Friday Ethics with David Heller


NYHS is introducing "Friday Ethics." Friday Ethics serves as an opportunity to have meaningful discussions with students about ethics through the lenses of different professions and professional experiences. NYHS empowers students to develop into lifelong learners, thinkers, and contributors to the Jewish community and beyond. Judaism's foundation in ethical practices is a commitment echoed in the halls of NYHS. This program seeks to instill within each student a dedication to ethical behavior and critical thinking while introducing them to different professions.


We are excited to be hosting David Heller as our speaker on January 13th! In addition to being a current member of the NYHS board and a past president, David is also an accomplished lawyer.


About David:


DAVID S. HELLER earned a civil engineering degree from MIT in 1979.  He graduated cum laude from Michigan Law School in 1982; while at Michigan, he was an editor of the Law Journal.  He has been a member of the Washington State Bar Association since 1982, and is admitted to practice in the Eastern and Western Districts of Washington, and before both the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.  He has been a member of the Washington State Association for Justice, the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.


He served on WSAJ’s Board of Directors from 1990 – 1997, acting as Editor-in-Chief of Trial News, as Secretary-Treasurer, and as 9th Congressional District Representative.  He served on the WACDL Board of Directors as 9th Congressional District Representative, from 1998 – 2004.  He served as 9th Congressional District Representative on the WSBA Board of Governors from 2007 – 2010.


He chaired People’s Law Schools throughout King County for many years, and he has lectured in Washington, British Columbia, and Hawaii to lawyers, teachers, and others, on topics including tort law, insurance law, criminal law, civil rights, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, criminal procedure, civil procedure, legal history, evidence, motions practice, and trial practice.  He has served for over a decade as a judge for the Center for Civic Education’s “We the People” Constitutional law and history competition for high school students, and was chosen as Washington State’s Judge to the “We the People” National Finals in 2011.


The professional accomplishments of which he is most proud are winning his first murder trial à la Rumpole (i.e., alone and without a leader) and establishing the record plaintiff jury verdict in St. Lawrence County, New York, thereby disproving Thomas Wolfe’s assertion that you can’t go home again.


David practices in Burien, Washington, where the rents are low, the commutes are short, and the parking is free.