Originally from Western Pennsylvania, Elliott attended Dallas public schools and received his college education at the American University of Paris and the University of Texas at Austin where he received his BA (Government). He received his Juris Doctor from the Southern Methodist University School of Law in Dallas.

Elliott was the founding attorney of the Dallas Probate Litigation firm Burdette & Rice, PLLC. His practice is now focused on advising clients regarding trust and estate litigation choices as well as assisting his clients in transferring their wealth to their spouse and/or children with an emphasis on asset protection against the risks of later divorce and other financial risks.

Elliott has been rated AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell, the leading national rating service for  attorneys since 1994. He was elected as a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation in 2002. Elliott is a member of the Board of Trustees of the American University of Paris. He serves as “Of Counsel” to the firm.


  • American University in Paris
  • B.A., The University of Texas at Austin
  • J.D., Southern Methodist University School of Law


  • Numerous successful representation of beneficiaries whose rights to their family inheritance were threatened by the wrongful actions of others.
  • Successful representation of an elderly parent defending against the imposition of an unnecessary guardianship sought by one of the parent’s children.
  • Successfully represented adult children in protecting their elderly parent from a private duty caregiver who had taken multiple inappropriate liberties.
  • Aided a family in successfully resisting the premature utilization of a Directive to Physicians regarding termination of a parent’s life.

Community and Bar Association Involvement

  • Served on Board of Trustees of the North Texas Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Dallas, Texas (1994-1998)
  • Served on Board of Trustees of the Dallas Children’s Theatre, Dallas, Texas (2004-2008)
  • Committee Member, Dallas Subcommittee of the State Bar of Texas Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law (1992-1999)
  • Vice Chair and Chair, Solo and Small Firm Section, Dallas Bar Association (1995, 1996)
  • Vice Chair and Chair, Membership and Admissions Committee, Dallas Bar Association (1997,1998)
  • Vice Chair and Chair, Minority Participation Committee, Dallas Bar Association (1999, 2000)
  • Elected as Life Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation (2002)
  • Fellow, College of the State Bar of Texas


Before joining Caldwell, Bennett, Thomas, Toraason & Camp, PLLC, David owned his own probate law practice. Also, before law school, he spent time in the marine transportation industry, including working as a merchant mariner where he piloted a ship through sections of Gatun Lake on the Panama Canal. In his spare time, he likes to fish, camp and learn everything he can about the World War II Pacific Theater.

Awards and Public Speaking

  • American Jurisprudence Award for the Course in Administrative Law
  • Private Bar Involvement Award by Dallas Bar Association and Legal Services of North Texas
  • Speaker, “Litigating Breach of Duty Issues Arising from Powers of Attorney,” Collin County Probate Bar Association, Plano, Texas (November 2012)
  • Speaker, “Remedies for Attorney-in-Fact Misconduct,” Texas State Bar Webinar, Austin, Texas (July 2012)
  • Co-Author, Winning the Battle and the War; A Remedies–Centered Approach to Litigation Involving Durable Powers of Attorney; 64 Baylor Law Review 435 (Spring 2012).
  • Speaker, “Will Contests,” Estate Planning Council of North Texas, Plano, Texas (March 2012)
  • Speaker, “Trustee Liability,” Tolleson Wealth Management, Dallas, Texas (March 2012)
  • Speaker, “How to Prevent Will Contests,” Ameriprise Financial Advisor Radio Broadcast, Dallas, Texas (January 2012)
  • Speaker, “Caregiver Misconduct and Resulting Agency Liability,” Annual Convention of the National Association of Private Duty Care Companies, Las Vegas, Nevada (November 2011)
  • Co-Author and Presenter, “Proof of Facts and Common Evidentiary Problems Encountered in Contested Probate Proceedings,” Seventh Probate Litigation Seminar sponsored by the Tarrant County Probate Bar Association, Fort Worth, Texas (September 2010)
  • Speaker and presented paper at the Dallas Bar Association on multiple occasions on the topic of “Will or Trust–Which is Better for the Client?”