David Palko is an experienced investigator, decision-maker, and attorney who gets to the heart of matters with efficiency and discretion. Through his work in a diverse array of roles across the public and private sectors, David has developed a keen ability to consider issues from multiple perspectives—a trait that now leads him to approach sensitive matters with balance, tact, and impartiality. 

David began his career as a federal appellate law clerk, a role in which he weighed competing narratives to develop cogent recommendations for case outcomes. From there, David entered active duty in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. His initial military duties involved providing free legal representation to service members, including many who were the subjects of adverse administrative actions. David then transitioned to representing victims of sexual assault as a Special Victim Counsel. In his final role on active duty, David prosecuted crimes occurring on military installations as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney. At Womble Bond Dickinson, David has participated in numerous high-profile investigations, such as employment matters alleging executive misconduct. He has also served in investigatory and decision-making roles in Title IX and sexual misconduct matters for a wide variety of universities. 

In his spare time, David enjoys playing the piano and going for long hikes with his dogs. 


Note, The Risks of Continuing Situation Litigation in Transitional Political Systems: Lessons from the ECtHR to the Constitutional Court of Kosovo, 25 HARV. HUM. RTS. J. 183 (2012)

Representative Experience

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.

  • Conducted numerous investigations into alleged instances of sexual assault at educational institutions, including both university and K-12 settings
  • Examined allegations of inappropriate conduct by a senior executive toward subordinates for a Fortune 500 company
  • Served as a key member of an investigative team evaluating allegations of misconduct by the leader of a large public university
  • Received the Army Commendation Medal for developing a novel statutory interpretation argument that, when presented to the Office of the Judge Advocate General at the Pentagon, led to an Army-wide change in retirement policy favorable to service members
  • Detailed to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of North Carolina, to prosecute felonies and misdemeanors occurring on the Fort Bragg Military Reservation, ultimately serving as counsel of record in more than 470 cases
  • Led Fort Bragg’s implementation of a new program offering free appointed counsel to victims of sexual assault
  • Provided free legal services to soldiers and their families in the areas of military administrative law, debt collection, family law, estate planning, and landlord-tenant law

Prior Legal Experience

  • Law Clerk to the Honorable James A. Wynn, Jr., US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 2017–2018
  • Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of North Carolina, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, 2015–2017
  • Special Victim Counsel, US Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, 2014–2015
  • Legal Assistance Attorney, US Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, 2013–2014
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Michael S. Kanne, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 2012–2013