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David Weinstein is the Managing Shareholder of GT’s Tampa office. With over 30 years of experience, David is a “go to” litigator and strategist for high-stakes and complex civil and white-collar litigation, including business, environmental, toxic tort, real estate, land use, health care, and other challenging matters. An accomplished litigator who takes pride in his courtroom advocacy, David also works to help clients find practical and effective out-of-court approaches to their legal issues whenever appropriate. Drawing on his business experience and acumen, David handles a wide variety of matters and enjoys assisting clients with overcoming their most difficult challenges. In the civil context, he represents clients in class actions, mass torts, and other complex litigation. He also represents organizations and individuals in federal and state white-collar criminal investigations. In addition, David assists clients with developing and implementing crisis management, public relations, and other external and internal communications strategies for both civil actions and government investigations. He has significant "first-chair" trial experience in jury and non-jury trials, as well as arbitrations. David also serves as the Chair of the firm’s National Environmental and Toxic Tort Litigation Practice.

David’s versatility and skills are exemplified by his recognition in multiple categories by the most prestigious legal rating services. Both Chambers and Partners USA Guide and The Best Lawyers in America list David in three distinct categories: Commercial Litigation, White-Collar Criminal Defense, and Environmental Law. In 2021, The Legal 500 United States recognized him as one of only four “Leading Lawyers” nationally in “Litigation - Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense: Toxic Tort.” Who's Who Legal describes him as “a distinguished litigator and a well-known name for civil and white-collar disputes.” David is recognized as one of "Florida's Legal Elite" by Florida Trend magazine—which inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 2010. And Florida Super Lawyers has rated David as one of Florida's "Top 100" lawyers seven times.

Ranked in Chambers and Partners USA Guide since 2009, David has been described by clients in the following ways:

  • “[A] really fabulous lawyer . . . well-liked by clients . . . the kind of guy you would want leading the charge if you had a problem.”
  • “[A] stellar reputation” with a “wealth of expertise in high-stakes civil and white-collar criminal disputes. He offers additional strengths in appellate work, healthcare disputes, and wider business litigation. Interviewees report that he ‘has good judgement and is a pleasure to work with.’”
  • “‘[I]ncredibly skilled and adept in the courtroom.’”
  • “‘[A] master litigator not only in the thoughtfulness of his drafting and pre-trial work, but also as a great trial attorney.’ He is recognized for his litigation strength in matters including toxic tort class action cases as well as in criminal environmental cases.”
  • “[A] respected and very skillful lawyer.”
  • “He's top-notch, he's one of the best. If I was accused of a white-collar environmental crime I would use him. He's tenacious, bright and extremely capable.”

David has a long record of service to the legal profession and the community, which include: Member, Board of Directors, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay; Member, Board of Trustees, Straz Center for the Performing Arts; Member, Former Chair and current Co-Chair, Environmental Enforcement and Crimes Committee, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources; and Co-Chair, Criminal Litigation and Enforcement Subcommittee, ABA Environmental Litigation Committee. He is also a member emeritus of the Herbert G. Goldburg-Ronald K. Cacciatore Criminal Law American Inn of Court and a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. A Fourth-Degree Black Belt, David served as the senior instructor of Tampa Moo Duk Kwan, a not-for-profit martial arts club.

David was recently recognized by the Tampa Bay Business Journal as a member of their “Power 100” and in Florida Trend’s “People to Know in Tampa/Hillsborough County.”

Concentrations

  • Business litigation
  • Environmental and toxic tort litigation
  • Real estate and land use litigation
  • White-collar criminal defense
  • Class actions
  • Mass torts
  • Trial and appellate practice

