David M. Clem

Partner

David is a talented litigator, focusing his practice on complex commercial litigation. He has extensive experience guiding businesses through the litigation process, from pre-suit evaluation through jury and bench trials and post-judgment enforcement. He has helped produce favorable outcomes in courtrooms and arbitrations involving extreme time pressure, complex issues, class actions, multi-district litigation, obscure or technical material, and large numbers of parties and witnesses.

David’s clients include commercial and retail banks, credit unions, broker-dealers, consumer lenders, investment funds, NBFIs, and other financial services players. He has litigated disputes in state and federal courts involving syndicated and participated loans, bank operations, securities fraud, lender liability, statutory and regulatory compliance, negotiable instruments, and various creditors’ rights issues. In addition to his financial services experience, he has represented life and health insurers, oil and gas operators and investors, real estate developers, franchisees, and middle-market businesses across a variety of industries across the United States.

When he takes a case, David prioritizes clear, plain-English communication. Clients rely on his straight-forward speaking and writing style to help them quickly understand issues, risks, and options. David’s style makes him an effective courtroom advocate—he explains complex issues in simple, precise language, without jargon or legalese.

Martindale-Hubbell gave David an AV© Preeminent Rating in Litigation, Commercial Law and Civil Practice, based upon a survey of his peers.

Practice Focus

Financial Services, Litigation, Complex Commercial Litigation

Education

  • Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, 2005
    • Dean’s List
    • Law Review Editorial Board
    • Mock Trial
  • University of Texas at Arlington, 2000

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas, 2005
  • United States District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • Honors: AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale Hubbell

Languages

English, French

Experience

  • Won large summary judgment for super-regional bank on multiple commercial loans and guaranties, defeating lender liability claims and various defenses, including arguments of ambiguity in cross-default provisions and the application of “mitigation of damages” and “best evidence rule” defenses. (May 2019)
  • Defended Top-20 US bank in multimillion-dollar fraud case before panel of three AAA arbitrators. At summary judgment, the panel dismissed claimants’ securities fraud and fraudulent inducement claims. After a five-day final hearing, the panel issued its award in the bank’s favor, dismissing the remaining direct and vicarious liability claims, including conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent supervision, and fraud. The panel ordered claimants take nothing. (First Chair, February 2019)
  • Wrote briefs and presented oral argument to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in defense of trial victory for lead bank on a $35 million participated loan facility. Following oral argument, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the judgment, writing that the trial court applied the correct standards and rightly found that the plaintiff loan participant failed to prove any damages. Opinion available here. (Argument November 2017; Opinion January 2018) 
  • Enforced arbitration agreement in complex commercial litigation involving intense opposition from numerous multinational parties, staying claims of both signatories and non-signatories. (November 2017)
  • Enforced SBA note and guaranty, winning federal summary judgment for lender and directing successful collection strategies. (Judgment, October 2016)
  • Obtained injunction and large summary judgment against chemicals exporter for claims arising from international working capital credit agreement supported by the Export-Import Bank of the United States. (June 2016)
  • Successfully defended super regional bank in federal court against claims brought by a loan participant. Plaintiff sought approximately $10 million in damages resulting from the alleged breach of a participation agreement involving a failed mixed-use development in Northwest Florida. Although the court issued summary judgment opinion adverse to the bank on breach of contract, after a five-day trial, the court entered a “take nothing” judgment, resulting in a complete victory for the bank. (First Chair, January 2016)
  • Won significant discovery order from federal court that analyzed privileges arising from Suspicious Activity Report regulations and applied the privileges to protect thousands of pages of sensitive bank documents. (July 2014)
  • Achieved dismissal with prejudice of federal qui tam complaint that alleged the fraudulent management of a $16 billion commercial loan portfolio. (April 2014)
  • Represented national bank on claims related to large promissory note and guaranty through trial, resulting in substantial monetary judgment in favor of the bank. (First Chair, January 2012)
  • Achieved favorable results on behalf of commercial creditor in an adversary proceeding before bankruptcy court. (November 2011)
  • Developed and managed pre-litigation strategy for a large Houston-area marina; retained and directed experts in damage-mitigation efforts; and drafted pleadings ultimately resulting in a $1.6 million summary judgment against manufacturer and installer of docks. (2011)
  • Representation of an oil and gas developer and operator in various matters as both plaintiff and defendant. (2009 through present) Successful results include injunctive relief against landowner, receiverships appointed for mineral interest owners, and other settlements on favorable terms.
  • Briefing in support of appellate opinion that affirmed trial court’s summary judgment in favor of school district in whistleblower action. (February 2008)
  • Briefing in support of Texas Supreme Court reversal of appellate court’s opinion that a school district’s immunity from suit had been waived in a commercial breach of contract case. (August 2007)

Presentations & Publications

  • Presenter, Rogue Bankers; CLE presentation for in-house lawyers given at bank executive offices, Dallas, TX (May 2019)
  • Presenter, Emerging Issues in Bank Litigation; seminar for commercial bankers given at bank executive offices, Dallas, TX. (January 2018)
  • Presenter, Clear Writing for Litigators; seminar for litigators given at law firm, Dallas & Houston, TX (March 2015)
  • Presenter, Confidential Supervisory Information; seminar for bank lawyers given at law firm, Dallas & Houston, TX (2014–2017)
  • Contributor, Law of Banking (2011–2017)

Associations

  • Member, Texas Association of Bank Counsel
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • Business Litigation Section of the Dallas Bar Association
  • Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas

Community

  • Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America
  • Dallas Running Club
  • Friends of the Katy Trail