David S. Casey Jr., a senior partner at Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield, LLP, was recently appointed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein to serve as statewide chair of four bi-partisan advisory committees in California. In this position, he will help Feinstein recommend federal judges, U.S. attorneys and U.S. marshals to President Barack Obama.
A third generation attorney, Casey has spent 30 years practicing law in San Diego, specializing in serious personal injury and wrongful death cases.
He has received more than 50 awards from trial bar associations - among them “Legal Professional of the Year” by the San Diego County Bar Association - and obtained successful verdicts and settlements for high-profile cases, including representing former Gov. Gray Davis in tobacco litigation for the state of California.
He is listed in “Best Lawyers in America.” In 2003, Casey was elected by his peers to be the president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (now known as the American Association for Justice).
The native La Jollan graduated from La Jolla Country Day School, received his bachelor’s degree from Trinity College and his juris doctorate from the USD School of Law.
He is married with two children.
What brought you to La Jolla?My father was a lawyer from St. Louis. Our family came to La Jolla during his tenure in the Navy, after the attack on Pearl Harbor. I was born in La Jolla in 1949.
What makes La Jolla special to you?I grew up in La Jolla at a time when doors were left unlocked at night and children roamed throughout the community freely without any concerns. Although the community has grown considerably since then, it still has that same “village feel.”
If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what would you add, subtract or improve in La Jolla?If I were “King of La Jolla,” I would work to make sure there were well-marked biking paths everywhere so bikers could enjoy the community’s beauty in safety!
Who or what inspires you?My late father, David Casey Sr., was a great trial lawyer and started our firm in 1947. He inspired me to follow in his footsteps.
If you had a dinner party for eight, whom would you invite?Roger Revelle, my father, President Obama, Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Condoleezza Rice, John F. Kennedy Jr. and Sandra Day O’Connor. As you can tell, I have a proclivity toward politics.
What are you currently reading?“Hot, Flat and Crowded” by Thomas Friedman.
What is your most prized possession?Photos and mementos of my family (my wife, Lisa; and children Shannon, 18, a senior at Bishop’s, and David, 19, a sophomore at the University of Chicago).
What do you do for fun?I like traveling with my family and friends, and enjoy tennis, golf and skiing.
Describe your biggest accomplishment.During my tenure as president and vice president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, I was involved in creating the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund mandated by the U.S. Congress, which set in place Trial Lawyers Care, the largest pro bono program in the history of American jurisprudence. That program has resulted in the compensation of several billion dollars for thousands who lost loved ones on 9/11. I am very proud to have been closely involved in the creation and implementation of this fund.
What is your motto or philosophy of life?I always set positive, realistic goals and pursue them. And this above all: “To thine own self be true and thou can be false to no man.”