Capabilities

Experience

  • Currently representing international exporter in an action seeking damages of more than $75 million.
  • Currently representing a major national and international real estate developer in multiple cases involving complex contract and real estate issues.
  • Prosecuted claims for a public-sector client in a high-stakes action against an industry-disrupting peer-to-peer vehicle sharing company.
  • Defended a major real estate developer in multiple cases in which a competitor attempted to have a $100+ million luxury apartment complex demolished.
  • Defended an international mining company in an arbitration in which claimant demanded approximately $50 million in damages allegedly due following a force majeure After two weeks of arbitration hearings, claimant dismissed its case against our client, with prejudice, in exchange for an agreement not to seek an award of attorneys’ fees and costs.
  • Prosecuted claims for damages on behalf of a South Korean company against a U.S.-based international importer concerning the importer’s failure to secure and deliver 40,000 tons of petroleum coke from a Russian supplier.
  • Defended a technology company in contract dispute involving the manufacture of industrial battery subcomponents.
  • Represented a technology company in an action involving the misappropriation of trade secrets and related misconduct by former employees and a competing company.
  • Represented homeowners in a dispute regarding the validity of an amendment to an exclusive private waterfront subdivision’s declaration of restrictions. Obtained summary judgment, which was affirmed on appeal, and secured entitlement to recovery of clients’ attorneys’ fees and costs.
  • Defended an international real estate firm in a “10-figure” class action lawsuit regarding the alleged mismanagement of tenant funds from a tenant-in-common structure.
  • Defended national restaurant chain in two statewide class actions in which plaintiffs alleged that the company’s business practices violated multiple consumer protection statutes and gave rise to other causes of action.
  • Defended international media company in a class action concerning rebroadcast rights, including to the Sugar Bowl. Defeated plaintiffs' request for injunctive relief at a highly publicized hearing and plaintiffs subsequently abandoned their claims.
  • Prosecuted claims for damages and rescission of a Station Affiliation Agreement and a Production Services Agreement against a television station affiliate and consummated a favorable settlement in less than two months.
  • Currently representing an international aerospace company in two high-profile mass toxic-tort actions in which plaintiffs allege that emissions from a manufacturing facility contaminated nearby properties and injured persons near the facility. Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief, medical monitoring, and monetary damages.
  • Defended a public utility company in a putative class action brought by residents alleging that emissions from a power plant contaminated approximately 15,000 properties within an approximate 80-square mile area with radionuclides, metals, and other constituents thereby elevating cancer rates. A putative class action that once included more than 30,000 residents has now been dismissed with prejudice.
  • Curd, et al. Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC. Currently defending Mosaic Fertilizer in an action by commercial fishermen alleging damages purportedly resulting from a release of approximately 65 million gallons of process water from a phosphogypsum stack, which was caused by Hurricane Frances. The case involves complex scientific issues in the disciplines of ichthyology, benthic ecology, marine biology, physical oceanography, estuarine science, and commercial fishing economics. Greenberg Traurig prevailed on a motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ claims which the plaintiffs appealed. Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal affirmed the dismissal and held that Florida law did not impose an independent duty of care to protect plaintiffs’ pure economic interests or create a private statutory cause of action for damages when the party seeking recovery does not have a possessory interest in the property allegedly damaged by pollution. The Second District certified these issues to the Florida Supreme Court as questions of great public importance. The Florida Supreme Court ruled that only commercial fishermen—but not restaurants, bait and tackle stores, or other plaintiffs—could proceed with their claims, and remanded the case with a limited, putative class. Later, the plaintiffs filed a motion to join over 100 new plaintiffs to try to convert the case from a putative class action to a mass tort. Mosaic successfully opposed and the plaintiffs appealed. The Second District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court ruling denying joinder. The plaintiffs subsequently sought class certification, which the appellate court reversed in the fourth appeal in this important case. See Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC v. Curd, et al. 259 So. 3d 239 (Fla. 2d DCA 2018)
  • Williams v. Mosaic Fertilizer, et al. Defended Mosaic in federal court in toxic tort litigation in which plaintiff alleged she suffered adverse health effects as a result of airborne exposure to industrial emissions and claimed over $60 million in damages. Prevailed on all claims in the trial court on Daubert and summary judgement motions in a 41-page order and a subsequent order excluding evidence of stigma damages. See Rhonda Williams v. Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC, Case No. 8:14-cv-1748, 2016 WL 7175657 (M.D. Fla. June 24, 2016). Plaintiff appealed the trial court’s decision and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed entry of summary judgment in favor of Mosaic. Williams v. Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC, 889 F.3d 1239 (11th Cir. 2018).
  • Developed multiple Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Continuity Plans for safe operations and return to work for several corporate clients. These plans advise on essential business, and similar government orders and regulations, and are a comprehensive approach to develop policies and strategies for risk mitigation and solutions for the workforce and public. Plans were developed in collaboration with a Ph.D./M.D., a board-certified toxicologist, and certified industrial hygienists as well as labor & employment, government law & policy, and data privacy attorneys.
  • Managed the liability exposure and compliance requirements for the removal and disposal of unexploded ordnance (UXO) from an active construction site in an urban setting for a major national real estate developer. This included managing communications and coordination with local, state, and federal authorities, and a certified UXO contractor; regulatory compliance; and health and safety protocols to reduce associated risks to onsite personnel, nearby residents, and others.
  • Defended an international mining and manufacturing company in complex litigation, which culminated in a multi-week federal jury trial and involved an alleged breach of land reclamation agreements concerning a 2,000+ acre former phosphate mine. Plaintiffs filed a sixteen-count complaint and sought damages in excess of $50 million. The jury returned a split verdict awarding plaintiffs approximately $1.5 million—less than 3% of what they had originally sought. The court subsequently ordered a remittitur, which reduced the damages award by more than $750,000. The case was subsequently settled while on appeal.
  • Defended a steel recycler and an alloy processor in an action filed in the Central District of California involving allegations of offsite groundwater contamination from chlorinated solvents purportedly affecting a nearby school.
  • Defended a chemical company in a mass toxic tort action with more than 1,100 plaintiffs asserting wrongful death, personal injury, medical monitoring, and property damage. Plaintiffs’ claims arose out of alleged contamination of groundwater, surface water, soil, and air in a large area previously mined for phosphate surrounding a facility that manufactured phosphate-based animal feed supplements and other chemical products. Plaintiffs demanded approximately $250 million in personal injury damages, property damages, and medical monitoring. We obtained the entry of one of Florida’s first Lone Pine orders requiring plaintiffs to substantiate their allegations of injury and causation or be subject to dismissal, which resulted in the dismissal of more than 300 plaintiffs. We also employed an offer of judgment strategy that resulted in the dismissal of more than 300 additional plaintiffs through de minimis settlements. The remaining claims were settled pursuant to a confidential settlement agreement, which took more than two years to negotiate and was highly favorable to our client. The action against our client was publicly promoted by environmental activist, Erin Brockovich.
