Still in his 30s, David Moyse has emerged as one of Maryland's most sought-after and successful young criminal defense lawyers, with a strong record across a range of criminal and civil cases. Easy-going, straightforward and astonishingly productive for a courtroom lawyer, Moyse has earned a place quickly in a tough specialty, especially in Maryland, where criminal statutes evolve quickly. Moyse is a name partner at Jezic & Moyse, the fast-growing Wheaton-based firm led by the dynamic and influential trial lawyer Andrew Jezic. ("My relationship with Andy has a lot to do with where I am today - even in my decision to become a lawyer," says Moyse.)
It's not as though Moyse rode a privileged track to the Maryland bar: He's a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and a fifth-generation Louisianian whose great-grandfather practiced law and once served in the Louisiana State Senate. Moyse's father, Herman "Buck" Moyse, is a respected banker there; his mother Janet Doise has "true Cajun roots," he says. (Of course, his surname - French for Moses - got Anglicized to rhyme with "Boyce" once he moved north, but back in Lousiana it's still Mo-EEZE.) Moyse attended Episcopal High School in Baton Rouge and became the first member of his family not to attend LSU; he eventually landed at American University in Washington. "My grandparents made sure we traveled as teenagers, so I was inspired to see more." In fact, the global diversity of AU was "really a life-changing experience." Moyse, eager to remain in Washington, contemplated a Wall Street career, and worked at a Bethesda-based commercial real-estate firm. "I was still figuring out what I wanted to do." But an almost chance encounter - with Jezic and his wife, Amal Bertrand, at Clyde's in Georgetown - changed the direction of Moyse's life: Amal Bertrand had practiced law in her native France, and encouraged Moyse to go to law school. Once he enrolled at Catholic University's law school in D.C., he got a generous job offer in the securities business, and almost took it - but the Jezics, "practically my Washington family," encouraged him to stay. To his own surprise law school became rewarding - "it was based purely on test performance, so I did great" - and he graduated in the top tier of his class.
While in law school, he started working for some well-known names of Montgomery County trial law - former prosecutor Barry Leibowitz, for one - and he later worked a case with Barry Helfand, whose reputation in the Maryland criminal-defense bar has changed little in three decades. "I've feel like I've learned from and worked with the best," says Moyse. Then of course there is Jezic, whose energy and skill led to the launch of their firm today, out of the same Wheaton office where they had once worked with Leibowitz. The firm of Jezic & Moyse today is unique for its beehive-busy atmosphere (they are now 15 lawyers strong), a culture intensified by the firm's sixth-floor office across the parking lot from the Westfield Wheaton Mall.
Moyse manages scores of cases across the criminal defense spectrum: drug possessions, DUIs, theft charges, among others. He is in court in Rockville, Silver Spring or Hyattsville "almost every day." Moyse describes his approach to defending clients as "strategic, proactive and efficient - my clients pay me to solve or minimize their problems." A decade younger than his partner Jezic, Moyse is in a position to be a lead criminal-defense and trial law in the Maryland capital region for years to come.
Away from the office he enjoys traveling, "hanging out with friends" and spending time with his wife, Elizabeth, a Montgomery County prosecutor.