David Nelmark
David Nelmark

Age 35 | Shareholder, Belin McCormick P.C.

When you learn that David Nelmark wandered into the world of mock trials as a sixth-grader and then consider his stellar record as a law student and attorney, it’s not so surprising that he’s now the president of the American Mock Trial Association. However, he’s also the “Ask the Cage Counsel” columnist, writing for mixed martial arts fans who visit www.MMAJunkie.com. That’s surprising.

Nelmark grew up in Urbandale, graduated first in his class at Drake University – where he received two bachelor’s degrees – and placed in the top 10 percent at Stanford Law School. But that route, classic as it is, wasn’t without its detours. “I lived all over the place for a few years,” he said.

He worked at leadership camps in Boca Raton, Fla., spent summers in Washington, D.C., Arizona, Las Vegas – where he did legal work for a charter school started by tennis star Andre Agassi – and Minneapolis.

Now Nelmark is a shareholder at Belin McCormick P.C., where his work includes litigation, appeals, intellectual property issues and work as a general counsel for a number of businesses and organizations. He has taken appeals to the Iowa Supreme Court, and he founded Belin McCormick’s trademark practice group.

In 2009 and 2011, Nelmark brought the national mock trial championship to Des Moines. He also is a member of the board of directors of the Des Moines Social Club.

As for the mixed martial arts connection, “I know lots of people involved, and I’ve been a fan since ultimate fighting came on the scene in 1993,” he said.

He trains in jujitsu and participates in that discipline’s “grappling league,” but hasn’t gone into MMA. “My wife would object to that pretty strongly,” Nelmark said.

He has been married to Maria, his high school sweetheart, for 13 years. They have a 5-year-old son, Cael.

Five reasons he’s a 40:

• Shareholder at Belin McCormick P.C.

• President of the American Mock Trial Association.

• Member of the Des Moines Social Club board of directors.

• Graduated in the top 10 percent of the 2005 class at Stanford Law School.

• Graduated first in his class at Drake University with two bachelor’s degrees.

Fun Fact:

In college, Nelmark began playing broomball, a variation of ice hockey, and he hasn’t stopped. This past season’s games were played on the Brenton Skating Plaza by the Des Moines River downtown.