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If you are involved in a lawsuit, you deserve a lawyer who will protect your best interests and diligently pursue justice on your behalf.


Proudly Serving ALL of Vermont

Office Location

Cleary Shahi & Aicher, P.C.
110 Merchants Row
Suite 3
P.O. Box 6740
Rutland, VT 05701

Toll Free: 802-775-8800
Phone: 802-775-8800
Fax: 802-775-8809
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David L. Cleary

David L. Cleary

Principal and Shareholder
Rutland, Vermont

David L. Cleary is the senior partner and President of the firm, and has practiced law in Vermont since 1970.  For over 40 years, he has litigated both plaintiff and defense cases, including personal injury, toxic tort, product liability, aircraft disaster, professional liability, and commercial litigation, trying over 250 cases to verdict.  He is also very active as a mediator and arbitrator in these areas in Vermont and adjoining jurisdictions.

He attended the University of Rochester, received his B.S. degree from St. John Fisher College (1963), and his J.D. degree from Cornell University in 1970, after a law school program interrupted by four years in the U.S. Army.  This included a tour in Vietnam where he participated in ground and water-borne reconnaissance, and other operations with the United States Army and Navy Special Operations Teams in hostile force controlled areas. For these actions, he was awarded the Bronze Star and a special citation from the government of Vietnam.  His Army unit was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.

Mr. Cleary is past-President of the Vermont ABOTA (American Board of Trial Advocates) Chapter and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is the past Dean and current President-Elect of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (which limits its membership to 500 Fellows from the United States). He has been listed in Best Lawyers since its inception, received the organization’s 25th Anniversary Award, and was recently selected as a Best Lawyer of the Year in commercial litigation.  

He continues to be listed as a New England and Vermont Super Lawyer, and is a member of the American College of Barristers. Mr. Cleary is a Founding Member of the Association of Ski Defense Attorneys, and a Lifetime Achievement recipient of the National Ski Areas Association.

Mr. Cleary was a long time member of the Vermont Professional Conduct Board, as well as counsel to the Board of Medical Practice in Vermont, and the past-Chairman of the Governor’s Tort Reform Commission. He continues to serve on the United States District Court Advisory Committee.

He loves fishing, hunting and woodworking, and resides in Mendon with his wife, Valerie, and their fox red Labrador, Reilly. They have two children, Sean and Megan (who are both attorneys), and three grandchildren.

Areas of Practice

  • Litigation in State and Federal Courts

Bar Admissions

  • Vermont, 1970
  • U.S. District Court District of Vermont, 1970
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1974
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit, 1976


  • Cornell Law School, Ithaca, New York
    • J.D. - 1970
  • St. John Fisher College
    • B.A. - 1963
  • St. John Fisher College
    • B.S. - 1963


  • Lecturer, Vermont Bar Association
  • Lecturer, Defense Research Institute
  • Seminars, New England Medical Societies
  • Seminars, American Academy of Surgeons
  • Seminars, American Ophthalmology Association
  • Seminars, College of Mental Health Administrators

Honors and Awards

  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Who's Who in America
  • Who's Who in American Law
  • The International Directory of Lawyers (Who's Who International)
  • Best Lawyers in the United States Since 1985 (All Editions)

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • David L. Cleary Associates, P.C., Firm Became Cleary Shahi Associates January 1, 1998, Founder
  • Vermont Bar Association, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • American Bar Association, Litigation Committee, Member
  • Defense Research Institute, Member
  • Defense Research Institute, Specialized Insurance Problems Sub-Committee, Chairman, 1979 - Present
  • American Association for Justice (AAJ), Member
  • Federal Bar Association, Member
  • American Society of Law and Medicine, Member
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Member (President, Vermont Chapter, 1992-93)
  • Professional Conduct Board for the State of Vermont, Member, 1979 - 1989
  • Lieutenant Governor's Commission on Tort Reform for the State of Vermont, Chairman
  • Vermont Board of Medical Practice, Former Special Counsel, 1978 - 1985
  • Panel of Arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Chittenden County, Vermont, Deputy State's Attorney, 1971 - 1972
  • City of South Burlington, Vermont, City Prosecutor, 1971 - 1972
  • U.S. Army, Captain, 1965 - 1968
  • Richard E. Davis Associates, Inc., Partner, 1972 - 1978
  • Miller, Norton, & Cleary, Partner, 1978 - 1987
  • Miller, Cleary & Faignant, Partner, 1988 - 1991

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