Dan is a writer and practicing lawyer based in San Diego, California. Dan’s short fiction and columns have appeared in The Recorder, Sheepshead Review, the Los Angeles Daily Journal, and The Daily Transcript, for which he wrote a biweekly column, “On Law.” Copies of all of these pieces are available on your request. “Above The Ground: The Kevin Barry Artt Story,” is Dan’s first work of narrative nonfiction.
Dan attended Georgetown University Law Center, where he earned his law degree and served as an editor of the American Criminal Law Review. Afterward, Dan served for one year as a law clerk to the late Ninth Circuit Judge Thomas Tang in Phoenix, Arizona. Dan practiced law with the San Diego office of Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps LLP for eight years before launching his own law practice in downtown San Diego in 1995. Dan operated Lawton Law Firm for twenty-four years after that, training several young lawyers (all of whom were his law students). In 2018, Dan put his full-time law practice on hold in order to take a sixteen-month sabbatical, which he devoted to researching and writing “Above The Ground.” In late 2019, Dan joined the San Diego office of Klinedinst PC, where he practices today in the firm’s appellate and professional liability practice groups.
Dan is certified as a legal specialist in Appellate Law by the State Bar’s California Board of Legal Specialization), a distinction held by about three dozen attorneys in San Diego County.
Dan’s professional memberships include these: Member, Editorial Board, California Litigation (2019-); Member, San Diego Appellate Inn of Court (2020-); Master, J. Clifford Wallace Inn of Court, 2011-; President, Thomas More Society, 2007-2009; Member, San Diego County Bar Assn. Committee on Civility, Professionalism and Integrity (2007-2008).
Dan is admitted to practice before and has practiced in the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Federal, Ninth, and Fifth Circuits, all U.S. District Courts in California, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, and the California courts.
In his spare time, Dan worked for several years as a volunteer in the Family Literacy Program at St. Vincent De Paul Village in San Diego and at Mama’s Kitchen (a non-profit agency which delivers meals to men, women and children affected by AIDS and other critical illnesses). He has also served as a mentor at Nativity Prep Academy (a tuition-free, inner-city Catholic middle school for at-risk children in Logan Heights).
The State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization has certified Dan as a legal specialist in Appellate Law, a distinction held by 36 lawyers in San Diego County.
In January 2009, Dan learned of his nomination for inclusion in 2009 San Diego Super Lawyers based on anonymous peer evaluation. He was so honored again in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 in the primary practice area of intellectual property litigation.