The biggest victory is quietly stopping a case, and David has helped clients avoid charges in many DOJ, SEC, and other government investigations.
But David is equally known for courtroom and appellate victories – including antitrust, environmental, health care, securities, immigration, commodities, banking, bribery, government contracts, and others. He also has been recruited to try civil cases, sometimes shortly before trial.
Cases include: Exoneration of the BP engineer tried for pollution and manslaughter in the Deepwater Horizon blowout; Presidential pardon for a businessman who was accused of violating Iran trade sanctions; Representing the CFO of Enron in his criminal, civil, SEC and other ordeals; Reversal on appeal for Dynegy’s Jamie Olis (and then winning 18 year reduction in sentence); Reversal on appeal of the Ahmad Clean Water Act case; Acquittal in the Marine Hose Price Fixing trial; Dismissal of all charges in the Propane Commodities Manipulation indictment; Dismissal of all felony charges in the IFCO immigration fraud indictment; Successful defense of the Metal Building Insulation Price Fixing trial.
David is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Board of Criminal Lawyers. He is “Chambers & Partners” Band 1 for White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations – Texas (each year since 2017), where he is described as “held in the very highest regard by peers and clients: ‘extraordinarily good judgment;’ ‘very strategically intelligent;’ ‘incredibly successful trial work;’ ‘soothing demeanor.’” David is a former Federal Public Defender who has been listed in “Best Lawyers in America” (Woodward White, Inc.) since 1999 and “Super Lawyers” (Thomson Reuters) since 2003.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SCHOOL OF LAW
JD, 1985 (Book Editor, Texas Law Review)
LAW CLERK TO THE HON. JERRE WILLIAMS
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 1986-1987
LAW CLERK TO THE HON. HARRY LEE HUDSPETH
United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, 1985-1986
QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART & SULLIVAN LLP
Managing Partner & Chair of the White Collar and Corporate
Investigations Group, Houston Office, 2014-2018
GERGER & CLARKE
Founder & Owner, 2004-2014
FOREMAN DEGEURIN NUGENT & GERGER
ASSISTANT FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER
Southern District of Texas,1991-1993
VINSON & ELKINS
- Defense of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill indictment in United States v. Kaluza, defeating all charges. First, won dismissal of federal manslaughter charges on a “motion to dismiss” that was then affirmed on appeal in the Fifth Circuit. Then, won acquittal of oil pollution charges in jury trial in federal court in New Orleans. Read more about David and his co-counsel in the case in The Wall Street Journal, Houston Chronicle, and two piecesin Texas Monthly.
- Defended Iranian-American in trade sanctions case who received Presidential Pardon in so-called Iranian “prisoner exchange” in 2016.
- Won dismissal of indictment of a Texas businessman charged with money laundering in the international cosmetics trade.
- Acquittal in the “Marine Hose” International Price Fixing trial in West Palm Beach, Florida.
- Successful defense of one of the largest will contests in Texas history.
- Dismissal before trial of an indictment alleging commodities “manipulation.”
- Dismissal of all charges in the “Spring Shadows” psychiatry fraud trial after six months of trial.
- The successful “Ahmad” Clean Water Act appeal, establishing that pollution is not a strict liability crime.
- Defense of the “IFCO” immigration case, ending in dismissal of all felony charges.
- Dismissal of a federal mortgage fraud indictment before trial.
- On appeal, reversal of the 24 year prison sentence of Dynegy‘s Jamie Olis and, at new sentencing hearing, an 18-year reduction.
- Successful defense of executives in stock options dating investigations.
- Successful representation of many executives in investigations by government agencies (DOJ, SEC, IRS, EPA, CFTC, FERC, Texas Attorney General) concerning areas such as FCPA, environmental, tax, commodities trading, antitrust and trade sanctions in which prosecution was declined or no charges filed.
- Defense of the Iraq “Oil-For-Food” Investigation.
- Dismissal of mortgage fraud indictment before trial, Dallas County, Texas.
- Represented the CFO of Enron throughout civil, criminal, SEC, Congressional, and media crises after the company‘s collapse.
- Won “compassionate release” from federal prison for inmate after BOP neglected his medical care. Read more about this here.
Publications and Lectures
David is Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston Law Center and a frequent speaker on criminal law around the country. Publications and Lectures include:
- “I’m Not the CFO – I’m Just a Drug Dealer,” White Collar Crime CLE Keynote Address (Texas Bar CLE, Austin, Texas, 2019)
- Environmental Crime, 33rd ABA White Collar Crime Institute (New Orleans 2019)
- Enron to BP, Mexico Bar Association (Mexico City 2019)
- Criminal Antitrust Update, ABA 32nd White Collar Institute (San Diego 2018)
- Criminalization of Disasters, Univ. Texas Gov’t Enforcement Institute (Dallas 2018)
- First Steps in a Criminal Case, Defending a White Collar Case: CJA Panel Training (Houston 2018)
- Under the Bus: Ethical Issues in Corporate Investigations, 2017 Federal Bench-Bar Conference (Houston 2017)
- Big Wins, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers White Collar Seminar (Washington 2017)
- When Disasters Strike: Who is Criminally Liable When People Die in Tragic Mishaps, ABA 31st White Collar Institute (Miami 2017)
- Keynote Address, Nat’l Assn of Criminal Defense Lawyers White Collar College (Stetson University 2017)
- Landmark White Collar Crime Trials, ABA Webinar (Washington D.C. 2016)
- Criminal Law in Business Tort Cases, The Art of Business Litigation (University of Houston Course 2016)
- Uncle Sam Wants You: The Yates Memo and Individual Criminal Liability, Houston Bar Association Environmental Section (Houston 2016)
- That’s a Crime? – Over-criminalizing or Getting Away with Murder?, University of Texas Annual Government Enforcement Institute (Houston 2016)
- Criminal Law and Maritime Law Cases, University of Texas 25th Annual Admiralty & Maritime Conference (Houston 2016)
- The BP Criminal Trial: A War Story, Texas Environmental Superconference (Austin 2016) and Houston Bar Association Criminal Section (Houston 2016)
- When Government Over-Reaches, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers White Collar Seminar (San Diego 2016)
- Corporation as Cop in Today’s Enforcement Environment, Houston Bar Association Securities Section (Houston 2015)
- Is It Criminal or Is It Civil: Criminal Issues in Civil Cases, Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists (Houston 2015)
- The Over-criminalization of the BP Oil Spill, Federal Bar Association (Houston 2015)
- Criminal Issues in Civil Disputes, State Bar of Texas (Dallas 2015)
- What Makes That a Crime — Criminal Issues in Civil Cases, Texas Association of Civil Trial & Appellate Specialists (Houston 2015)
- The Death of Criminal Law, The Champion (2015)
- Criminal Law in Business Cases, ALM Business Litigation Seminar (Houston 2015)
- Movies, Coca-Cola, and Antitrust Prosecution, ABA White Collar Crime Nat’l Institute (New Orleans 2015).
- SEC Enforcement Trends, RR Donnelly SEC Hot Topics Conference (2014)
- Criminal Law in Business Torts, ALM (2014)
- Antitrust, ABA Nat’l Institute (Miami 2014)
- Ethics, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (Lake Tahoe 2013)
- Pretrial Motions in White Collar Cases, ABA Nat’l Institute (Las Vegas 2013)
- Representing Individuals, ABA White Collar Crime Nat’l Institute (Miami 2012)
- Lessons from the IFCO Case, Am. Immigration Lawyers Association (Costa Rica 2012)
- Antitrust Defense, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (Lake Tahoe 2011)
- Lessons from the Marine Hose Trial, ABA Energy Law Conference (Houston 2011)
- Fundamentals of White Collar Investigations & Defense, ABA White Collar Crime Nat’l Institute (San Diego 2011)
- Criminal Antitrust Issues from Indictment to Trial, ABA Criminal Practice Comm. (Dallas 2011)
- Hands Up: What the Government and Your Employees are Thinking During a Criminal Investigation; Institute for Energy Law Oil & Gas Conf. (Houston 2011)
- White Collar Sentencing, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (New York 2011)
- Caught on Videotape: The Trial of a Cartel Case, Houston Bar Association (2010)
- Ethical Issues in SEC Representation, Houston Bar Association (2010)
- Trial of a Probate Case, Houston (2010)
- Immigration Crime, State Bar of Texas (2010)
- Emerging Issues in White Collar Criminal Law, Louisiana State Bar Association, New Orleans (2009)
- Criminal Issues in Civil Cases, State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Trial Course, San Antonio (2009)
- Use and Abuse of Experts in “Loss” Calculations, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (San Francisco – 2007) (with Joseph Grundfest)
- “Loss” in Securities Cases, Houston Bar Association (2007)
- Criminal Issues for the Civil Practitioner, State Bar of Texas Advanced Civil Trial Course (2006)
- Securities Fraud, ABA National Institute, Washington, D.C. (2006)
- Inside U.S. v. Skilling & Lay, Georgetown Univ. Law Center/National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Washington, D.C. (2006)
- Crimes You Never Heard Of: The Criminalizing of Business Practices, North American Power Credit Organization (2006)
- New Trends in Criminal Law, University of Texas 28th Corp. Counsel Inst., (2006)
- Criminal Law Issues in Civil Cases, South Texas College of Law Advanced Seminar (2006)
- Trial Tactics, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Advanced Course, Aspen, Colo. (Jan. 2006)
- How Do You Say No? Responding to a Search, Arrest, or Other Close Encounter with the Police, 43 Houston Lawyer 3 at 23 (2005)
- Pleas & Sentences after Booker, Georgetown Univ. Law Center/National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Seminar (2005)
- Areas of Criminal Liability in the Energy Industry, A.B.A. Energy Litigation Conference (2004)
- Lessons to Be Learned and Trends in Corporate Criminal Prosecution, KPMG Insights Seminar (2004)
- Controversy Over the Sentencing Mis-Guidelines, 20 Texas Lawyer No. 28 at 41 (2004)
- Federal Criminal Law, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association Conference (2004)
- How New Laws on Obstruction of Justice are Affecting Business, Houston Business Journal (2004)
- Obstruction of Justice, Texas General Counsel Forum (2004)