  • Defended a chemical company in a toxic tort action filed in the Middle District of Florida arising from alleged exposure to contaminants that migrated from a chemical processing facility to plaintiff’s potable water well. Plaintiff resided approximately 600 feet from the facility’s property line and 1,700 feet from the phosphogypsum stack and cooling ponds. Plaintiff was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia, which he alleged resulted from drinking contaminated water. Testing of the well in connection with a Preliminary Groundwater Contamination Report registered significant exceedances of gross alpha and radium 226 and 228 in plaintiff’s well. After conducting intensive discovery of plaintiff and non-parties, we prepared and served a proposed Rule 11 motion threatening sanctions based on the absence of specific causation. The matter was subsequently resolved for a de minimis settlement.
  • Defended an environmental justice mass tort brought by the residents of a community seeking damages from an international mining company purportedly resulting from contamination of soil, groundwater, and surface water. GT defended this action without either significant litigation or settlement payment by persuading plaintiffs that GT’s client could not have caused the alleged harm. GT also obtained a voluntary dismissal of cross-claims for indemnification and contribution filed by co-defendant.
  • Defended phosphate company against claims by over 150 plaintiffs arising out of release of approximately 50 million gallons of process water into the Alafia River.
  • Defended an action against a chemical company in which plaintiffs sought to certify a class of individuals who allegedly sustained personal injuries or property damage purportedly caused by discharges of toxic or hazardous substances from the operation of a phosphate and chemical processing facility, or who sought attendant medical monitoring. The trial court denied class certification.
  • Defended international mining company in an action filed in the Middle District of Florida seeking a recovery of past and future investigative, remediation, and removal costs under Section 107 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, a declaratory judgment declaring the rights and duties of the parties under CERCLA, and the recovery of cleanup and management costs under Section 376.313, Florida Statutes. A chemical company disposed of low pH wastewater generated in its production of sodium silico fluoride, potassium silico fluoride, and synthetic cryolite. For decades, the chemical company disposed of this wastewater in an inactive drainfield. In the 1970s it began to dispose of its wastewater 5,000 feet below the site’s surface using a deep injection well. Plaintiff alleged that the international mining company acquired the contaminated property through a series of mergers and acquisitions and that contaminated groundwater had migrated to a neighboring minority community. GT defended the action based on statute of limitations, bankruptcy discharge, and absence of arranger liability. GT prepared and served plaintiff’s counsel with a proposed Rule 11 motion and the action against our client was voluntarily dismissed.
  • Defended major national home builder in a putative class action involving allegations that class members were damaged as a result of purchasing homes located on or adjacent to land formerly used as a U.S. military munitions range during World War II.
  • Sierra Club Sierra Club, et al. v. Army Corps of Engineers, et al. Obtained summary judgment in a federal court challenge to mining at the "Altman Tract," which was filed by the Sierra Club and other environmental groups challenging a Section 404 Clean Water Act permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps.
  • In re Methyl Tertiary Butyl-Ether ("MTBE") Products Liability Litigation, 209 F.R.D. 323 (S.D.N.Y. 2002). Defended ExxonMobil in multidistrict litigation in which injunctive relief sought in Florida alone exceeded $100 million. Class certification was denied.
  • Resolved, through a mutually beneficial business transaction, a federal court action against a chemical company involving alleged groundwater contamination of property adjacent to a chemical distribution facility.
  • Currently representing European financial industry executive in a cross-border conspiracy and tax fraud investigation.
  • Currently representing a European client in connection with a money laundering investigation arising out of the FIFA soccer corruption scandal.
  • Currently representing multi-national manufacturing company in a multi-state federal criminal investigation concerning alleged violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
  • Obtained declination from the Department of Justice for client who had received a target letter in connection with alleged false statements to a federal agent and violations of RCRA.
  • Defended European client against conspiracy charges brought in the Southern District of New York involving offshore banking and attendant tax issues. Client was sentenced to time served, which was less than one day in custody, and a term of probation that he subsequently completed.
  • Represented employees of an international pesticide company, which was the subject of a federal investigation for alleged environmental crimes. The Justice Department pursued criminal charges against the company in connection with catastrophic personal injuries suffered by members of a family who stayed in a resort condominium complex in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The investigation resulted in a plea agreement with the company which included payment of criminal fines, restitution, and a community service project totaling $10 million. None of Greenberg Traurig’s clients were charged.
  • Lead trial counsel in defense of Circuit Court Judge accused of making false statement to the U.S. Air Force. Obtained first defense verdict at trial against Florida’s Judicial Qualifications Commission in over 19 years.
  • Represented individuals in a federal criminal investigation involving alleged Clean Air Act violations in the District of Puerto Rico.
  • Defended Chief Officer of foreign flagged ship in vessel pollution prosecution under federal criminal laws.
  • Represented a multinational corporation in a criminal investigation concerning alleged RCRA violations, as well as civil enforcement involving a proposed penalty of more than $2 million.
  • Represented client in criminal investigation by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation concerning construction incident that resulted in deaths of protected wildlife and destruction of protected habitat. No charges were filed against our client.
  • Represented employees of an international pesticide company in connection with a federal investigation of alleged environmental crimes. Our clients were employees of a company that subcontracted one of its fumigation projects to an independent contractor. The U.S. Department of Justice pursued criminal charges against the independent contractor and two of its employees in connection with personal injuries suffered by a family member who lived in a house that was fumigated. The federal investigation resulted in a plea agreement that included prison sentences for the two employees of the independent contractor that had performed the fumigation. No charges were filed against our clients.
  • Represented senior manager of a chemical plant in a federal criminal investigation arising out of a 20-million-pound chemical release from a Louisiana pipeline.
  • Represented environmental professionals in the federal criminal investigation of the Lake Apopka bird kill. No charges were filed against our clients.
  • Defended client in prosecution for conspiracy to violate hazardous waste laws.
  • Defended a beverage subsidiary of a multinational food service corporation, which was one of 58 named defendants, in action for conspiracy to defraud, RICO conspiracy, fraudulent misrepresentation, and negligent misrepresentation.

