BA, cum laude, 1968, Williams College; JD, 1971, Tulane University
David Marcello's focus on public law arises from his extensive experience with open meetings and public records, governmental ethics, zoning and municipal law, legislative drafting and agency rulemaking.
During the 1970s, he was statewide coordinator for the Conservation Coalition, the first statewide environmental lobby in Louisiana; founded and directed the Louisiana Center for the Public Interest, the state’s first public-interest law firm; and served as executive counsel to New Orleans Mayor Ernest N. “Dutch” Morial, representing city agencies and employees on public bidding, open meetings, public records, zoning and other public sector legal concerns.
In 1994-95, he chaired Mayor Marc H. Morial’s 40-member Charter Revision Advisory Committee, which accomplished the first comprehensive revision of New Orleans’ Home Rule Charter in the 40 years since its launch in 1954. He wrote about some of the charter changes in "Systemic Ethics Reform" for the Brookings publication Resilience and Opportunity.
As general counsel to the Regional Transit Authority during 1980-87, he handled the RTA's buyout of the formerly private transit system and advised the RTA in its successful campaign for taxing authority. He secured legislation allowing the 1984 World’s Fair to transfer property to the Rouse Corporation for the $60 million Riverwalk development on New Orleans’ riverfront. He later represented Rouse in obtaining an exemption from Sunday-closing laws for Riverwalk.
He also worked as staff attorney for New Orleans Legal Assistance Corporation; legal consultant for an urban planning firm; and counsel for several neighborhood associations. As executive director of The Public Law Center, he runs the Legislative and Administrative Advocacy Clinics and teaches courses on legislation and agency rulemaking, described in his Clarity (Winter 2013) article, “Teaching Plain Language Drafting in a Legislative and Administrative Advocacy Clinic.”
Marcello has taught legislative drafting in Bulgaria, the Dominican Republic, Republic of Georgia, Moldova, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Nigeria, and South Africa. Since 1995, he has organized and conducted a two-week International Legislative Drafting Institute at Tulane Law School.