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“'Always ask yourself: ‘is that the type of law I want to practice and is that the type of lawyer I want to be. If you cannot answer yes to both questions, then don't do it.'”  That was the advice I received from an experienced attorney at VJ&G shortly after I  joined this firm. The advice was in response to my wondering whether it was best to respond in-kind to an obnoxious opposing attorney.  My colleague's response stopped me from taking the low road. Over the years, I have tried to follow that advice, which typifies my experience here and has made it a special place to work."

Since joining VJ&G in 1996, Dan Montopoli's practice has primarily involved representing school districts and businesses. Representing school districts often involves a wide range of challenging issues, from student speech, school levies, and public record requests to more mundane issues such as the regulations governing pediculosis (lice). Similarly, representing businesses in litigation often involves an array of complex issues governing commercial litigation, employment law, and intellectual property.  Since 2003, Dan has enjoyed teaching School Law, first at the UPS School of Education and currently at the Education Program at the University of Washington-Tacoma.

Before joining VJ&G, Dan earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Washington, where he was Managing Editor of the law review and a Teaching Fellow in the Basic Legal Skills Department.  Prior to law school, he was a writer, editor, and filmmaker in New York City, where he produced numerous books and films on medical and psychiatric subjects. Dan received his undergraduate degree from New York University, where he won an Academy Award for Best Student Documentary.

Dan was recently appointed to Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority Board by the Tacoma City Council. In his free time, he and his wife enjoy participating in their daughter’s academic and sporting events. Dan likes to remember what someone wise once said: “the days are long but the years are short.”

E-mail: dmontopoli@vjglaw.com