David Shank is a commercial trial lawyer who represents plaintiffs and defendants in complex, high-stakes disputes before federal courts, state courts, and arbitration panels around the country. David has represented clients in a wide range of disputes, including securities fraud, breach of contract, trade-secret misappropriation, business breakups, consumer class actions, and even disputes involving rare and valuable art. He has extensive experience examining and cross-examining key witnesses at trial, and has argued and won dispositive and many other motions in court. In addition to work at the trial level, David also has experience handling appeals for his clients.
Prior to joining Scott Douglass & McConnico in August 2015, David practiced with Susman Godfrey L.L.P. Before entering private practice, David served as a law clerk to Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
Recognitions & Awards
Texas Rising Star, a Thompson Reuters business, Business Litigation, 2016.
Associate, Patrick E. Higginbotham American Inn of Court, 2011-2012
Order of the Coif
Teaching Quizmaster, University of Texas School of Law
National Champion, 18th Annual Duberstein Moot Court Competition
Represents a global Internet vacation-rental marketplace defending against multiple class actions alleging fraud, breach of contract, and violations of several states’ consumer protection statutes.
Represented art gallery L&M Arts in its appeal of a breach of contract verdict entered against it, leading L&M’s appellate briefing efforts. The Fifth Circuit reversed the judgment in a unanmious opinion resulting in a take-nothing judgment for L&M.
Represented software company GlobeRanger Corporation in the appeal of a verdict in its favor on a claim of trade-secret misappropriation, taking the lead in briefing GlobeRanger’s appeal. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the judgment in an unanimous opinion.
Represented an owner of a closely held business in bringing claims against the business’s co-owner and several related parties for misappropriting trade secrets and usurping a business opportunity related to a potential rail spur project. The case settled on confidential terms before trial.
Represented a hedge fund against allegations of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty brought by a large institutional investor. The case resulted in a confidential settlement before trial.
Represented an individual in a dispute over the ownership of a rare, highly valuable violin. Not long after filing suit, and without having to engage in any significant discovery or motion practice, David negotiated a confidential settlement for his client.
(prior to joining Scott Douglass & McConnico LLP)
Represented RFID software company GlobeRanger Corporation in its claim against software giant Software AG for trade secret misappropriation. At trial, David handled several key witness examinations at trial, including the direct examinations both of GlobeRanger’s CEO and of its director of engineering, as well as the cross-examination of Software AG’s primary expert witness. At the end of the two-week trial, the jury entered a verdict in favor of GlobeRanger. Texas Lawyer named the verdict to its list of Top 25 Texas Verdicts in 2014 and placed it in the top five intellectual property verdicts for that year. As noted above, the Fifth Circuit later affirmed the district court’s judgment in a unanimous opinion.
Represented New York art gallery L&M Arts in a dispute involving the sale of a Mark Rothko painting, in which the plaintiff asserted claims for fraud and breach of contract and sought over $20 million in damages. David wrote the successful summary judgment motion that resulted in dismissal of the plaintiff’s fraud claim. At the trial of the plaintiff’s remaining breach-of-contract claim, David handled all pretrial evidentiary arguments and the cross-examination of L&M’s co-defendant. At the end of the six-day trial, the jury rejected the plaintiff’s request for a $20-plus million judgment, instead awarding only $500,000 in damages. As noted above, the Fifth Circuit reversed the judgment on appeal, holding that L&M was entitled to a take-nothing judgment as a matter of law.
Represented two wealth managers in defending claims brought by their former employer, Morgan Stanley, and prosecuting their counterclaims in arbitration before FINRA. At the final arbitration hearing in New York, David conducted the primary direct examination in the wealth managers’ case-in-chief and cross-examined the opposition’s key witness—a high-ranking executive and managing director of Morgan Stanley’s wealth management arm. After the three-day hearing, the arbitration panel denied Morgan Stanley’s claims in their entirety and awarded the wealth managers a significant amount on their counterclaims.
In a securities-fraud case involving hundreds of millions of dollars, David prepared the defendants’ successful bench brief on an insider trading claim tried to the bench (which had been separated from the other claims tried to the jury), on which the judge found no liability, eliminating $60 million in potential disgorgement liability.
In a business-breakup dispute between a dot-com retail company and its former manager, David obtained a temporary restraining order ex parte on behalf of the company the day it filed suit for breach of non-competition agreement and breach of fiduciary duty. Shortly thereafter, and without having to conduct any discovery, David helped negotiate and obtain a favorable settlement for the company.
Bar Admissions & Activities
Admitted to the State Bar of Texas, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Texas, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Member, Austin Bar Association, Civil Litigation Section
Member, Austin Young Lawyers Association
Member, Dallas Bar Association
Member, Dallas Young Lawyers Association
University of Texas School of Law, J.D., with honors, 2010
Trinity University, B.A., Economics, Political Science, and Middle Eastern Studies (triple major), 2006
Articles & Presentations
The Common Interest Doctrine (or Lack Thereof) in Texas, Texas Bar CLE Webcast, December 2016 (co-author with Mary Byars)
Ethical Challenges in Preparing and Presenting Witnesses, 40th Annual Page Keeton Civil Litigatoion Conference, October 2016 (co-author with Steve McConnico)
Forget What You Might “Know” About the Texas Attorney Fee Statute, Headnotes, September 2015 (co-author with Omar Ochoa)
Wish List from Chambers: Easy Ways to Improve Written and Oral Advocacy, Texas Lawbook, 2013 (co-author with The Honorable Barbara M.G. Lynn)
Selected Reported Cases
Hoffman v. L&M Arts, 838 F.3d 568 (5th Cir. 2016) (unanimously reversing trial court’s judgment)
GlobeRanger Corp. v. Software AG USA, Inc., 836 F.3d 477 (5th Cir. 2016) (unanimously affirming trial court’s judgment)
GlobeRanger Corp. v. Software AG, No. 3:11-cv-403-B, 2015 WL 3648577 (N.D. Tex. June 11, 2015) (denying post-judgment motions)
Hoffman v. L&M Arts, No. 3:10-cv-953-D, 2015 WL 1000838 (N.D. Tex. Mar. 6, 2015) (denying request for attorneys’ fees)
SEC v. Wyly, 33 F. Supp. 3d 290 (S.D.N.Y. 2014) (rejecting insider trading claim)
GlobeRanger Corp. v. Software AG, 27 F. Supp. 3d 723 (N.D. Tex. 2014) (denying summary judgment)