• A.B. (French), College of Arts and Sciences, Cornell University
  • J.D., School of Law, University of Virginia


State Bar of California

State Bar of New York

American Bar Association
 - Section on Litigation
 - Section on Intellectual Property
 - Forum on Entertainment & Sports Industries (Chair, 2000-02)

Bar Association of San Francisco

Entertainment and Sports Law Section (Chair, 1997-99)


In re Checking Account Overdraft Lit., MDL No. 2036, 674 F.3d 1252 (11th Cir. 2012)

USA Technologies, Inc. v. Doe, 713 F.Supp.2d 901 (N.D. Cal 2010)

Newton v. Diamond, 388 F.3d 1189 (9th Cir. 2004)

Mendler v. Winterland Production, Ltd., 207 F.3d 1119 (9th Cir. 2000)

Dead Kennedys v. Biafra, 37 F.Supp.2d 1151 and 46 F.Supp.2d 1028 (N.D. Cal. 1999)

Systems XIX, Inc. v. Parker, 30 F.Supp.2d 1225 (N.D. Cal. 1998)

Ahern v. Scholz, 85 F.3d 774 (1st Cir. 1996)

Smith v. BIC Corp., 869 F.2d 194 (3rd Cir. 1989)

Record Club of Amer., Inc. v. United Artists Records, Inc., 701 F.Supp. 71 (S.D.N.Y. 1988)

Record Club of Amer., Inc. v. United Artists Records, Inc., 696 F.Supp. 940 (S.D.N.Y. 1988)

Littlejohn v. BIC Corp., 851 F.2d 673 (3rd Cir. 1988)

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David is the managing partner and a co-founder of the firm. He began his career with the esteemed New York trial attorney Louis Nizer. His current practice spans both commercial and class action litigation as well as transactional matters, the latter with a special emphasis on entertainment, technology and intellectual property law.

David has served in several leadership roles in connection with complex class action litigation. over the last several years, he and the firm served as co-team leader and class counsel in class actions involving the overdraft fee practices of three national banks, resulting in cumulative settlements of almost $450 million on behalf of those banks’ customers. In 2012, David was appointed co-lead counsel by two different federal district court judges in class actions involving major record label’s treatment of digital download income in their accounting to recording artists and other royalty participants; one such case recently resulted in an $11.5 million settlement. And he and the firm continue to serve, following their appointment by Federal District Court Judge Jon S. Tigar, as co-lead counsel in class action litigation against Apple and 12 of the nation’s major application developers over the alleged surreptitious harvesting of consumers’ contact information from their iDevices.

As part of his wide-ranging entertainment and music law practice, David has carved out an expertise representing leaving band members, including from such platinum and multi-platinum acts as PAPA ROACH, 4 NON-BLONDES, CAKE, MARILYN MANSON, SOCIAL DISTORTION, HELMET, and RED JUMPSUIT APPARATUS. He has also served as counsel and music industry expert in several high profile rock-and-roll divorces, including those of Jerry Garcia (GRATEFUL DEAD, JERRY GARCIA BAND), Paul DeLisle (SMASHMOUTH), Tre Cool (GREEN DAY), and Lars Ulrich (METALLICA), and has counseled individuals and estates on the disposition of their creative property (i.e., songs, recordings, literary material, visual art, etc.) and royalty interests.

For a two-year term, David served as chairman of the American Bar Association's Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries. He has been a panelist and featured speaker at numerous entertainment, technology and video game industry events. In 2007, he co-chaired with Microsoft's lead in-house copyright attorney the LSI-sponsored Entertainment Technology Law Summit in Seattle. That same year, the American Bar Association chose him to present its annual Presidential Showcase Program, "Privacy, Copyright and Parental Control in the Age of YouTube, MySpace and Beyond." For the last dozen years, he has been a featured speaker at the South by Southwest Interactive/Music Conference in Austin, Texas, on topics ranging from recent developments in music industry litigation to the future of cloud computing

 For four consecutive spring semesters, David lectured in law at the University of California at Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall), where he helped develop and implement the core curriculum for the school's entertainment law class. David has also guest lectured at the law schools of the University of San Francisco, Pepperdineand Stanford University.

For 14 years David served on the board of trustees (including as vice-chairman and chairman) of the Blue Bear School of Music in San Francisco. A highlight of his career remains interviewing the inestimable Frank Zappa at his home studio in Los Angeles for a special issue of the Entertainment and Sports Lawyer on art and censorship.


In re: Checking Account Overdraft Litigation (Multidistrict Litigation). Class action litigation against major US banks for their overdraft fee practices; served as co-team leader and class counsel, obtaining nearly $450 million in settlement proceeds on behalf of banks’ customers.

