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David R. Fine

Fax +1.717.231.4501
Mr. Fine is an appellate lawyer with broad experience briefing and arguing appeals in both federal and state courts across the United States. He has practiced in the Second, Third, Seventh, Ninth,Eleventh and D.C. federal circuits; the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Pennsylvania Superior Court and Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court; the Florida Supreme Court,the Florida Third District Court of Appeal and the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal; the Texas Court of Appeals; the Arizona Court of Appeals, the Oregon Court of Appeals, the Louisiana Court of Appeals and the Maryland Court of Appeals. Mr. Fine frequently serves as lead counsel in briefing or arguing appeals (and sometimes in both), and he also provides consulting assistance to other lawyers pursuing or defending appeals. Mr. Fine writes and lectures on appellate advocacy, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court appointed him to serve for seven years on its Appellate Court Procedural Rules Committee, completing his term as vice chair.

Professional Background

From 1992 to 1994, Mr. Fine served as a law clerk for the Honorable William W. Caldwell of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Fine worked as a broadcast reporter.


  • Listed among the “Best Lawyers in America” in appellate practice, “bet-the-company litigation” and commercial litigation by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Named a Pennsylvania “Super Lawyer” by Philadelphia Magazine and Law & Politics Magazine, 2004-2018.
  • Awarded Outstanding Service Award by the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (2008).
  • Named by American Lawyer Media as one of 30 Pennsylvania “Lawyers on the Fast Track,” 2004.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Chair, Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners, The Pennsylvania Supreme Court
  • Member of the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners (appointed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (2015-present)
  • Bar Association of the Federal Third Circuit (member of board of governors, 2013-present; secretary, 2019-present)
  • Coordinator of Pennsylvania Supreme Court Pro Bono Pilot Program (appointed, 2015)
  • Pennsylvania Supreme Court Appellate Court Procedural Rules Committee (appointed member, 2008-2014, vice chair, 2013-14)
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association, Appellate Advocacy Committee (co-chair, 2011-2015)
  • Lawyers' Advisory Committee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (appointed member, 2006-2009)
  • Dauphin County Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association, Civil Litigation Section (council member, 2003-2009; chair, 2008-2009)
  • Federal Bar Association (Middle District of Pennsylvania Chapter, President, 2001-2002)
  • Lawyers’ Advisory Committee of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (appointed member, 1999-2005; committee chair, 2003-2005)
  • Merit Selection Panel for Magistrate Judge Retention, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (chair, 2005)
  • The Vista School/Vista Foundation (director and corporate secretary, 1999-2016; director and president, 2016-present)
  • Keystone Autism Services (director, 2009-2016)
  • Pennsylvania Special Education Advisory Panel (gubernatorially appointed member 2004-2010; vice-chair, 2007-2010)
  • Pennsylvania Autism Task Force (appointed member, 2003-2004)

Additional Information

  • Frequent lecturer on appellate rules and advocacy, federal practice, civil litigation and oil-and-gas issues in continuing legal education courses and industry seminars
  • Published articles: The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The ABA Journal, The National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Findlaw’s Writ, Exceptional Parent Magazine, The Pennsylvania Lawyer and several law reviews
  • Co-author, "The Middle District Manual," PBI Press, 11th ed., 2018
  • Contributing Author, "Third Circuit Appellate Practice Manual," PBI Press, 3rd ed., 2017
  • "A Bad Reason for Rejecting Judges," The Philadelphia Inquirer, 20 September 2007
  • "Free Speech vs. Thoughtless Speech," The Philadelphia Inquirer, 28 March 2006
  • "Allow Television Coverage," National Law Journal, 19 December 2005
  • "No Politics in Third Branch," National Law Journal, 6 December 2004
  • "Ousting Roy Moore: Judges Showing Backbone," National Law Journal, 22 December 2003
  • "Cure for Malpractice Premiums Lies With Congress," New York Law Journal, 17 March 2003
  • "Two Lawyers Say: Limit Damages, Fees," The Philadelphia Inquirer, 8 January 2003
  • "Cure for High Premiums," The National Law Journal, 23 September 2002
  • "Enabling Behavior," The American Lawyer, May 2001
  • "Keeping Mum Kills Precedents," The National Law Journal, 19 February 2001
  • "What's Past is Prologue," The Orange County Lawyer, February 2001
  • Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas v. Beauvais, No. 3D14-575 (Florida 3d District Court of Appeal 2016) (favorable en banc decision holding that Florida statute of limitations does not bar subsequent foreclosure action when previous action dismissed more than five years earlier).
  • Bartram v. U.S. Bank, National Association, No. 14-1265 (Florida Supreme Court 2016) (favorable decision decision holding that Florida statute of limitations does not bar subsequent foreclosure action when previous action dismissed more than five years earlier).
  • Lage v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, No. 15-15558 (11th Cir. 2016) (favorable decision holding that Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act does not require lender to consider loss-mitigation application submitted less than 37 days before foreclosure sale even if sale is later rescheduled).
  • McCullough v. World Wrestling Entertainment, No. 16-1231 (2d Cir. 2016); Haynes v. World Wrestling Entertainment, No. 16-1237 (2d Cir. 2016) (favorable, published decision granting motion to dismiss appeals as arising from non-final order when district court dismissed claims of only some plaintiffs in consolidated cases).
  • Kilmer v. Elexco Land Services, Inc., 990 A.2d 1147 (Pa. 2010) (favorable decision in a case of first impression that thousands of natural-gas leases are permissible under Pennsylvania’s Minimum Royalty Act).
  • Humberston v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc., 75 A.3d 504 (Pa. Super. 2013) (favorable decision holding that the holder of a surface-use agreement has the right to install a freshwater impoundment for oil-and-gas production).
  • In re Pendleton, 732 F.3d 280 (3rd Cir. 2013) (favorable decision that there is a prima facie claim that Miller v. Alabama applies retroactively).
  • Donlin v. Philips Lighting N. Am. Corp., 564 F.3d 207 (3d Cir. 2009) (favorable decision holding that it was error for trial judge to allow plaintiff to testify to prospective damages under the label of “lay-opinion” testimony).
  • Hodge v. United States, 554 F.3d 372 (3d Cir. 2009) (favorable decision holding that inmate was unconstitutionally deprived of his right to effective counsel when his lawyer failed to file a notice of appeal when directed to do so by his client).
  • Urcinoli v. Cathel, 546 F.3d 269 (3d Cir. 2008) (favorable decision reinstating habeas corpus petition and revisiting proper procedure for district courts confronting “mixed” habeas petitions).
  • Gay v. CreditInform, 511 F.3d 369 (3d. Cir. 2007) (favorable decision compelling individual arbitration of case under Credit Repair Organizations Act pursuant to an arbitration agreement).
  • Osram Sylvania Products, Inc. v. Comsup Commodities, Inc., 845 A.2d 846 (Pa. Super. 2004) (favorable decision affirming dismissal of Pennsylvania action in deference to earlier-filed California action).
  • Central Dauphin School Dist. v. Central Dauphin Educ. Ass’n, 767 A.2d 16 (Pa. Commw. 2001) (favorable opinion rejecting labor arbitrator’s order as beyond the scope of the parties’ submission).