Dave Bertini is a 34-year law enforcement veteran, ultimately reaching the position of Chief of Police of the Menlo Park Police Department prior to his retirement. He began his career in law enforcement with the Pacifica Police Department where he rose to the rank of Captain in 2008. In 2011, he took a position as Commander for the Menlo Park Police Department, before being appointed as the Chief of Police in 2018.

Dave has been an educator for over 25 years as an Adjunct Professor at the College of San Mateo and a certified police academy instructor. Dave is a graduate of the College of San Mateo and holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Saint Mary’s College. Dave is a Police Officer Standard and Training (POST) certified instructor and is a graduate of the California POST Master Instructor Development Program, a one year intensive program designed to create a cadre of highly trained law enforcement instructors throughout the state. Dave is also a graduate of the POST Command College program and the Senior Management in Policing Program. He also holds a master’s degree in Military History from Norwich University.

After retiring in July of 2020, Dave took a year off to study for the LSAT and applied to GGU School of Law. He was accepted at GGU and began in August of 2021. Dave, who has always had a passion for law and the courtroom, applied for the Summer Trial & Evidence Program (STEP) and was accepted. He took Introduction to Litigation and received the CALI award for his performance and later for his work in the STEP program, which he completed in August of 2022. While taking these courses, Dave exhibited ambition, determination, and quick wit.

Following Dave’s completion of STEP and placing at the top of the class for Trial Evidence & Advocacy, he was hand-selected to take a spot on GGU’s National Trial Team. Based on Dave’s outstanding advocacy skills, he was asked by the Litigation Center Team to compete at not just one, but two competitions during the Fall 2022 semester. The month of October was extremely busy for Dave. He began the month traveling to Florida to compete at the National Pretrial Competition hosted by Stetson University College of Law, where he assisted the team in taking second place.

Dave is currently in an externship with the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office, handling preliminary hearings and motion to suppress hearings as a Certified Law Clerk. Once he graduates in 2024, he intends to stay either in the realm of criminal law or defense of police officers. Dave’s passion for law comes from 25 years of teaching it and 34 years of enforcing it. Dave decided to start a second career defending police officers based on the societal issues swirling the country at the time he retired. His focus is to give back to the amazing profession of law enforcement that he left.

Specializing in Practical Trial Skills

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Director of the Litigation Program


Litigation Center Baxter Fellow