David H. Thompson


David H. Thompson

Managing Partner | dthompson@cooperkirk.com
1523 New Hampshire Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 220-9659 | Fax: (202) 220-9601


David Thompson is the Managing Partner of Cooper & Kirk and joined the firm at its founding. Mr. Thompson has extensive trial and appellate experience in a wide range of matters. Mr. Thompson was awarded an A.B. degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard University in 1991, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In 1994, Mr. Thompson received a J.D. degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

In commercial matters, Mr. Thompson has had significant trial experience in litigating large claims for plaintiffs and defendants. Serving as the de facto general counsel to several private companies, Mr. Thompson has developed significant practical business experience, which allows him to be extremely effective in litigating commercial disputes. He recently led the firm’s trial team that won a $205 million verdict in AmBase Corp. v. United States.  Previously, he won an $18 million trial verdict in a breach of contract case for Bank of America. More broadly, Mr. Thompson has prepared complex damage analyses in antitrust, securities, and breach of contract cases. In connection with these matters, Mr. Thompson has taken hundreds of depositions of senior executives, expert witnesses, high ranking government and university officials, employees, and union leaders.

Mr. Thompson also has extensive experience in constitutional litigation. Mr. Thompson has litigated numerous cases involving freedom of speech, civil rights, voting rights, takings of property, Second Amendment, and separation of powers issues.

Mr. Thompson has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University Law Center and a visiting professor at the University of Georgia Law School’s DC campus.  The class he taught most recently is Lawyering in Public, a course focusing on how to litigate high profile cases.  He is also a frequent speaker on trial tactics.

Selected commercial litigation experience

  • AmBase Corp. v. United States, 100 Fed.Cl. 548 (2011): conducted three month trial in breach of contract case resulting in $205 million verdict.  On appeal, the case settled for $180 million dollars.
  • Citizens Federal Bank v. United States,474 F.3d 1314 (Fed. Cir. 2007) : conducted two week trial culminating in $18 million verdict.  Successfully defended the verdict on appeal.
  • 216 Jamaica Ave., LLC v. S&R Playhouse Realty Co., 540 F.3d 433 (6th Cir. 2008): successfully represented New York real estate company in breach of contract case involving major property in Cleveland.  The case is one of several gold clause cases Mr. Thompson has prosecuted.
  • Expert Choice, Inc. v. Gartner, Inc., No. 03-2234, 2007 WL 951662 (D. Conn. Mar. 27, 2007): represented software developer in suit for copyright infringement.  After extensive discovery, the case settled.
  • Spectrum Stores, Inc. v. CITGO Petroleum Corp., 632 F.3d 998 (5th Cir. 2011): represented gasoline wholesalers in antitrust suit against CITGO.
  • Jung v. Association of American Medical Colleges, 184 F. App’x 9 (D.C. Cir. 2006): represented doctors in antitrust challenge to national residency match program.
  • Ford Motor Co. v. United States, 286 F.3d 1335 (Fed. Cir. 2002): represented Ford Motor Company in successful trial and appellate litigation relating to dispute over customs duties.
  • Lesser v. Quadramed Corp., No. 00-606-A (E.D. Va.): represented shareholder in securities fraud case under Rule 10b-5.
  • United States ex rel. Thompson v. Columbia /HCA Healthcare Corp., 125 F.3d 899 (5th Cir. 1997): represented whistleblower in qui tam matter that resulted in a $252 million settlement.
  • Napster Litigation (A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc., 239 F.3d 1004 (9th Cir. 2001)): successfully represented Recording Industry of America in its efforts to shut down Napster.
  • Employment litigation: represented plaintiffs and defendants in numerous cases involving race, gender, age, and pregnancy discrimination.

Selected civil rights and constitutional litigation

  • Duke Lacrosse, Carrington v. Duke University, No. 08-119 (M.D.N.C. 2011): represented 38 members of the 2006 Duke lacrosse team in litigation against Duke University.  After defeating Duke’s motion to dismiss and completing extensive fact discovery, the case settled.
  • Second Amendment litigation: represents the National Rifle Association and individuals in cases around the country implicating the right to keep and bear arms.
  • Proposition 8, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, 704 F. Supp. 2d 921 (N.D. Cal. 2010): conducted two week trial on behalf of official proponents of California’s Proposition 8 which restored the traditional definition of marriage.
  • Affirmative Action, Coalition For Economic Equity v. Wilson, 522 U.S. 963 (1997)): successfully defended California’s Proposition 209, which eliminated affirmative action in education.  Defended similar law in Michigan.
  • Takings: represented numerous clients in matters relating to taking of property without just compensation under the Fifth Amendment.
  • National security: represented John Ashcroft in connection with his testimony on DOJ’s “torture memos” before the House Judiciary Committee.
  • McConnell v. FEC, 540 U.S. 93 (2003): represented NRA in challenge to the McCain-Feingold law’s prohibition on political speech.
  • Johnson v. Governor of Florida, 377 F.3d 1163 (11th Cir. 2004): successfully defended in trial court and on appeal Florida’s law disenfranchising convicted felons.
  • Clinton v. City of New York, 524 U.S. 417 (1998): successfully challenged the Line Item Veto Act.
  • Glavin v. Clinton, 19 F. Supp. 2d 543 (E.D. Va. 1998): successfully challenged the Clinton Administration’s efforts to conduct a statistical sample as part of the census rather than an actual enumeration of the population.
  • Preparation of white papers on numerous constitutional issues for corporate clients.

Practice Focus
Administrative Litigation
Class Actions
Commercial Litigation
Constitutional Litigation
Election Law
Employment Litigation
Government Contracts Litigation
Qui Tam
State Representation
Trial Practice

J. D., Harvard Law School in 1994 (cum laude)
A.B., Harvard College in 1991 (magna cum laude), Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions
District of Columbia
New York

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