Dave Clegg has spent his 40-year career as a lawyer fighting for and protecting the rights of others.
A LEADER IN THE COURTROOM
Longstanding commitment to public service, social justice and victims’ rights
Dave Clegg began his public service career as clerk at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund where he worked on appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the death penalty.
After finishing law school in 1977, Dave joined Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) where he represented the Lakota Sioux Community in Nebraska and South Dakota. Dave provided representation in both criminal and civil cases. He challenged the disproportionate application of the habitual criminal statute against Native Americans, won numerous criminal trials, and several landmark civil rights cases.
At the age of 27, Dave became the senior litigation attorney at Western Nebraska Legal Services where he won important impact cases including a landmark Native American Rights Case, Hawkman vs. Parratt, which established standards for the effective assistance of counsel in criminal cases involving Native Americans.
One of the most respected trial attorneys in the Hudson Valley
In 1982, Dave returned to the Hudson Valley with his wife Karen to raise his family and to establish a private law practice in Kingston, New York.
Over the past decades, Dave’s legal advocacy has changed the direction of thousands of lives for the better. He has defended many individuals who have been seriously harmed by corporate predatory practices and misconduct.
Dave is recognized as a Fellow by the American Association For Justice, the national trial lawyers association, and has completed the Ultimate Trial Advocacy course at Harvard Law School, a program reserved for only the most accomplished trial attorneys.
Justice for all, not just for those who can afford to hire a lawyer
Dave served for nine years as a part-time Ulster County Assistant Public Defender in our criminal and civil courts, representing individuals who could not afford to hire an attorney. Dave won every jury trial he tried as a Public Defender. Throughout his legal career, Dave has forcefully advocated for rehabilitative approaches to nonviolent crimes and worked to help clients with addictions to heroin and other street drugs get treatment instead of jail time.
As the chairperson of the Ulster County Human Rights Commission, Dave works to stop the school-to-prison pipeline and to defend the rights of immigrants and the civil liberties of the LGBTQ community.
A LEADER IN THE COMMUNITY
Safety and crucial support networks for local children and families
For the past 15 years, Dave has supported at-risk youth in our community as a board member of Family of Woodstock and the Rip Van Winkle Council of the Boy Scouts of America, where he has served on the board for over 10 years. Dave has mentored hundreds of kids as a basketball coach over the decades.
Dave helped found Ulster County Habitat for Humanity and the Ralph Darmstadt Homeless Shelter. Dave has served on the Ulster County Board of Health for two terms and is a board member of Caring Hands Soup Kitchen and Midtown Rising.
Dave also teaches college-level classes at the Woodbourne Prison as part of the Rising Hope program.
Dave will bring the same compassion and community dedication to the Office of the District Attorney.
Dave attended State University of New York in New Paltz and earned a B.A. in Sociology, graduating Magna Cum Laude.
Dave attended Buffalo Law School where he was an Editor of the Law Review and winner of the Desmond Moot Court Competition. He earned his degree in 1977.
Dave received a Masters degree from Yale Divinity School in 2011 and has been ordained as a Deacon in the United Methodist Church.