As the lead attorney of the Firm's Immigration Practice Group, David W. Gearhart focuses on counseling businesses and individuals with respect to immigration-related matters including temporary/permanent work visas; permanent residence based on family relationships; citizenship; J-1 visa waivers; and securing student and visitor visas. During Dave's tenure, Firm clients have experienced a success rate exceeding 99% on immigration filings. He also regularly advises and trains employers with respect to work authorization compliance issues, I-9 audits, and investigations. Moreover, Dave was selected as one of the Top 100 Lawyers for Immigration by The National Advocates, an invitation-only professional organization composed of the top 100 attorneys from each state or region who exemplify superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, and performance in their area of specialty.

Dave's employment law practice includes litigation of employment disputes, with a particular focus on employee benefit/ERISA litigation. He successfully has handled the defense of numerous complex individual and class action employment disputes in federal and state courts, and administrative agencies, across the country.

Dave also counsels employers on human resource matters on a daily basis, such as hiring, termination, sexual harassment and discrimination, wage and hour laws, disability accommodations issues, employee leave rights, and non-compete disputes, among others.

Dave frequently speaks on immigration and employment topics and regularly writes articles on pertinent immigration and employment issues. He also has authored a book on the spousal immigration process. Additionally, Dave was selected for inclusion in Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers® for 2016-2020 and in Missouri & Kansas Rising Stars® 2011-2014.

Practice Areas


  • Washington University in St. Louis School of Law (J.D., 2000)
    • Washington University Law Quarterly
    • Order of the Coif
  • Emory University (B.A., 1996)
    • International Studies and German
    • Sigma Chi

Legal Background

  • Summer associate, Lewis Rice LLC (1998, 1999)

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association


  • U.S. Court of Appeals: Third, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and 11th Circuits
  • U.S. District Courts, Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri, Southern and Central Districts of Illinois, Southern District of Indiana, District of Kansas
  • Missouri Bar
  • Illinois Bar

Charitable & Civic Activities

  • Board of Directors, Shaw Avenue Children's Center (2004-2014)
  • Regularly handles immigration cases pro bono on behalf of Legal Services of Eastern Missouri