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Harvard Law School, J.D., magna cum laude; Supreme Court Editor of Harvard Law Review
Harvard College, A.B., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
Supreme Court of the United States, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Judge David Tatel
IP, Media, and Entertainment Litigation
Business Disputes and Litigation
Employment Disputes and Litigation
David is a constitutional, business, and entertainment law litigator who has represented major clients in the television, motion picture, recording, and advertising industries in disputes concerning the First Amendment, copyright, trademark, anti-piracy, and internet issues, idea origination, defamation, rights of publicity, talent contracts, profit participation, employment discrimination, and insurance issues. David also has significant experience in class action and securities litigation, as well as appellate litigation, having handled a wide variety of appeals. David’s appellate cases have been in the U.S. Supreme Court; the D.C., 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 10th Circuits; the California Supreme Court; and the California Court of Appeal.
David received his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Harvard College and his J.D. degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was a Supreme Court Editor of the Harvard Law Review. David served as a law clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court and for Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. David then practiced constitutional litigation with Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In Los Angeles, David was a partner at Irell & Manella LLP and opened his own law practice in 2003. In 2013, while maintaining his private law practice, David served as Visiting Legal Director and Senior Scholar of Law at the Williams Institute, a research institute at UCLA School of Law focusing on sexual orientation and gender identity law and policy. In 2014 and 2015, David served as Constitutional Litigation Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. In that role, he successfully litigated cases seeking marriage equality for same-sex couples in numerous states, including a Tennessee case that was one of the four consolidated cases in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that same-sex couples throughout the nation have a constitutional right to marry.
David has been honored for his civil rights advocacy by numerous organizations. He is a frequent speaker about constitutional issues and has been interviewed on numerous news outlets on constitutional matters and the Supreme Court, including MSNBC, CBS, NPR, and KTLA.
Intellectual Property, Media, and Entertainment Law
- Represented motion picture studios, television studios, and television networks in numerous copyright matters, including DMCA matters.
- Served for several years as outside counsel to a major entertainment corporation regarding its intellectual property rights following the merger of a television corporation and a motion picture corporation.
- Represented a major television production studio in litigation regarding profit participation and advised the studio on drafting its profit participation contracts.
- Successfully defended on First Amendment grounds a major television network, a television studio, and the creators of a hit television series that had been wrongfully sued for defamation and misappropriation of ideas.
- Successfully represented on appeal an Oscar-winning actor against allegations of fraud in connection with cast insurance coverage for a motion picture.
Constitutional and Appellate Litigation
- Successfully defended in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit a jury verdict of more than half a million dollars in favor of a District of Columbia executive whom the District fired in violation of her federal due process rights.
- Serving as Constitutional Litigation Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, successfully represented Tennessee same-sex couples in litigation in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that the U.S. Constitution requires all states to permit same-sex couples to marry.
- Represented civil rights organizations and same-sex couples in litigation in which the California Supreme Court adopted strict scrutiny under the California Constitution for laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation and recognized same-sex couples’ right to marry.
- Successfully represented civil rights organizations in Third and Ninth Circuit litigation resulting in rulings affirming the constitutionality of California and New Jersey statutes that prohibit licensed therapists from attempting to change the sexual orientation or gender expression of minors.
- Successfully represented Orange County, California, public high school students in obtaining the first court order in U.S. history requiring a school district to permit LGBTQ-affirming student club to meet.
- Broad experience representing both businesses and consumers in contract disputes and disputes arising under various consumer protection laws.
- Represented LLCs and LLC members in numerous business disputes and lawsuits, including appeals.
- Defended manufacturer in federal class-action antitrust litigation.
- Defended financial industry executives in numerous high-profile securities lawsuits, including class actions, in federal and state courts.
- Extensive experience representing employers and employees in employment disputes, including trial court and appellate litigation, arbitrations, agency hearings, pre-litigation advising, and negotiation of settlements.
- Successfully defended on appeal a major television network and a California television station against purported employment discrimination claims brought by a former news anchor.
Awards and Honors
- Southern California Super Lawyer for eighteen consecutive years (2006-2023)
- Liberty Award, presented by Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Equality Advocate Award, presented by Equality California
- LGBT Advocacy Award, presented by the ACLU of Southern California
- Defender of Democracy Award, presented by People for the American Way
- Lawyer of the Year, presented by the Orange County Equality Coalition
- Humanitarian Award, presented by Los Angeles synagogue Beth Chayim Chadashim
- Former Board Member, Equality California
- Pro bono litigation for and/or with numerous civil rights organizations, including:
- Equality California
- ACLU Foundation of Southern California
- ACLU Foundation of Northern California
- National Center for Lesbian Rights
- Lambda Legal
- National Women’s Law Center
- California Women’s Law Center
- People for the American Way