Dave Walton is a skilled trial lawyer and litigator with a deep understanding of technology and its impact on litigation and he applies his knowledge of computer forensics to assist clients in their most high-stakes litigation. His work has been recognized in national circles. Professor Adam Grant focused on one of Dave’s notable trials in his best-selling book, Give and Take and the Huffington Post has described Dave as a "phenomenally successful trial lawyer."
Dave is chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Cyber Solutions & Data Strategies group. He has been hired as national e-discovery counsel by several major organizations and uses his trial experience to design and implements document retention policies, and customized protocols for preserving and collecting ESI. Dave also provides wide-range training to clients on proactive measures and best practices to effectively resolve e-discovery issues and significantly reduce costs.
As a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Department, Dave has more than 20 years of experience successfully litigating the full gamut of employment discrimination claims, including class actions and individual claims. He has won seven trial verdicts, numerous injunctions and secured substantial settlements for his clients against some of the largest and most recognized law firms in the country.
Dave has a wealth of experience in handling trade secret and non-compete litigation. He understands that time is particularly of the essence in these matters, and works tirelessly to learn the clients’ business, and marshal the facts and evidence needed to reach a favorable result, as quickly as possible. Additionally, Dave has extensive experience successfully litigating ERISA claims relating to fiduciary duties and benefits. Dave represents C-level executives in matters involving their employment contracts and executive compensation and has worked with many private equity firms to negotiate executive employment agreements as part of new business ventures.
While his primary substantive focus is labor & employment law, Dave has also litigated numerous commercial cases concerning bet-the-company litigation relating to complicated technologies. As former co-chair of the firm’s Privacy, Data & Cybersecurity practice, Dave has significant experience handling cybersecurity breaches and privacy litigation. He also regularly consults with clients in the development of cybersecurity policies and protocols. Dave’s deep knowledge of technology is a key asset for his clients, especially as technology has had a greater impact on the workplace.
In addition to his litigation experience, Dave also has extensive experience negotiating collective bargaining agreements and handling labor arbitrations. He has helped clients successfully withdraw from multi-employer pension plans, he has defended numerous NLRB charges, and he has secured numerous mass-picketing injunctions in hostile labor environments.
Dave is a frequent speaker at national conferences on trade secret litigation, digital forensics, e-discovery and cyber law, and has published numerous articles on these topics. He is an active member of The Sedona Conference and a contributing member of the organization’s drafting team on proportionality. Additionally, Dave is a member of the labor and employment law committees of the American and Pennsylvania Bar Associations.
Dave earned a B.S. in Communications from Ithaca College in 1991, where he played varsity baseball receiving numerous all-state and all-conference honors. Dave earned his law degree, with honors, from the University of Richmond School of Law in 1995, where he was awarded the Sheppard Scholarship. At Richmond, Dave served as an editor of the University of Richmond Law Review, and won the American Jurisprudence and Corpus Juris Secundum Book Awards for Civil Procedure.
May 21, 2019
Super Lawyers has selected 64 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2019 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.
June 12, 2018
Super Lawyers has named 54 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2018 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.
May 23, 2018
David Walton, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discussed with Benefit News ways employees can report harassment at work through technology.
August 25, 2017
Dave Walton, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses AI in Pacer Monitor.
October 25, 2016
Dave Walton, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses how getting rid of business equipment can lead to lawsuits on Insureon.
November 01, 2015
David Walton, co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Privacy, Data & Cybersecurity Industry Team, discusses his take on communications strategies and data preservation at the firm in Legal Tech News.
September 09, 2015
David Walton discusses how to more effectively manage the challenges of preservation, an integral part of the e-discovery process.
August 24, 2015
David Walton discusses BYOD policies and offers advice on how to prevent employees from being vulnerable to hackers and bugs.
December 08, 2014
In an article titled “8 Cybersecurity Resolutions to Make for 2015,” David Walton, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses New Year’s resolutions that small business owners should make to keep their company’s reputation and customer information safe.
October 21, 2014
David Walton, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses big data and cybercrime in an interview on 92.5 XTU Radio’s Philadelphia Focus.
August 28, 2014
David Walton, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, appeared as a guest contributor on The Price of Business - Business Talk Radio 1110 AM. David explored some of the implications of big data, and addressed issues such as privacy concerns, breach-prevention systems, and post-breach protocols.
July 30, 2014
In an article titled ''Employers to Embrace Arbitration After 3rd Circ. Ruling,'' David Walton, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses the Third Circuit's ruling that courts, rather than arbitrators, should decide whether classwide arbitration is available when an agreement is silent on that point. The ruling will encourage some employers that had been on the fence about arbitration to embrace it as a means to counter the surging tide of costly wage-and-hour class actions.
May 21, 2014
David Walton, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, was quoted in an article titled ''The Power (and Peril) of Predictive Analytics.'' David discussed the potential benefits and risks of predictive analytics as they relate to the hiring process.
May 02, 2014
In an article titled ''In Big Data report, White House calls for national breach reporting standard,'' David Walton, co-chair of Cozen O'Connor's Privacy, Data and Cybersecurity practice, shares his opinion on the adoption of a national standard for reporting data breaches. David told SCMagazine.com that, while he was in support of a national breach standard being passed, it may still be an uphill battle.
March 28, 2014
In an article titled ''Breaking the Stigma of Stuttering,'' author Katherine Preston discusses her struggle with stuttering, her research into the condition and her journey to publish a book about it. Preston debunks five myths that still cling to the condition, including the myth that stutterers are not good communicators, that stuttering is born of laziness, that stutterers are not good leaders, that stutterers are perpetually anxious, and that it is easier to hire someone ''normal.'' In the article, Preston praises David J. Walton, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, as a ''phenomenally successful trial lawyer'' and recounts David’s appearance in Professor Adam Grant’s recently published book, ''Give and Take.'' David is a highly regarded public speaker and regularly lectures on a variety of Labor & Employment, Data Privacy & Cybersecurity, and E-Discovery issues.
November 22, 2013
David J. Walton's participation in the Georgetown Law Advanced eDiscovery Institute was highlighted in a Law Technology News (LTN) article titled ''Georgetown 2013: Building a Better Info Governance Practice.'' Dave participated in a panel discussion titled ''Information Governance and the 'Not-Me' Conundrum: The Nuts and Bolts of Building an Effective IG Program.'' ''These conferences illustrate a tension between humans and technology,'' Dave observed. ''While I personally believe there's a lot of promise in the use of predictive analytics, it doesn't change the fact that a strong and effective IG program begins and ends with people. We can't ever lose sight of that.''
May 29, 2013
David J. Walton, a member in Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment Department, is featured in a new book by Adam Grant, a professor at The Wharton School, titled ''Give and Take.'' In the book, David describes how, after a recent trial and a successful verdict for his client, several jurors approached him and explained they could tell he had a stutter and appreciated that he took the lead in the trial. David has received numerous emails from law students, lawyers and even law professors who all stutter asking for advice on how to deal with their impediment in the courtroom or job.
May 09, 2013
In an article titled, "FBI: Delete Passwords of Ex-Employees," The Wall Street Journal highlights the firm's Cybersecurity Conference, held on Wednesday, May 8, at the W Hotel. Trevor Cloak, Joe Dever, Greg Fliszar, Brian Gillam, Steven Haas, Mike Schmidt, Stuart Shorenstein, Matthew Siegel, Ahren Tryon and Dave Walton presented during the seminar, along with Richard Aborn, President, Citizens Crime Commission of New York City and Austin P. Berglas, Assistant Special Agent in Charge for Cyber, FBI New York Field Office. To read the WSJ article, click here.
January 03, 2012
In the January issue of Corporate Counsel magazine, David Walton, a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses the rise in Trade Secret litigation.
August 09, 2011
David Walton, a member of the firm's Labor & Employment Department, discusses bridging the gap between the bench and the bar's interest in broad discovery and a desperation to quell staggering e-discovery costs that threaten to overshadow the merits of litigation.
May 02, 2011
In an article titled, "Obtain Handwritten Signatures on Agreements Employers Intend to Enforce," David Walton of the firm's Labor & Employment Group discusses the rise in employers' use of electronic signatures. Dave notes, "E-signatures are easier to forge and harder to authenticate than handwritten signatures...On the other hand, it is easier to track the signatures of large numbers of employees by e-mail than by hard copy."
