David M. Goldhaber Partner




David Goldhaber has a diverse national litigation practice and serves as a trusted and pragmatic counselor to a broad range of clients operating across multiple industries. Whether handling a challenging litigation matter or providing counsel on the many challenges faced by companies, David’s wide-ranging professional experiences enable him to think outside the box and find practical resolutions to his clients’ most complex legal issues.

David’s litigation experience is as diverse as his clients, spanning several areas of focus, including transportation, health care, product liability, commercial disputes and general liability matters. He assists clients with early case assessment, formulating local and national litigation strategies, serving as a national discovery counsel, handling government/ whistleblower investigations and related regulatory compliance issues, and defending civil false claims actions. David has successfully defended national and local class actions, large state court consolidated proceedings and multidistrict litigation in federal courts throughout the United States.

As a complement to his litigation practice, clients engage David to advise on risk avoidance and mitigation issues, operational matters, policy development and employment matters. David also consults on the creation of document retention programs, leveraging his understanding of the considerable discovery challenges clients face when in litigation.

Professional and Community Activities
David is active in the Chicago pro bono legal community and firmly believes that giving back to the community is a core responsibility for lawyers. He supports Wilson Elser’s pro bono initiatives and sits on the firm’s national Pro Bono Committee. David has worked with the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) Foundation since 2005. In addition to serving as a court-appointed guardian ad litem, he was a member of the CVLS Governing Board of Directors from 2007 to 2014, serving as President (2011–2013) and Vice President of Finance (2009–2011). Today he sits on the CVLS Advisory Board and President’s Committee where he helps provide strategic vision for the not-for-profit foundation.

Representative Matters

Sample Engagements & Litigation successes

Secured directed verdict following two-week breach of contract trial on behalf of a leading Physicians Hospital Organization (PHO) affiliated with a Chicago university medical center. The result followed four years of contentious litigation, exchange of 20,000 documents, 24 depositions and 542 trial exhibits, with the two physician plaintiffs alleging that the PHO client improperly terminated their membership and intentionally interfered with their prospective economic advantage

Serving as lead counsel on behalf of a leading national intercity motorcoach carrier in more than 50 lawsuits, consolidated in the Circuit Court of Cook County, or pending throughout the United States, arising out of multiple high-profile Midwest accidents involving in excess of 200 passengers pursuing pre-suit and/or litigated claims.

Obtained interstate forum non conveniens dismissal of several tainted heparin product liability matters pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County with some 30 similar cases as part of a consolidated discovery proceeding.  The cases were transferred to a more favorable jurisdiction in Texas and resolvedshortly thereafter.

Removed breach of contract lawsuit brought in Alabama state court against British Virgin Islands financial trust company, and obtained complete dismissal under the international Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, putting an end to the dispute before the start of costly discovery.

Obtained dismissal of several Madison County, IL, lawsuits based on the court’s lack of personal jurisdiction over the clients.

Published & Reported Descisions

Bernfeld, et al. v. US Airways, Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. Lexis 52997 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 20, 2016)(granting summary judgment on behalf of US Airways in a putative class action Montreal Convention claim arising out of a flight delay caused by an aircraft suffering a bird strike; Court found no liability under the ‘All Reasonble Measures’ defense and in a case of first impression that the Israeli Aviation Services Law could not be applied in the United States)

Allmerica Financial Corp. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London, 81 Mass. App. Ct. 674 (Mass. App. Ct. April 30, 2012) (holding that underlying class action settlement was comprised of "both covered and uncovered" claims and therefore required allocation under the policy to determine what portion of the claims, if any, were covered).

In re World Airways litigation a/k/a Nigeria Charter Flights Contract Litigation (U.S.C.A. 2nd Circuit, March 10, 2010) (MDL No. 1613; 09-0008-cv) (summary order affirming the New York District Court’s approval of class action settlement of claims brought under the Montreal Convention, and other theories, finding that class settlement was reasonable and its approval was not an abuse of discretion).

