After graduating with distinction in economics is from Stanford University, David received his law degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1980. He then clerked for a United States District Judge on the Northern District of California in San Francisco, before moving to Houston in 1981. David has been a civil trial lawyer in Houston since that time. He is a Fellow in the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (“CIArb”). Some of David's legal experience is summarized below.
Over the years, David has handled a wide variety of litigation and arbitration matters. The litigation has ranged from workers comp to antitrust, securities, energy and complex commercial litigation. During his career, his practice was sometimes defense oriented and, at other times, it was plaintiff oriented. At various periods before founding his current firm, David was a partner at one of Houston's largest law firms and practiced at several firms: Fulbright & Jaworski; Greenberg Peden P.C.; Miller Keeton Bristow Brown; Bishop, Peterson & Sharp, P.C.; Beirne Maynard & Parsons L.L.P; and Gunderson Sharp LLP. David has represented and sued Fortune 500 Companies, smaller companies, and individuals. He has handled matters on both sides of the docket in antitrust and securities cases, including class actions. He has also had experience in various types of energy litigation, including most recently representing plaintiffs in royalty underpayment class actions in Kansas, Colorado and Oklahoma. For a number of years, David was in charge of a large toxic tort docket on the defense side and managed a team of lawyers and paralegals that routinely had 30-35 trial settings per month. His experience also includes numerous construction disputes, insurance coverage matters, contract disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims, legal malpractice, representation of securities broker dealers, and representation of plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury cases, including a long running case involving the death or injury of numerous people in a foreign country, application of a foreign country’s law in a state court, and taking of testimony via letters rogatory proceedings in a foreign country. He has handled arbitration matters before the American Arbitration Association, the National Association of Securities Dealers and, as it became known, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the International Chamber of Commerce, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, and ad hoc arbitrations under private agreement. David has drafted arbitration agreements and successfully sued to force arbitrations. For several years, he was on the New York Stock Exchange's approved arbitrator list. Complex conflicts of law issues have arisen in matters various matters that he has handed including one involving ownership of funds transferred by a Swiss power of attorney that survived death under Swiss law and possible application of Swiss, New York or Texas law and another involving a choice not only between Texas and Louisiana law, but between the Louisiana UCC and the law that predated its then recent enactment.
David has tried cases to jury verdict in state and federal courts. He has been arbitration counsel before the ICC, MSRB, NASD/FINRA, and AAA as well as counsel in ad hoc proceedings that did not utilize an arbitral forum. He has also appeared as appellate counsel on briefs in numerous state and federal courts. He has argued numerous motions to trial courts and appeals in both the federal and state system. Of course, David has also been involved in negotiating numerous settlements, both with and without mediation.
In the October 2014 Term, David was co-counsel and at counsel table in the United States Supreme Court argument of Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, 135 S.Ct. 547 (2014). Some other cases (not including arbitrations) in which David was lead or cocounsel include the following: Hershey v. ExxonMobil Oil Corp, No. 07-1300-JTM, 2012 WL 5306260, aff'd inpart and remainder dismissed, Nos. 12–3309, 13–3029, 550 F. App'x. 566 (10th Cir. Dec. 16, 2013)(royalty owners class action); Fitzgerald v. Chesapeake Operating, et. al., Case No. CJ-10-38, 2015 WL 5794007, 5794008 & 5794010 (Beaver County, Okla. Dist. Ct., July 2, 2015) (royalty owners class action); Eatinger v. BP America Production, 2012 WL 4006472 ( D. Kan., Sep 12, 2012), aff'd, 528 Fed.Appx. 859 ( 10th Cir., Jun 27, 2013)(royalty owners class action); Hockett v. Trees Oil Co., 292 Kan. 213, 251 P.3d 65 (2011), as corrected (June 20, 2011)(established that Kansas Conservation Fee could not be deducted by producers from payments to royalty owners); In re U.S. Silica, Co., 157 S.W.3d 434 (Tex. 2005) (representing lead defendant; procedural implications of multiple filings in one judicial district); Piggly Wiggly Clarksville, et. al. v. Mrs. Baird's Bakeries, Inc., et. al., Civil No. 3:95 CV48 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Paris Division (on plaintiffs steering committee; antitrust class action); In re Securities Corporation International, C.A. No. H-99-0280 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas (securities class action); Davis, et. al. v. Universal Maintenance & Construction, Inc., Cause No. 1980-22739 in the 133rd Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas (lead defense trial counsel; 3rd degree burns products and negligent construction case tried to jury verdict); Crown Central Petroleum v. Oiltanking of Texas, et.al., Cause No. 1980-22739 in the 243th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas (lead counsel at trial for defendant electrical contractor, tried to jury verdict); Mescalero Oil & Gas Company, et. al. v. Citizens Gas Supply, et. al, Case No. H-90-575 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas and, later, Case No. 93-25306 in the 11th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas (lead counsel for defendant/counterclaimant in two jury trials concerning an oil and gas joint venture involving sour gas wells, gathering line and take or pay settlement payments); Mitchell, et. al. v. Chevron U.S.A. , 1:86-cv-0185 (represented defendant Fortune 500 engineering and construction contractor in industrial accident death case); Billy Baird v. Valspar, et. al., Case B-86-0667 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division (lead trial counsel for a Fortune 500 engineering and construction firm in double operated back case tried to jury verdict); Atlas Global Group, L.P. v. Grupo Dataflux, 312 F.3d 168 (5th Cir. 2002) (involved only post-trial through 5th Circuit appeal), reversed,Grupo Dataflux v. Atlas Global Group, L.P., 541 U.S. 567 (2004)(case concerned rules regarding diversity jurisdiction in removed cases where jurisdiction was lacking upon removal but would have been proper at time of trial and judgment) and, represented an amicus curiae supporting petitioner in Highland Homes Ltd v. The State of Texas, 448 S.W.3d 403 (2014).
David is admitted to practice in Texas, Kansas, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fifth and Tenth Circuits, and the United States District Courts for the Districts of Colorado, Kansas, and the Eastern, Northern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas. He has also appeared by permission or pro hac vice in proceedings in the Republic of Panama, the States of Tennessee and Oklahoma, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, United States District Courts for the Northern District of Illinois, the Eastern, Northern and Western Districts of Oklahoma, the District of Delaware, and the District of Wyoming. He serves on the Board of Directors of Texas Appleseed and is an Eagle Scout.
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