David R. Carpenter
DAVID R. CARPENTER is a litigation partner and member of Sidley’s Supreme Court and Appellate practice group. A critical briefing specialist for complex cases, David’s expansive practice cuts across substantive areas of law and has included significant work in the life sciences, financial services, consumer products, and entertainment industries. David has participated in merits, petition, and amicus briefing before the Supreme Court and has significant experience on appeal and at the trial court level in:
- The defense of class actions alleging consumer fraud/unfair competition claims, and wage-and-hour claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state law;
- Constitutional issues arising in commercial cases, such as federal preemption, the First Amendment protection of Commercial Speech, and Fifth Amendment takings issues, as well as federal removal, jurisdiction, and standing issues;
- Advising clients on post-trial motions, the shaping of litigation strategy to preserve issues for appeal, and the enforcement of arbitration agreements and other alternative dispute resolution procedures.
The following are illustrative of David’s breadth of practice on appeal, in resolving cases on motions to dismiss or summary judgment, and in opposing class certification or obtaining decertification:
Recent Supreme Court Matters
- Represented respondent (pro bono) in Kerry v. Din (2015), raising the issues of (1) whether a U.S. citizen’s constitutional rights are implicated by the denial of a visa to her spouse to allow them to live together in the U.S.; and (2) if the U.S. citizen has standing to sue, what is the scope of review and level of information required to sustain the denial.
- Represented The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights in an amicus brief in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action (2014), involving an equal protection challenge to a Michigan ballot initiative (known as “Proposal 2”), which amended the state constitution to prohibit affirmative action in education. Thirty-one advocacy organizations joined as signatories to Sidley’s brief.
Representative Class Action Experience (Trial Court and Appellate)
- Represented a pharmaceutical manufacturer in the trial court and on appeal in a series of nationwide and statewide class actions challenging the marketing of a prescription drug. Successfully obtained dismissal of the last pending case. Teamsters v. AstraZeneca Pharm. L.P. (Del. Super. Ct. 2015). Two prior cases were also dismissed on the pleadings and affirmed on appeal, Depriest v. AstraZeneca Pharms. L.P., (Ark. 2009), Prohias v. AstraZeneca Pharm., L.P., (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2007). In another case, summary judgment was granted and class certification was denied. Weiss v. AstraZeneca Pharm. (Cal. Ct. App. 2010). The Drug and Device Law blog identified the Depriest decision as #2 of the Top 10 Best Prescription Drug/Medical Device Decisions of the year.
- Defeated class certification and a Rule 23(f) petition to the Ninth Circuit in a case brought by insurance adjusters and examiners alleging state law claims for failure to pay overtime (misclassification), off-the-clock work, and missed meal-and-rest break. Braun v. Safeco Insurance Company (C.D. Cal. 2014). Currently representing employers in putative class actions involving alleged misclassification of insurance claims adjusters, alleged misclassification of technology employees, and alleged off-the-clock work by retail employees.
- Obtained summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, in favor of a major gas-station franchisor in a case alleging violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law, among other claims. R.N.R. Oils, Inc. v. BP West Coast Products LLC (Cal. Ct. App. 2011).
- Obtained dismissal on the pleadings of action brought against a dietary supplement manufacturer by a public advocacy organization alleging that health-benefit claims were unsubstantiated.
- Obtained dismissal of class action allegations in a case challenging the running of an organ-transplant facility by a health-services company.
- In the insurance area, represented a life insurance company in an emergency appeal to the Ninth Circuit from a district court order issuing a preliminary injunction and granting class certification. In another matter, successfully obtained class decertification in a case alleging breach of contract and violations of California’s UCL, where representation was assumed after class certification and partial summary judgment had been granted against client. Gregurek v. United of Omaha Life Ins. Co. (C.D. Cal. 2009).
Complex Commercial Litigation
- Represented investment funds in complex commercial disputes arising from film-finance transactions. Cases have included defense of breach of contract and tortious interference claims arising from film-slate financing dispute; and claims relating to loan/guaranty enforcement.
- Advising the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) on statutory and constitutional issues regarding proposals for local governments to use eminent domain to seize underwater mortgage loans held in private label securitization trusts.
Prior to joining the firm, David clerked for the Honorable Chester J. Straub of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for the Honorable John G. Koeltl of the Southern District of New York. David was recommended in The Legal 500 US 2015 for Labor and Employment Litigation and has been named one of the “Top 40 under 40” appellate lawyers in California by the American Society of Legal Advocates (2013, 2014).
David is a member of the Sidley Los Angeles recruiting committee and associate training committee, for which he has developed programs on effective legal writing and research techniques.
In June 2015, David joined the Board of Directors for the Western Center for Law and Poverty.
David recently appeared as a panelist at Nelson Symposium at the University of Florida, College of law, where he will be speaking on the proposed use of eminent domain to seize underwater mortgage loans. David has also presented on the topic for the California Association of Realtors and moderated a panel for the ACC 2013 Annual Meeting (“We’re Not Just Legal, We Mean Business”), for which he presented on preserving the attorney-client privilege when in-house counsel is performing both legal and business functions.