March 08, 2011
The Philadelphia Business Journal’s blog published a post praising a piece by David Walton originally published on From the Sidebar, a Cozen O'Connor blog published by litigator Hayes Hunt. Walton, a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Group, wrote about his struggle with a stutter and how he has used it to become a better trial lawyer. The blog post was also mentioned in Abovethelaw.com’s Non-Sequiturs last week.
May 11, 2009
In an article titled, "Suing Former Employees Over Laptop Theft," Dave Walton of the firm's Labor & Employment Group" discusses the increasing prevalence of the stealing of company data as layoffs continue in the workplace.
August 07, 2008
In an article titled, "Work E-Emails: The New Smoking Guns," Dave Walton is quoted regarding the use of e-mails as exhibits in trials.
June 25, 2008
In an article titled, "Castor Oil Creates Courtroom Drama," Dave Walton, a member of the firm's Labor & Employment Group, who acted as co-counsel for Jacob Stern and Sons, Inc., discussed the company's suit against two former employees and its former supplier Jayant Oils and Derivatives Ltd., Mumbai, India.
May 28, 2008
A Montgomery County jury awarded a vegetable-based chemical importer and distributor $7 million against two former employees and two suppliers for violations of the state's Trade Secret Act.
May 28, 2008
A Montgomery County jury awarded a vegetable-based chemical importer and distributor $7 million against two former employees and two suppliers for violations of the state's Trade Secret Act.
December 30, 2016
Debra Friedman, David Walton, Charles Wilson and James Glenn, all of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discuss labor & employment law in the upcoming year.
December 23, 2016
David J. Walton discusses the drastic changes Congress made to trade secret law with the passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (the DTSA) that creates a federal civil action for trade secret theft, and we expect plenty of trade secret litigation in 2017.
November 07, 2016
Dave Walton, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses data in the HR department in The Legal Intelligencer.
May 17, 2016
David Walton and David Barron discuss the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 and its civil seizure provision.
August 15, 2015
David Walton discusses big data becoming an increasing part of everyday life and the various ways in which it will affect litigators.
June 30, 2015
David Walton and Leigh Ann Benson discuss the importance of employers preventing cybersecurity incidents and what the outcome of the Supreme Court case Spokeo v. Robins would mean for class actions brought by their employees.
December 31, 2014
The 2014/2015 Labor and Employment Observer looks back at significant developments in labor and employment law over the past year and forward to what employers can expect in 2015.
October 30, 2014
In an article titled “Attorney: Halloween parties don’t have to be scary for employers,” David Walton, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, discusses the key steps employers should take to avoid any potential legal headaches that might arise from an office Halloween party.
August 21, 2014
David Walton, vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, authored an article for Law360 titled, ''Big Data's Potential Disparate Impact Problem.'' David argues that big data analytics may soon become ''the backbone for all personnel decisions.'' However, he cautions employers to ensure that protected categories are treated fairly, as ''Blind reliance on big data can lead to major disparate impact issues.''
April 28, 2014
In a series of articles originally published by InsideCounsel Magazine, David J. Walton discusses the concept of big data and explores its impact on the way we conduct business
April 25, 2014
David Walton, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment department, authored an article for InsideCounsel titled, “You Thought ESI was complicated – Now add big data.” Walton discusses the difficulties lawyers can face when dealing with electronically saved information and how they are increasingly more difficult with the addition of big data
April 11, 2014
David Walton, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment department, authored an article for InsideCounsel, in which he discusses the ways, “big data has sparked a revolution in how corporate America conducts research, identifies customers, advertises itself, and pursues profits.”
March 28, 2014
As companies realize the benefits of big data on their research & development, marketing, sales, branding, and revenue growth, they will increasingly have to reckon with its risks. Utilizing and monetizing big data raises enormous legal questions and potential liabilities. The most salient of these legal issues, at least in the near term, revolve around privacy, regulatory compliance, and duty to intervene.
March 14, 2014
Today, almost every large company collects data about its customers — reams and reams of raw, unstructured data. And they aren’t storing it for posterity. They are using it to do what businesses always try to do: Sell more widgets. More specifically, companies are using big data to identify new customers, advertise more effectively, and develop new products and services.
March 07, 2014
In an article titled “Technology: All databases are not created equal and counsel should know the difference,” Dave Walton, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department and co-chair of the firm’s E-Discovery Task Force, discusses big data analytics and the history of data management and analysis to aid in understanding and interpreting these analytics.
February 14, 2014
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said that “big data” will have a bigger impact than the Internet. Consider how the Internet completely changed our lives. It’s hard to imagine anything, let alone the vague concept of “big data,” having that type of impact.Yet, if you have read any article the past year on a legal technology issue, you have undoubtedly heard about big data. There’s still a lot of confusion about big data, its power, its potential, and what it means for lawyers. This article is the first in a series that will explore these issues and illustrate why big data really is (and will continue to be) a big deal for the legal profession.
January 01, 2014
We are pleased to provide you with our 2013/2014 Observer, which looks back at the developments in labor and employment law over the past year and forward to what employers can expect in 2014.
January 29, 2013
We have all heard and read about the ubiquitous internet "cloud." But what exactly is the cloud? And what specifically does that mean for e-discovery?
August 17, 2012
BYOD is here to stay. In the personal electronics world, the individual consumer is king. They, not employers, are driving the development of the electronics industry. This trend will not reverse. Employers must learn to adapt, think ahead and be vigilant in protecting their information in a BYOD world.
March 09, 2012
The hottest development in the electronically stored information (ESI) world is predictive coding. It is a promising tool that, in non-technical terms, can automatically tag or designate documents. The process is fairly complicated. Using an array of mathematic algorithms, a predictive-coding tool analyzes the language used in a document and “predicts” how it may be coded by a live person.
February 17, 2012
The increased use of personal devices at work is sometimes called “bring your own device” to work, or BYOD. BYOD creates a whole new set of problems for employers. These services aren’t going away and will keep growing. Indeed, BYOD on the whole is a paradigm shift that is permanently changing the way we work.
February 03, 2012
Sun Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher, strategist and general, wrote “The Art of War” in the fifth or sixth century B.C. “The Art of War” is accepted as one of the greatest works in history on strategy. The KGB studied it during the Cold War. The CIA makes all of its officers study it. Mao used its precepts to establish communist China. Even Tony Soprano relied on it to control his “family.”
January 20, 2012
When confronted with an electronically stored information (ESI) issue, the first thing lawyers do—almost reflexively—is exchange a list of search terms and apply them broadly against all types of media. Many judges use the same approach even though, conservatively, search terms result in 90 percent false positives. These false hits are very expensive to cull and review. Thus, a key to controlling ESI discovery costs is to use search terms carefully.
January 12, 2012
Technology: The Power of Transparency - InsideCounsel - Cooperation. Collaboration. Transparency. These are not the concepts we think of when discussing our legal system.
December 23, 2011
Electronically stored information (ESI) collection not only dominates the discovery phase of every e-discovery case, but it also is a key litigation strategy. The strategic element can be especially painful when you are on the wrong side of a case involving asymmetrical obligations.
February 18, 2011
Our Winter 2011 Labor and Employment Observer covers topics of interest to in-house counsel, human resources professionals, and corporate management.
April 14, 2010
Call it what you like: Corporate raiding, predatory hiring — whether it's just 'don't be a pig' or 'don't let workers linger' here are a few easy rules corporate counsel can follow to avoid piracy-related claims.
March 01, 2010
Our Winter 2010 Labor & Employment Law Observer covers a multitude of topics of interest to in-house counsel, human resources professionals and corporate management.
February 25, 2010
The doctrine of inevitable disclosure is alive and well. Pennsylvania and its neighbors all recognize the concept that, in certain situations, can act as a sort of de-facto noncompete agreement to prevent employees with access to confidential information from going to work for a competitor. This controversial doctrine states that certain employees possess intangible confidential information that cannot be returned to the company at the end of their employment, and therefore, they cannot go to work for a competitor without ''inevitably'' disclosing this confidential information.
