injury cases brought larger claims, and
eventually, after winning a few million dollar settlements and verdicts,
I got the opportunity to choose exactly who I wanted to represent.

Ironically, it turned out to be the same people my dad thought I
should fight for:  the little guy with the big case.  Real people who
are in the wrong place at the wrong time and get injured because someone
isn’t being careful -- and who are stuck dealing with an insurance
company that refuses to honor their injury claim.

If you’d like to talk to me about your personal injury claim, give me a call – (800) 925-1875.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Personal Injury: 50%
  2. Car Accident: 25%
  3. Wrongful Death: 25%



Contingent (33%), Free consultation (60 minutes)

Attorney endorsements

11 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • John M O'Brien

    I endorse this lawyer. An extremely talented and well respected attorney in the legal community.


    John O'Brien Personal injury Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Michael S. Waddington

    I endorse Dean. He is a highly skilled attorney that is well respected in the legal community.


    Michael Waddington Military law Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Brett McCandlis & Brown PLLC

1001 4th Avenue
Suite 3200
Seattle, WA, 98154-1003

Brett McCandlis & Brown PLLC

3925 NE 72nd Avenue
Suite 107
Vancouver, WA, 98661-7367

Brett McCandlis & Brown PLLC

1312 North Monroe Street
Suite F-179
Spokane, WA, 99201



We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers Magazine2015
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers Magazine2014
Best Lawyers in AmericaBest Lawyers2013
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers Magazine2013
Washington Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2012
Washington Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2011
Washington Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2010
Washington Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2009
Washington Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2008
Washington Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2007
Washington Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2006
Washington Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2005
Washington Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2004
Washington Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2003
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerBrett McCandlis & Brown PLLC2015 - Present
Magistrate JudgeUnited States District Court for Western District of Washington2005 - Present
PartnerBrett Murphy Knapp McCandlis & Brown PLLC2014 - 2015
PartnerBrett Murphy Coats Knapp McCandlis & Brown2011 - 2014
PartnerBrett & Coats Personal Injury Attorneys2006 - 2011
PartnerBrett & Daugert1972 - 2006
Association namePosition nameDuration
American College of Trial LawyersFellow2002 - Present
Washington State Bar AssociationLocal District Counsel1980 - Present
Association of Trial Lawyers of AmericaMemberN/A
Washington State Association for JusticeEagle MemberN/A
Whatcom Museum of History and ArtBoard of DirectorsN/A
Bellingham-Whatcom Public Facilities DistrictBoard of DirectorsN/A
Whatcom County Bar AssociationPresident1985 - 1985
Washington State Association for JusticeBoard of Governors1982 - 1985
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
French v. Parker et. al.Jury awards $5 million to victim of drunk driver
Holz v. Burlington Northern and Whatcom County$752,000 awarded from deadly collision with train
$2.3 Million Landslide Claim - Largest Wrongful Death Jury Verdict in Skagit County History at the Time$2.3 million verdict
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
JD Supra Legal NewsAfrican Trial Advocacy Program improves Legal Services and Quality of Life in Botswana2013
JD Supra Legal NewsInsurance Defense Lawyers Aren't Devils2013
JD Supra Legal News$9 million settlement for fatal mistakes made by Washington State Department of Corrections2013
JD Supra Legal NewsWashington Supreme Court Undercuts Public Duty Doctrine - Again2013
Washington State Association for JusticePlaintiff's Environmental Disaster LitigationN/A
Washington State Association for JusticeSpotting Winners and Losers EarlyN/A
Washington State Association for JusticeThe Use of Focus Groups (Mock Juries)N/A
Trial NewsDram Shop LiabilityN/A
Trial NewsDrunk driver falls through the cracks, causes head on collisionN/A
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Stanford Law SchoolLawJD - Juris Doctor1972
Whitman CollegeN/ABA - Bachelor of Arts1968
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Electronic Discovery and Live DepositionsTaking the Expert Witness Deposition2010
WSTLA SeminarThe Art and Science of PersuasionN/A
Whatcom County Bar Association SeminarHow to Mediate a Personal Injury CaseN/A
University of Washington Course on Trial AdvocacyVoir Dire and Closing ArgumentN/A
SeminarClosing ArgumentN/A