Doug started his career in Monterey working for a business, real estate, and civil litigation law firm. Despite Monterey’s amazing coastline and community, he could not resist the call of wine country and the opportunity to work with the world-famous growers and winemakers of Napa Valley. Topping it off, Gaw Van Male’s client focus, commitment to community, and family values pulled him in.
Doug’s practice at Gaw Van Male focuses on wine, business, and real estate transactions. His goal is simple – to provide his clients with a straightforward and cost-effective approach to obtaining the desired result. In doing so, Doug utilizes his past experience as a litigator to guide his clients and help them better understand the issues that often surface when deals and relationships do not go as planned. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If I can get my clients from A to B in an expedient but mindful manner, then I have done my job.”
Doug is a native of California with ties to Sacramento, Monterey, and wine country. After high school, Doug attended Sonoma State University where he majored in economics and minored in business administration.
Doug obtained his law degree from UC Davis. While at Davis, Doug bolstered his undergraduate background by taking courses in business formation and governance, finance, real property, and contracts. Following graduation, Doug practiced law for almost three years in Monterey before moving to Napa. “The decision to leave Monterey was difficult but ultimately, I wanted to make a shift from fighting over broken deals to helping my clients start new, healthy, and well-thought-out relationships. I was also excited to enter the field of wine law and learn from attorneys who helped develop and shape one of the most well-renowned wine regions in the world.”
Business, ranging from formation to securities offerings, is the central component of Doug’s practice at Gaw Van Male. From there, Doug works with his clients in negotiating business deals, real estate transactions, leases, viticulture-related agreements, and otherwise navigating tied-house issues.
When he is not practicing law, Doug enjoys working with his hands on home improvement projects, working out, playing softball and tennis, watching football, and enjoying a glass of wine. Doug’s favorite thing, however, is spending time with his wife, Chrissy, and their young son, Decklan.
Areas of Practice
Wine Law | Mergers, Sales, Financing, and Acquisitions | Business Governance and Operations| Real Estate
UC Davis School of Law, J.D., 2013
Sonoma State University, B.A., Managerial Economics, 2009, cum laude and with distinction
State Bar of California
Napa County Bar Association, Member
Honors & Awards
Recipient of the Deborah J. Frick Memorial Law Scholarship for excellence in business