February 02, 2010
Revisiting Zubulake: Discovery Sanctions in the e-Discovery Context - Commercial Litigation Alert! - On January 11, 2010, Judge Scheindlin, who authored the groundbreaking Zubulake opinions, issued a new opinion regarding sanctions in eDiscovery.1 Pension Comm. of the Univ. of Montreal Pension Plan v. Banc of Am. Scs., 2010 U.S. Dist. Lexis 1839 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 11, 2010), involved an action against defendants who were connected to a hedge fund that lost money. These defendants sought sanctions against the plaintiffs for their alleged failure to
properly preserve and produce documents,
January 27, 2010
E-Discovery: Revisiting Zubulake: Discovery Sanctions in the e-Discovery Context - Insurance Coverage Alert! - On January 11, 2010, Judge Scheindlin, who authored the groundbreaking Zubulake opinions, issued a new opinion regarding sanctions in eDiscovery.1 Pension Comm. of the Univ. of Montreal Pension Plan v. Banc of Am. Scs., 2010 U.S. Dist. Lexis 1839 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 11, 2010), involved an action against defendants who were connected to a hedge fund that lost money. These defendants sought sanctions against the plaintiffs for their alleged failure to properly preserve and produce documents,
January 09, 2009
Avoiding Danger to Business Secrets in a Bad Economy - Law.com - Bad economic times create opportunities for strong companies to poach good employees from a weakened competitor -- a signal for employers to aggressively protect trade secrets.
January 01, 2009
To Spy or not to Spy - HR Advisor - To spy or not to spy on your own employees? That is the question facing many employers today. And, increasing numbers of companies—facing concerns ranging from data security to trade secrets—are saying “yes” to employee surveillance. Here’s a look at the current surveillance landscape, the case for watching your employees, and how you can protect yourself from claims of improper monitoring. the stats
November 01, 2008
A recent American College of Trial Lawyers/Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System survey revealed 83% of lawyers believe the resolution of a case was typically determined by costs -- especially discovery-related -- not merits. And 68% believe many cases do not get filed because of prohibitive litigation costs. Armed with increasing technical proficiency, attorneys have learned different ways to use e-discovery and its associated costs to blackmail opposing counsel into settlement. Here are some tips for minimizing e-discovery challenges: 1. Adopt and follow an effective document retention policy. 2. Preserve early. 3. Take it one step at a time. 4. When asking for electronically stored information (ESI) from your adversary, be precise. 5. Limit the number of potential ESI sources for your employees. 6. Train your employees.
August 25, 2008
Navigating the Wild West of E-Discovery in PA State Court - The Legal Intelligencer/PA Law Weekly: e-Discovery Supplement - Much has been written and said about what attorneys must do to comply with their obligations to preserve and produce electronically stored information (ESI) in federal court. Significantly less attention has been given to the same obligations in state court, despite the fact that ESI is as relevant in state court as in federal court.
February 26, 2008
In this issue, we consider a number of emerging issues and also identify key developments in coverage in 2007. We summarize new court decisions dealing with toxic torts, environmental coverage, insolvency and regulatory issues, and construction defect. We feature a key construction defect coverage case in Illinois with important implications. We address global warming in the context of directors with officers liability coverage. Finally, we discuss the emerging areas of fax blast and food contamination, and the impact of the reauthorization of TRIA.
April 19, 2007
With Updated E-Discovery Regulations, Employers Must Face New Battle - Workforce Management - Recent amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures relating to electronically stored information raise the bar for what will be expected of e discovery in terms of employer's monitoring and policies. Employers will ultimately feel the brunt of these sweeping changes, with dramatic changes to the way discovery will be conducted in federal court, where most discrimination suits are filed.
March 01, 2007
Clicking With New E-Discovery Rules - The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel -
January 25, 2007
2007 E-Discovery Seminar - Philadelphia (Rittenhouse Hotel) - E-Discovery Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure - Are You Prepared to Comply with the New Rules - Accompanying seminar program book from the E-Discovery Seminar of 1/25/2007 at the Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia presented to The Insurance Society of Philadelphia CLE Seminar.
November 14, 2006
2006 E-Discovery Seminar - New York (Marriott Financial Center) - E-Discovery Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure - Are You Prepared? - Accompanying seminar program book from the E-Discovery Seminar of 1/25/2007 at the New York Marriott Financial Center, Manhattan.