David’s litigation practice has included trial court and appellate cases, and arbitration matters, representing individual and corporate plaintiffs and defendants from small towns in Kentucky to federal courtrooms in New York, Chicago, Indianapolis and Jacksonville.
In recent years, David’s practice has been concentrated in general commercial litigation, trust and estate litigation, employment-related disputes, insurance and healthcare disputes, and public advocacy and constitutional litigation. David has been retained by numerous other attorneys and area law firms in professional practice matters, and has been engaged as an expert witness in multiple attorneys’ fee matters. David has consistently been included in recent editions of The Best Lawyers in America and Kentucky Super Lawyers.
AV® Preeminent™, Martindale-Hubbell®
The Best Lawyers in America®, 2007-2023
Kentucky Super Lawyers®, 2008-2023
Kentucky Super Lawyers® “The Top 50,” 2012-2020, 2023
Best Lawyers® 2022 Louisville – Insurance Law “Lawyer of the Year”
Best Lawyers® 2020 Louisville Litigation – Trust and Estates “Lawyer of the Year”
Best Lawyers® 2015 Louisville Litigation – Insurance Law “Lawyer of the Year”
Best Lawyers® 2014 Louisville Litigation – Trust and Estates “Lawyer of the Year”
Best Lawyers® 2013 Louisville Litigation – Insurance Law “Lawyer of the Year”
David received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College (A.B., magna cum laude, 1978), and his law school degree from the University of Michigan Law School (J.D., 1982).
- Court Admissions+
David is admitted to the Kentucky bar (1982), and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Sixth and Seventh Circuits, and the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky and the Southern District of Indiana.
- Work Highlights+
In recent years, David’s practice has been concentrated in general commercial litigation, trust and estate litigation, employment-related disputes, insurance and healthcare disputes, and public advocacy and constitutional litigation. David has been retained by other attorneys as an expert witness in multiple attorneys’ fee matters, and he has consistently been included in recent editions of The Best Lawyers in America and Kentucky Super Lawyers.
In general commercial matters, David has worked on a variety of contract, partnership and joint venture disputes, securities fraud and class action litigation, RICO claims, and financial institution disputes.
Significant matters in recent years have included the concurrent representation of three different law firms in separate engagements involving claims of negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, or conflicts of interest; the successful recovery of a substantial attorney’s fee for an attorney/client from her former co-counsel; the successful prosecution of claims for a real estate mortgage broker’s commission; the successful defense of a $30 million contract dispute against the acquirer of healthcare properties; the enforcement of a hedge fund manager’s non-compete agreement in New York arbitration proceedings; and the successful enforcement of partnership buy-out provisions in Atlanta arbitration proceedings. Earlier noteworthy matters include a federal jury trial in Louisville resulting in a $28 million judgment for a corporate client in 2003.
In trust and estate matters, David has successfully represented corporate and individual fiduciaries defending their actions as executors and trustees, beneficiaries challenging trust administration practices, and individuals challenging or defending wills. Significant matters in recent years have included defending the executor and trustee of multiple family estates and multimillion dollar trusts in extensive state court fiduciary litigation; resolving claims against two trust company clients accused of negligence; representing an individual beneficiary challenging the administration of her prominent parent’s estate; and serving as litigation counsel to a financial institution client administering a $30 million estate involving renunciation of spousal rights, sale of majority ownership of a closely-held business, pursuit of malpractice claims against former counsel, and the successful defense of efforts to remove the executor.
In employment-related disputes, David has represented a number of individuals and employers. David has obtained a $500,000 settlement for a state government employee alleging violations of Kentucky’s whistleblower statute; he obtained another $490,000 settlement for a university administrative employee alleging religious discrimination; he obtained complete dismissal of breach of contract and noncompetition claims against the founder of a successful local business; he successfully defended a Kentucky state agency and its Cabinet Secretary from a whistleblower’s claims pursued at three separate administrative and appellate levels; and early in his career he acted as co-counsel in a federal court jury trial for a whistleblower who was awarded a $45 million judgment. Meanwhile, David has advised employees and employers concerning enforcement of noncompetition agreements, and he has litigated wrongful discharge allegations, claims for breach of employment contracts, and disability, civil rights and constitutional law claims.
In connection with insurance matters, David has represented individual and corporate policyholders, as well as insurance agencies and commercial insurers, in disputes and lawsuits involving insurance practices and coverage issues, bad faith allegations, professional liability claims, interpretation of reinsurance treaties, and breach of contract claims. Significant recent matters have included successfully representing corporate and individual policyholders in four separate federal court declaratory judgment actions seeking to confirm commercial insurance coverage.
In the healthcare context, David has represented clients in matters ranging from working to establish a regional managed care organization; defending a statute permitting licensing of a heart surgery practice; advising a statewide nursing association; representing a claims-administration entity in connection with its contractual obligations; and defending commercial claims against the nation’s largest provider of services for people with disabilities.
David has handled a variety of public interest and pro bono matters, including representing the Jefferson County Teachers Association in their successful 2020 challenge of a Tea Party-led tax recall petition aimed at blocking millions of dollars in additional funds for local public schools (now on appeal); currently advising the University of Louisville Foundation in connection with numerous Open Records Act issues; serving as outside counsel for a nonprofit agency which provides residential services to adults with intellectual disabilities; assisting with the citizenship application for multiple immigrants through Kentucky Refugee Ministries; acting as the prosecutor retained by the Louisville Metro Council in 2013 to pursue censure and removal charges against a Council member because of personal financial improprieties; serving as co-counsel in a successful First Amendment challenge to a Bar Association reprimand of a Kentucky attorney who had publicly criticized the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission, Berry v. Schmitt, 688 F.3d 290 (6th Cir. 2012); successfully challenging the constitutionality of state funding for a private religious college, University of the Cumberlands v. Pennybacker, 308 S.W.3d 668 (Ky. 2010); pursuing an Open Records Act challenge on behalf of the Council on Developmental Disabilities against a state agency; and successfully defending the LGBT Fairness Campaign in Louisville from allegations of an unlawful political boycott from 1994-98.
- Community & Personal Activities+
David has served as chairman or president and member on a number of nonprofit community boards. In September 2021, he began a two-year term as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Louisville, a regional nonprofit with more than $800 million in assets. David has also served as chairman of the Nominating Committee and member of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, and as Board Chairman and long-time Board member of Teach Kentucky, which recruits new teachers to area public schools. From 2002 until 2006, David served on the Kentucky Board of Education, where he was chairman of the Audit Committee and a committee overseeing the Kentucky Schools for the Blind and Deaf.
David is married to a retired clinical psychologist and has two adult children, a public middle-school teacher living in Louisville, and a software engineer living in Berkeley, CA.