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PORTLAND, ORE., APRIL 11, 2011 – David A. Ernst, a top-tier litigator, especially in issues unique to the food and beverage industry, has joined Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and its national hospitality practice. He will practice from the firm's Portland office.

Ernst – previously with Bullivant Houser Bailey PC – brings more than 25 years of trial experience, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in major exposure cases throughout the United States. For the last 15 years, he has focused on litigation issues unique to the food and beverage industry. Representing national restaurant clients, food manufacturers, and distributors in outbreak and contamination claims, Ernst has handled over 1,000 cases arising from foodborne illness outbreaks across the country. He also regularly counsels the industry on risk management and policy development strategies aimed at avoiding potential disputes.

"Davis Wright Tremaine has a tremendous reputation in the food and beverage industry, and it will be an excellent place for me to continue to serve my clients and grow my practice," said Ernst. "Their reputation and their national presence – especially with offices in key food and beverage industry markets like Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and D.C. – was attractive to me and will be beneficial to my clients and my practice."

Portland office partner and chair of the firm’s national restaurant industry group, Riley Lagesen, said Ernst’s experience in major litigation issues specific to the restaurant and food and beverage sectors will align well with the firm’s existing strengths in the transactional and regulatory areas for those industries. "Dave is a national leader in food and beverage risk management and litigation defense services and we are very fortunate to have him on our team," explained Lagesen. "His experience and services will be particularly valuable to our clients, as the issues and risks in business and food and beverage continue to increase."

Along with managing an active practice, Ernst is involved with a number of professional and civic organizations. He chairs the Boards of Directors for both the Business for Culture & the Arts and for the Classroom Law Project, he is a Master Member for the Owen M. Panner American Inn of Court, and he sits on the Board of Visitors for Lewis & Clark Law School.

Ernst earned his J.D., cum laude, from Lewis & Clark Law School and his B.S., with honors, from Oregon State University. He is admitted to practice in Oregon and Washington.

About Davis Wright Tremaine

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP is a national law firm with more than 500 lawyers representing clients based throughout the United States and around the world. For more information, visit