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David E. Morrison

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David Morrison is the Administrative Partner for Goldberg Kohn, as well as a principal in the firm's Litigation and Labor & Employment groups.  He is an experienced litigator and trial lawyer, having litigated bankruptcy-related, commercial, and employment cases on behalf of public and private companies in every region of the country.  David's substantial litigation experience has involved litigation, arbitration and mediation of cases involving dozens of bankruptcy issues; securitized credit agreements; commercial licensing disputes; sales, promotion, distribution and marketing agreements; accounting fraud; securities litigation; FCA investigations and interactions with the DOJ; commercial lease disputes; commercial tort claims; breach of fiduciary duty; the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act or BIPA; trade secret disputes; restrictive covenants; wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation and harassment claims; breach of letters of intent, asset purchase and stock purchase agreements, breach of warranty; construction litigation; enforcement of guarantees; and fraudulent transfer, piercing the corporate veil, and alter ego claims.

David has represented banks and other commercial lenders, private equity firms, pharmaceutical companies, trading firms, real estate operators and lessors, general merchandise stores, restaurants, manufacturers, distributors, and various service sectors, including pharmaceutical, banking, manufacturing, trading, hospitality, engineering, telecommunications, architectural, accounting, and research and testing.

Based on a five-year-long, corporate pro bono partnership David created with McDonald's Corporation and the National Immigrant Justice Center in 2016, Goldberg Kohn, McDonald's, the NIJC and Jenner & Block were awarded the 2021 CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award for their extensive efforts in representing asylum seekers to be granted asylum in the U.S.  To view the awards video, please click here.

David chairs the firm's Administrative Committee.  Over his 25-year career at Goldberg Kohn, David has also chaired the firm's Recruiting Committee, the firm's Diversity Committee, and served as the firm's Employment Counsel.  He received his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Michigan in 1993, where he was Executive Note Editor of the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, and his B.A. in political science, with honors, from Indiana University in 1990.  He is a former law clerk to the Honorable Suzanne B. Conlon, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  David has been consistently selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers for both business and employment litigation for over 10 years and was named a 2020 Chicago Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year.

David serves on the Board of Directors of Makom Solel Lakeside Congregation, in Highland Park, Illinois.  He previously served as president and a member of the board of directors of College Bound, Inc., and is a past officer, co-chair of the Executive Committee and member of the board of directors of Scholarship Chicago, Inc., both of which were not-for-profit charitable organizations established to assist underprivileged Chicago-area high school students to attend and graduate from college.  David also coached girls and boys AYSO soccer teams in Deerfield, Illinois for 14 years.

Representative Matters

A representative sampling of David's litigation, trial and appellate experiences include the following:

  • David has been appointed as a Special Assistant State's Attorney, and serves as lead litigation counsel, representing Cook County, Illinois in a case of national significance addressing the power of the federal government's Executive Branch relating to the nation's immigration laws, specifically how the term 'public charge' is to be applied to green card applicants. Goldberg Kohn has represented the County at all three levels of the federal judiciary. The firm initially assisted in obtaining a preliminary injunction in the Northern District of Illinois; then helped to defeat two motions brought before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to stay the injunction; and ultimately represented Cook County before the U.S. Supreme Court, which entered a stay of the injunction pending the appellate process. The Supreme Court's ruling drew a dissent from Justice Sotomayor that garnered front page attention in the national media. On February 26, 2020, David argued the merits of the appeal before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. On June 10, 2020, the Seventh Circuit ruled in favor of Cook County and affirmed the preliminary injunction order.
  • David represented a California-based private equity company that had formed a business to acquire the majority lender position in a secured credit facility. Working with the firm's Creditor's Rights group, the firm's client acquired the assets of a Chapter 11 debtor that operated 80 restaurants and bars nationwide in a Section 363 Sale under the Bankruptcy Code. Another private equity firm, a disappointed auction participant and minority lender in the facility, sued the firm's client in the Southern District of New York, attempting to use the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing to extract 1/3 of the value of the purchased company from our client. David first successfully argued for the dismissal of the good faith and fair dealing claim. Then, after a February 2019 trial on the merits, in which the minority lender attempted to establish that the firm's client breached the "sharing provision" contained in the credit agreement when instead of tendering cash at closing, the client tendered court-approved non-cash consideration, the SDNY entered a judgment fully in favor of the firm's client. The decision represents a significant win for majority lender rights, and rejection of the minority lender's efforts to establish a rule of law that would have prohibited the use of non-cash consideration at bankruptcy auctions.
  • David was retained to represent two former executives of the plaintiff and their new employer who were sued in federal court in the Northern District of Illinois on federal and state trade secret misappropriation claims. David led a team and his clients through extensive emergency discovery and a two-day trial. The Court entered a published decision fully in favor of David's clients and denying the plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction. The opinion has been discussed heavily by intellectual property and employment counsel around the country, (“For years to come, that’s going to be a decision that’s cited by litigators on both sides of these issues,” as quoted in "5 Noncompete Rulings from 2019 Attorneys Should Know," Law 360 (December 13, 2019)). David also has been a sought-after speaker on the topic of reasonable protections for trade secret information as a result. See Abrasic 90 Inc. v. Weldcote Metals, Inc. et al., 364 F. Supp.3d 888 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 4, 2019).
  • For over 20 years, David has represented a Fortune 125 company on a variety of commercial matters, including serving as its national employment counsel responsible for defending more than 100 single-plaintiff employment discrimination cases throughout the country. David has obtained summary judgment or dismissal in cases throughout the country. Over a one-year period, David won appeals affirming three of those summary judgment decisions in the Sixth, Seventh and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeal. An example of a representative case was when David successfully defended the corporation and five individual defendants in a California state court case against a former employee who sought $7,000,000 in her nine count wrongful termination suit. David led a team of lawyers in extensive discovery including 25 depositions as the plaintiff tried to amass a tremendous record to create what she claimed was more than 150 disputes of material facts in an attempt to force our clients to a four-week jury trial. David was able to simplify the facts and issues and persuasively argue that not one material fact was in dispute, resulting in the clients being granted summary judgment. The California Appellate Court affirmed the trial court's decision in full after hearing argument from David, and the California Supreme Court denied the plaintiff's Petition for Review.

Other Bankruptcy-Related Trial Experience

  • Successfully tried a week-long commercial trial in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on behalf of an international jet airplane manufacturer, resulting in an award representing 40 percent of the debtor's estate, or more than $3,200,000. 
  • Successfully tried one-day commercial trial in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware concerning the valuation of debtor's domestic intellectual property assets, resulting in an order of adequate protection in favor of a lending client and the entry of an injunction against the use of infringing intellectual property in Europe.
  • Successfully tried a two-day commercial breach of contract trial in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois, resulting in a judgment in favor of client.  
  • Successfully tried a one-day preliminary injunction hearing in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware to enjoin class action environmental litigation from proceeding against the firm's client, which litigation was valued at over $50,000,000.


Chicago Office
55 East Monroe Street
Suite 3300
Chicago, Illinois 60603-5792

Practice areas

Industry Focus


  • University of Michigan, J.D., cum laude, 1993
  • - Louis Honigman Memorial Award Recipient
  • - Raymond K. Dykma Scholarship Recipient
  • - Scribes award for outstanding legal writing
  • Indiana University, B.A. in political science, with honors, 1990
  • - Wendle L. Wilkie Senior Thesis Award

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • New York
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Third Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin

Attorneys At Law

55 East Monroe Street
Suite 3300
Chicago, Illinois 60603-5792
Tel: 312.201.4000
Fax: 312.332.2196


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