Rick James et al. v. UMG Recordings, Inc. Serves as co-lead counsel in class action litigation against UMG/EMI over the alleged systematic failure to account properly for income derived from digital downloads and ringtones.

In re: Warner Music Group Digital Downloads Litigation: Served as co-lead counsel; obtained $11.5 million class action settlement following litigation against record label WMG for the treatment of monies derived from digital downloads and ringtones.

Opperman et al. v. Path et al. Serves as co-lead counsel in class action litigation against Apple and a host of App Developers over the alleged surreptitious harvesting of consumers’ contact information. 

Medical Self Care v. NBC. Prevailed on summary judgment in dispute regarding the assignment of almost $10 million in advertising time on the NBC television network.

Black v. Lucasfilm Defended Lucasfilm Ltd. against claims for $4 million in unpaid royalties to plaintiff claiming rights to Raiders of the Lost Ark; settlement entailed dismissal of case and no monies paid.

Dunbar v. Gottwald. Represented songwriters for the pop group THE RUBINOOS in lawsuit against pop superstar AVRIL LAVIGNE and her producer and co-writer Lukasz (“DR. LUKE”) Gottwald for copyright infringement, alleging that the Lavigne/Gottwald song “Girlfriend,” which was a No. 1 worldwide hit song for much of 2007, infringed on The Rubinoos’ 1979 hit song “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend."

Mendler v. Winterland Productions. Defended legendary music merchandise company in copyright dispute with photographer. 

Watts v. Watts. Defended daughters of philosopher/writer Alan Watts in arbitration against claims by disinherited siblings involving rights to Watts's literary works, resulting in award of attorneys' fees and costs. 

Doobie Brothers v. Curcio. Represented the renowned classic rock band THE DOOBIE BROTHERS in suit against promoter and three former members to prevent them from touring and promoting themselves as the "Original" Doobie Brothers; obtained a Preliminary Injunction, an order holding Defendants in contempt of the injunction, and a judgment in excess of $1 million, upheld on appeal. 

Dead Kennedys v. Jello Biafra. Represented the legendary punk rock band DEAD KENNEDYS, achieving "complete victory" in case against band's former front man, Jello Biafra.

Carolyn Garcia v. Estate of Garcia. Represented Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Garcia, ex-wife of the late Jerry Garcia, in lawsuit against Jerry's estate to enforce a property settlement agreement entered into by the late musician and his former wife; following two-week, nationally-televised trial, court awarded Ms. Garcia attorneys' fees and the right to the remainder of the dissolution agreement, totaling more than $4.5 million.


"Music in the Cloud -- A Business and Legal Primer," Entertainment and Sports Lawyer (Winter 2012). 

"Clash of the Titans: Viacom v. YouTube," Daily Journal, (January 25, 2010).

 "A Modern Pandora's Box: Music, the Internet and the Dilemma of Clearing Public Performance Rights," Entertainment and Sports Lawyer (Fall 2008). 

"Online Music Comparisons, A Practical Guide," Entertainment and Sports Lawyer (Fall 2000).

First Amendment Protection for Trademark Use, Practicing Law Institute (1998).

Review of Law and Business of the Entertainment Industries (Third Edition), Entertainment and Sports Lawyer (Spring 1996).

"Plus Ca Change, Plus C'est La Meme Chose": European Coproduction Remains Viable, For Now," Entertainment and Sports Lawyer (Fall 1995).


Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital EconomyDepartment of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force Green Paper Roundtable on Remix, Sampling, and Mashups (July 30, 2014; UC Berkeley Law)

Actions, Reactions and Class Actions: Music Business Litigation. SXSX 2014 (Austin, Texas)

Fast Forward! Protecting and Selling Music in the Digital Age. Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, California Lawyers Association, and Sports and Entertainment Law Society of Berkeley Law (January 2013; UC Berkeley Law)

Run for Cover: The Future of Cloud Commerce. SXSW 2012 (Austin, Texas)

The Impact of Recent Big Music Cases. SXSW 2011 (Austin, Texas)

Is Copyright Law Harming or Helping the Music Industry? Northern California Chapter of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. (February 21, 2011)

Clash of the Titans: Viacom v. YouTube -- Will Copyright Law Undo Google's Internet Juggernaut? American Bar Association Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries (August 6, 2010; San Francisco, CA)

Recent Developments in Digital Copyright Litigation. Bar Association of San Francisco (November 20, 2008)

The Ongoing Transformation of the Music Business: Lessons from the History of New Approaches for Online Distribution and Industry Responses to New Technologies and Players. Entertainment Technology Law Summit (August 16-17, 2007; Seattle, Washington)