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David L. Bearman

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Memphis
T: 901.577.8116
F: 901.577.0716

With more than 20 years of experience, David Bearman is recognized as a leading practitioner in handling complex litigation in both state and federal courts.

Professional Biography

Overview

David Bearman is a trusted counselor who partners with his clients to develop resolution strategies that best reflect their particular needs and goals.  He has earned a reputation as a creative problem solver and for providing superior service.

Mr. Bearman has represented clients in a wide variety of legal matters including those involving business and contract disputes, interstate water rights, First Amendment and defamation claims, torts, consumer protection complaints, and civil rights.  His clients include large and small businesses, municipalities and utilities, insurance companies, religious organizations, animal rights organizations, and individuals.  He is recognized as a leading practitioner with extensive experience handling complex litigation in both state and federal courts.

Mr. Bearman is a strong advocate of public service and pro bono legal services and serves on the Law Firm's Diversity Committee.

Representative Matters
  • Represented a municipality and its utility division in a series of precedent-setting water rights lawsuits involving rights to an interstate, underground aquifer, with the plaintiff seeking over $1 billion in monetary damages and an injunction to cut off the municipality's sole public water source. Obtained dismissal in U.S. District Court, with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirming and the U.S. Supreme Court denying certiorari. 
  • Represented a vehicle dealership in a putative class action suit alleging fraud and Tennessee Consumer Protection Act violations.

  • Represented regional vehicle retailer in putative class action suit alleging violations of the Truth in Lending Act. Obtained early dismissal in U.S. District Court.
  • Represented plaintiff in breach of contract suit tried in U.S. District Court. Obtained judgment for compensatory damages and for attorney fees.
  • Represented utility company in suit filed by landowners seeking to collect damages for utility's leasing of space on its transmission towers to cellular telephone companies. Obtained summary judgment in Tennessee Circuit Court.
  • Represented defendant in action filed by United States to enforce monetary penalty assessed by Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Obtained summary judgment in U.S. District Court.
  • Represented manufacturer in wrongful death lawsuit filed by heirs of individual fatally injured while repairing a large machine at the plant. Obtained summary judgment in U.S. District Court, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.
  • Represented a major retail store in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the estate of a decedent who was fatally injured by a security guard.
  • Represented national animal rights organization in suits alleging conversion, civil rights violations, malicious prosecution and abuse of process arising from the seizure of neglected animals.
  • Represented clients in numerous mediations involving a wide variety of matters.
Professional Honors & Activities
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in Commercial Litigation and Litigation - Municipal (2013 – 2020)
  • Recognized by Mid-South Super Lawyers as being among Top 50 attorneys in Memphis and top 100 attorneys in Tennessee (2015 – 2017)
  • Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers in Civil Litigation: Defense (2016 – 2018)
  • Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers in Business Litigation (2012 – 2016)
  • Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers' for Litigation - Municipal, Memphis (2015, 2019)
  • Named Memphis Business Journal's 2019 "Best of the Bar" winner in the Private Firm - Extra Large category (2019)
  • Board of Directors – Memphis Bar Association 
  • Member – Tennessee, Memphis and American Bar Associations
  • Counsel and Officer – Temple Israel Congregation
  • Recipient – CEO Circle Pro Bono Impact Award 2015, Baker, Donelson, Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz
  • Recipient – Pro Bono Impact Award 2015, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, Memphis Office
  • Recipient – Mentor of the Year 2015, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, Memphis Office
  • Recipient – Public Service Award 2014, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, Memphis Office
  • Recipient – Pro Bono Attorney of the Year 2010, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, Memphis Office
  • Managing Editor – University of Memphis Law Review (1995 – 1996)
Representative Opinions
  • Hood, ex rel. Mississippi v. City of Memphis, Tennessee and Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division, 533 F. Supp. 2d 646, N.D. Miss. 2008
  • Hood, ex rel. Mississippi v. City of Memphis, Tennessee and Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division, 570 F.3d 625, 5th Cir. 2009, cert. denied, U.S. 2010
  • Guardsmark (Puerto Rico) LLC v. Miramar Real Estate Management, Inc., 2010 WL 625396, W.D. Tenn. Feb. 17, 2010
  • Hoskins v. A.O. Smith Corporation, 2001 WL 1450730, 6th Cir. Oct. 31, 2001
  • Tennessee Municipal League v. Thompson, 958 S.W.2d 333, Tenn. 1997
Publications
Speaking Engagements

Education

  • The University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, J.D., 1996, with high honors
  • University of Minnesota, Duluth, B.A., 1982

Admissions

  • Tennessee
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeal for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee 
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas

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