Dan Mellen grew up in Seattle and graduated from the University of Washington. After college, he decided to try standup comedy, which is how he discovered his love and aptitude for public speaking. And this passion and skill is what made him decide to become a trial attorney.
During law school, Dan further developed his speaking skills by participating in a mock trial competition every semester. In his last year of school, he did so well in the local mock trial that his school flew him to Washington, D.C., where he took third place at the National Mock Trial Competition.
After law school, Dan wanted to work in criminal law because he considers it the single most important type of law there is. He started as a prosecutor, but found that he did not like punishing people. He wanted to fight for people, instead of the state. In 2015, he left prosecution to work at Grimm Law, a firm that provides public defense to Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties. In 2016, he was promoted to Senior Supervising Attorney. In his time at Grimm Law, Dan personally represented about 1800 clients and from 2016 to 2019, he also supervised a team of lawyers, who each handled about 350 cases a year. At the end of 2019, Dan left Grimm Law. He is now providing private criminal defense counsel to people all over Southwest Washington.
Dan's most rewarding win was on a DUI. An officer said he pulled Dan's client over because the client cut another driver off and nearly caused an accident while leaving a bar, but the client insisted this was not true. Dan fought tooth and nail to get the Court to order a nearby store to give Dan a copy of its security footage. Then Dan spent hours watching video of roads in near total darkness before he finally found the evidence they needed: video of Dan's client leaving the bar. Dan used landmarks to determine that not only had the client not cut anybody off, the nearest car was almost 1,100 feet away. Dan used the video to get his client's case dismissed and get that crooked officer off the force.
J.D. - Seattle University School of Law, 2014
Honors: Cum Laude
B.A. - University of Washington, 2006
Honors: Dean's List
Third Place - National Mock Trial Competition
Winner - Seattle University Mock Trial Competition
Third Place - Seattle University Mock Trial Competition
Public Defense, 2015–Present
Grimm Law Group, Senior Supervising Attorney, 2015–2020
Puyallup City Prosecutor's Office, Associate Prosecutor, 2014–2014