David R. Carpenter

DAVID R. CARPENTER is a litigation partner and member of Sidley’s Appellate practice group. A critical briefing specialist for complex cases, David’s expansive practice cuts across substantive areas of law and has included significant work in the life sciences, financial services, consumer products, and entertainment industries. David has significant experience on appeal and at the trial court level in:

The defense of class actions alleging consumer fraud and unfair competition claims, and wage-and-hour claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state law;
Constitutional issues arising in commercial cases, such as federal preemption, the First Amendment protection of Commercial Speech, and Fifth Amendment takings issues, as well as federal removal, jurisdiction, and standing issues;
Advising clients on post-trial motions, the shaping of litigation strategy to preserve issues for appeal, and the enforcement of arbitration agreements and other alternative dispute resolution procedures.

The following are illustrative of David’s breadth of practice on appeal, in resolving cases on motions to dismiss or summary judgment, and in opposing class certification or obtaining decertification:

Represented a pharmaceutical manufacturer in the trial court and on appeal in a series of nationwide and statewide class actions challenging the marketing of a prescription drug. Two cases were dismissed on the pleadings, Depriest v. AstraZeneca Pharms. L.P., (Ark. 2009), and Prohias v. AstraZeneca Pharm., L.P., (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2007), and in another case summary judgment was granted and class certification was denied, Weiss v. AstraZeneca Pharm. (Cal. Ct. App. 2010). The Drug and Device Law blog identified the Depriest decision as #2 of the Top 10 Best Prescription Drug/Medical Device Decisions of 2009.
Represented The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights in an amicus brief for the U.S. Supreme Court in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, No. 12-682 (U.S.S.C. brief filed Aug. 30, 2013), involving an equal protection challenge to a Michigan ballot initiative (known as “Proposal 2”), which amended the state constitution to prohibit affirmative action in education. Thirty-one advocacy organizations joined as signatories to Sidley’s brief.
Obtained summary judgment for the defense in an ERISA class action, thus bringing to an end a nearly decade-long litigation seeking disgorgement of pension plan trust returns. Pender v. Bank of America Corp., et al., (W.D.N.C. 2013) (pending appeal).
Advising the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) on statutory and constitutional issues regarding proposals for local governments to use eminent domain to seize underwater mortgage loans held in private label securitization trusts.
Handling an appeal involving unconstitutional takings issues and juror misconduct arising from internet blogging during trial.
Representing employers in putative class actions involving alleged misclassification of information technology employees and insurance claims adjusters.
Representing an employer on appeal in a case involving First Amendment protection of television-casting decisions.
Represented online merchants and industry groups in an amicus brief to the California Supreme Court, where the brief highlighted constitutional challenges to applying the requirements of the Beverly-Song Credit Card Act to internet transactions. Apple v. Superior Court (Cal. 2013).
Representing investment funds in complex commercial disputes arising from film-finance transactions. Cases have included loan/guaranty enforcement, as well as defense of claims, such as in one case where we obtained dismissal of claims for fraud, lender liability, usury, and RICO violations (Tutor v. D.B. Zwirn Special Opportunities Fund, LLC (C.D. Cal. 2010)).
Obtained summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, in favor of a major gas-station franchisor in a case alleging violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law, among other claims. R.N.R. Oils, Inc. v. BP West Coast Products LLC (Cal. Ct. App. 2011).
In the insurance area, represented a life insurance company in an emergency appeal to the Ninth Circuit from a district court order issuing a preliminary injunction and granting class certification. In a matter for a different company, successfully obtained class decertification, in a case alleging breach of contract and violations of California’s UCL, where representation was assumed after class certification and partial summary judgment had been granted against client. Gregurek v. United of Omaha Life Ins. Co. (C.D. Cal. 2009).
Obtained dismissal of class action allegations in a case challenging the running of an organ-transplant facility by a health-services company.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Carpenter clerked for the Honorable Chester J. Straub of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for the Honorable John G. Koeltl of the Southern District of New York.

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Appellate, 2) Complex Commercial Litigation and 3) Financial Services/Consumer Class Actions
Law School New York University School of Law, J.D., 2003
Admitted Year 1986
Education Princeton University, A.B., 2000
Bar Member / Association California State Bar Association
Most recent firm Sidley Austin LLP
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