David E. Kleinfeld

Of Counsel

David has been one of San Diego’s leading technology and life sciences litigators, trial lawyers and strategists for over three decades. He has successfully represented companies such as QUALCOMM, SAIC, Nokia, Cricket, HP, ZTE, Ernst & Young, Bank of America, Kyocera, Gensia and Nanogen, to name a few, in major business and intellectual property disputes as well as providing strategic counseling. Both in his legal work and through leadership roles with major non-profit organizations he has developed a diverse network comprised of executives, philanthropists and global leaders in innovation in programs which highlight and further the opportunities San Diego presents and offers as a home of innovation with extraordinary global impact.

David’s love of advocacy began in high school where he was an award winning varsity debater recognized statewide in New York. In college at Wesleyan University in Connecticut he continued as an award winning intercollegiate debater before turning his love of advocacy to legal education and the legal profession.

David’s career has spanned diverse industries and subject matter. His leading work in lender liability defense included trial victories for Security Pacific National Bank and Bank of America together with the first reported appellate precedent that banks may not be held liable in bad faith for breach of standard commercial loan agreements in a case for Mitsui Manufacturers Bank.

More recently David became a notable intellectual property and patent lawyer representing leading companies in major trial and arbitration victories. In particular he has successfully represented QUALCOMM in a myriad of matters which contributed to their business success in hastening the adoption of CDMA Technology.

David’s non-profit commitment and activities have gone beyond the legal and business community to include San Diego arts and culture. He is past president and longtime member of the Board of Directors of the San Diego Opera. In this role too, he was a tenacious advocate. During his tenure with the Opera Board some sought to close the San Diego Opera and deprive the City of this cultural treasure. David stood alone in casting the single “no” vote on a resolution that passed 33-1 to close the San Diego Opera in 2014. As in litigation, David was not daunted by the long odds or forces massed against a position he knew to be right. After that vote he led the effort to persuade a majority of the Board to reconsider and reverse its decision. As a result the opera thrives today.

As in litigation, the joy of advocacy is in knowing what is right and mustering the focus, creativity and tenacity to achieve it. This has defined David’s career and efforts in behalf of his clients.

David has frequently been selected as a top litigation lawyer in San Diego by Best Lawyers, San Diego Daily Transcript, San Diego Magazine and Super Lawyers, to name a few. He is a former member of the Board of Governors of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, a former member of the Executive Committee of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of California, former member of the Board and Executive Committee and Past President of San Diego Opera, Founding Master of the J. Clifford Wallace Inn of Court, member of the Committee for Adoption for Local Patent Rules of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, a former member of the Kyoto Prize Host Committee and a former Chair and Member of the Professional Advisory Council of the Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library for San Diego County.

David lives in Santaluz with his wife Kathy and their dog Torry. They have two grown sons and enjoy tennis, the beach, music, working out, travel and Pacific sunsets.

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Business Litigation
Commercial Litigation
Intellectual Property Litigation
Strategic Counseling


Top lawyer selections by:
Best Lawyers,
San Diego Daily Transcript,
San Diego Magazine, and
Super Lawyers


Civil Trial Lawyers