Coverage of representations has appeared in Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, USA Today, the Associated Press, CNN, BBC News, the Miami Herald, the Orlando Sentinel, the Tampa Bay Times, Florida Trend magazine, Tampa Bay Business Journal, the Daily Business Review, The American Lawyer, Law360, and other print and electronic media.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, 2005-2022: Commercial Litigation; Litigation - Environment; Environmental Law; and Criminal Defense: White-Collar
  • Listed, Chambers and Partners USA Guide, an annual listing of the world's leading business lawyers and law firms, 2009-2021: "Environment," "Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations," “Litigation: General Commercial”
  • Listed, The Legal 500 United States, 2011-2021:
    • Recognized as one of only four “Leading Lawyers” nationally in Litigation - Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense: Toxic Tort, 2021
    • Litigation - Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense: Toxic Tort, 2011-2014, 2016-2021
    • Listed, Industry Focus - Environment: Litigation, 2016-2021
    • Listed, Industry Focus - Environment: Regulatory, 2018, 2020. 2021
    • Listed, Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense, 2017-2019
    • Listed, Dispute Resolution - Appellate, 2019
  • Listed, Tampa Bay Business Journal, "Power 100," 2021
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Florida Super Lawyers, 2009-2021
    • Listed as one of the "Top 100 Lawyers in Florida" seven times
  • Listed, “People to Know in Tampa/Hillsborough County,” Florida Trend, November 2020
  • Team Member, The American Lawyer, “Florida Regional Litigation Department of the Year,” 2019
  • Listed, Florida Trend magazine, "Legal Elite," 2004-2021
    • "Hall of Fame," 2010-2021
    • "Litigation," 2021
    • "Environmental & Land Use," 2004-2020
  • Listed, Who's Who Legal, 2013-2020
    • Global Leader, Environment, 2013-2020
    • National Leader, Florida - Environment, 2013-2020
  • Team Member, a Law360 "Florida Powerhouse," 2018
  • Recipient, "Excellence in Writing Award," Journal & News Editorial Board, The Florida Bar, 2015
  • Selected, "Who's Who in Business in the Tampa Bay Area," Tampa Bay Business Journal, 2005
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5.0

