David D. O’Donnell maintains an active trial and appellate practice in the areas of labor and employment, civil rights, complex commercial, voting rights and insurance litigation and serves as the attorney for Lafayette County, Mississippi. Since 1997, he has been a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of Mississippi School of Law where he teaches courses in political and civil rights litigation, federal pretrial practice, federal trial practice and deposition and negotiation skills. In addition to his inclusion in the list Best Lawyers in America, he has received the highest rating by Martindale Hubbell (AV). David has co-authored two chapters in the 2008 ABA publication “America Votes! A Guide to Modern Election Law and Voting Rights” addressing Sections 2 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act and the use of experts in election law litigation, an article on voting rights litigation entitled “Wading Into the Serbonian Bog of Vote Dilution Litigation Under Amended Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act: Making the Way Towards a Principled Approach to 'Racially Polarized Voting',” (Mississippi Law Journal, Winter 1995) and an insurance practice text entitled “Mississippi Automobile Insurance Law and Practice” (West Pub.), a practice manual for lawyers and insurance claims professionals. After receiving his undergraduate degree from the School of International Service of The American University (Washington, D.C.), David earned a J.D. degree from the University of Mississippi. While in law school, David was a member of the Mississippi Law Journal editorial staff serving as Research and Articles Editor. After law school, David received a two-year appointment (1985-1987) as a law clerk to United States District Judge Neal B. Biggers (Oxford, Mississippi). He is a member of the Florida and Mississippi Bars. David is also active in a number of Bar organizations including the W. C. Keady American Inn of Court (President – 1993-96; Program Chair – 1996-2006) and the Mississippi Board of Bar Admissions, Character and Fitness Committee (2002-2007).
Tyler Edmonds v. Oktibehha County, Mississippi et al. (2012) — I defended Oktibehha County, its Sheriff and several other law enforcement officials in a long-standing Section 1983 case which presented several novel Constitutional issues, including the Fifth Amendment rights of detained juveniles and the use of the superseding cause defense to Fourth Amendment claims. The plaintiff's reasonable range of damages exceeded $1.5 million. The federal district court granted summary judgment which was affirmed by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals after oral argument.
Stephens v. LaJobi Industries (2009) — I served as excess counsel but assumed an active role in the defense of LaJobi Industries, a New Jersey manufacturer and distributor of infant furniture, which had been sued in a wrongful death action alleging negligent design with alleged damages exceeding $10 million. After a vigorous discovery and motion practice, the case was resolved through mediation.
Kevin Moree v. Yamaha and Carlisle Tire & Wheel (2010) — I defended Carlisle Tire & Wheel in an ATV rollover, product liability action brought by a quadraplegic seeking $15 million in damages due to the alleged defective design and manufacture of the Yamaha ATV and the after-market utility tires manufactured by Carlisle. The case involved complex coverage issues between the insured and the primary and excess carriers as well as novel issues of accident causation and related science.
Negotiation of sale of local hospital (2011) — I represented the local County (Lafayette County) during the negotiations leading up to the sale of the County (and City) owned community hospital to Baptist Memorial Hospital Systems of Memphis, Tennessee. A complex transaction involving community leaders, public input, retained valuation experts, industry consultants and other parties. The terms of agreement included a requirement to build a new hospital facility, ongoing health services commitments and complicated remedy provisions.