David Winnett is a skilled trial attorney focusing his practice in professional liability defense, general civil litigation and products liability matters. He represents businesses and individuals throughout Northern and Central California.
Mr. Winnett has tried dozens of cases in California and Illinois. His representative cases include Shopoff & Cavallo LLP v. Hyon,
(2008) 167 Cal.App.4th 1489, which clarifies the pleading requirements of allegations of legal malpractice and holds that interpleading a client’s funds is not conversion; that there is no right to a jury trial in an interpleader action; that accepting a referral from an unauthorized referral service is not a wrong; and that asserting a lien, even improperly, does not preclude compensation to an attorney.
Mr. Winnett joined the San Francisco office of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in November 2000, and in 2013 he became the office’s mentor coordinator. Before joining Hinshaw, he was a prosecutor in the St. Clair County Illinois State's Attorney's Office, where he tried numerous felony cases.
During law school, Mr. Winnett was a finalist in moot court competition and a recipient of the Corpus Juris Secundum
Award for Torts. He also received a Dean’s Fund Scholarship.
Mr. Winnett is a member of the Bar Association of San Francisco.
Mr. Winnett frequently writes and lectures on professional liability matters. He contributed to “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Risks and Rewards of Broker Involvement in Coverage Disputes,” a paper that was presented at Hinshaw’s 2010 Insurance Services Symposium.
Mr. Winnett writes for Hinshaw’s Lawyers for the Profession® alerts, including:
- “Out-of-State Attorney Severely Criticized for Taking Unfair Advantage of Client,” May 1, 2013.
- “Attorney Who Failed to Challenge Uncertainty in the Law Not Entitled to Dismissal,” February 6, 2013.
- "Attorney’s Failure to Pursue Enforcement of Judgment Was Actual Injury That Stopped Tolling of Statute of Limitations," November 7, 2012.
- “Law Firms Disqualified for Inducing Consultant to Violate Duties of Loyalty and Confidentiality to Former Client,” June 15, 2006.
- “Plaintiffs Entitled to Spoliation Instruction Against Defendant – Attorney Who Did Not Destroy Evidence But Concealed Dismissal of Underlying Case for Nine Years,” April 25, 2006.
While a prosecutor, Mr. Winnett taught domestic violence law at the Southwestern Illinois College Police Academy. His other presentations include:
- “The Ethics of Social Networking: Avoiding Pitfalls and Exploring Opportunities,” Santa Clara County Bar Association, San Jose, California, January 2012.
- “Recent Developments in the Debate over Screening,” WestLegalEdcenter, live webcast, October 2010.
- “Insurance Agents or Brokers: If You Are Sued, These are the Top 10 Questions Your Attorney Will Ask You,” and “Top 10 Tips to Avoid Attorneys Altogether,” Professional Insurance Associates, San Carlos, California, October 2008.
- “Lawyers' Liability for Intentional Torts,” WestLegalEdcenter, live webcast, December 2007.
Mr. Winnett volunteers his time as a member of the Hamilton Elementary School PTA and its WatchDOGS program, a national organization that encourages the involvement of fathers and father figures in schools. He is also an assistant coach with Novato Girls Softball.
Mr. Winnett is a former treasurer of the Golden Gate Illini Club, the local chapter of the University of Illinois Alumni Association, and is a former treasurer and board member of St. Clair County CASA, a volunteer organization dedicated to representing the interests of children in the juvenile court system.