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David Smith

Partner, Chairman
T 215-751-2190
    David Smith, Chairman of the Firm and a member of its Executive Committee, is a partner in the Litigation Services Department. Mr. Smith has more than 40 years of experience handling large and complex litigations, including representation of plaintiffs and defendants in a broad variety of commercial disputes; class action litigation arising out of financial transactions; litigation over control of corporations and partnerships; patent, trademark, trade secret and other intellectual property litigation; professional liability litigation involving claims of attorney and accountant malpractice; securities and antitrust litigation, including service as lead counsel in the defense of multidistrict cases; failed financial institution litigation; real estate workouts and litigation; construction litigation; and representation of debtors and creditors in creditors' rights and bankruptcy litigation.

    AREAS OF EXPERIENCE

    Litigation Practice

    Mr. Smith's representative securities, antitrust, shareholder and professional liability litigation includes:
    • Counsel for acquiring entities in Pennsylvania and federal court class action derivative litigation challenging acquisition of public oil company. 
    • Counsel for acquiring entities in Pennsylvania and federal court class action derivative litigation challenging acquisition of public energy company. 
    • Counsel for defendants in multi-court derivative litigation over the direction of a large, closely-held real estate development company. 
    • Counsel for defendant in Pennsylvania and New Jersey class action litigation challenging amounts charged for copies of medical records. 
    • Counsel for owners of large apartment complex in New Orleans in litigation to obtain replacement cost coverage from insurance carrier.
    • Counsel for mortgage insurer in class action lawsuits for alleged violation of RESPA and FCRA and in various state and federal regulatory matters. All cases won in trial court and affirmed in intermediate appellate court or United States Supreme Court.
    • Counsel for an underwriter defendant in In re: Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation, a multidistrict securities class action in federal court in the Southern District of New York, in which plaintiffs claim that hundreds of initial public offerings and aftermarkets have been manipulated by alleged industry-wide practices.
    • Trial counsel for waste industry defendants in a patent antitrust action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
    • Counsel for attorney-defendants/lead counsel for all defendants in Matthews & Wright Municipal Bonds Securities Litigation, a multidistrict securities/RICO class action in federal court and in related proceedings before the IRS. Assertion: more than $3 billion in municipal bonds were issued improperly for purposes of arbitrage and thus not exempt from federal taxation. Obtained agreements with IRS preserving the bonds’ tax-exempt status and summary judgment dismissing the litigation.
    • Counsel for partners, members and shareholders in numerous lawsuits and negotiations regarding control over or dissolution of closely held businesses.
    • Counsel for the defendant national law firm in professional liability actions in New York and Pennsylvania by limited partners in tax shelter real estate limited partnerships challenging the manner in which the defendant handled the tax court “project” in which the IRS sought to disallow all income tax deductions taken by plaintiffs on account of their limited partnership interests.
    • Counsel to lender-banks and bankruptcy estate of borrowers to investigate and prosecute claims against accounting firms who provided unqualified audit opinions on fraudulent financial statements of borrowers who defaulted on loans, including claims arising out of the Phar-Mor, Nelco and Kent International Associates Ltd. bankruptcies.
    • Lead and replacement trial counsel for Resolution Trust Corporation and FDIC in professional liability and insurance claims brought under FIRREA, which arose out of the failures of Hill Financial Savings Association, Otero Federal Savings and Loan, AmeriFirst Savings Bank and Old Stone Savings Bank, including Resolution Trust Corporation v. Peat Marwick, settled globally for $185 million, and Resolution Trust Corporation v. Deloitte & Touche in the federal court for the District of Colorado.
    • Lead counsel for defendant FDIC Receiver in Hindes v. FDIC, a derivative action brought under FIRREA in federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania relating to the failure of Meritor Savings Bank. Obtained dismissal of all claims against FDIC Receiver.
    • Counsel for United Engineers & Constructors in Washington Public Power Supply System Bond Litigation, a multidistrict securities litigation in federal court in the Western District of Washington alleging that defendants failed to disclose material facts related to the issuance of $2.25 billion of (defaulted) municipal bonds for the construction of nuclear plants in Washington State, including service as coordinating counsel for defendants in defending the damages portion of the case.

    Real Estate and Construction Issues

    Mr. Smith's representative litigation includes:
    • Counsel for real estate developers in disputes involving control over real estate development projects and over the purchase and sale of real estate development projects.
    • Counsel for owners of large apartment complexes in New Orleans in successful litigation to obtain replacement cost coverage from insurance carrier to rebuild the apartment complexes in other locations.
    • Counsel for one of the principal subcontractors in the trial of the cost and schedule overruns in the construction of Liberty II, including the second office tower, the hotel and the retail space.
    • Counsel for architect engineer in the securities litigation involving cost and schedule estimates for the construction of the Washington Public Power Supply System nuclear power plants.
    • Counsel for shipyard in litigation of nine-figure delay and disruption claim in construction of cryogenic tanker fleet.
    • AAA arbitrator for construction claims.
    • Counsel for several Real Estate Investment Trusts and banks in large and complex litigation involving failed or failing resort and major city hotels, motels, apartment complexes and office buildings.
    • Counsel for both active and passive investors in several litigations over the ownership, control, development, management and sale of investment properties located throughout the United States.
    • Counsel for private mortgage insurer in class action litigation in federal courts in North Carolina, Texas and Pennsylvania, involving claims of industry-wide violations of the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. All cases resulted in judgments for defendant and denials of class action certification.

    Representative Litigation for Public Bodies

    Mr. Smith's representative litigation includes:
    • Engaged by City of Philadelphia to defend the right of the City and its development authorities to build the new Phillies and Eagles stadiums. Tried the cases and argued the appeals to a successful conclusion.
    • Engaged by the School District of Philadelphia to defend contract, tort and civil rights claims by an environmental contractor that its contracts were wrongly terminated. Jury verdict for the School District and all individual defendants.
    • Engaged by the School District of Philadelphia to defend class action lawsuit for alleged violation of disabilities laws. Class action claims were stricken and summary judgment then was entered on all individual claims.
    • Engaged by FDIC and RTC to defend and prosecute claims arising out of failure of financial institutions throughout the United States.

    Patents, Trademarks, Trade Secrets, and Technology

    Mr. Smith's representative intellectual property litigation includes:
    • Counsel for physician plaintiffs in successful California litigation involving development of medical devices.
    • Counsel for plaintiff in ProtoComm v. Novell Advanced Services, a dispute over a failed joint venture for the development of a sophisticated computer software product. Plaintiff recovered a jury verdict of $12.5 million, which was affirmed on appeal to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
    • Counsel for major software developer in numerous cases around the United States over whether the implementation of the software met the requirements of the parties' agreements.
    • Counsel for numerous consumer products manufacturers in trademark litigations in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and for the Northern District of California.
    • Trial counsel for waste industry defendants in a patent antitrust action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
    • Counsel for successful plaintiff in litigation in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California involving patents for dental implant technology.
    • Counsel for defendant attorneys in professional liability litigation involving disputes over services rendered with respect to patents for car wash equipment, ph indicator disposable diapers and other patents, all of which were resolved favorably to the attorney-defendants.

    COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

    • American Jewish Committee, Philadelphia/South Jersey Chapter, vice president, 2013-present
    • Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education, president, 2008-2011
    • Jewish Learning Venture, president, 2008-2011
    • Jewish Publication Society, president, vice president, treasurer, 2000-2007
    • Community Hebrew Schools of Philadelphia / Jewish Outreach Partnership, president, 1996-2000
    • Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, board member, 1996-2004, 2008-2011
    • Perelman-Schechter Jewish Day School of Philadelphia, vice president, 1988-2002

    Education

    • University of Miami, J.D., summa cum laude, 1975
    • University of Miami, B.A., 1972

    Court Admissions

    • Pennsylvania
    • Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
    • Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
    • Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

    Bar Admissions

    • Pennsylvania, 1975

    Professional Affiliations

    • The Public Interest Law Center, an affiliate of The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, board member, chair, 1999-2001; board member 2015-present
    • Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, board member
    • American Bar Association Standing Committee on Professional Competence, member, 1998-1999

    Other Distinctions

    • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation, and Real Estate Litigation, 2006-2018
    • Recognized as a "Local Litigation Star" for Pennsylvania in Benchmark Litigation, 2011-2017
    • Noted as a "Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" for business litigation, 2004-2017
    • Recognized by Chambers USA for litigation, 2016
    • Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell®