With over thirty years of experience litigating maritime cases in South Carolina, David has tried cases before most of our federal judges and in many counties. Although he cut his teeth in the firm’s P&I practice representing global shipping clients, he has concentrated on recreational boating matters for more than two decades. In doing so, he has represented many major boat builders, personal watercraft makers, and engine and accessory manufacturers, as well as insurers, marinas, boat yards, yacht management companies, and operators. Drawing on his experience and training, David has also assisted many firm clients in reviewing global and regional transportation contracts, evaluating liabilities in the event of losses in transit, and addressing logistics related business disputes. His work has led his peers to consistently include him in The Best Lawyers in America© and to name him Charleston’s “Admiralty Lawyer of the Year” on two recent occasions.

Honors and Awards

  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (BL Rankings) in the fields of Admiralty and Maritime Law, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, 2008 – Present
  • Received the Best Lawyers™ Admiralty and Maritime Law "Lawyer of the Year" award in Charleston, 2014, 2017

Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

  • Carnival Corp. v. Historic Ansonborough Neighborhood Ass'n, 407 S.C. 67, 753 S.E.2d 846 (S.C. 2014).
  • Simmons v. Mark Lift Indus., Inc., 366 S.C. 308, 622 S.E.2d 213 (S.C. 2005).
  • PVD Plast Mould Indus., Ltd. v. Polymer Group, Inc., 31 Fed. Appx. 210, 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 2496 (4th Cir. S.C. Feb. 15, 2002).
  • Petrey v. Cunard Line, 1993 U.S. App. LEXIS 29733 (4th Cir. Nov. 16, 1993).
  • In re Complaint of Bird, 794 F. Supp. 575, 1992 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8179, 1993 AMC 737 (D.S.C. May 29, 1992).  

Bar admissions

1986, South Carolina

Admitted to practice before:

United States Court of Appeals of the Fourth Circuit


  • LL.M, 1986, Tulane Law School: Admiralty 
    • with distinction
    • Maritime Law Fellowship
  • J.D., 1985, Tulane Law School
    • summa cum laude
    • Tulane Honor Scholarship
    • Cuthbert S. Baldwin, Ray Forrester, Robert G. Polack and Ralph J. Schwarz Awards
    • Order of the Coif
    • Associate Editor, Tulane Law Review, 1983-1985
    • First Place – Maritime Law Writing Competition
  • B.A., 1982, College of Charleston: Political Science
    • magna cum laude
    • Palmetto State Fellowship, Outstanding Senior
    • President, Omicron Delta Kappa
    • Pi Sigma Alpha, Harper B. Keller Award
    • Phi Kappa Phi
    • Robert E. Lee Scholarship
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