David McNeal is a multi-talented, laser focused trial lawyer who employs militaresque strategic precision planning with every case. His Congressional nomination to the United States Merchant Marine Academy and subsequent service to our country has well prepared him to handle litigation at the highest level. David’s practice is heavily focused on transportation related injuries and deaths, including offshore/maritime injuries and automobile and 18-wheeler collisions. His Logistics and Intermodal Transportation major provides him with insights that most lawyers will never obtain. For law school, David attended Tulane University Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana – world renowned for its Maritime Law Program – and received honors in Trial Advocacy – an accolade reserved for the top 10% of the class. His industry exposure gives him hands on experience in cases involving plant explosions, workplace injuries, wrongful death, and premises liability.
Raised in 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. After high school, he attended and played collegiate football at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY – one of the nation’s five federal service academies. During his tenure there, he was selected by his superiors as the 1st Battalion Commander, set Academy rushing and scoring records, and was named an NCAA 1st Team All-American Running Back. In 2019, David was inducted into the United States Merchant Marine Academy Athletic Hall of Fame.
Upon graduation from the Academy in 2004, David took his oath as an Officer in the U.S. Naval Reserves and earned a U.S. Coast Guard issued Merchant Mariners license. In addition to executing an interservice transfer from the U.S. Naval Reserves to the U.S. Marine Corps in 2008, David has worked on the Staten Island Ferry in New York City as well as on Offshore Supply Vessels (OSV) and Ultra Deepwater Semi-Submersible drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. While working as a mariner, he was one of the shipboard officers responsible for inspecting safety equipment and maintaining certain safety standards mandated by numerous regulatory agencies. These experiences have provided him an intricate understanding of the very real dangers that exist within the offshore work environment and how they can occur. More importantly, he has lived the life of a mariner and offshore worker and understands firsthand the mental and physical stress that beset individuals in maritime environments, including the impact on the families they leave behind.
Having acquired a maritime-focused undergraduate education, David complemented his practical experience with a maritime-focused legal education. In addition to serving as Legal Officer for the 4th Marine Logistics Group and 4th Marine Division while earning his Juris Doctor, he was also a member of the Juvenile Law Clinic and earned a Certificate of Specialization in Maritime Law while at Tulane, whose Admiralty law program offers more Admiralty and Maritime courses than any other law school in the country.
David is a Plaintiff 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 has been selected into the TIPS Leadership Academy for 2021-22. He is formerly an officer of the Board of Directors for the Houston Maritime Arbitrators’ Association, was named a Top 40 under 40 Attorney from 2018-2020, and serves as General Counsel to the Harris County Board of Pilot Commissioners for Harris County Ports.
Tulane Law School
United States Merchant Marine Academy
Texas – 2015
American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS)
Houston Trial Lawyers Association
Texas Trial Lawyers Association
USMMA Houston Alumni Chapter