David W. Oesting passed away at his home in Anchorage, Alaska, on May 11, 2014. Described as a “bet the company litigator” by Best Lawyers of America, Dave was best known for his key role in the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill litigation. Dave was the court-appointed lead counsel for 30,000 plaintiffs represented by 60 law firms in the consolidated proceedings of more than 250 lawsuits, both class actions and direct actions, filed on behalf of fishermen, processors, Alaska Natives, landowners, businesses, and others injured as a result of the spill of 11.8 million gallons of North Slope crude oil into the coastal waters of Alaska by the Exxon Valdez.
Dave joined the Seattle office of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP as an associate on June 1, 1970. After becoming a partner, Dave’s love for the outdoors led him and fellow partner, Parry Grover, to move to Anchorage, Alaska, and open an office for the firm in 1980. Dave was a member of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers.
Highly respected by his clients, colleagues and peers, Dave was known for his larger-than-life personality, his remarkable intellect and intensity, as well as for his trademark loud, booming voice.
Dave thoroughly enjoyed traveling and saw much of the world. His love of travel, hunting and fishing was only exceeded by his love of flying, especially to remote places in Alaska.
Dave was a loving husband, father, grandfather, friend and more. He is survived by his wife, Susan Seymour Oesting; three children, Aaron Oesting, Sarah Oesting and Erica Marley; six grandchildren; and three siblings, Sarah, Jon and Jim.