People

David Balser specializes in trying high-stakes business cases for Fortune 500 companies and other leading businesses in state and federal courts throughout the country. A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, David focuses on contract disputes, business torts, class actions and professional liability litigation.

David’s clients include telecommunications, energy, transportation, and professional services firms, and he has extensive experience representing private equity firms and hedge funds.  David is often asked to evaluate and take over cases that are proceeding to trial, serving as replacement trial counsel.

In addition to trying business cases, David defends consumer class actions in state and federal courts throughout the U.S. An authority on class action defense, he has successfully defended more than 50 class actions, including cases filed in the most plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions in the country.  David leads the firm’s national class action practice.

David regularly defends law firms against claims of negligence, malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty and serves on the Board of Directors of Attorneys’ Liability Assurance Society, Inc. (ALAS), the country’s leading legal malpractice insurer.

Chambers USA has identified David as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers.” He has also been recognized by Best Lawyers in America and by Benchmark Litigation.

David is a frequent author and speaker on trial advocacy, class actions, legal ethics, malpractice, professionalism and related topics. He also serves on the board of the Georgia Innocence Project, a non-profit using DNA testing to exonerate wrongly convicted criminal defendants.

David was recently elected by the partnership to serve a three-year term on the firm’s Policy Committee.

Full Bio

Credentials

J.D., University of Michigan, cum laude

B.A., University of Pennsylvania, magna cum laude

Georgia

Law Clerk, Honorable Charles A. Moye, Jr., Chief Judge, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

2018 BTI Client Service All-Star


BTI, 2018

Band 1: Commercial Litigation


Chambers USA

“A superb trial lawyer”


Chambers USA

“Bet the Company” Litigation, Commercial Litigation


Best Lawyers in America

2018 U.S. “Litigation Star”


Benchmark Litigation

Top 100 Lawyers in Georgia


Georgia Super Lawyers, 2012–Present

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Recognition

2018 BTI Client Service All-Star


BTI, 2018

Band 1: Commercial Litigation


Chambers USA

“A superb trial lawyer”


Chambers USA

“Bet the Company” Litigation, Commercial Litigation


Best Lawyers in America

2018 U.S. “Litigation Star”


Benchmark Litigation

Top 100 Lawyers in Georgia


Georgia Super Lawyers, 2012–Present

Matters

Recent Bet-the-Company Matters

In 2018, David served as lead counsel for SCANA Corporation in various legal matters relating to the abandonment of SCANA’s new nuclear development at the V.C. Summer plant in South Carolina, including defense of ratepayer class actions, derivative claims, federal securities class actions, and state and federal governmental investigations, as well as an expedited federal court injunction proceeding seeking to block implementation of confiscatory legislation targeting SCANA.  In November and December of 2018, David served as lead counsel for SCANA in a 15 day evidentiary proceeding before the South Carolina Public Service Commission in which multiple parties sought to block SCANA’s proposed $14.6 billion merger with Dominion Energy.  SCANA achieved a complete victory in that matter, leading to the closing of the Dominion merger in January of 2019.

David is serving as lead counsel for Equifax, Inc. in more than 250 consumer and financial institution class actions in an MDL proceeding arising from the data breach announced by Equifax in September of 2017.

David recently represented Rayonier Advanced Materials, Inc. “bet the company” breach of contract litigation against a major supplier in Georgia and Tennessee.

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Matters

Recent Bet-the-Company Matters

In 2018, David served as lead counsel for SCANA Corporation in various legal matters relating to the abandonment of SCANA’s new nuclear development at the V.C. Summer plant in South Carolina, including defense of ratepayer class actions, derivative claims, federal securities class actions, and state and federal governmental investigations, as well as an expedited federal court injunction proceeding seeking to block implementation of confiscatory legislation targeting SCANA.  In November and December of 2018, David served as lead counsel for SCANA in a 15 day evidentiary proceeding before the South Carolina Public Service Commission in which multiple parties sought to block SCANA’s proposed $14.6 billion merger with Dominion Energy.  SCANA achieved a complete victory in that matter, leading to the closing of the Dominion merger in January of 2019.

David is serving as lead counsel for Equifax, Inc. in more than 250 consumer and financial institution class actions in an MDL proceeding arising from the data breach announced by Equifax in September of 2017.

David recently represented Rayonier Advanced Materials, Inc. “bet the company” breach of contract litigation against a major supplier in Georgia and Tennessee.

Recent Trial Retentions

In 2018, David served as lead counsel for SCANA in a live-streamed,bitterly contested 15 day evidentiary hearing before the South Carolina Public Service Commission, resulting in a complete victory permitting the $14.6 billion proposed merger between SCANA and Dominion Energy to proceed.

In 2018, David served as lead counsel for AT&T in an international arbitration seeking to block enforcement of a multi-million dollar judgment obtained by a former executive in Argentina.  In a complete victory, the arbitration panel issued a world-wide injunction preventing the former executive from seeking to enforce his judgment.

David recently served as lead trial counsel for a New York based hedge fund in a jury trial in Superior Court of Fulton County.  The client’s entire $85 million investment in a real estate joint venture was at stake.  David obtained a complete defense verdict and a verdict in his client’s favor on its counterclaims.

David recently served as lead trial counsel for an affiliate of Roark Capital, a leading private equity fund, in a trial in Delaware Chancery Court involving a post-acquisition tax dispute.  David obtained a judgment in his client’s favor.

Recent Class Action Matters

Currently serving as lead counsel for Equifax in the defense of more than 250 consumer class actions relating to the data breach announced in September, 2017

Defending SCANA Corporation in a class action in South Carolina brought by the rate-payers of Santee Cooper, a public utility.

Currently serving as lead counsel for Delta Air Lines, Inc. in putative class actions in Florida and California.

Currently serving as lead counsel for Conduent, Inc. in putative class action filed in the Northern District of Georgia.

Currently serving as lead counsel for FleetCor in putative class action filed in the Northern District of Georgia.

Recently defeated class certification in $300 million consumer class action on behalf of affiliates of The Southern Company in a long-running, high-stakes putative class action in Cook County (Ill.) Chancery Court asserting purported violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act.

Other High Stakes Matters

On behalf of General Motors Corporation, defeated expedited motion for preliminary injunction in federal court in Corpus Christi, Texas seeking to require GM to issue a “Park It Now” notice in connection with the GM ignition switch recall litigation

Recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of Highstar Capital against minority shareholders’ fraud and aiding and abetting claims arising out of $470 million acquisition

Obtained preliminary injunction on behalf of CTIA—The Wireless Association, enjoining the Georgia Public Service Commission from implementing a rule requiring cellular companies to charge minimum rates to indigent cellular subscribers under the federal “Lifeline” Program

Obtained complete defense victory for AT&T on a $1.4 billion breach of contract/destruction of business claim and multi-million dollar award on counter-claims in breach of contract/business tort case in the Southern District of Mississippi.

Represented AT&T Mobility and obtained a preliminary injunction to stop NASCAR from interfering with AT&T’s re-branding of its logo from Cingular to AT&T on its NASCAR sponsored race car, resulting in favorable settlement

Obtained summary judgment for AT&T Mobility in complex breach of contract and fraud case in California Superior Court in which vendor sought in excess of $500 million in damages

Successfully represented AT&T Mobility in high stakes expedited false advertising case against T-Mobile relating to AT&T Mobility’s “fewest dropped calls” advertising campaign

Successfully represented Thompson Street Capital Partners, a private equity fund, and other sellers in post-recapitalization breach of representations and warranties case in Delaware Chancery Court in which private equity fund purchaser sought $175 million in damages

Professional Liability Litigation

Have defended more than a dozen AmLaw 200 firms against claims of legal malpractice.

Matters

Recent Bet-the-Company Matters

In 2018, David served as lead counsel for SCANA Corporation in various legal matters relating to the abandonment of SCANA’s new nuclear development at the V.C. Summer plant in South Carolina, including defense of ratepayer class actions, derivative claims, federal securities class actions, and state and federal governmental investigations, as well as an expedited federal court injunction proceeding seeking to block implementation of confiscatory legislation targeting SCANA.  In November and December of 2018, David served as lead counsel for SCANA in a 15 day evidentiary proceeding before the South Carolina Public Service Commission in which multiple parties sought to block SCANA’s proposed $14.6 billion merger with Dominion Energy.  SCANA achieved a complete victory in that matter, leading to the closing of the Dominion merger in January of 2019.

David is serving as lead counsel for Equifax, Inc. in more than 250 consumer and financial institution class actions in an MDL proceeding arising from the data breach announced by Equifax in September of 2017.

David recently represented Rayonier Advanced Materials, Inc. “bet the company” breach of contract litigation against a major supplier in Georgia and Tennessee.

See more
Icon close

Close

Matters

Recent Bet-the-Company Matters

In 2018, David served as lead counsel for SCANA Corporation in various legal matters relating to the abandonment of SCANA’s new nuclear development at the V.C. Summer plant in South Carolina, including defense of ratepayer class actions, derivative claims, federal securities class actions, and state and federal governmental investigations, as well as an expedited federal court injunction proceeding seeking to block implementation of confiscatory legislation targeting SCANA.  In November and December of 2018, David served as lead counsel for SCANA in a 15 day evidentiary proceeding before the South Carolina Public Service Commission in which multiple parties sought to block SCANA’s proposed $14.6 billion merger with Dominion Energy.  SCANA achieved a complete victory in that matter, leading to the closing of the Dominion merger in January of 2019.

David is serving as lead counsel for Equifax, Inc. in more than 250 consumer and financial institution class actions in an MDL proceeding arising from the data breach announced by Equifax in September of 2017.

David recently represented Rayonier Advanced Materials, Inc. “bet the company” breach of contract litigation against a major supplier in Georgia and Tennessee.

Recent Trial Retentions

In 2018, David served as lead counsel for SCANA in a live-streamed,bitterly contested 15 day evidentiary hearing before the South Carolina Public Service Commission, resulting in a complete victory permitting the $14.6 billion proposed merger between SCANA and Dominion Energy to proceed.

In 2018, David served as lead counsel for AT&T in an international arbitration seeking to block enforcement of a multi-million dollar judgment obtained by a former executive in Argentina.  In a complete victory, the arbitration panel issued a world-wide injunction preventing the former executive from seeking to enforce his judgment.

David recently served as lead trial counsel for a New York based hedge fund in a jury trial in Superior Court of Fulton County.  The client’s entire $85 million investment in a real estate joint venture was at stake.  David obtained a complete defense verdict and a verdict in his client’s favor on its counterclaims.

David recently served as lead trial counsel for an affiliate of Roark Capital, a leading private equity fund, in a trial in Delaware Chancery Court involving a post-acquisition tax dispute.  David obtained a judgment in his client’s favor.

Recent Class Action Matters

Currently serving as lead counsel for Equifax in the defense of more than 250 consumer class actions relating to the data breach announced in September, 2017

Defending SCANA Corporation in a class action in South Carolina brought by the rate-payers of Santee Cooper, a public utility.

Currently serving as lead counsel for Delta Air Lines, Inc. in putative class actions in Florida and California.

Currently serving as lead counsel for Conduent, Inc. in putative class action filed in the Northern District of Georgia.

Currently serving as lead counsel for FleetCor in putative class action filed in the Northern District of Georgia.

Recently defeated class certification in $300 million consumer class action on behalf of affiliates of The Southern Company in a long-running, high-stakes putative class action in Cook County (Ill.) Chancery Court asserting purported violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act.

Other High Stakes Matters

On behalf of General Motors Corporation, defeated expedited motion for preliminary injunction in federal court in Corpus Christi, Texas seeking to require GM to issue a “Park It Now” notice in connection with the GM ignition switch recall litigation

Recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of Highstar Capital against minority shareholders’ fraud and aiding and abetting claims arising out of $470 million acquisition

Obtained preliminary injunction on behalf of CTIA—The Wireless Association, enjoining the Georgia Public Service Commission from implementing a rule requiring cellular companies to charge minimum rates to indigent cellular subscribers under the federal “Lifeline” Program

Obtained complete defense victory for AT&T on a $1.4 billion breach of contract/destruction of business claim and multi-million dollar award on counter-claims in breach of contract/business tort case in the Southern District of Mississippi.

Represented AT&T Mobility and obtained a preliminary injunction to stop NASCAR from interfering with AT&T’s re-branding of its logo from Cingular to AT&T on its NASCAR sponsored race car, resulting in favorable settlement

Obtained summary judgment for AT&T Mobility in complex breach of contract and fraud case in California Superior Court in which vendor sought in excess of $500 million in damages

Successfully represented AT&T Mobility in high stakes expedited false advertising case against T-Mobile relating to AT&T Mobility’s “fewest dropped calls” advertising campaign

Successfully represented Thompson Street Capital Partners, a private equity fund, and other sellers in post-recapitalization breach of representations and warranties case in Delaware Chancery Court in which private equity fund purchaser sought $175 million in damages

Professional Liability Litigation

Have defended more than a dozen AmLaw 200 firms against claims of legal malpractice.

Credentials

J.D., University of Michigan, cum laude

B.A., University of Pennsylvania, magna cum laude

Georgia

Law Clerk, Honorable Charles A. Moye, Jr., Chief Judge, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

2018 BTI Client Service All-Star


BTI, 2018

Band 1: Commercial Litigation


Chambers USA

“A superb trial lawyer”


Chambers USA

“Bet the Company” Litigation, Commercial Litigation


Best Lawyers in America

2018 U.S. “Litigation Star”


Benchmark Litigation

Top 100 Lawyers in Georgia


Georgia Super Lawyers, 2012–Present

Icon close

Close

Recognition

2018 BTI Client Service All-Star


BTI, 2018

Band 1: Commercial Litigation


Chambers USA

“A superb trial lawyer”


Chambers USA

“Bet the Company” Litigation, Commercial Litigation


Best Lawyers in America

2018 U.S. “Litigation Star”


Benchmark Litigation

Top 100 Lawyers in Georgia


Georgia Super Lawyers, 2012–Present