David Levy focuses his practice on high-stakes commercial and intellectual property disputes. He also counsels clients on litigation avoidance and crisis management. With nearly three decades of experience as a trial and appellate lawyer, he has represented technology, financial services, energy, insurance, manufacturing, and retail clients in US federal and state courts, and before US and international arbitration tribunals. In several of these cases, billions of dollars were at stake. David leads Morgan Lewis’s litigation practice in Houston, and co-leads its worldwide international arbitration team.
David’s intellectual property practice includes handling patent cases, trademark disputes, and trade secret theft matters across the United States. He has a particularly strong track record of defending clients in the Eastern District of Texas in patent litigation matters that have involved a wide variety of hardware, software, wireless, and e-commerce technologies.
David also litigates, tries, and arbitrates complex domestic and international business disputes involving oil and gas issues, fiduciary duty issues, M&A issues, securities issues, and other contractual issues. He also defends companies against class action claims.
David is a frequent speaker and author on litigation, arbitration, and IP topics. He is a former Editor in Chief of The Houston Lawyer magazine and the editor of the book International Litigation—Defending and Suing Foreign Parties in U.S. Federal Courts. David has also written articles for professional journals such as The Advocate, The Corporate Counselor, Getting the Deal Through, The Houston Lawyer, Intellectual Property Litigation, International Litigation News, Law360, National Law Journal, Texas Lawyer, and Texas Transnational Law Quarterly.
David is recognized by his clients and peers in guides that include The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Managing IP (New York and Texas), and IAM Patent 1000. In Chambers USA, a client reported that David “has very good judgment, works cases efficiently and knows our business.” In 2018, Chambers USA reported that David is "very attentive and works very hard to understand us as a client. He is very even-keeled and brings a calming influence to negotiations in litigation matters.” In 2017, Chambers USA reported that David “comes recommended for his knowledgeable IP practice, which includes representing major technology companies in patent disputes. Market commentators confirm that he is a popular choice among clients.” In addition, IAM recognized David as “a powerful weapon in the firm’s arsenal; he is flawless in international litigation – a subject on which he is a published thought leader – and has represented a number of prominent East Asian clients.”
David was also selected for inclusion in the Litigation Counsel of America (trial lawyer honorary society), the BTI Client Service All Star Team, and the Houston International Arbitration Club. His Houston litigation group was recognized by The Texas Lawyer as a finalist in 2014 for Texas Litigation Department of the Year (Large Firm), and by The American Lawyer as a finalist in 2018 for the Texas Litigation Department of the Year.
Complex Commercial Cases
Defended as lead counsel an international manufacturer of drill bits in a lawsuit in Dallas County, Texas, arising out of breach of contract, fraud, and conspiracy claims by its sales agent in Mexico against the company and other owners of the Mexican sales agency. The trial court dismissed the plaintiffs’ case on the basis of forum non conveniens and forum selection provisions in the relevant contracts and corporate documents, and held that Mexico was the appropriate forum for any lawsuit. The plaintiffs appealed to the Dallas Court of Appeals, but when the Court of Appeals denied plaintiffs’ motion to abate the appeal and remand for findings of fact and conclusions of law, the plaintiffs dismissed their appeal.
Defended as lead counsel the trustee of a publicly traded royalty trust in an arbitration brought by a unitholder on behalf of herself and other unitholders, alleging that the trustee had breached its fiduciary duties to the unitholders. In response to a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, the arbitration panel dismissed the claims without prejudice to refile in court. The unitholder then filed in Dallas County state court. The trial court denied the trustee’s special exceptions and pleas to the jurisdiction, but the Court of Appeals in Dallas reversed the judge’s decision and, in a case of first impression, ordered the derivative claims to be dismissed. The unitholder did not re-plead in her individual capacity, so. all claims against David's client were dismissed with prejudice.
Defended as co-counsel a national electronic mortgage registration system provider in a putative class action suit brought by several Texas counties (originally seeking billions of dollars) in the Dallas Division of the Northern District of Texas. The judge denied class certification and subsequently dismissed all causes of action under Rule 12(b)(6) or on summary judgment. The judge’s rulings were affirmed on appeal by the Fifth Circuit. After the ruling by the Fifth Circuit, Bexar County dismissed a similar suit pending in the Western District of Texas.
Defended as co-counsel a major technology company against claims in Dallas County state court brought by former members of a consortium that bid to provide services to the Dallas Independent School District. Payments were suspended, however, when other consortium members were investigated for allegedly violating the program’s bidding rules. The plaintiff consortium members sued six years later, and the Dallas court granted summary judgment because the claims were barred by the statutes of limitations. The Court of Appeals in Dallas subsequently affirmed the summary judgment dismissing all claims of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, tortious interference and civil conspiracy. The Texas Supreme Court then denied plaintiff's petition for review.
Defended a New York-based recruiting firm as lead counsel in a lawsuit in Harris County, Texas, against allegations of breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets.
Represented as co-counsel a large multinational oil company’s subsidiary in Chad in an ICC international arbitration in New York arising out of a catering and maintenance agreement with a UK-based multinational company. The oil company prevailed at the arbitration hearing, and the award was confirmed in the Southern District of New York and affirmed on appeal by the Second Circuit.
Represented as lead counsel a subsidiary of a large Chinese manufacturing company in an employment contract dispute with a former US executive.
Defended as lead counsel a US and Japanese manufacturer of control valves as lead counsel in an alleged theft of trade secrets case in Harris County, Texas.
Represented as lead counsel a pumping systems designer/manufacturer as lead counsel in a theft of trade secrets case in Dallas, Texas, against former employees and a competitor.
Represented as lead counsel major industrial valve manufacturer in an AAA arbitration arising out of a supply agreement dispute.
Defended as co-counsel a large international software company in an alleged breach contract and fraudulent inducement lawsuit in Harris County, Texas, arising out of an enterprise software implementation project.
Represented as lead counsel the Nigerian subsidiary of a multinational oil company as lead counsel in a lawsuit in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas, arising out of a dispute with a subcontractor in Texas.
Defended as lead counsel an executive of a major technology company against an injunction to enforce a non-compete agreement brought in Collin County, Texas, by his former employer.
Represented an industrial pipe company as co-counsel in a declaratory judgment action in federal court in Charleston, South Carolina, over the terms of an option in a shareholder’s agreement. The pipe company’s interpretation of the agreement prevailed at trial.
Represented a Japanese-owned chemical manufacturing company as co-counsel in a Harris County, Texas, lawsuit against a German-based company, arising out of the sale of defective catalysts.
Defended a casino company as co-counsel in federal court in Houston, Texas, against RICO claims by an alleged “compulsive gambler.” The trial court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims, and the ruling was upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Represented an American offshore construction company as co-counsel in an IDCR international arbitration against its Mexican joint venturer.
Defended an engineering firm and its principal as co-counsel in a Harris County, Texas, lawsuit against allegations by a consulting firm for a “finder’s fee.” The defendants prevailed at trial, and the court rendered a take-nothing verdict against the plaintiff. The trial court’s ruling was affirmed on appeal.
Represented as lead counsel a large mortgage servicing company in a breach of contract action in the Southern District of Texas arising out of mortgage defaults. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the mortgage company’s multimillion-dollar claim.
Represented as co-counsel an Alabama-based energy company in a lawsuit in Harris County, Texas, arising out of a dispute over the ownership and royalty payments on coal-bed methane gas.
Represented as co-counsel a national bank in a lawsuit in probate court in Harris County, Texas, against allegations that it had breached its fiduciary duties in connection with administering the estate of the widow of a high-profile celebrity in California.
Intellectual Property Cases
Represented as co-lead counsel a global printing technology company in a multi-jurisdictional patent dispute involving printer, ink cartridge and printbar technologies. Jurisdictions in which patent infringement claims and counterclaims were filed included the Southern District of California, the District of Oregon, the International Trade Commission, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. After less than a year of active litigation, the cases were favorably resolved.
Defended one of the world’s largest technology companies as lead or co-lead counsel in dozens of alleged patent infringement cases in the Tyler, Sherman, and Marshall divisions of the Eastern District of Texas since 2004. The technologies at issue included wireless technologies, computer hard drives, computer graphics chips, computer architecture, and printer networks.
Defended as co-lead counsel a large technology company and a computer network products company in an alleged patent infringement case involving wireless technology that was originally filed in Alabama. The defendants successfully transferred the case to the Northern District of California. After claim construction, the plaintiff stipulated to non-infringement, and appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The Federal Circuit affirmed the trial court's rulings in favor of the defendants.
Defended as co-counsel an electronic equity options market in an alleged patent infringement case transferred from the Eastern District of Texas to the Southern District of New York. The client settled the case favorably after the defendants’ summary judgment motions were filed.
Co-counsel for a computer technology company in an International Trade Commission (ITC) investigation involving wireless technology. Case was dismissed after exchange of expert reports.
Represented a major technology company as co-lead counsel in a declaratory judgment action in the Northern District of California and related patent cases in the Eastern District of Texas involving wireless technology. The litigation settled favorably after jury selection in Marshall, Texas.
Defended a major retailer as co-lead counsel in an alleged patent infringement case in the Eastern District of Texas that involved e-commerce technologies. The client settled the case favorably after jury selection. Tried case to jury verdict for co-defendants.
Defended as co-lead counsel Japanese and Korean technology companies in various alleged patent infringement cases in the Eastern District of Texas involving computer technologies.
Defended a large digital storage company as lead counsel in an alleged patent infringement case in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.
Defended a major technology company as lead counsel in an alleged patent infringement case in the Western District of Wisconsin that involved computer docking station technology.
Defended a pharmacy benefits management company as co-lead counsel in an alleged patent infringement case in the Northern District of Texas that involved billing software.
Defended an Internet technology company as lead counsel in an alleged patent infringement case in the Southern District of Texas that involved streaming video technology. After prevailing on a motion to stay the case pending reexamination of the patents-in-suit, the case was favorably resolved during reexamination.
Defended a nationwide retailer in an alleged patent infringement case as lead counsel in the Southern District of Texas. After prevailing on a motion to stay the case pending reexamination of the patents-in-suit, the case was favorably resolved after reexamination.
Represented a Japanese automobile company as co-counsel in several trademark infringement case.
Defended as lead counsel a reseller of circuit breakers in an alleged trademark infringement case.
Defended as lead counsel a reseller of mobile phone batteries in an alleged trademark infringement case.
Securities Litigation Cases
Represented an executive of a hedge fund manager and the hedge fund management company as lead counsel in alleged fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and misrepresentation case in Dallas County District Court relating to a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. The court dismissed the executive for lack of personal jurisdiction, and the corporate defendant settled favorably before trial.
Defended a regional bank as lead counsel in a securities case involving alleged unauthorized trading. After compelling the case to NASD arbitration, the case was favorably settled.
Defended a broker-dealer as co-counsel in an NASD arbitration where the claimants alleged that they had been sold “unsuitable” securities. The arbitration panel rendered a take-nothing verdict against the claimants.
Defended a large mutual fund company as lead counsel against a claim for unpaid fees/commissions by a former broker-dealer. After the case was compelled to arbitration, the NASD arbitration panel granted summary judgment in favor of the mutual fund company on all claims.
Defended a national bank as lead counsel in a lawsuit in Hidalgo County, Texas, relating to the sale of commercial paper in a Mexican company.
Defended as co-lead counsel a Guatemalan air transport company in a personal injury lawsuit in Travis County, Texas, arising out of a helicopter accident in Guatemala.
Defended as co-lead counsel the parent company of a multinational oil company in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in Texas arising out of a helicopter crash in the North Sea.
Represented as co-lead counsel the Mexican air traffic control agency in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas, McAllen Division, for allegedly causing the crash in Mexico of an air cargo flight, killing crew members and several people on the ground. Claims against our client were dismissed for lack of jurisdiction pursuant to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA).
Consumer Class Action Cases
Defended as co-lead counsel a major technology company in a putative class action lawsuit in the Northern District of California relating to the company’s warranty repair policies. The court dismissed the customer’s claims with prejudice in response to a Rule 12(b)(6) motion.
Defended a nationwide drugstore as lead counsel in a putative class action case in Harris County, Texas, arising out of its photo-processing charges. The plaintiff dismissed the case after minimal discovery and before the class certification hearing.
Defended a major casino company as lead counsel in a putative class action case in Texas, arising out of disputed energy “surcharges.” The plaintiff’s individual case was favorably resolved prior to a class certification hearing.
Represented a Japanese computer company and its US subsidiaries as co-lead counsel in a multibillion-dollar nationwide class action lawsuit in federal court in Beaumont, Texas, arising out of allegedly defective floppy disk drives. A nationwide settlement class was approved, and settlements were also reached with federal and state governments.
Represented as co-counsel a large paper manufacturer in a multibillion dollar environmental dispute against Harris County and the State of Texas in Harris County District Court. The jury returned a take-nothing verdict in favor of the paper company. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court's judgment.
Harvard Law School, 1991, J.D.
University of Texas at Austin, 1987, B.A., Highest Honors/Phi Beta Kappa
US Supreme Court
US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
US District Court for the Southern District of Texas
US District Court for the Northern District of Texas
US District Court for the Western District of Texas
US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
US District Court for the District of Colorado
Judicial intern to Judge Sim Lake of the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas (1990)
Awards and Affiliations
Recommended, Dispute resolution: General commercial disputes, The Legal 500 US (2019)
Ranked, Intellectual Property, Texas, Chambers USA (2010–2019)
Lawyer of the Year, Information Technology Law, Houston, The Best Lawyers in America (2017, 2019)
Recognized, IAM Patent 1000:The World’s Leading Patent Professionals (2017–2019)
Recognized, IP Patent Star and IP Trademark Star – New York and IP Patent Star – Texas, Managing Intellectual Property (2013–2019)
Recognized, Information Technology Law, Houston, The Best Lawyers in America (2011–2019)
Selected for inclusion in the BTI Client Service All-Star Team (2011)
Recognized, Top IP Lawyers, Houston Business Journal (2011)