David Markowitz

David Markowitz


David Markowitz is considered by his peers to be among the finest trial lawyers in the country. His commanding presence and strategic thinking have made him a courtroom icon. Over the last three decades, Dave has guided Markowitz Herbold from its beginning as an ambitious two-attorney litigation shop to its present status as the premier business litigation boutique in the region. As reported by Chambers USA's Best Lawyers and Law Firms, "Dave earns his status as a litigation legend every day. His wise, measured advice to clients is always spot-on,” and "David is the best trial lawyer in Oregon." Portland publication Willamette Week calls Dave a "legendary litigator" and "famed trial lawyer."

Professional Recognition

Dave has achieved the highest levels of recognition a trial lawyer can receive, and has been acknowledged by the world’s premier legal publications for his career achievements.

Oregon Super Lawyers

  • Ranked in the top ten in Oregon every year since the list’s inception

Best Lawyers in America®

  • Ranked as one of Portland’s top Bet-the-Company litigators every year since the list’s inception
  • Recognized as one of Portland's leading commercial Litigators for the past thirty years
  • Selected as Portland's "Lawyer of the Year" in 2013 in the category of real estate litigation
  • Selected as Portland’s “Bet-the-Company” Lawyer of the Year in 2010

Chambers USA, Your Guide to the World’s Best Lawyers

  • Recognized as one of the top commercial litigators in Oregon, one of only two Oregon litigators to achieve a “Star Individual” ranking

Chambers Global

  • Recognized as a top national trial lawyer by Chambers Global — one of only three Oregon litigators ranked by the publication, 2013

Other recognition

  • Listed as a Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation since 2013
  • Cited as one of the top ten Oregon litigators by the National Law Journal


Dave is a member of three peer-selected legal societies in the U.S. Membership to these organizations is by invitation only and based on a lawyer’s character, reputation, and demonstrated excellence in the courtroom.

  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow since 1991, former Oregon State Chair
  • Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers since 2010
  • Member, American Board of Trial Advocates since 1997

Other affiliations

  • AAA Arbitrator, commercial, construction and employment
  • Master Member, Owen M. Panner American Inn of Court, former Inn President, 1991-92
  • Oregon State Chair, U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society, 2011-12
  • Board member, Multnomah Bar Association, 1990-4
  • Board member, Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation, 2002-12; member, Audit Committee
  • Member, Federal Bar Association
  • Member, Multnomah Bar Association
  • Member, Oregon Trial Lawyers Association
  • Member, Oregon Association of Defense Counsel


Dave has received recognition for making valuable contributions to the legal community, including his efforts in mentoring and educating young lawyers. 

  • Professionalism Award, Multnomah Bar Association, 2023 (Read his acceptance speech here)
  • "Leadership in Law" honor from the Daily Journal of Commerce, 2010
  • Oregon Business magazine’s Power Book naming him one of 50 Great Leaders in Oregon, 2007
  • Oregon State Bar's President’s Special Award of Appreciation for devoting significant time and energy to CLE training for Oregon attorneys, 2006
  • Commerce Magazine's Rainmaker Mentor Award, 2006
  • Oregon State Bar’s President’s Award for Membership Service, 1994


In addition to his active trial schedule, Dave shares his craft with lawyers of all levels. He is a frequent lecturer on litigation-related topics for state, local and federal bars across the country and in Canada. He regularly presents a nationally-recognized training seminar on depositions. Trial Guides™ has produced a DVD of this popular deposition course, and it has become one of the company's best-selling products. As a follow-up, Trial Guides™ produced Dave's "Mastering the Art of Persuading the Trial Judge" course on DVD and CD. In 2015, Dave's presentation on Canadian "discoveries" earned Seminar Partners’ Best Content award. In 2024, Trial Guides™ published The Deposition Handbook, 6th edition, co-authored by Dave, his fellow Markowitz Herbold shareholder Kyle Busse, and attorneys Dennis Suplee, Nicole Reimann, and Alison Gutierrez. 

His courses include:


  • Deposition Techniques: Strategies, Tactics and Skills (full day)
  • Deposing the Expert Witness: Strategies, Tactics and Skills

Jury Selection

  • The Art of Effective Voir Dire

Cross and Direct Examination

  • Persuading the Trial Judge during Direct and Cross
  • The Perfect Question: The Use and Misuse of the Leading Question
  • Trial Advocacy Skills Training: Direct and Cross Examination

Persuasion in the Courtroom

  • Mastering the Art of Persuading Trial Judges - How to Win at Oral Argument (Half day)

Opening and Closing

  • The Evidence Will Show: Giving a Successful Opening Statement
  • Making a Compelling Closing Argument

Witness Preparation

  • Preparing your Witnesses for Trial: The Key to Winning a Close Case
  • How to Be a More Effective Expert Witness
  • Tips for Expert Video Depositions

Alternative Dispute Resolution

  • Effective Techniques for Reaching a Settlement in Early Mediation

Technology in the Courtroom

  • Low Rent, High Tech: Effective Use of Technology in the Courtroom
  • The Use of Demonstratives, Including PowerPoint Slides

Rainmaking and Client Development

  • Rainmaking: How to Excel at Client Development & Enhance Your Career
  • How to Win a Beauty Contest
  • How to Make Creative Fee Arrangements Work for You and Your Client

General Practice

  • Controlling the Cost of Litigation


Dave is a prolific and sought-after author of legal articles, publications, and white papers on litigation topics. 

  • The Deposition Handbook, 6th edition, co-author, 2024
  • Oregon Civil Pleading and Litigation – Depositions (Chapter 26), 2020
  • Adverse Discovery Ruling Writ of Mandamus
  • Creative Fee Agreements – Blending Interests and Expenses
  • Sanctions for Deposition Misconduct
  • The Oregon State Court Perpetuation Deposition: Opportunities for the Prepared and Pitfalls for the Unwary
  • Organizational Depositions: Do They Allow a Second Bite at the Apple?
  • Expert Witnesses and Video Depositions: Strategies for Effective Performance
  • The Basics for Deposing Entities Under Rule 30(b)(6)
  • Using Depositions During Opening Statements
  • Legal Issues Involving Video Depositions Revisited
  • Vexing Questions: Deposing Percipient "Experts" in Oregon
  • Depositions of Opposing Counsel
  • Sanctions for Deposition Misconduct Under FRCP 30(d)
  • Taking Video Depositions: Legal Issues
  • Depositions of Out-of-state Parties
  • Reading, Correcting, and Signing Deposition Transcripts
  • Defending Depositions
  • Reopening Depositions
  • Appropriate Conduct in Protecting a Client During Deposition
  • Depositions: Who Goes First?
  • Dual-session Depositions
  • Federal Deposition Practice: New Time Limits
  • Ask the Deponent to Guess

Attorneys Fees Expert

Dave is an attorneys fee expert and is frequently retained to testify at trial and attorney fee hearings. He has been retained to testify as an expert witness in more than 100 cases.


For more than 20 years, Dave has served as a mediator and arbitrator resolving complex commercial disputes. He also acted as a pro tem judge in Multnomah County Circuit Court for nine years.

  • Oregon
  • U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law — J.D., with great distinction
  • California State Polytechnic University — B.S.
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