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An experienced trial lawyer, David Levitt represents clients in a number of distinct areas. Leveraging more than 40 years of experience, he handles matters involving intellectual property, insurance, commercial litigation, products liability, and trucking.

In addition to his extensive trial and litigation experience, David helps clients navigate data and privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA. This includes negotiating data privacy agreements and addenda, drafting and updating privacy policies, and consulting on compliance.

David has counseled clients on virtually all manner of intellectual property matters. This includes litigation and licensing issues in the areas of trademark, copyright, patent, and computer law.

In the area of insurance coverage, David's diverse, extensive experience ranges from "simple" personal lines coverage disputes, to complex coverage litigation involving environmental and bankrupt health care providers.

David's product liability background includes chemical and machine related claims in both the industrial and consumer contexts. He uses this experience to translate scientific issues for lay juries and judges—a significant advantage for intellectual property and product liability work.

A portion of David's practice is also dedicated to cases impacting the trucking industry, including representing several trucking companies facing claims involving serious accidents. As one of the founders of the Trucking Industry Defense Association (TIDA), he has a unique perspective and understanding of the litigation needs of the industry and its organizations.

Since joining Hinshaw in the late 1970s, David has been an integral part of the firm and its leadership, including serving as the leader of Hinshaw's intellectual property practice.

David has completed intensive training in mediation from the faculty of Pepperdine University School of Law's top-ranked Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. He is also a Certified Mediator in the Cook County Court-Annexed Major Case Civil Mediation Program.

Professional Affiliations

  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (IDC), President, 2014 – 2015; Officer and Board Member, 2003 – 2014
    • IDC Quarterly, Editor-in-Chief, 2002 – 2003
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
    • Center for Law and Public Policy, Member
      • Third-Party Funding Working Group, Chair, 2018 – Present
    • Intellectual Property Committee, Steering Committee
    • Commercial Litigation Committee
      • Intellectual Property Specialized Litigation Group (SLG),Chair, 2009 – 2011; Vice-Chair, 2007 – 2009
  • American Bar Association
    • Intellectual Property Committee
    • Product Liability Committee
    • Insurance Coverage Committee
    • Section of Litigation
    • Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section

Honors & Awards

  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© for Litigation – Insurance, 2018 – 2020; Insurance Law, 2020
  • IDC Award of Excellence, Distinguished Member Award, 2017
  • Recognized by his peers as a "Leading Lawyer" in the categories of Insurance / Insurance Coverage / Reinsurance Law, and Personal Injury Defense Law: Products Liability
  • Holds the AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethics and legal ability
  • Recognized on the Super Lawyers list by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine, 2007
  • Selected for inclusion in the Corporate Counsel Edition of Super Lawyers magazine, August 2008

Representative Matters

Intellectual Property
Transactional

  • Led and performed IP due diligence in the acquisition of a music label, including review of songwriter agreements, and negotiated new distribution deal with Sony.
  • Negotiate IT agreements, both software and hardware, often for healthcare institutions, including with the most widely used EHR software vendors (Epic, Cerner, Allscripts).
  • Draft hosting agreements related to EHR and EMR.
  • Negotiated numerous agreements related to the creation of a fiber optic cable network, including IRUs (indefeasible rights of use).

Litigation and pre-litigation
Copyright

  • Represented music label in copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and breach of contract claim brought by hip hop artist arising out of label's acquisition of all rights to the music "free and clear" in bankruptcy proceedings.  Obtained summary judgment from the Southern District of Florida, and affirmance by the Eleventh Circuit.
  • Represented photographer of famous photograph of polar bears on an ice floe in copyright infringement claims against the Canadian government and others; successfully obtained fair value for use of the photo and acknowledgement of ownership of IP rights.
  • Represented several different clients in claims by the Business Software Alliance ("BSA") and Software & Information Industry Association ("SIIA") for use of unauthorized software.  Developed responses to their standard positions and insisted upon more case-specific resolutions.
  • Represented parties in claims by stock images organizations, including Getty Images.
  • Obtained summary judgment in Minnesota federal court for website owner by competitor who claimed that client's website infringed on plaintiff's website.  Court found that the websites were not substantially similar and there was no evidence of copying.
  • Represented bar association in claim brought by member asserting copyright infringement by continued use of seminar materials authored by the member. Case resolved with zero payment.
  • Obtained voluntary dismissal of printing company of claims asserting that the printer had infringed on plaintiff's copyright by printing materials submitted by a customer.
  • Successfully achieved DMCA takedown of images of client's product from website of competitor, which was selling re-manufactured versions of client's products, but using client's images as samples of competitor's product.

Trademark

  • Represented clothing line of famous hip hop artist against trademark claims that the name of the clothing line infringed on the name of a video juke box service being installed in shopping malls.  Defeated motion for preliminary injunction and later resolved case for about 3% of plaintiff's initial demand, including transfer of all of plaintiff's trademark and domain name rights to client.
  • Represented product seller against former employees and their new company in claims of trade dress and copyright infringement, when the new company's products and packaging were confusingly similar to client's.  Obtained settlement for 100% of infringer's profits on the products at issue, plus 100% of client's attorney's fees.

Trade Secret

  • Represented former employee and new employer in trade secret case brought by medical device seller.  Prevailed on all issues following bench trial, and obtained an award of 100% of attorney's fees.

Right of Publicity

  • Represented out-of-state physician practice in right of publicity claim by Chicago-area celebrity; settled case before lawsuit for less than cost of defense.
  • Represented insurer in review of right of publicity claims arising out of popular video game in which the faces of original models for the characters were still visible; the models claimed that they had signed only limited releases. Developed analysis of various defenses available in such claims.

Commercial Litigation

  • Represented employer in suit against former employee under the Illinois Commercial Bribery statute and for breach of fiduciary duty.

Defamation

  • Obtained dismissal and appellate affirmance of defamation and breach of contract claim arising out of the parties mutual participation in a trade association.
  • Obtained dismissal in favor of a newspaper due to plaintiff's failure to comply with Florida's pre-suit notice statute.

Insurance/Risk Management

  • Summary Judgment granted for insurer, finding no duty to defend under a NTL (Non-Trucking Liability) policy.  Underlying case resulted in an $8.4 million verdict.
  • Summary judgment for insurance producer in $2 million claim asserting failure to procure the correct amount of property insurance and failure to procure business interruption insurance.
  • Lead coverage counsel for the property manager in the 69 West Washington fire case; successfully obtained complete defense and indemnity from additional insurer.
  • Lead coverage counsel for the building owner in the Hancock Building scaffolding case; successfully obtained complete defense and indemnity from additional insurers.

Transactional

  • Called upon to consult with and negotiate for major Chicago commercial property manager on terms of management contracts with building owners (including some famous, well-recognized Chicago buildings); issues often included the scope of indemnity and insurance provisions in such contracts.

Transportation/Trucking

  • Obtained summary judgment—which consequently defeated class action certification—in a former owner-operator's lawsuits alleging violations of the federal Truth-in-Leasing Act and its related regulations. The summary judgment was affirmed by the Seventh Circuit.
  • Defense of numerous serious trucking accident matters in various venues.

Presentations

  • Co-Presenter, "Website Law: What Every Organization Needs to Know About Ownership, Public Accessibility, Liability and More," webinar, June 5, 2018
  • "Marijuana and IP," DRI's "The Future Is Now: Practical Litigation Strategies for the Modern Age" seminar, May 12, 2017
  • "Unauthorized Software? What to Do When the BSA Calls," Bloomberg BNA, webinar, October 17, 2016
  • "Websites and Copyright Infringement - Lurking Dangers," Bloomberg BNA, webinar, August 4, 2016

Publications

David's writing and speaking background is extensive and mirrors the diversity of his practice. His publications include:

Hinshaw Publications

Personal

Outside of the office, David is an advocate for issues of interest to the Jewish community. He speaks and writes on a number of impactful topics, including those regarding Israel and the international community, as well as hate speech.

Community/Civic Activities

  • B'nai Tikvah, President of Congregation, 2009 – 2011
  • DePaul Law School's Center for Jewish Law and Judaic Studies, Advisory Board, Co-Chair

LL.M., with honors, Intellectual Property, The John Marshall Law School, 2000

J.D., Loyola University Chicago School of Law, 1979

B.A., with distinction, University of Illinois, 1976