David C. Spellman

Shareholder | Seattle | 206.223.7392 |

Areas of Practice

David Spellman is a team leader, member and mentor. He focuses on facilitating continuous improvement in interdisciplinary, legal and business planning, and problem-solving. David is a skilled project manager with a Yellow Belt certification in Legal Lean Sigma® and Project Management.

David counsels startups and mature businesses, involving intellectual property, organization, financing, construction, employment, external relations, risk management and other topics. He litigates, when unable to resolve disputes. David has successfully tried cases before judges, juries and arbitrators. He has also argued successful appeals.

Professional Experience

David has been a lawyer with Lane Powell since graduating from law school.

  • Our team obtained a Temporary Restraining Order requiring a contractor to return confidential data after the termination of a contract (2015).
  • Our team is counseling start-ups in the intellectual property and cannabis spaces (2015-16).
  • Our team prevailed in three state and two federal court appeals (2014-15).
  • Our team resolved a right of publicity (personality rights) case brought by a former model against a producer of branded products in California (2015).
  • Our team resolved two class-action suits (2015-16).
  • Gig Harbor Family Trust v. Columbia Valuation Group, Inc., No. 13-2-04399-8 (King Cty. Super. Ct. 2014). Our team won a defense verdict in a securities/tort suit brought by 18 investors claiming an appraisal caused them to lose over a million dollars in a mortgage-paper security investment.
  • Enters. Int’l Inc. v. Int’l Knife & Saw, Inc., No. C12-5638 BHS, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101375, Copy. L. Rep. (CCH) ¶ 30,641 (W.D. Wash. July 24, 2014), recons. denied, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124221 (W.D. Wash. Sept. 4, 2014). Our team successfully moved for summary judgment dismissal of copyright, trade secret and preempted state law claims. The decision addresses previously untested issues regarding copyright protection for useful designs.
  • Our team defeated a defamation suit with a pre-answer dismissal motion under the anti-strategic lawsuits against public participation (anti-SLAPP) statute (2014).
  • Our team represented investors who received a prelitigation settlement of securities and professional negligence claims (2014).
  • Our team represented an inventor who received a prelitigation settlement of professional negligence claims involving a patent suit (2013).
  • Humphrey Indus., Ltd. v. Clay St. Assocs., LLC, 295 P.3d 231 (Wash. 2013). Our team won an appeal reversing a ruling on the effect of an prior supreme court decision.
  • Evergreen Safety Council v. RSA Network, Inc., 697 F.3d 1221 (9th Cir. 2012). Our team prevailed in an appeal affirming summary judgment dismissal of copyright infringement case.
  • Our team won a dismissal of a $26 million Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration defending a broker-dealer and a financial advisor (2012).

“David’s incredibly skilled defense and education of the jury, … was a true masterpiece. … saved me millions of dollars, and was very, very effective.”  Client statement about 2014 verdict for client.

“Seattle attorney David Spellman, … pummeled school administrator during cross-examination … Spellman tried, in particular, to show that the teachings seen by Knight as appropriated by Weaver could easily be items of public domain.” Keri Brenner, “Attorney Grills JZ Knight about ex-student,” The Seattle Times (September 10, 2008)

Admitted to Practice

David is admitted to law practice in Washington and before the federal courts in Eastern and Western Washington, the federal court of claims, and the federal courts of appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the District of Columbia.


David graduated with honors from Georgetown University Law Center where he was an editor of the American Criminal Law Review.

David graduated with honors from Seattle University.

David earned his Yellow Belt certification in Legal Lean Sigma® and Project Management.

Practice Group and Specialty Team Memberships

  • Antitrust and Trade Regulation
  • Appellate
  • Business Crisis Management and Emergency Remedies
  • Cannabis
  • Class Action Defense
  • Construction and Environmental
  • Financial Institutions
  • Food, Beverage and Hospitality
  • Government and Regulatory Relations
  • Intellectual Property and Technology
  • Litigation
  • Privacy and Data Security
  • Real Estate

Representative Matters and Clients

(Because each case depends upon unique circumstances, these prior results are merely representative and should not create an expectation about results in any individual case.)

