Originally from Hawaii, David has been practicing law since 1986. After gaining plenty of experience successfully representing private companies, public entities, and individuals in a wide range of disputes, David joined forces with Katy Young and Wendy Hillger to found Ad Astra on January 1, 2014.

On a typical day, you’ll find him passionately representing his clients in a trial, mediation, arbitration, deposition, or court hearing. Known for his friendly, calm, and thoughtful professional style, David has always sought out work in smaller, boutique litigation firms where he can collaborate with great trial lawyers and work closely with his clients.

When he’s not at work, David is most likely hiking, cooking, exploring the world of wine, or spending time with his family (including his three grown children).

Admissions
State Bar of California
Northern District of California

Education
J.D., Harvard Law School
Stanford University
‘Iolani School

Representative Matters

Represented plaintiff employee in a lawsuit against her employer for employment discrimination and retaliation claims after she was terminated; two-week jury trial resulted in a plaintiff’s verdict for all of her economic damages and an award for emotional distress, plus prevailing party attorney fees/ costs. Defendant was a security company with more than 5,000 employees nationwide.

Represented large commercial leaseholder in a three-phase bench and jury trial of an unlawful detainer action in San Francisco Superior Court.

Represented beneficiary of an intervivos trust in a three-week fraud trial in Alameda County.

Represented school district defending an attack on the constitutional and statutory validity of a voter-approved parcel tax.

Represented plaintiff-intervenor in an employment discrimination action in federal court under Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Represented defendant in action brought by former business partner alleging malicious prosecution.

Represented defendant in action brought by former business partner alleging fraud and antitrust violations.

Represented defendant school district in proceedings to challenge termination of employment of teacher.

Represented insurer in a coverage dispute with an attorney who sought a defense in an arbitration with his former law partner.

Represented defendant Transit District in one-week bench trial of employment discrimination action under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Represented ship repair company in two-week bench trial of multi-million dollar contract dispute with British Petroleum.

Represented defendant County on retrial of damages in employment discrimination case; one-week jury trial resulted in reduced verdict of $700,000, after first trial had resulted in plaintiff’s verdict of $2.1 million.

Represented plaintiffs in a police brutality case; six-week jury trial resulted in plaintiffs’ verdict of just over $1 million; defended appeal and was reversed; retrial ended in mistrial due to hung jury.

Represented commercial cleaning company in arbitration of breach of contract claims.

Represented software and technology company in one-week jury trial of breach of contract and false promise claims in federal court.

Represented plaintiff in three-week medical malpractice trial in Alameda County.

SuperLawyers, 2005 – present

Top 100 Lawyers in Northern California, 2017 – present

American Bar Association—Litigation Section, Trial Practice and Trial Evidence groups

American Bar Foundation—Life Fellow

Bar Association of San Francisco—Past Chair of the Executive Committee for the Litigation Section

The Edward J. McFetridge Inn of Court—Master Emeritus and Past President

Litigation Counsel of America—Fellow

ProVisors—San Francisco 1

San Francisco Chamber of Commerce

San Francisco Lawyers’ Network

City Club

  1. What is your favorite vacation spot?
    Paris
  2. Any hidden talents?
    Played soccer in college
  3. What’s your favorite quote?
    “Cast a cold eye on life, on death. Horseman, pass by!” —W.B. Yeats epitaph