Meet Attorney David McNeal
David attended Tulane University Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana – world-renowned for its maritime law program. In addition to earning his Juris Doctor, he earned a Certificate of Specialization in Maritime Law, was a member of the Juvenile Law Clinic and received Trial Advocacy honors – an accolade awarded to only the top 10% of the class.
A Unique Background Brings Vital Experience to Your Case
An attorney with a strong maritime background, David is no stranger to working in, on, and around the water. A graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (U.S.M.M.A.) in Kings Point, New York, he has put steel-toe boots on deck sailing around the world on U.S. Flag vessels, as a mate licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard on New York City Department of Transportation ferry boats, and has actual Offshore Supply Vessel (OSV) and Ultra-Deepwater drilling rig work experience in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. While working offshore, David was one of the shipboard officers responsible for inspecting safety equipment and maintaining certain safety standards mandated by numerous regulatory agencies. That very real experience allows him to have an intricate understanding of the very real dangers that exist within the offshore work environment and how they occur. More importantly, he has lived the life of an offshore worker and understands firsthand the mental and physical stress that beset individuals in the offshore environment, including the impact on the families they leave behind.
What happens when that offshore worker is hurt working offshore? Who will speak for them? David has gone to trial numerous times in and around the Greater Houston area and has recovered millions for clients who have been hurt due to the negligence of corporations and/or individuals.
Upon graduation from “Kings Point”, David was commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy Merchant Marine Reserves Program (now the Strategic Sealift Officer Program) and received his U.S. Coast Guard issued Merchant Mariners License as a Third Mate (ship’s officer). While working in vessel construction and as a mate for the NYC Department of Transportation aboard the Staten Island Ferry, he earned the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade in the Navy Reserves before receiving an interservice transfer and attending Marine Corps Officer Candidate School (OCS) where he earned a commission in the United States Marine Corps Reserves. While attending law school, he served as a legal officer with the 4th Marine Logistics Group and 4th Marine Division.
Still Serving His Community and Clients
David is the Vice-Chair of the Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee within the Tort, Trial, and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) of the American Bar Association (ABA) and is on the Board of Directors for the Houston Maritime Arbitrators’ Association, currently serving as the Treasurer.
As part of a military family, David spent a decade of his life in the Philippines and Germany before moving to San Antonio, Texas at the age of twelve He graduated from John Marshall High School and spent the next two years attending the University of Texas at San Antonio and San Antonio College before being accepted into the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point New York, where he majored in Logistics and Intermodal Transportation. David was a Football Team Captain at Kings Point, setting numerous Academy rushing and scoring records and becoming an NCAA 1st Team All-American – only the second Football All-American in the 76-year-old Academy’s history. He was also named the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and Player of the Year and the Freedom Football Conference Offensive Player of the Year. Now as an offensive-minded trial attorney, he brings the same “running-back” mentality to the courtroom. Nowadays the handoffs come from the injured clients he serves. And, while he still advances towards the opposition, it is always with the client’s “goal” in mind.
- Tulane University (JD – Juris Doctor, 2011)
Awards & Associations:
- Top 40 Under 40 National Black Lawyers, 2018 – Present
- American Bar Association
- General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division Disaster Response Committee Vice Chair (2018 – Present)
- Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (Member 2017 – Present)
- General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division, Urban, Local and State Government Committee Chair (2017 – Present)
- Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section Vice Chair (2017 – Present)
- Tort Trial Insurance Practice Section, Admiralty & Maritime Law Committee Vice Chair (2017 – Present)