Dean Brett

Dean Brett is the founding member of Brett McCandlis Brown and Conner who recently retired. Although Dean is fully retired, is no longer a partner, and does not participate in individual cases, Dean still offers advice, wisdom, leadership, and training on matters of ethics, rhetoric (the art of persuasion), and trial advocacy. He still volunteers as a trainer at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and Justice Advocacy Africa.

Dean knew early on that he wanted to be an attorney, and after putting himself through Stanford Law School he created the firm of Brett & Daugert with a fellow classmate who had the same vision. While this firm grew steadily and became one of the premier law firms in Whatcom County, Dean realized that he really enjoyed working with personal injury and wrongful death clients. These cases let Dean use his skills to truly help people move forward with their lives in a meaningful and lasting way.

Why Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases are Different

In his earlier years as an attorney, Dean took on many kinds of cases including business litigation, criminal defense, and employment law, but he found that the most personally rewarding cases were personal injury and wrongful death cases. These types of claims allowed Dean to really get to know his clients and provide the assistance they need to get their lives back on track. He learned that innocent people injured through negligence often experience a sense of powerlessness about their situation, and that his assistance was crucial for his clients get the support they need. Dean enjoyed working closely with his clients and their families, and he got deep satisfaction out of successfully resolving their cases.

Dean’s 40+ Year Track Record

Dean’s years of experience allowed him to efficiently manage his cases to achieve a positive result as quickly as possible. At the same time, Dean’s unwillingness to settle a case for less than its value is the standard practice of all the lawyers who follow in his footsteps at Brett McCandlis Brown and Conner PLLC.


  • Whitman College (B.A., 1968)
  • Stanford University (J.D., 1972)

Admitted to Practice

  • Washington State Supreme Court, 1972
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, 1972
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, 1997
  • Oregon State Bar, 2009

Professional Associations

  • Former U.S. Magistrate Judge (Part-time), Western District of Washington (2005 to 2016)
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Whatcom County Bar Association (President, 1985)
  • Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, now known as Washington State Association for Justice (Member, Board of Governors, 1982-1985)
  • Washington State Bar Association (Local District Counsel to Disciplinary Committee, 1980 to Present)
  • American Association for Justice

What Dean’s clients have to say

“I found Mr. Dean Brett to be well informed and an excellent communicator. He always took the time to answer all of my questions, as well as explaining in detail, what to expect as we moved toward a settlement with my insurance company. I always felt comfortable with his guidance and I trusted him completely. I found Mr. Brett to be easy to talk to and I enjoyed his sense of humor. Watching him at work in my mediation, was a work of art. Before calling Mr. Brett about my auto accident, I asked three local attorneys; what attorney would they use if they were in my situation? All three recommended Mr. Dean Brett. They were absolutely correct!” – Terry

“I was working as a fire fighter paramedic, and was injured off the job in an auto accident. I was pensioned off the fire department, due to the injury, about two years after the accident. This was five years prior to my retirement. The dollar loss in wages and retirement was substantial. Dean and his staff were very professional, caring and successful in recovering the majority of my monetary losses. Dean is a very good communicator. He offers clear advice and reasonable discussions about what approach will work the best in your case.” – Brian

“Dean is that rare attorney with exceptional intelligence, people skills, and a down-to-earth approach to problem solving. I recommend him enthusiastically and without reservation. His handling of my accident case made it possible for me to move forward with replacing my car and with treatment for injuries while he focused on the legal work and dealing with the insurance companies. His paralegal was key to making everything work. She is an unbelievably gifted, super-smart professional who made communications go so smoothly that I never worried about the progress of the case. This review is nothing less than a rave–which is completely deserved. I surely hope I am never again crunched between a truck and another car but if I am ever again involved in an accident I will contact Dean Brett for legal help.” – Virginia

“I have known Dean Brett for a little over 3 years. I was involved in a major automobile accident involving multiple parties. Dean and his staff were unbelievable to work with. Without their expertise in personal injury law I don’t know where I would be today. I spent over a month at Harborview Medical Center and then another 3+ months at a nursing home. Mr. Brett and his staff helped to get all my medical bills paid as well as the best treatment possible for all of my extensive injuries. The lawsuit was tied up for well over 2 years, but in the end I was compensated for my loss. I would like to think nothing like this will ever happen again but if it does I know Dean Brett is who I will choose the represent me.” – Hailey

“In 2002 I was in an auto accident and suffered an injury to my lower back. This injury put my 20-year law enforcement career in jeopardy. When I started looking for a personal injury attorney I wanted somebody I could trust, had a high level of integrity and was the best at what they do. My search ended with Dean Brett and he lived up to his reputation. My case ended up lasting 6 years. Throughout the ordeal, Dean and his staff were focused on my situation, kept me informed and clearly explained my options. Dean is professional, trustworthy and extremely knowledgeable with the process. When my final settlement was reached I also found Dean to be very caring and compassionate. I would highly recommend Dean Brett for any personal injury situations.” – Carr

Reach out to Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner

Contact Paula, Dave, Matt, and Dean if you are struggling with the aftermath of an accident and need some support and advice. They know what you are dealing with now, and they know what you will need to deal with in the future. At Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner, you will know what to expect, you will know what your rights and options are, and you will not have to deal with insurance companies alone.