DAVID L. WALLACE
David Wallace is a high-caliber trial advocate who for years has consistently been nationally ranked by clients and peers among the best in the business. He helps clients get out of legal trouble quickly, steer clear of it with better strategic decision making, and stay focused on the more fruitful aspects of business.
David began his career as a litigator handling tobacco products liability cases, quickly rising to become one of the foremost national trial advocates for several tobacco companies during a period of tumultuous litigation for the industry. A fierce and tenacious advocate in the courtroom with a likeability factor that is invaluable in front of a jury, David has tried cases around the country, including some of the nation’s most inhospitable jurisdictions for corporate defendants. His cross-examination of an adversary’s expert witness in a New York trial was called “searing.” And in a highly publicized case brought by the Department of Justice, the press reported that the government’s key witness “stormed” out of the courtroom following his embarrassment upon David’s cross-examination.
David’s accomplishments include winning two motions for directed verdict in favor of his clients at the close of plaintiff’s case-in-chief — a considerable feat given how rarely such motions are granted (think hen’s teeth). David also has a reputation for using aggressive, inventive advocacy, along with creatively devastating cross-examination skills, to bring litigation to a swift ending.
His pre-trial examination of plaintiff’s liability expert in a landmark New Hampshire product liability case is legendary, and immediately produced a voluntary dismissal. In addition to his domestic trial work, David developed critical medical testimony that led to dismissal of the first tobacco products liability trial ever heard in the U.K., with plaintiff’s causation expert still in the witness box.
Driven by a strong belief that being a litigator is about more than just reactively wrestling disputes to ground, David also proactively leads clients to safer courses of action by coupling lessons gained from decades in the litigation trenches — seeing what works and what doesn’t — with a firm grasp of the client’s story, interests, concerns, priorities, and objectives.
David’s problem-solving approach to lawyering is designed to help clients play a long game that alerts them to the early warning signs of legal trouble, lessens the incidence of disputes up and down the value chain, reduces the likelihood of litigation, and positions them to be able to tell a better story when it does arise.
Based on peer and client review, David has been named a National Star in product liability by Benchmark Litigation, recognized by the International Bar Association’s Who’s Who Legal and New York Super Lawyers for product liability defense, and recommended by The Legal 500 U.S. for consumer products defense.
A Big Law veteran, David began his litigation career at Chadbourne & Parke in 1987, and was admitted to its partnership in 1996. He left that firm with several other partners in 2012 to open a New York office for London-based Herbert Smith Freehills, where he practiced until early 2017.
A product of coastal New England, David graduated from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and earned his law degree as a part-time student in Georgetown Law’s renowned evening program, while holding down a full-time job.
Georgetown University Law Center (Evening Program), J.D., cum laude (1987)
Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, B.S. (1982)
Bar and Court Admissions
Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
District of Columbia, First, Fourth, and Fifth Circuit Courts of Appeal
Memberships & Affiliations
International Association of Defense Counsel
Federal Bar Council
American Bar Association (Dispute Resolution Section)
New York City Bar Association (Product Liability Committee; ADR Committee)
Westchester County Bar Association
Advisory Board, Nanotechnology Law & Business
Defense Research Initiative (2005-2016)
Board of Editors, Product Liability Law & Strategy (2006-2015)
Past Member, International CPR Institute (Product Liability Committee)
“Beyond Bean Counting: How Legal Can Add True Value,” Law360 (Nov. 18, 2016)
“The Transnational Supply Chain Liability Threat,” Corporate Counsel (Aug. 10, 2016)
“FDA Needs to Define ‘Natural’ Food,” Food Processing (Jul. 6, 2016)
“Class Action Commotion and the State of Plaintiff Standing,” Law360 (Apr. 11, 2016)
“Answering a Demand Letter with Mootness,” Law360 (Feb. 24, 2016)
“Plaintiffs Are Coming for Global Company Supply Chains,” Law360 (Feb. 18, 2016)
“On the Modern American Class Action: A Tale of Faux Classes and Fake Imbeciles,” Product Liability Law & Strategy (Sept. 2015)
“EPA Targets Nanotechnology: Hi-Ho, Nanosilver Away?,” 11 Nanotechnology Law & Business 207 (Fall 2014)
“Addiction Postulates and Legal Causation, or Who’s in Charge, Person or Brain?,” J. Am. Acad. Psychiatry & Law 92-97 (Mar. 2013)
“Lawyers, Food and Money,” Product Liability Law & Strategy (Feb. 2013)
“Addiction and Responsibility: Thoughts on the Misuse and Misunderstanding of Addiction in the Courtroom,” 12 Class Action Litig. Rep. 992 (Oct. 26, 2011)
“The Trojan Horse of Modern Consumer Class Actions: Consumer Protection or Corporate Blackmail?,” in Barreau du Quebec, Developpements Recents En Recours Collectifs 1-26 (Montreal: Yvon Blais, 2008)
“Industrial Revolution Redux — Nanotechnology: Law and Business at One-Billionth of a Meter,” Product Liability Law & Strategy (Jan. 2008)
“A Dispatch from America’s Tobacco Litigation Ranks: Primary Assumption of Risk and Personal Responsibility in a Comparative Fault Age,” Zeitschrift für Stoffrecht 85-88 (Berlin, Lexxion 2006)