Getting to Know: David Seely

David Seely
David Seely

David Seely

Attorney, Fleeson, Gooing, Coulson & Kitch

Growing up, the new president of the Wichita Bar Association thought he might become a veterinarian.

“Then I discovered I had an allergy to cats,” David Seely says.

Fortunately, he had another career path in mind. Two friends of his family were well-known Wichita attorneys Jack Focht and Cal McMillan, both now retired.

“I was always impressed by what I understood they did.”

Seely, 59, graduated from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1982, then served for two years as a law clerk to Judge Earl O’Connor, chief of the U.S. District Court for Kansas.

He joined Fleeson, Gooing, Coulson & Kitch in 1984 and focuses on civil litigation, especially cases involving oil and gas.

Seely has been active in his profession on a number of fronts, serving on committees, authoring articles and taking an active role in the bar association. He was installed as president of the latter last week and will serve a one-year term.

“The practice of law is not just a job,” he says. “You’re not just doing this for yourself.

“You’re doing it as part of a profession where we ask people to come entrust their problems to us so we can help solve them.”

For that reason, he says, it’s important that lawyers work to improve the court and justice system.

Seely is also active in the United Methodist Church and serves on the board of the Kansas CASA Association, which helps youngsters in the child welfare system. He and his wife, Debra, a former teacher who writes historical fiction for middle school students, have three grown children and one grandchild.

“And we’ve got an old house in Riverside,” he adds, “so I don’t need any other hobbies.”

Joe Stumpe