Skip to main content

David M. Wachtel

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Employment Litigation Attorney in Washington, DC

Trister, Ross, Schadler & Gold, PLLC
1666 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: 202-328-1666
Fax: 202-328-9162
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2010 - 2022
Licensed in Washington DC Since: 1991
Practice Areas: Employment Litigation: Plaintiff, Employment & Labor: Employee, Employment & Labor: Employer
Attorney Profile

A partner at Trister, Ross, Schadler & Gold, PLLC, Dave Wachtel focuses on employment law.  He is a member of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers,  one of the 500 best lawyers for employees in the United States, as selected by Law Dragon, and one of the top lawyers in Washington, DC, as selected by Washingtonian Magazine.

He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, California and Maryland, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 4th, 7th and the District of Columbia Circuits, and the U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia, Maryland, and the Central District of California.

Representing employees is the primary emphasis of Mr. Wachtel's practice. He has broad experience in cases involving race, age, disability, sex, national origin, and religious discrimination. He has also handled cases involving Family and Medical Leave Act violations, sexual harassment, wrongful termination and other acts of whistleblower retaliation. In addition to his courtroom work, he represents employees in arbitration and at administrative agencies. He also helps many clients reach accords through mediation and informal negotiation.

Mr. Wachtel also provides advice and representation to nonprofit organization nationwide.

Mr. Wachtel has written many short articles on employment law topics and been quoted by Employment Law Daily, Life Hacker, and Investors Business Daily. He has given CLE classes and webinars on the American with Disabilities Act and technology and privacy issues in employment law.  His volunteer activities including serving as a mediator for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Mr. Wachtel attended The University of Texas at Austin School of Law where he was an editor of the Texas Law Review.


Practice Areas
  • 60%Employment Litigation: Plaintiff
  • 20%Employment & Labor: Employee
  • 20%Employment & Labor: Employer
Focus Areas

Employment Discrimination, Wrongful Termination, Retaliation, Employment Law - Employee, Whistleblower, Sexual Harassment


13 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2010 - 2022

White Papers

  • UAVs/Drones and Privacy Issues, Audio Conference for West Legal Education Center, 8/8/2012

About David M. Wachtel

First Admitted: 1990, California

Professional Webpage:


  • Repeatedly recognized as an outstanding Washington, DC civil rights and employment lawyer in Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, and Law Dragon. Martindale Hubbell AV rated.  Competed in the Boston Marathon in 2004, 2006, and 2011 and completed 22 other marathons.
  • One of the Top 500 Plaintiff's Employment Lawyers, Law Dragon

Bar/Professional Activity

  • College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Member
  • National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA)
  • Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association (MWELA)
  • District of Columbia
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals
  • United States Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Fourth, Seventh Circuits
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • California

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Panelist, Addressing Smart Technology: Ethical & Evidentiary Issues, National Employment Lawyers Association, Annual Convention, 6/2015
  • Age Discrimination–Supreme Court Spurs New Litigation (Plaintiff's Perspective) Audio Conference for, 4/2005
  • EEOC's Final ADAAA Regulations, Audio Conference for Law Seminars International, 6/22/2011
  • Seminar on Issues in the Administration of Justice for the Tribunal of Justice of Rio de Janeiro, Litigating a Civil Case –Summary Judgment & Pretrial Issues, Washington, D.C., 11/13/2012
  • Are You Smarter Than Your Cell Phone? Audio Conference for West Legal Education Center, 6/10/2014
  • Sexual Orientation and Identity in Employment Law, Audio Conference for West Legal Education Center, 7/16/2014
  • Panelist and Organizer, Smart Phone Discovery, Privacy, and Practice – A Braver Newish World, District of Columbia Bar, Labor & Employment Section, 12/16/2014
  • Texas Law Review, Editorial Board, University of Texas School of Law
  • Panelist, Mediation in Employment, Law School for the Public, Montgomery Community Television, 2016
  • Spotlighting: Sexual Harassment: Supreme Court Says You're Safe If You Exercise "Reasonable Care." What Does That Mean? You & the Law, November 1998
  • Spotlighting: Shop Smart for Insurance Against Employee Bias Claims, You & the Law, January 1999
  • Perspective: Managing Your Employees' Emotional Disability Claims, You & the Law, June 1999
  • Sanctions for Deleting and Over-writing Electronic Information: Broccoli v. Echostar Communications Corp., Maryland State Bar Association, Section of Labor & Employment Law Newsletter, Winter 2005
  • What Does Broad New Definition of 'Retaliation' Mean to You? The HR Specialist's Employment Law, August 2006
  • Interactive Process for Hiring the Disabled, Policy & Practice: The Magazine of the American Public Human Services Association, September 2007
  • Amended Disabilities Act Widens Protection, Policy & Practice: The Magazine of the American Public Human Services Association, February 2009

Pro bono/Community Service

  • District of Columbia Circuit Mediation Program

Educational Background

  • University of Texas School of Law, 1989
  • Washington University in St. Louis, 1984

Industry Groups

  • Non-Profit
Show More
Office Location for David M. Wachtel

1666 Connecticut Avenue Northwest
Suite 500
Washington, DC 20009

Phone: 202-328-1666

Fax: 202-328-9162

Last Updated: 5/15/2022

Page Generated: 0.77507281303406 sec