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Practice Areas

Industries

Education

University of Wisconsin Law School
Madison, Wisconsin
J.D.

University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
B.A., Economics and Political Science

Bar Admissions

Michigan

North Carolina

Wisconsin

Court Admissions

All Michigan state courts

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Litigation Attorney

David is a litigator on Varnum’s Litigation and Trial Practice Team. He handles multimillion-dollar cases and has extensive trial experience in state and federal courts and arbitration forums. He successfully litigates cases involving contractual and partner/shareholder disputes, misappropriation of trade secrets and other intellectual property claims, accounting malpractice and other complex commercial disputes.

David’s courtroom successes include representation of a publicly traded Tier-1 automotive supplier against a Fortune 100 manufacturer concerning the latter’s termination of a merger agreement. After a partial 7-week federal jury trial, he secured a $20 million settlement in the client’s favor – the largest reported settlement in Michigan that year. David also routinely advises and defends large accounting and consulting firms against claims concerning tax and attest services. Among many other successes, he recently obtained a complete dismissal and a substantial six-figure award of attorney’s fees to the accounting firm client accused of malpractice and breach of fiduciary duties. He also frequently represents clients in partner/shareholder disputes concerning contract and shareholder oppression claims and valuation of ownership interests. In his appellate practice, David has argued before the Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan Court of Appeals and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. See a list of representative matters for more detail.

Through his years in trial practice, David amassed advanced knowledge of sophisticated business and financial issues and excels at presenting these matters in a compelling jury narrative. Among his other honors, in 2023, David was named by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a “Go-To-Lawyer” for business litigation, an honor granted to only 25 lawyers in the state.

Experience

Automotive

Successfully represented Tier-1 supplier against Detroit-based OEM concerning OEM’s breach of a supply agreement whereby client created, developed and manufactured highly customized part for flagship OEM vehicle. Following arbitration hearings spanning more than a year, won substantial seven-figure award.

In combined contract and patent dispute, represented large Tier-1 manufacturer of pedal and fluid systems against former owner claiming entitlement to large seven-figure commission stream for use of a patented pedal system component. After aggressive discovery, obtained judgment in client’s favor on vast majority of claims and settled remainder on terms highly favorable to client.

Successfully represented Tier-1 auto supplier in a complex contract dispute concerning defendant’s termination of a merger agreement between these publicly traded companies. After a partial 7-week federal jury trial, secured  $20 million settlement in plaintiff’s favor – the largest reported settlement that year in Michigan.

Successfully pursued and/or defended against numerous damages and injunctive relief suits concerning automotive OEM/Tier-1/Tier-2 supplier disputes.

Business/Shareholder Disputes

Successfully represented minority shareholders against a conglomerate of 100+ real estate construction and development firms. After proceedings in state and federal courts, as well as multi-week arbitration hearings, secured a substantial 8-figure damages award, in addition to a seven-figure award of attorney’s fees.

Represented company against former employee and the employee’s new competing enterprise, in a case involving claims for breach of contract and trademark infringement. Following trial, jury awarded all damages requested by client, including nearly $400,000 in attorney’s fees.

Represented minority shareholder who, along with his partners, owned and built a successful manufacturing company. Provided pre-litigation advice and guidance to the shareholder in navigating a complex operating agreement, with provisions governing a “buy-out” of his shares. When negotiations proved unsuccessful, successfully represented the shareholder in claims for oppression and breach of contract in state court. The matter settled on confidential terms favorable to the shareholder.

Successfully represented Detroit-based printing company in breach of contract case against a Fortune 200 international manufacturer. After presenting opening argument and a single witness, case settled on the first day of trial on terms favorable to client.

Successfully defended and/or pursued numerous partnership and shareholder disputes in state and federal courts regarding minority ownership, valuation of shareholder interests, and shareholder oppression claims in contract and business tort cases.

Accounting Malpractice

Successfully defended consulting and accounting firm against $180 million malpractice claim brought by a Fortune 100 telecommunications company. After extensive discovery and motion practice, court dismissed the vast majority of claims asserted against the client and, in the process, client secured a precedent-setting opinion regarding the scope of an accountant’s liability to non- clients.

Represented accounting firm in case involving tax consulting services and allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and malpractice. Arbitrator awarded client 100% of professional fees owed in addition to attorney’s fees of $450,000.

Defended accounting firm from claims of malpractice and allegations of breach of fiduciary duties. Demonstrated through discovery that all defendant’s claims were meritless and obtained both dismissal of the case and six-figure award of attorney’s fees.

Routinely counsels accountants and accounting firms on a wide array of issues concerning tax, advisory, and attest services.

Intellectual Property

Represented a team of American and German entrepreneurs and engineers and their business venture, a jet engine supplier, in fraud and trade secret actions brought in multiple jurisdictions. Following arbitration hearings, won complete dismissal of all claims and in excess of $300,000 in legal fees to the clients.

Successfully represented a gourmet foods company in a misappropriation of trade secret and unfair competition case against two former employees who stole a trade secret formula for the client’s product. After a week-long trial, jury found the defendants liable for misappropriation and awarded all damages sought by the client. The court subsequently entered permanent injunctive relief protecting the trade secret at issue from future misuse.

Honors and Recognitions

Michigan Lawyers Weekly – Michigan Go To Lawyers for Business Litigation, 2023

Michigan Super Lawyers®, Business Litigation, since 2018

Michigan Super Lawyers® – Rising Stars, 2014-2015

Professional Affiliations

State Bar of Michigan

North Carolina State Bar

State Bar of Wisconsin

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