David also has experience in constitutional, antitrust, price discrimination, and franchise law and government investigations and regulatory proceedings on the state and national level.


  • “Branding Marijuana Businesses: Lessons Learned From In re Morgan Brown,” The Licensing Journal, Co-author (October 2016)
  • “Deciphering Smoke Signals — FDA’s New Tobacco Product Rules and Their Impact on the Cannabis Industry,” Cannabis Law Journal, Second Edition, Co-author (September 2016)
  • “The Polyjuice Potion Is the Worst Prescription When Branding Marijuana Businesses: Lessons Learned From In re Morgan Brown,” Lane Powell White Paper, Co-author (July 22, 2016)
  • “High Stakes: Investing in a Legal Marijuana Business,” Lane Powell White Paper, Co-author (July 8, 2016)
  • “Court Declines to Prevent Merger of Washington Medical and Recreational Marijuana Markets,” Lane Powell White Paper, Co-author (July 1, 2016)
  • “Out-of-State, Non-Bank Financing Becomes Available for Washington State Licensed Marijuana Businesses,” Lane Powell White Paper, Co-author (June 24, 2016)
  • “Marijuana Labeling and Packaging and Marijuana Trademarks,” American Intellectual Property Law Association, Co-author (Spring 2016)
  • “Your Proposal May Be Accessible to Your Competitors: Safeguard Trade Secrets in Government Procurement,” Lane Powell Legal Update, Co-author (April 24, 2014)
  • “Design Professional Liens Attached When Nothing Is Built: Answering the Devil’s Advocate,” Washington State Bar Association’s Construction Law newsletter, Co-author (Spring 2014)
  • “Reviving Construction Projects — How to Avoid Creating a Frankenstein Monster,” Issues and Answers magazine, Washington Bankers Association, Co-author (January/February 2014)
  • “Rule 52: Decisions, Findings and Conclusions,” 2 Washington Civil Procedure Deskbook at 52-1, WSBA, Co-author (2002, 2006 & 2014)
  • “Restraints of Trade,” Washington Consumer Protection, Antitrust and Unfair Business Practices Law Developments (Second), WSBA Supplement, Co-author (2001 & 2007)
  • “Antitrust and Unfair Competition Issues Involving Intellectual Property,” Washington Consumer Protection, Antitrust and Unfair Business Practices Law Developments (Second) at 295, WSBA, Co-author (2001)
  • “Competing for Talent and Protecting Business Value: Non-Compete Agreements and Trade Secret Law in Washington,” Fifth Annual Intellectual Property Institute at 2-1, WSBA, Co-author (March 2000)
  • “Premature Post-mortem for the Implied Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing in Washington Contract Law,” Antitrust, Consumer Protection and Unfair Business Practices No. 21 at 6-10, Co-author (Summer 2002)
  • “1993 Supplement” to Washington Consumer Protection, Antitrust and Unfair Business Practices Law Developments (Second), WSBA, Associate Editor

Speaking Engagements

David has taught classes on antitrust, price discrimination, trade secrets, and other areas of the law including “Mis-LEED®ing Advertising and Marketing.”

  • “Developments in Marijuana Law,” Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Washington Conference & CLE, Co-presenter (September 29, 2017)
  • “Our Current Regulatory Environment and Cannabusiness,” Lane Powell’s Commercial Law Developments Seminar, Co-presenter (December 15, 2016)
  • “The Legal Practice of Marijuana,” University of Washington’s Marijuana Policy in Washington State: Moving Forward Seminar (June 14, 2016)

Awards and Honors

  • AV Preeminent® in Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™
  • Listed as one of the “Top Intellectual Property Lawyers” by Seattle Metropolitan magazine

Professional and Community Activities

David is a member of national, state, and local bar associations. He is a frequent author in bar publications. He donates his expertise and time to community organizations and campaigns.

David C. Spellman

Shareholder | Seattle | 206.223.7392 |