David Yolkut


David Yolkut

David Yolkut is a senior associate in the Complex Commercial Litigation and Appellate Litigation practice groups of the Litigation Department of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. Mr. Yolkut has been involved in several high-profile victories, including at the Supreme Court of the United States on behalf of Schindler Elevator Corporation, and at the New York State Court of Appeals on behalf of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in connection with the 1993 terrorist attack at New York's World Trade Center.

In 2013, Mr. Yolkut was the lead associate in a jury trial victory for ESPN in federal district court in New York in a $150 million-plus lawsuit brought by Dish Network alleging breaches of certain terms of a licensing agreement. Mr. Yolkut was also part of the trial team that prevailed for ESPN, ABC Cable Networks Group, and other Disney-related entities in a jury trial against Dish Network in 2011, and secured summary judgment on a counterclaim worth over $65 million.

In addition to his experience in complex commercial litigation and appellate advocacy, Mr. Yolkut has also been involved in defending multinational companies in global antitrust cartel investigations, and related civil class action lawsuits, in the carbon fiber and television industries. He has also provided pro bono counseling to a human rights advocacy group, and serves as pro bono counsel to the East End Eruv Association in a series of high profile, federal First Amendment cases brought against certain Long Island municipalities regarding the establishment of an eruv.

Mr. Yolkut is a member of the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association, where he is a member of the Entertainment Arts & Sports Law Section, and the Committee on Television and Radio.

Representative Cases

  • Dish Network L.L.C. v. ESPN, Inc. and ESPN Classic, Inc. (S.D.N.Y. 2013) – Member of team that secured a significant victory at trial for ESPN on breach of contract claims involving more than $150 million in alleged damages. Following a three-week jury trial and a day of deliberation, a jury in the US District for the Southern District of New York returned a verdict rejecting all but one of the breach-of-contract claims Dish had asserted in its complaint, and found for ESPN on Dish’s largest claim for $130 million.
  • New York Statewide Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, et al. v. New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, 110 A.D.3d 1 (N.Y. App. Div. 2013) – Member of team that obtained a judgment invalidating New York City’s Sugary Drink Container Ban on behalf of The National Restaurant Association, which was unanimously affirmed by the Appellate Division.
  • EchoStar Satellite L.L.C. (n/k/a Dish Network) v. ESPN, Inc., et al. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2011) — Member of team that won a $56 million jury trial on behalf of Disney affiliates ESPN, ABC Cable Networks Group and International Family Entertainment. The jury rejected Plaintiff's contention that it was entitled to four of Defendants' high-definition channels at no extra charge under the terms of the parties' licensing agreements. The Appellate Division unanimously affirmed the trial court’s denial of Plaintiff’s post-trial motions. The team had previously defeated an application for a preliminary injunction and secured summary judgment on a $65 million dollar counterclaim.
  • Schindler Elevator Corp. v. U.S. ex rel. Kirk, 131 S. Ct. 1885 (2011) — Member of team that prevailed at United States Supreme Court in False Claims Act case. The Supreme Court held, reversing the Second Circuit, that Freedom of Information Act responses are "reports" under the meaning of the False Claims Act's Public Disclosure Bar.
  • In re 1993 WTC Bombing Litig., Steering Committee v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, --- N.E.2d ----, 2011 WL 4387517 (N.Y. Ct. App. 2011) — Member of team that won appeal in connection with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center on behalf of the Port Authority. Reversing a jury verdict and intermediate appellate ruling, the Court of Appeals determined that the Port Authority, as a governmental agency, enjoyed immunity from tort liability in connection with the terrorist attack because it was engaged in governmental functions in making security-related decisions at the World Trade Center.
  • Don King Productions, Inc. and Don King v. The Walt Disney Company, et al., 40 So.3d 40 (17th Jud. Cir., 4th DCA, Fla. 2010) — Member of team representing ESPN and Disney that won summary judgment dismissing all claims in defamation and false light lawsuit brought by boxing promoter Don King claiming more than $1.0 billion in damages. The circuit court's decision has since been affirmed on appeal.
  • Chief Judge of the State of New York, et al. v. Governor of the State of New York, et al., 14 N.Y.3d 230 (N.Y. Ct. App. 2010) — Amicus curiae counsel to the Fund for Modern Courts in support of former Chief Judge Judith Kaye's successful lawsuit against the Governor, New York Senate and New York State Assembly concerning inadequate judicial salaries for New York's judges. The New York Court of Appeals affirmed the Chief Judge's victory at the trial court and appellate division, finding as a matter of law that Defendants' long-standing practice of holding judicial compensation hostage to ancillary political considerations violates the separation of powers doctrine of the New York State Constitution.
  • Molecular Diagnostics Laboratories v. Hoffman-LaRoche, Inc., et al. (D.D.C.) — Member of team representing Applera in patent/antitrust litigation involving sales of Taq. Case settled and dismissed against Applera for no payment by Applera weeks after Applera's motion for summary judgment.

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