How David Helps Clients
As co-chair of Buchanan's Labor, Employment, Benefits & Immigration section, David is recognized across the country for his labor and employee benefits experience, especially in the coal industry. Based, in part, on his familiarity with that industry, he has the uncommon capacity to handle equally well both labor relations and ERISA issues.
With an emphasis in the coal industry, David focuses his practice on ERISA matters that involve multiemployer trust funds, including withdrawal liability, delinquent contribution and controlled group/alter ego claims. He also has extensive experience with traditional labor law. By dovetailing his ERISA practice with traditional labor law, David is able to provide unique insight on benefits and single and joint employer issues during collective bargaining negotiations.
My motto is "Don't say no; say how." No matter how difficult or complex the road may be, there is always a path to resolution.
In his transactional practice, David helps clients structure acquisitions and divestitures, address WARN Act issues, negotiate labor agreements as a condition to a closing, conduct due diligence, and prepare complicated employment agreements and separation agreements for executive-level employees.
Before Buchanan, David handled a wide range of labor, employment and employee benefits laws issues for many years with another law firm.
What Clients Can Expect
David has a distinctive ability to take an unwieldy and complicated legal issue and present it as a more easily understood business concept. By acting as legal translator, he clarifies problems and makes it easier for clients to assess options and make decisions.
David is a reliable and responsive team player who helps clients stay focused on practical outcomes and, whenever possible, a win-win solution that satisfies everyone.
Outside the Office
When he's not working, David works on reducing stress, enhancing flexibility and improving vitality by going to yoga regularly and brewpubs occasionally. David also is an avid golfer.
David is married with two grown children who have left home and two dogs and a cat who have not.
- The Best Lawyers in America®, since 2007.
- The Best Lawyers in America®, “Lawyer of the Year,” Pittsburgh Labor Law – Management and Pittsburgh – Natural Resources Law, 2016 & 2017.
- Fellow of the American Bar Foundation since 2009.
- Negotiated a collective bargaining agreement that permitted the company to relocate certain work that facilitated keeping the plant open.
- Counseled a client in financial distress regarding federal and state WARN Act obligations and state wage payment issues.
- Negotiated a complicated separation agreement for a senior executive.
- Represented a client in a withdrawal liability dispute concerning a controlled group claim asserted against non-profit entities.
- Negotiated multiple collective bargaining agreements for a telecommunications company undergoing a massive reorganization.
- Achieved a favorable outcome in an NLRB decision for Star West Satellite despite many alleged violations, including discriminatory terminations and unilateral changes.
- Secured substantial pension plan withdrawal liability assessment reductions for several clients who were liquidating their assets.
- Counseled employers regarding their obligations under the Affordable Care Act.
- Defended a client in complicated litigation involving a multiemployer trust fund's efforts to audit non-union affiliates and to claim contributions for work performed by the affiliates' employees.
- Transitioned union employees from several subsidiaries to several other subsidiaries as part of a corporate consolidation by securing multiple new labor agreements covering the employees.
- Helped a client avoid pension plan withdrawal liability by negotiating appropriate language in an asset purchase agreement.
- Updated a Marcellus Shale company’s employment and benefit policies, plans and programs.
- Assisted with the development and implementation of a voluntary exit incentive program for a nation-wide employer.
- Counseled a buyer regarding the potential risks and obligations associated with acquiring assets from unionized sellers.
- Prepared employment agreements required as conditions to multiple acquisition agreements and addressed related issues under Code Section 409A
- Litigated federal preemption issues in a case filed by multiple employees alleging state-law fraud and contract claims arising from an early retirement program.
- Helped family members understand the controlled group and withdrawal liability implications of possible future changes in ownership, acquisitions and divestitures.
- Negotiated several effects bargaining agreements following plant closures.
Duquesne University School of Law, J.D., 1980, cum laude
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 1977, cum laude
- West Virginia
- District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- Supreme Court of the United States
Allegheny County Bar Association
Pennsylvania Bar Association
The West Virginia State Bar
District of Columbia Bar
American Bar Association Section of International Law
Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, past president and trustee
Board of Trustees, Pittsburgh Public Theater (2017-present)
Past President, Shannopin Country Club (2013-2014)
Past President of the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation (2005)