Tel: 619-573-4488


Business & Commercial Litigation
Employment Law
Strategic Counseling & Risk Management


Duquesne University School of Law, J.D., 2003
The Pennsylvania State University, B.A., Political Science, 1999

David is a founding partner of Dunn DeSantis Walt & Kendrick, LLP. For over two decades, his practice in Southern California has included business and corporate representation, commercial litigation, including class action and employment matters of all types, and professional liability defense. He regularly appears in California trial and appellate courts. He also regularly represents and counsels businesses on strategic, non-litigation and risk management matters.

From 2006-2008, David served as one of six judicial law clerks to Justice Cynthia A. Baldwin of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. In that role, David worked on dozens of majority and collateral opinions, reviewed and recommended the disposition of scores of petitions for allocatur, which is the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s discretionary review mechanism, and attended over 100 oral arguments.

Prior to his clerkship, David practiced in both Pennsylvania and Los Angeles, where he was primarily involved in large-scale commercial insurance coverage litigation.


  • Prosecuted an inverse condemnation claim on behalf of a San Diego restaurant group affected by construction in the Gaslamp District resulting in a substantial settlement for the restaurant.
  • Represented a San Diego-based general contractor in a dispute over delays in a complicated hospital construction project resulting in a large recovery for the contractor along with a waiver of all known and unknown claims against the contractor.
  • Obtained a large recovery on behalf of a disabled Navy veteran who was denied access to a flight by a national airline.
  • Participated in the successful opposition to a motion for class certification of a 1700+ plaintiff class action in which named plaintiffs were independent contractors who claimed to be misclassified employees of a transportation management company. The Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed, and the California Supreme Court denied review.
  • Participated in the successful opposition to a motion for class certification of a large proposed class of property owners who, according to the named plaintiffs, were defrauded by parties involved in a coastal real estate development.
  • Authored a successful motion to dismiss on the basis of forum non conveniens on the basis that California residents could not litigate in California courts claims involving real property located in Afghanistan, resulting in an order transferring venue to the court of Afghanistan
  • Assisted in the defense of a prominent international insurance syndicate facing coverage claims raised by a California-based petroleum company, for damage caused by South American terrorists, under a policy with a war-risk exclusion.
  • Assisted in the successful representation of a Pennsylvania-based petroleum company in a complex coverage and professional negligence action against its insurer and commercial lines broker involving placement of coverage for a risk foreseeable in the petroleum industry.
  • Prepared an analysis of free speech rights for the largest North American retailer of a brand of imported cigars in preparation for an advertising campaign.
  • Defeated trial court defamation claims and subsequent appeals raised by a plaintiff against a California law firm that described trial court victories over that plaintiff in underlying litigation.
  • Assisted in the resolution of a complex coverage dispute and month-long trial in Santa Barbara County, which involved claims for hundreds of millions of dollars in actual and punitive damages to a coastal resort, where the primary issue was application of California’s manifestation-of-damage law.
  • Obtained an arbitration decision in favor of the drummer of a successful musical band against other band members for the value of his share of their general partnership.
  • Authored and won a motion for judgment on the pleadings in an insurance coverage matter in which the critical issue of law was a matter of first impression for the Pennsylvania courts, the decision of which was not appealed.


  • Duquesne University School of Law, J.D., 2003
  • Awards & Activities: Research assistant to nationally-acclaimed constitutional law scholar and author Ken Gormley
  • The Pennsylvania State University, B.A., Political Science, 1999


  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • All Courts of the State of Pennsylvania
  • All Courts of the State of California

Professional Recognition and Awards

  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2021-2024 Best Lawyers in America in the field of Commercial Litigation

Publications and Speaking

David has authored legal articles on topics such as the First Amendment rights of third-party political candidates and an assessment of appellate practice as a distinct legal practice area. He regularly authors articles for the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel’s Verdict magazine.

David has taught advanced legal writing, trial tactics, and litigation tactics courses at multiple law schools, and he has been involved in judging numerous collegiate and law school mock trial and moot court competitions since 2003.

David has been recognized as a Practitioner Contributor to the Abridged 9th Edition of Black’s Law Dictionary.  He volunteers for the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ Pro Bono Program.  David is actively involved in the Penn State and Duquesne University alumni associations and volunteers to counsel students interested in attending these schools.

From 2011 through 2015, David served on the board of directors of the San Diego Defense Lawyers and as the editor of its quarterly publication, The Update.  In 2015, David was recognized in the San Diego Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar” list.

Memberships and Activities

  • State Bar of California
  • State Bar of Pennsylvania
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • The Association of Business and Trial Lawyers
  • Associate, American Inns of Court, The Honorable William B. Enright Chapter
  • San Diego Defense Lawyers
  • Past Delegate, State Bar of California Conference of Delegates
  • American Judicature Society
  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
  • NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association