David R. Schaefer


“When you’re a litigator in a relatively small state, you develop a reputation—with the courts, opposing counsel, and clients. I have a reputation for being someone who will give honest advice to my clients and be forthright with the court and opposing counsel but who is also a vigorous advocate.”

David is a Partner of the firm and Chair of the firm’s Litigation practice group. David practices before state and federal trial and appellate courts in matters involving commercial and contractual disputes; disputes among members of partnerships, professional entities, and corporations: matrimonial disputes; securities law; real estate law issues; intellectual property law claims; constitutional law questions; municipal tax appeals; employment disputes; discrimination claims; and probate/trust disputes.

Prior to joining the firm, David practiced in Boston at Foley, Hoag & Eliot. He also served for a number of years as counsel to the United States Senate Governmental Affairs Committee chaired by Senator Abraham Ribicoff and on the Senator’s personal staff.

David received his B.A. (1971) from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and his J.D. (1973) from New York University School of Law, where he was chosen the outstanding graduate of his law school class and was elected to the Order of the Coif. David is a member of the Connecticut and Massachusetts Bars and is admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Districts of Connecticut and Massachusetts. He is admitted to practice before the First, Second, and Third Circuit Courts of Appeals, the United States Tax Court, and the United States Supreme Court. In addition, he has been admitted to handle specific litigation in the federal courts of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Ohio and in the federal bankruptcy courts of New York and New Jersey. David joined the firm in 1980 and became a principal in 1982.

David is recognized as a 2021 top rated lawyer in Super Lawyers® in the area of Business Litigation. He has held this Super Lawyers ranking continuously since 2007.

  • Lead trial counsel in a securities class action against a major Connecticut bank, obtaining a favorable settlement during trial.
  • Counsel for defendant consumer products company in a consumer class action challenging the claims of efficacy made by the defendant; obtained dismissal of action by the trial court, affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
  • Represented the wife in a divorce action against her husband who was an attorney/real estate developer with ownership in multiple New York City properties. Trial court awarded the wife lifetime non-modifiable alimony, not dischargeable in bankruptcy, plus an interest in all the New York real estate to be paid upon sale, or by appraisal if the properties are not sold within 10 years.
  • Obtained a settlement on the eve of trial in a case pending in the Federal Court in Massachusetts for a Connecticut individual confirming her ownership of a biomedical company when other owners denied her ownership and had transferred assets of the company to a new entity. The settlement required the company to pay the client’s legal fees.
  • Obtained a jury verdict for a company against a multi-national oil company for breach of contract.
  • Served as liaison counsel in three antitrust class actions seeking recovery of damages for violations of the Sherman Act in the chemical, paper and pharmaceutical industries.
  • Federal Bar Council, Whitney North Seymour Award for Outstanding Public Service, 2013
  • Federal Bar Council, Past President
  • Federal Bar Foundation, Past President
  • New Haven County Bar Association, Past President
  • National Executive Committee of the Anti-Defamation League, Member
  • Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Past Director
  • Town of Hamden Farmington Canal Commission, Chairman
  • Greater New Haven Jewish Federation, Past President
  • Congregation Mishkan Israel, Past President

Practice Areas
•  Commercial Litigation
•  Constitutional Law
•  Discrimination Law
•  Employment Law
•  Intellectual Property Litigation
•  Matrimonial Law
•  Probate/trust Litigation
•  Real Estate Litigation
•  Securities Litigation
•  Tax Appeals
•  Unfair Trade Practices Litigation

•  New York University School of Law (J.D.)
    – Order of the Coif
•  University of Wisconsin at Madison (B.A.)

Bar Admissions
•  Connecticut
•  Massachusetts

Court Admissions
•  U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut
•  U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
•  First, Second, and Third Circuit Courts of Appeals
•  U.S. Tax Court
•  U.S. Supreme Court
•  Federal courts of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Ohio
•  Federal bankruptcy courts of New York and New Jersey

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