Lieutenant Colonel David L. Beck

Lieutenant Colonel David L. Beck

Knoxville, Tennessee
866-893-8413 (Toll Free)

Lieutenant Colonel Dave Beck has successfully represented numerous military officers and Staff NCOs from all branches of the service in criminal cases and before administrative boards.  He is a former pilot, battalion commander, judge advocate and military judge in the Marine Corps. His military clients have included pilots, lawyers, judges, infantry and artillery officers, doctors and chaplains. Lieutenant Colonel Beck has, throughout his Marine Corps career and civilian practice, been involved in several of the most significant cases in U.S. military history. He successfully defended one the crew members of the Marine Corps jet (1998), which struck the ski gondola cable in northern Italy resulting in the tragic loss to 20 people from 5 different countries. This particular case received months of intensive, widespread publicity, both in the United States and throughout the world. More recently, Lt. Col. Beck had all charges dismissed against his client, one of the two Air Force F-16 pilots who were charged in a case involving international media scrutiny, commonly referred to as the "Canadian Friendly Fire Case", which involved the accidental killing and injuring of several Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.

While then Major Beck was on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, he was selected as chief trial counsel for the National Security Task Force (1987), where he successfully prosecuted the first espionage trial in Marine Corps history, U.S. v. Lonetree, which is the subject of Rodney Barker's critically acclaimed book Dancing With The Devil. That case required the coordination of investigations, witness interviews, and extensive pre-trial procedures in several countries around the world, including the coordination of witnesses from the CIA, NSA, and State Department in Moscow, Vienna, London, and various cities throughout the United States.

Since returning to Knoxville, Lieutenant Colonel Beck has been a frequent speaker on topics related to his areas of practice, as well as to civic groups, athletic teams and other organizations on current events and motivational topics.  He has appeared on numerous local, national and international radio and t.v. programs including: ABC's Prime Time Live with Sam Donaldson on two occasions; Eye to Eye with Connie Chung; American Justice; the Oliver North radio show; The Today Show with Matt Lauer; Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson on two occasions; Nightline with Ted Koppel; CNN American Morning with Paula Zahn; ABC 20/20; CNN International, both radio and television; G. Gordon Liddy National Radio Show; The CBS Early Show with Harry Smith; Fox News Network; Geraldo Live; Court TV with Catherine Cryor; and several British and Canadian television and radio programs.

Lieutenant Colonel Beck earned his B.S. degree from the University of Tennessee in 1971. In 1979, he earned his J.D. degree from the University of Tennessee Law School while attending school as a U.S. Marine Corps Captain on an U.S. Marine Corps Scholarship Program. While in Law School, he was selected for membership in the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society.

His military honors include: Rifle Expert (2nd award); Pistol Expert (5th award); National Defense Service Medal w/ star; Sea Service Deployment Ribbons w/ 2 stars; Letters of Appreciation (2); Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal; Navy Commendation Medal; Meritorious Service Medal w/ 2 stars; Southwest Asia, Defense Medal; Desert Storm Service Medal.

Lieutenant Colonel David L. Beck
Born November 16, 1948 in Atlanta, GA
Grew up in Kingsport, TN
Graduated from University of Tennessee with a degree in marketing.
Commissioned November 11, 1971 at Quantico, VA.

• He was then assigned to Pensacola, FL, and completed Naval Flight Training on Jan 26, 1973.

• He was sent to New River Air Station, Jacksonville, NC, where he was trained to fly the AH-1J Cobra

• While on Med Cruise in 1974, his attack helicopter squadron was called to provide close air support for evacuees of Cyprus when Turkey invaded.

• Also, during this time, his squadron provided aerial protection for the minesweeping of the Suez Canal.

• In 1975, he served as a Basic Prop Flight Instructor in Naval Air Training Command, Pensacola, FL

• In 1977, he applied for and was accepted to the Marine Corps Funded Law Education Program. He attended The University of Tennessee Law School, while serving at Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington, DC, during the summers.

• He graduated fourth in his class in 1979 and was assigned duty at the Law Center at Parris Island, SC, where he served as Judge Advocate..

• In 1980, he attended Military Justice School in Newport, RI

• In 1983, he was assigned one year duty in Okinawa, Japan, and returned to Parris Island where he again served as Judge Advocate for the Marine Corps.

• In 1986, he was assigned duty as Commanding Officer of Support Battalion.

• In 1987, Major Beck, was assigned temporary active duty at Quantico, VA, where he prosecuted one of the highest profile cases in the history of the Marines. Sgt. Clayton Lonetree, represented by famous trial lawyer, William Kunstler, was the first Marine charged and convicted of espionage.

• In 1988, he completed the Military Judge Course in Newport, RI, and was assigned duty as military judge at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC.

• In 1990, Lt. Colonel Beck participated in Desert Shield Saudi Arabia and Desert Storm Saudi Arabia in 1991. "The Navy-Marine Corps Trial Judiciary was the first judicial component of Dept. of Defense on the scene for the Gulf crisis. The Judiciary coordinated efforts with other services and provided Lt. Col. David Beck, USMC, as on-site judicial support as soon as authority to try cases in Saudi Arabia was granted." (excerpt from the Annual Report of the Code Committee on Military Justice)

Litigation Percentage

  • 90% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee, 1980
  • U.S. Federal Courts, 1980


  • University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville, Tennessee
    • J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence - 1979
    • Honors: Phi Kappa Phi
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee
    • B.S., Bachelor of Science - 1971

Representative Clients

  • American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
  • American International
  • Underwriters

Honors and Awards

  • U.S.M.C. Meritorious Service Medal, 3 Awards
  • Navy Commendation Medal, 2 Awards
  • Phi Kappa Phi, University of Tennessee Law School

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Judges Association, Member, 1988 - 1991
  • American Bar Association, Member, 1980 - Present


  • Lambda Chi Alpha
  • Phi Alpha Delta