Born in 1954, he attended the University of Kentucky, and graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1980. He began his practice with the law firm of Martin, Ockerman & Brabant and in 1995, formed the firm of Piper, Wellman & Bowers, handling personal injury and complex civil litigation, but concentrating his practice on the defense of hospitals, nurses and physicians in malpractice cases in central and eastern Kentucky. In 2008, he teamed up with Mark Nichols and later Ken Smith to establish the firm of Wellman, Nichols & Smith, PLLC . Current areas of practice include medical malpractice defense; hospital and nursing home defense; medical licensure defense; Medicaid provider appeals; personal injury; and mediation.
Dean holds an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell® as well as his recognition in Best Lawyers®. He was a co-author of the chapter on Hospital Liability in the second, third and fourth editions of Kentucky Health Law, published by the U.K. Office of Continuing Legal Education, and has been a speaker for a number of seminars related to the topic of nursing and hospital liability. He is a current member and former president of the Kentucky Academy of Hospital Attorneys. He is also an experienced mediator and is certified by the Mediation Center of Kentucky.