Personette  v. TEC Specialty Products, Inc., et al., No. 04-3272 (Ill. Ct. App., 1st Dist.), 231 Ill.2d 654 (2009) (Illinois Supreme Court denying Plaintiff’s Petition for Leave to Appeal following the First District Appeals Court affirming summary judgment in a silica exposure case based on the 2 year statute of limitations).

Allmerica Financial Corp. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London, 449 Mass. 621, 871 N.E.2d 418 (August 6, 2007) (holding in a case of national first impression that is now a leading international authority, that an excess follow-form carrier is not bound by primary insurer’s settlement of any underlying class action claim or any intent surrounding the underlying policy).

McCoy v.Unicare Life and Health Insurance Co., 2004 WL 2358277 (N.D. Ill., Oct. 18, 2004) (dismissing lawsuit against managed care organization after holding in case of national first impression that the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act (FEHBA) completely preempts and requires dismissal of medical benefits lawsuit which the plaintiff characterized as a medical malpractice claim).

Platinum Technology, Inc., v. Federal Ins. Co., 282 F.3d 927 (7th Cir. 2002) (reversing $9.4 million Northern District of Illinois bench trial judgment predicated on a purported breach of the insurer’s duty to defend and breach of contract).


  • "Post-Accident Practices: Preparing for Litigation," presented at the Alternative Trucking Insurance Program (TRIP) Risk Control Workshop (January 31, 2018) 
  • “Post-Accident Practices:  The good, the bad & the ugly”, presented at the International Warehouse Logistics Association 2017 Safety & Risk Conference (September 7, 2017)
  • What I learned from Eating Belgian Waffles”, presented at Wilson Elser Partner Retreat, Ted Talk Series (October 29, 2016)
  • National Business Institute’s (NBI’s) Advanced Trial Tactics Seminar, “Effective Exhibits and Courtroom Technology” (November 18, 2014)
  • “Legal Project Management: Who is doing it and how?” The Cowan Group’s Leadership Breakfast Roundtable Series, Invited Panelist (May 25, 2011)
  • “Discovery in the Digital Age,” presented at the Council on Litigation Management’s Live Standard Training Program (October 28, 2009)
  • “Litigation 103: Discovery Practice,” presented at the Council on Litigation Management’s Live Standard Training Program (October 28, 2009)
  • “Recent Developments in Physician Credentialing Liability,” presented at the Chicago Bar Association Health Law Committee Meeting (January 8, 2008)
  • “An Overview of Current Medical Malpractice Reform Efforts,” presented at the Chicago Bar Association Health Law Committee Meeting (March 2005)
  • “The Consumer, the Law, and You: Preparing for a Lawsuit,” presented to the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals, Chicago Chapter Meeting (May 2003)
  • Defense Strategies for Avoiding Punitive Damages in Nursing Home Litigation,” co-presenter at the American Conference Institute’s Nursing Home Litigation Conference (June 2002)


  • "Federal Judges Are Tired of 'Stock' Discovery Objections," Law360 | Expert Analysis, (May 3, 2017)
  • “Illinois Adds Fuel to the Fiery National Healthcare Debate: Supreme Court Strikes Damage Caps and Other Healthcare Reform,” ABA Health Lawyer (June 2010)
  • “Illinois Supreme Court Invalidates Damage Cap: Three Strikes and You're Out,” Chicago Bar Association Record (April 2010)
  • “Another Failed Attempt at Illinois Tort Reform,” Law360 (February 24, 2010)
  • “Ohio Supreme Court Precludes Arbitration of Provider Antitrust Lawsuit,” ABA Health eSource (April 2006)
  • “Federal and State Regulation of Managed Care Organizations,” Chapter 15 of Health Law, volume 27 of “Illinois Jurisprudence,” LEXIS Publishing (Spring 2006), coauthor
  • “An Overview of FEHBA and the Power of Its Preemption,” The Health Lawyer (October 2005)
  • “Bad Faith Law: A Fifty State Survey,” published and distributed by Zurich Reinsurance (North America), Inc. (1999)
  • “The Role of Insurance Coverage Counsel When Disputes Over Coverage Disputes Arise: Resolution of Coverage Issues,” Chicago Bar Association Insurance Law Committee Symposium (April 1998)

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