David L. Bearman - Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC

David L. Bearman

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2013
Phone: 901-577-8116

David L. Bearman is a shareholder in the Memphis office and a member of the Business Litigation Group. He is a Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator. Mr. Bearman serves on the Firm's Diversity Committee and on the Recruiting Committee for the Memphis office.

Mr. Bearman has extensive litigation experience in both state and federal courts, and has represented clients in matters involving a wide variety of legal issues including interstate water rights, business and contract disputes, defamation, negligence, First Amendment rights, Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, intentional torts, wrongful death, premises liability, property damage and personal injury. He has significant experience representing governmental entities and businesses in complex matters.

Mr. Bearman is a strong proponent of public service and pro bono legal services. In 2010, he was recognized by the Firm as Pro Bono Attorney of the Year in the Memphis office. 

University of Minnesota, DuluthBA 1982The University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphreys School of LawJ.D. 1996
University of Memphis Law Review (1995 – 96)American Conference of Cantors, Committee on Ethics and Appeals Temple Israel Congregation Tennessee, Memphis and American Bar Associations

Case History

Representative Matters

  • Represented municipality and its utility division in a series of precedent-setting water rights lawsuits involving rights to an interstate, underground aquifer. Plaintiff (a neighboring state) sought over $1 billion in monetary damages and an injunction to cut off the municipality's sole public water source. Obtained dismissal in U.S. District Court, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, Supreme Court of the United States denied certiorari. 
  • Represented vehicle dealership in putative class action suit alleging fraud and Tennessee Consumer Protection Act violations.
  • Represented regional vehicle retailer in putative class action suit alleging violations of the Truth in Lending Act. Obtained early dismissal in U.S. District Court.
  • Represented plaintiff in breach of contract suit tried in U.S. District Court. Obtained judgment for compensatory damages and for attorney fees.
  • Represented utility company in suit filed by landowners seeking to collect damages for utility's leasing of space on its transmission towers to cellular telephone companies. Obtained summary judgment in Tennessee Circuit Court.
  • Represented defendant in action filed by United States to enforce monetary penalty assessed by Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Obtained summary judgment in U.S. District Court.
  • Represented manufacturer in wrongful death lawsuit filed by heirs of individual fatally injured while repairing a large machine at the plant. Obtained summary judgment in U.S. District Court, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.
Representative Opinions
  • Hood, ex rel. Mississippi v. City of Memphis, Tennessee and Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division, 533 F. Supp. 2d 646 (N.D. Miss. 2008)
  • Hood, ex rel. Mississippi v. City of Memphis, Tennessee and Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division, 570 F.3d 625, (5th Cir. 2009), cert. denied, (U.S. 2010)
  • Guardsmark (Puerto Rico) LLC v. Miramar Real Estate Management, Inc., 2010 WL 625396 (W.D. Tenn. Feb. 17, 2010)
  • Hoskins v. A.O. Smith Corporation, 2001 WL 1450730 (6th Cir. Oct. 31, 2001)
  • Tennessee Municipal League v. Thompson, 958 S.W.2d 333 (Tenn. 1997)

Office Location

First Tennessee Building, Suite 2000
165 Madison Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2015 Lawyer of the Year in Litigation - Municipal of the Memphis Metro Area
David L. Bearman has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2015!

Practice Areas

Commercial Litigation
Litigation - Municipal