°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.

  • Member, Board of Trustees, David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts
  • Outside General Counsel, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, 2019-Present 
  • Member, Board of Directors, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay
  • Tampa Bay Economic Development Council
    • Board of Directors, 2018-Present
    • General Counsel, 2018-2020
    • Executive Committee Member, 2018-2020
  • Member, American Bar Association
    • Co-Chair, Civil & Criminal Litigation Enforcement Subcommittee, Environmental & Energy Litigation Committee, 2020-2021
    • Chair, Environmental Enforcement and Crimes Committee, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, 2012-2013
    • Co-Chair, Criminal Litigation and Enforcement Subcommittee, Environmental Litigation Committee, 2009-2015
    • Year in Review Vice-Chair, Environmental Enforcement and Crimes Committee, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, 2015-2020
    • At-Large Vice-Chair, Environmental Enforcement and Crimes Committee, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, 2013-2019
  • Member, State Litigation Advisory Committee, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Litigation Center
  • Member, The Florida Bar
  • Member, Hillsborough County Bar Association
  • Member, District of Columbia Bar
  • Member, The New York State Bar Association
  • Member, Herbert G. Goldburg Inn of Court (Criminal Law)
  • Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member, Defense Research Institute
    • Member, Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committee – Articles, 2021
  • Fourth Degree Black Belt; Senior Instructor, Tampa Moo Duk Kwan (a not-for-profit martial arts club)

Credentials

Education
  • J.D., University of Florida Levin College of Law, 1986
    • Member, Trial Competition Team
    • Member, Florida Blue Key
    • Member, Omicron Delta Kappa
  • B.S.B.A., University of Florida, 1981
Admissions
  • New York
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico