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David represents businesses in complex commercial litigation and product liability actions. In addition to prevailing in major cases through dispositive motions, he has tried numerous jury trials to verdict and possesses wide-ranging arbitration experience. A long-time chair of the Miami litigation practice and a current member of GT’s Litigation Executive Committee, David searches for cost-effective and creative strategies to help clients pursue their business objectives.

“A ‘hard-riding litigator’ who ‘has the ability to see through irrelevant facts and focus on what’s important,’ David Coulson receives praise for his ‘excellent courtroom manner’ and for being ‘proactive and very insightful.’ ‘He knows every document. His mastery of the facts is amazing’ and he has been highlighted by sources for his ‘analytical ability and knowledge of class action litigation.’" "Sources appreciate his business-oriented approach and 'ability to think outside the box.'” —Client comments, Chambers USA.


  • Jury trials and arbitrations
  • Class action defense
  • Securities fraud and shareholder derivative actions
  • Product liability, product warranty and consumer fraud defense
  • Professional liability defense
  • Breach of contract, business torts, trade secrets and RICO
  • Franchise, distributor and dealer litigation



  • Defended a financial institution in the Southern District of Florida against a putative nationwide class action alleging RICO and other statutory violations, obtaining dismissal with prejudice after two rounds of motion to dismiss briefing.
  • Defeated a motion to certify class in Florida federal court and obtained dismissals in California, Georgia and Arizona on behalf of an air conditioning manufacturer in a series of putative class actions alleging product defects and asserting warranty breaches and violation of consumer protection laws, including FDUTPA.
  • Acted as one of the lead trial lawyers in a bet-the-company, three-week jury trial defending a Florida sugar cane harvester in a class action brought by sugar cane cutters who alleged they had been paid wages substantially less than what their employment contracts required. Resulting defense verdict was affirmed on appeal.
  • Obtained a dismissal with prejudice of a nationwide consumer class action lawsuit in Jacksonville against a camera manufacturer.
  • Defending a food manufacturer in over a dozen consumer class action lawsuits in venues around the country and thus far attained a summary judgment win, a motion to dismiss win, a defeat of a motion to certify class and a favorable Daubert ruling excluding two damages experts.
  • Defended two different hotel chains in separate class action lawsuits in Miami federal court, obtaining dismissal of nearly all claims which paved the way for individual settlements.
  • Defended a healthcare company in a consumer breach of privacy class action in the Southern District of Florida and prevailed because plaintiffs dismissed claims in the face of the motion to dismiss and the court then dismissed the case with prejudice.
  • Served as Florida defense counsel on behalf of a major corporation against a series of class actions alleging consumer fraud, including violation of FDUTPA. Cases settled.
  • Represented directors of large privately held company in class action case brought by participants in an ESOP alleging ERISA claims and breach of fiduciary duty. Court dismissed 12 of 13 claims and case then settled during mediation.
  • Defended as lead counsel a major public corporation in a nationwide class action in a Miami state court, involving an alleged fee overcharge in a direct stock purchase plan. Case settled.
  • Represented a software company as Florida counsel, defending against several consumer class actions alleging antitrust law violations.
  • Defended a public company and its private equity investor in a high exposure securities fraud case in Orlando brought by a European investor stemming from a private placement and involving alleged misrepresentations related to restatements of past financial statements. Appeal in the case set an important precedent clarifying that reliance must be proven under the Florida Securities Investor Protection Act. Upon remand, case settled shortly before trial.
  • Defending a South Florida based company in a shareholder securities class action.
  • Represented large privately held company and its directors and officers against putative class action lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida. Participants in the company’s ESOP alleged violations of ERISA and federal securities laws. Defeated class certification. Won summary judgment against the largest ($40 million+) of the individual actions in Miami and defeated a $200 million ERISA derivative claim on summary judgment in Atlanta. As to individual plaintiffs, won 10-day jury trial against $2 million claim and lost 6-day jury trial on $1.5 million claim.
  • Defended a public company as lead trial counsel in a class action securities fraud case brought by shareholders in federal district court in Miami. Case settled. Also involved in wide-ranging investigation of related shareholder derivative claims.
  • Defended a major securities brokerage firm against a class action brought by investors in a hedge fund. Case settled shortly before trial.
  • Represented a public company and several officers in a shareholder class action claim alleging securities fraud in the Southern District of Florida. Ended case on a motion to dismiss. Also represented certain officers in related derivative action.
  • Represented a major bank in a securities fraud suit in federal court in Chicago that settled before trial and have either litigated or taken part in investigations of several other securities fraud claims and shareholder derivative actions.
  • Defended, as lead trial lawyer, a large health care company in a $10 million lawsuit in Florida state court related to an asset purchase; defeated fraud claims brought by the seller by prevailing on a motion to dismiss in convincing the trial court that there was no duty disclose to the selling company that the buyer was in negotiations to be sold to another company at a higher multiple.
  • Served as lead trial counsel, defending major investment bank in securities fraud action in federal court in Louisiana brought against it by a regional bank. Case settled after bank's witnesses were forced to admit in deposition that their affidavits about alleged misrepresentations were false. Defended a related RICO action in Louisiana that settled before trial.
  • Defended a Broward County-based appliance manufacturer against a shareholder securities fraud class action as lead trial counsel. Case settled after half of the claims were dismissed by the federal district court.
  • Represented a large financial institution in a series of cases against alleged breach of fiduciary duty and fraud in venues throughout Florida and served as lead counsel in a related putative class action in the Middle District of Florida in Jacksonville. Helped engineer settlements of all claims.
  • Won defense verdict on behalf of automobile manufacturer in a four-week jury trial in a Chicago federal court matter alleging design defects when two men died and one suffered severe brain damage and paralysis after a rollover accident. The plaintiffs sought damages in excess of $23 million. The National Law Journal named this case as one of the top 15 defense verdicts of 1999.
  • Acted as co-lead trial counsel for a specialty tractor (mule) manufacturer in catastrophic injury products liability action brought in Miami state court by a longshoreman who suffered blindness, brain damage and other injuries. Plaintiffs alleged design defects. Case settled four days into the jury trial.
  • Won defense verdict as first chair in jury trial before Chicago federal court on behalf of an automobile manufacturer against a claim that the airbag system in a car was defective and caused severe injuries to the plaintiff in a high-speed accident. An important victory for the automotive industry, it was one of the first cases of its kind to be tried.
  • Won defense verdict as co-lead trial counsel in five-week jury trial for an automobile manufacturer in Wisconsin state court. The plaintiff, an insurance executive, lost control of his car, resulting in a rollover accident that rendered him a quadriplegic. The plaintiff, who sought more than $11 million in compensatory damages and also argued for punitive damages, claimed that his injuries occurred due to a defectively designed roof structure that collapsed during the rollover and a seatbelt system that allegedly inadequately restrained him during the accident.
  • Won defense verdict as first chair in jury trial in Illinois state court in Cook County on behalf of an automobile manufacturer against allegations that its defective vehicle steering system caused a high-speed crash, seriously injuring the driver and her two children.
  • First-chaired arbitration hearing and prevailed against a defective airbag system claim for a line of vehicles.
  • Second-chaired jury trial in Illinois state court in St. Clair County on behalf of a truck manufacturer. The plaintiff claimed that the air brake system on a medium duty truck failed to perform and caused a high-speed accident between his truck and another one, resulting in the death of one driver and serious injuries for the other. Case settled in favor of client during trial.
  • Defended a medical device manufacturer in product liability litigation in state and federal courts.
  • Defended a tire manufacturer in a wrongful death action in state court in Florida.
  • Defended, as co-lead trial counsel, a pharmaceutical company against a high-exposure claim that a defective IUD caused severe injury to a young mother. Case settled before trial.
  • Won seven-day arbitration trial hearing, defending a large accounting firm in a $100 million auditing malpractice case brought by bankruptcy trustee. Also represented the firm in a related proceeding in federal district court in Miami, obtaining a dismissal of all creditor claims.
  • Won summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, as lead trial counsel defending large executive search firm sued by former client, a major hospital, in Miami federal court. In what one article called a "bellwether case" for the search firm industry, plaintiff attempted to hold the search firm responsible for financial losses exceeding $60 million allegedly caused by a CEO who had been presented by the search firm and hired because of alleged misrepresentations about his background.
  • Assisted in defense of accounting firm in a six-week jury trial before a Chicago state court. Plaintiffs sued their former auditor for approximately $35 million in alleged losses. The jury rejected nearly all of plaintiffs' claims and found the accounting firm liable for only about $700,000 in damages. Also participated in defense of accounting firm in auditing negligence claim in Florida state court and have represented accounting firms in other alleged negligence cases and partnership disputes.
  • Represented appliance manufacturer in a five-week jury trial in Miami federal court against its Colombian, Puerto Rican and Venezuelan distributor. The litigation involved multimillion-dollar claims of wrongful termination, breach of contract, antitrust violations, tortious interference, fraud and RICO. The jury's verdict limited the distributor to a fraction of its claimed damages.
  • Represented major telecommunications manufacturing company in a $50 million breach of contract and tortious interference lawsuit in federal court in Chicago against its former Brazilian distributor and joint venture partner. Following extensive discovery in North and South America and the filing of summary judgment motions, the case settled as part of a complex asset purchase transaction.
  • Defended major franchisor in a Texas state court. On the franchisor's counterclaim, it secured a TRO against the owner of two franchises that forced the franchisee to surrender both restaurants. The franchisee then settled on the franchisor's terms. Also represented same franchisor in several actions in Florida.
  • Represented automobile manufacturer in dealership termination. Defeated TRO motion by proving that the dealership, including the principal owner, committed fraud against numerous customers. Case also established precedent to prevent a dealer from transferring dealership rights to a related party in an attempt to circumvent the termination.
  • Defended Canadian technology company against breach of contract, tortious interference, and antitrust action brought by a competitor. Court dismissed the tortious interference claim on Rule 50 motion following a jury trial, and negotiated global settlement of the antitrust and other remaining claims.
  • Represented Canadian technology company in international arbitration against a major competitor and won award on the merits based on tortious interference with contract and violation of FDUTPA. Client awarded fees and costs, which were confirmed by a federal court after a challenge.
  • Served as lead defense counsel for a Chicago-based apartment operator in a multimillion-dollar mass action lawsuit in Florida state court. Engineered an early settlement.
  • Served as lead plaintiff counsel for a lighting manufacturer that sued a group of former employees in Florida state court for stealing trade secrets and breaching restrictive covenants. Resolved case through a settlement.
  • Defended Minnesota-based airport services vendor before Miami federal and state courts against alleged breaches of joint venture agreements and tortious interference surrounding the award of a significant contract at Miami International Airport. Actions settled following mediation.
  • Handled a variety of commercial cases that involved emergency injunction hearings or other evidentiary hearings.
  • Acted as lead defense counsel for specialty telecommunications company in a significant lawsuit brought by a competitor in federal district court in Miami. Prevailed on a motion to dismiss based on an innovative standing argument.
  • Defended an adhesives manufacturer against multimillion-dollar breach of warranty claims brought before St. Louis federal court and a Miami state court. Worked out creative settlements to resolve cases.
  • Second-chaired a complex two-week bench trial for a chemical company against its insurers and won over $100 million to cover bodily injury and property damage claims. Conducted cross-examination of insurance carriers’ fire expert which was cited by the Judge for establishing a key factual predicate that enabled the policyholder to prevail. Have also successfully tried a reinsurance arbitration to a favorable award and have litigated numerous insurance coverage actions.
  • Served as trial counsel in $20 million bet-the-company arbitration proceeding for publicly held equipment manufacturer against major customer claims that breaches of warranty justified termination of long-term supply contract. Assisted in effectuating a business transaction to resolve disputes.
  • Represented a former CEO in an arbitration proceeding involving the valuation and redeeming of restricted stock upon executive’s resignation from the company. Obtained award for executive that placed a value on the stock of approximately $2 million, about four times higher than what the issuer contended.
  • First-chaired jury trial in Illinois state court on behalf of an African American victim of a racially motivated attack. This civil lawsuit claimed assault, battery and violation of the Illinois Ethnic Intimidation Act and was brought against the two defendants after they were acquitted in a criminal court bench trial. Jury found for the client and awarded damages.

Sukcesy i wyróżnienia

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2010-2022
  • Listed, Benchmark Litigation
    • "Local Litigation Star," 2020-2022
    • "National Litigation Star," 2019
  • Listed, Chambers USA Guide, 2012-2021
  • Team Member, a Law360 "Product Liability Practice Group of the Year," 2011 and 2021
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Florida Super Lawyers, 2006-2021
  • Team Member, The American Lawyer’s “Florida Litigation Department of the Year,” 2019
  • Team Member, The American Lawyer’s “Products Liability Litigation Department of the Year,” 2018
  • Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, Best Law Firms Edition, "Law Firm of the Year," Banking & Finance - Litigation, 2017
  • Listed, The Legal 500 United States
    • Product Liability, Mass Tort, and Class Action: Consumer Products, 2016 and 2020-2021
    • Dispute Resolution - Securities Litigation - Defense, 2017-2019
    • Litigation - Securities - Shareholder Litigation, 2013-2016
  • Listed, South Florida Legal Guide, "Top Lawyer," 2011-2016, 2020-2021
  • Selected, Daily Business Review, "Most Effective Lawyer Award"
    • International Litigation, 2019 
    • Class Action Litigation, 2016
    • Business/Securities Litigation, 2007, 2013, 2014 (finalist)
  • Listed, Florida Trend magazine, "Legal Elite," Products Liability, 2007
  • Recognized, The Legal 500 United States, one of the leading lawyers nominated by corporate counsel in Securities Shareholder Litigation: "David Coulson... is praised [by clients] for doing an exceptional job," 2007
  • Recognized, National Law Journal, "Top Defense Wins of 1999," May 2000
  • 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.

  • Board Member, GableStage Theater at the Biltmore, Board of Directors
  • Vice Chair, Jackson Memorial Hospital Foundation, Board of Directors


  • J.D., cum laude, Harvard Law School
  • B.A., magna cum laude, University of Miami
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, 1988-1989
Posiadane uprawnienia
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois