David L. Yohai

Biography

David Yohai
David L. Yohai, a senior partner in Weil’s Complex Commercial Litigation practice, has almost two decades of experience trying and litigating commercial cases, including the successful defense of numerous jury trials with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. For six years, he served as Co-Head of Weil’s Complex Commercial Litigation practice, an approximately 130-attorney group across Weil’s U.S. and foreign offices. He also serves as Co-Head of the Firm’s Insurance Litigation practice.

David focuses on high-profile commercial, intellectual property, and antitrust matters, including class actions, for clients in the media, insurance, reinsurance, banking, energy, consumer electronics, and transportation industries, among others. From 2019 – 2022, David has been recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a New York Litigation Star for Antitrust, General Commercial, and Intellectual Property. In 2016, BTI Consulting Group named David a “Client Service All-Star” across all practice areas nationwide in its annual survey of corporate counsel. Since 2015, Legal 500 has recognized David as among the top lawyers nationwide for General Commercial Disputes, with commentators calling him “a seasoned trial lawyer with a great record.” Law360 has also named him as a legal “top gun” and “MVP” in media and entertainment law. Chambers USA and his clients also have recognized David for his “thoughtful, unpretentious and direct approach” to major litigation.

Over the past several years, David has represented and counseled Discovery Communications, Panasonic Corporation, The Carlyle Group, ICBC Standard Bank, A&E Networks, Farmers Insurance, The Walt Disney Company, Univision, ExxonMobil, and ESPN in significant, high-dollar value litigations and arbitrations. Some of his notable engagements include:

  • In 2022, as lead counsel for ICBC Standard Bank, David successfully recovered over $230 million in business interruption insurance proceeds in a heavily contested litigation arising out of a fire at the Philadelphia Energy oil refinery.
  • In 2018 and 2019, David successfully represented Univision in two high-profile disputes, including a matter worth hundreds of millions of dollars against Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable (TWC) relating to the carriage rates owed to Univision following the $70 billion Charter/TWC merger in 2016, as well as serving as lead counsel in a lawsuit filed by DISH Network in the S.D.N.Y. involving Univision’s Spanish-language sports telecasting rights.
  • Serving as lead counsel for Discovery Communications in 2018, David achieved a victory before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on a matter relating to distribution rights.
  • Serving as lead counsel for Discovery Communications in winning a complete victory at trial in 2016 in a dispute commenced by a former distributor.
  • Serving as lead counsel for A&E Networks in a dispute with the Weinstein Company involving the rights to Project Runway and over 100 Weinstein-produced movies.
  • In 2013, David, as co-lead counsel, secured a jury trial win for ESPN in federal court in New York in a $150M+ lawsuit brought by DISH Network alleging breaches of certain terms of a licensing agreement.
  • In 2011, David also won a major jury trial on behalf of ESPN, ABC Cable Networks Group, and other Disney-related entities in a contract case involving over $100 million in alleged damages, and he secured a total victory on a counterclaim worth over $65 million.
  • In 2009, as counsel for ExxonMobil, David completely defeated a national class, and then an Illinois class, in a multi-billion dollar antitrust class action brought against ExxonMobil and other energy companies alleging a conspiracy to fix gasoline prices.

As Co-Head of Weil’s nationwide Insurance Litigation practice, David has extensive experience on both sides of the aisle representing significant corporate insureds, such as the Carlyle Group and ICBC Standard Bank, in major insurance recovery actions, as well as some of the world’s largest insurance and re-insurance companies in defense of significant litigation. He has obtained favorable dismissals, denials of class certification, settlements, and other victories in cases for Farmers Insurance Exchange, United Healthcare, Penn Treaty American Corporation, Conseco Senior Health Insurance Company, Travelers Insurance Companies, and many others. Some of his notable insurance litigation experience includes:

  • In March 2019, after an exceedingly rare grant of an en banc petition in the Eleventh Circuit, David secured the affirmation of the dismissal with prejudice of federal antitrust claims alleging that Farmers Insurance and others engaged in anticompetitive behavior and other unlawful conduct in Florida to control and reduce what they pay plaintiffs for automobile damage repair, labor, and material costs.
  • In April 2017, David delivered an argument before the Second Circuit that secured the affirmation of a dismissal with prejudice of an industry-wide Medicare False Claims Act complaint alleging Farmers and other defendants failed to reimburse the government for payments made to Medicare beneficiaries in accordance with the Medicare Secondary Payer Statute. David also won Second Circuit affirmation of a dismissal in a parallel action in January 2017.
  • In 2012 and 2013, David secured several major victories for Farmers Insurance in putative class actions regarding medical payment claims under certain auto insurance policies, including the dismissal of one putative subclass and the denial of class certification in a second matter. David also achieved a Tenth Circuit victory for Farmers in 2013 following his oral argument on issues related to time limitations in insurance policies.
  • Over the course of his career, he has also served as lead counsel in several large reinsurance arbitrations in which he achieved favorable decisions.

David also has long represented Panasonic Corporation, Farmers Insurance and numerous other companies in major antitrust litigations and investigations. For almost a decade, David defended Panasonic Corporation in two major antitrust cases involving allegations of international cartel price-fixing successfully resolving both matters. David also has conducted numerous domestic and international arbitrations, including on behalf of clients from Japan, Germany, and the U.S. He has tried cases before ICC arbitration panels, JAMS panels, and AAA panels, and is known for his direct style. Additionally, he has been the lead lawyer on a number of successful appeals, including cases before the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, and Tenth Circuits, the New York Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Courts of Illinois, Oregon, and Louisiana.

David lectures and writes extensively on topics including media law, insurance law, federal civil procedure, arbitration, MDL proceedings, e-discovery, and the attorney-client privilege, and he is a member of the litigation sections of the American and New York State Bar Associations.

David graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Princeton University with a B.A., where he majored in the School of Public and International Affairs. He received his J.D. from New York University School of Law, where he graduated as a member of the Order of the Coif and was a note and comment editor of the New York University Law Review. After graduating from law school, he clerked for the Honorable Robert E. Cowen on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, where he worked on hundreds of civil and criminal appeals.

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