David Dobbins is widely regarded as a singularly experienced and able trial and appellate litigator with more than 40 years of experience in a diverse field of commercial litigation, including patent, unfair competition, antitrust, drug liability and general commercial cases. He has tried numerous cases and argued appeals in these fields and in trial and appeals courts throughout the country. From 1977 to 2001 as a firm partner and since then continuing in active practice, he has been instrumental in making the firm one of the top litigation organizations in the country.

In 1980 he established the firm’s patent litigation practice, which at that time was one of the first general practice firms to practice in that field. The department has established itself as one of the most widely recognized and well-regarded ones in the country with particular focus on the drug and medical device area. He also founded the false advertising practice of the firm, trying the seminal case of American Home Products v. Johnson & Johnson, 577 F.2d 160 (2d Cir. 1978), which established the guidelines for safety and efficacy claims for drug products. He is currently engaged in an antitrust challenge to the multibillion dollar Master Settlement Agreement between the major cigarette companies and 46 states, the validity of that challenge having recently been upheld by the Second Circuit. Freedom Holdings v. Spitzer, 357 F.3d 205, reh'g denied, 363 F.3d 149 (2d Cir. 2004).

In addition he also handled extensive pro bono cases in both the federal and state courts. Among them, he was lead counsel in the class action in the Eastern District of New York to obtain broader rights of access by the mentally disabled to public transportation, Fountain House v. MTA, which was recently settled on favorable terms to the class. He also instituted litigation in the Eastern District of New York challenging the right of the federal government to withhold funding from public interest law firms engaging in class actions seeking redress for violation of various civil rights, entitled Dobbins v. Legal Services Corp., in which the judge issued a preliminary injunction against the federal law prohibiting not-for-profit advocacy groups from prosecuting pro bono class actions.

Mr. Dobbins began his legal career in 1957 as Law Clerk to the Hon. Leonard P. Moore, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Representative Matters

Medical Device and Supply Companies
Defense and prosecution of patent infringement claims (pretrial, trial and appeals).

Drug Companies
Defense and prosecution of false advertising claims (pretrial, trials and appeals).

Drug Companies and Medical Device and Supply Companies
Defense of product liability claims (pretrial, trial and appeals).

Business Executive
Representation of partner in Zabar's regarding buy-out rights.

Construction Company
Handling disputes over real estate construction projects.

Representation of trust beneficiaries in hotly contested dispute over porcelain business.

Classes of Various Securities, Including Partnerships
Prosecution of federal securities law claims.


  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit; Second Circuit; Third Circuit; Fifth Circuit; Sixth Circuit; Eighth Circuit; Ninth Circuit; Tenth Circuit; Federal Circuit
  • New York
  • Ohio

Professional Activities

MEMBERSHIPS: American Bar Association; Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Patent Law Committee, Federal Courts Committee); American Intellectual Property Law Association; New York Intellectual Property Law Association