David Long-Daniels

David Long-Daniels

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Known for his creative approaches to difficult, high-stakes cases, David Long-Daniels, Co-Chair of the firm's Global Labor & Employment Practice and Chair of the Atlanta Labor & Employment Practice, represents clients across the United States in complex labor and employment matters. David has tried more than 50 jury trials and approximately 20 bench trials and arbitrations. He is recognized as a leading defense trial attorney for bet-the-company cases and is frequently named among the very best trial attorneys in Georgia. David handles complex litigation matters of importance, often with sizeable monetary values throughout the country.

David's practice includes the representation of clients in corporate espionage cases and in cases asserting claims under the Fair Labor Standard Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Americans With Disabilities Act, various whistleblower statutes, and other federal and state civil rights and labor and employment matters. A particular focus of David’s practice is representing corporations in class and collective actions. He is also a veteran of the United States Air Force and specializes in litigating USERRA issues. David has defeated class certification in many cases and has tried labor and employment cases in many jurisdictions across the United States.

David has taught labor and employment as an Adjunct Law Professor at both the University of Alabama School of Law and the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. David has also written for the Defense Research Institute, has been quoted in The National Law Journal on current legal matters, and his cross examination has been featured on ABC's "20/20" program. He has served as a moderator on the in-house and outside counsel relationships and other seminars for the National Bar Association.

Concentrations

  • Trial lawyer
  • Labor and employment
    • Class actions
    • Collective actions
    • Employment hiring criteria (validation litigation)
    • Constitutional litigation
    • Harassment litigation
    • Corporate governance litigation
  • ERISA litigation
  • Commercial litigation
    • Franchisee arbitrations
    • Breach of commercial contract and warranty actions
    • Wrongful death actions
    • Corporate espionage actions
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Capabilities

Experience

  • Represented Bartlett Holdings, Inc. (“BHI”) and its subsidiary Power Equipment Maintenance, Inc. (“PEM”) in an action against competitors and former employees for tortious interference with business and contractual relations, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of employee duty of loyalty, and breach of various restrictive covenants. In early 2013, we learned that PEM’s former president and other PEM executives had been using BHI’s and PEM’s confidential information and trade secrets to compete against BHI and PEM and poach customers and employees of BHI and PEM. We investigated the matter and initially filed suit in federal district court seeking injunctive relief and damages. We later dismissed the federal court action without prejudice and filed suit in state court. BHI and PEM initially moved to compel defendants to produce documents they were withholding, though admittedly responsive and not privileged, which the Court granted. Subsequently, BHI and PEM added additional individuals and entities as defendants. The Court thereafter conducted a three-day evidentiary hearing on PEM’s and BHI’s motion for an interlocutory injunction and heard testimony and considered evidence. We have obtained significant discovery rulings against defendants. The case was subject to collateral attacks and successfully litigated in South Carolina, Plymouth Mass and New York. On August 17, 2015 trial commenced before a jury in the Superior Court of Chatham County GA (Savannah). The case was tried for two weeks and the jury deliberated for almost three days before returning a collective Judgment against the defendants for $30 million on September 3. This is the largest verdict in Chatham County Georgia.
  • Represented Anheuser-Busch in a high profile case involving the late baseball great Roger Maris’s family. The family was represented by nationally renowned Willie Gary of the Gary, Williams, Parenti, Finney, Lewis, McNamus, Watson, Sperando law firm. Roger Maris and his brother, Rudy Maris, founded a beer distributing company called "Maris Distributing." Our client terminated its relationship with Maris Distributing, which then sued for breach of contract and defamation. The case was originally tried in 2002 by another law firm. The jury returned a $100,000,000 plaintiff’s verdict on the breach of contract claim, but the court ordered a mistrial on the defamation claim. Barry Richard and David Long-Daniels were brought in on the second trial to try the defamation case. On retrial, Plaintiff demanded $5 billion. The trial, which was widely publicized and contained a potentially inflammatory racial overtone, lasted almost four weeks and involved almost every member of the Maris family. The jury deliberated for two hours, but immediately before the jury verdict was announced, Plaintiffs’ counsel initiated settlement discussions and we settled the case on terms favorable to client. The verdict was sealed by the court.
  • Represented Southeastern Mechanical Services, Inc. (SMS) in a case involving theft of trade secrets and unfair competition brought by SMS against a direct competitor, as well as three former SMS employees who had joined the competitor. SMS alleged that the defendants stole SMS’s trade secrets, violated the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and committed other unlawful acts under Florida law. SMS obtained a TRO and preliminary injunction against all defendants. The injunction ordered Defendants to return all SMS property within 24 hours and enjoined the Defendants from using SMS’s trade secrets or calling on SMS’s customers. It was the first time this judge had recommended preliminary injunctive relief in her more than 20 years as a jurist. Pursuing an aggressive discovery strategy, established that the three former employees had stolen SMS’s computerized trade secrets and used them to expand the competitor’s business into the Florida market, where SMS was located. Discovered that the former employees had secretly funneled customers and corporate opportunities to the competitor while still employed by SMS. The employees and others had also secretly wiped various computers and PDAs in an effort to hide their wrongdoing. Moved for sanctions due to spoliation of evidence, and the court ordered that an adverse inference jury instruction would be given. Immediately prior to trial, the matter settled on favorable financial terms, as well as the defendants’ agreement to extend both the time and scope of the already-sweeping preliminary injunctive relief. All the individual defendants, as well as the CEO, COO, and a division president of the competitor, were terminated during or as a result of this litigation.
  • Defended five executives of a large insurance company against claims for tortious interference with contract asserted by former employee. The employee had previously sued the insurance company for race discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 1981. That case went to trial, which resulted in a complete defense jury verdict. The plaintiff then sued the individuals in Georgia state court. The insurance company was originally represented by another law firm in Atlanta. After conducting no discovery, the insurance company moved for summary judgment based primarily on res judicata. The motion was denied, and the case was set for trial. The case was resolved on the eve of trial.
  • Defended large commercial matter in British Columbia, Canada. The case involved the explosion of an industrial waste-heat boiler allegedly caused by a defective repair to the boiler. The plaintiff alleged that client, which had performed maintenance and upgrades on the boiler in the past, caused the explosion by making the defective repair, or negligently failed to alert the plaintiff to the existence of the defective repair. Plaintiff alleged breach of contract, breach of warranty, and general negligence against client and others, and is demanding more than $28 million in damages.
  • Defended numerous wrongful death actions.
  • Litigated and defended numerous commercial cases involving allegations of bad faith against insurance companies. 
  • Represented a weight-loss franchise and handled several arbitrations involving franchisees.
  • Represented numerous clients in cases involving breach of contract and other commercial disputes.
  • Represented SJAC Fulton IND I, LLC and SJAC Food Groups, LLC, two Zaxby’s franchisees, in Title VII sexual harassment and FLSA misclassification collective action suit brought by former assistant manager on behalf of all similarly situated employees.  After aggressively pursuing discovery, we were able to preclude certification of a collective action and obtained summary judgment on all of the plaintiff’s claims along with an award of costs.  Plaintiff appealed the dismissal of her claims to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.  After pursuing prevailing party attorneys’ fees under Title VII and appellate mediation, we were able to negotiate a settlement and dismissal of plaintiff’s appeal without any award of damages to the plaintiff. Plaintiff agreed to take zero in exchange for Zaxby's foregoing its claims for attorney fees and cost against plaintiff and her counsel. (October 2016)
  • Represented renowned musician Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers in contract, labor and employment, personal injury, and wrongful death litigation related to a train incident that occurred during the pre-production of Midnight Rider, a film based upon Gregg Allman’s life and autobiography, in February 2014. Greenberg Traurig filed for emergency injunctive relief to prevent the director Randall Miller and his production company, Film Allman, LLC, from moving forward with the film. After the cross-examination of Randall Miller, the matter was settled outside of court. Greenberg Traurig was also able to negotiate dismissals with prejudice of three separate wrongful death and personal injury civil actions connected with the incident without any additional costly litigation. Specifically, Greenberg Traurig asserted legal arguments regarding the lack of Gregg Allman’s responsibility and the preclusive effects of workers’ compensation and other employment and tort laws. Several other actions were filed, as listed below. (October 2014)
  • New Process Steel, L.P. v. National Labor Relations Board, 130 S.Ct. 2635 (2010). Represented New Process Steel, L.P., the appellant, in a case before the Supreme Court of the United States challenging an unfair labor practices finding by the National Labor Relations Board. The case involved a labor dispute in which the union wanted to cut employees' pay, vacation and benefits in order to obtain a new contract with client. After the employees rejected the contract and declined to strike, the union filed an unfair labor practices claim with the NLRB alleging that New Process Steel failed to honor its collective bargaining agreement. Client disagreed and opposed the union. Sought review in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal challenging the merits of the NLRB's findings and argued that the board lacked authority to issue the decision because two members did not constitute a quorum. The Seventh Circuit ruled in the NLRB's favor; filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court of the United States. The Supreme Court granted certiorari and subsequently reversed the Seventh Circuit's decision by holding that the NLRB's decision was invalid because the Board lacked authority to issue decisions when there were only two sitting Board Members.
  • Adjunct Law Professor, Labor and Employment Law, Walter F. George School of Law Mercer University, 2004
  • Adjunct Law Professor, Labor and Employment Law, University of Alabama Law School, 1992-2003
  • Adjunct Law Professor, Fair Labor Standards Act, University of Alabama Law School, 2000

Recognition & Leadership

  • Team Member, The Daily Report’s "Georgia Labor & Employment Litigation Department of the Year," 2017
  • Listed,Super Lawyers magazine, Georgia Super Lawyers, 2009-2017
    • "Top 100 Lawyers in Georgia," 2013-2017
  • Listed, Chambers USA Guide, 2007-2017
  • Listed, The Legal 500 United States, Labor and Employment - Labor and Employment Litigation, 2015-2017
  • Listed, Lawdragon and Human Resource Executive magazine, "The Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Lawyers – Top 100," 2017
  • Listed, The National Black Lawyers - Georgia Top 100, 2016
  • Selected, The National Law Journal, "2015 Top 100 Verdicts," 2016
  • Listed, Lexology's Client Choice Award, Employment & Benefits, 2015
  • Listed, Georgia Trend magazine, "Legal Elite," 2006, 2008-2012 and 2015
  • Team Member, The Daily Report’s "Georgia Labor & Employment Litigation Department of the Year," 2015
  • Team Member, a Law360 "Employment Practice Group of the Year," 2011 and 2013
  • Profiled, Who's Who in Black Atlanta, 13th edition, 2011
  • Recipient, Continuing Legal Education Award, Alabama State Bar, 2002
  • Listed, Birmingham Business Journal, "Top 40 Under 40"
  • Listed, Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges & Universities
  • Member, Jason's Honor Society
  • Member, Omicron Delta Kappa
  • Named, The Next Generation of Birmingham Leaders
  • Recipient, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5

AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

  • Alabama State Representative, Eleventh Circuit Judicial Conference
  • Board Member, Compass Bank, Junior Board
  • Board Member, Edward S. Norton, Birmingham-Southern College, Board of Advisors
  • Board Member, Mercer University, Walter F. George School of Law, Board of Visitors
  • Board Member, Operation New Birmingham
    • Chairman, Executive Committee of the Community Affairs Committee, 1996
  • Board Member, UAB School of Education, Board of Advisors
  • Former President, Birmingham Board of Education
  • General Counsel, Atlanta Community Food Bank
  • Member, Alabama State Bar
  • Member, Birmingham Bar Association
    • Chairman, Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, 1997
    • Member, Nominating Committee
  • Member, Birmingham Magic City and National Bar Associations
  • Member, Defense Research Institute
  • Member, Kiwanis Club
  • Member, Panel of Arbitrators and Mediators, National Arbitration Forum
  • Member, State Bar of Georgia
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America, 2009
  • Member, Leadership Alabama, 1998
  • Vice Chair, Birmingham Urban League, 1996-1997
  • Regional Counsel, Southern Division, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., 1996
  • Board Member, Birmingham Festival of Arts, 1995
  • Member, Leadership Birmingham, 1993-1994
    • Program Committee, 1994
  • Junior Board Member, Family and Child Services, 1993

Credentials

Education
  • J.D., cum laude, Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law, 1990
    • Member, Law Review
    • Lewis F. Powell Award for Excellence in Oral Advocacy
    • Phi Alpha Delta Award - Most Outstanding Student (faculty selection)
    • Order of the Coif
  • M.P.A., Valdosta State University, 1985
  • B.S., Culverhouse College of Commerce & Business Administration, The University of Alabama, 1982
Admissions
  • Georgia
  • Alabama
  • Supreme Court of Alabama
  • Supreme Court of Georgia
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York