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David R. Fine

David 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, Fifth, Seventh, Eighth Ninth, Eleventh and D.C. federal circuits; the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the Pennsylvania Superior Court and the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court; the Arizona Court of Appeals; the Delaware Supreme Court, Florida Supreme Court, the Florida Third District Court of Appeal; the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal; the Louisiana Court of Appeals; the Maryland Court of Appeals; the New York Appellate Division; the Oregon Court of Appeals and the Texas Court of Appeals. David 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. David currently serves as the president of the Third Circuit Bar Association. He has served by appointment of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on that court’s Appellate Court Procedural Rules Committee (2008-15), on the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners (2015-21; chair, 2020-21) and on the Pennsylvania Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts Board (2021-present). He frequently writes and lectures on appellate advocacy.

From 1992 to 1994, David 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, David worked as a broadcast reporter.

  • Named the Best Lawyers® 2022 Appellate Practice "Lawyer of the Year."
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America® in Appellate Practice, “Bet-the-Company Litigation,” and Commercial Litigation by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Named to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list by Philadelphia Magazine and Law and Politics Magazine, 2004-2022.
  • 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.
  • Appointed by Pennsylvania Supreme Court to serve on Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts Board, May 2021 (elected secretary, 2022)
  • Third Circuit Bar Association (member, Board of Governors, 2013-present; president, 2023-present)
  • Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners (member, 2015-2021; chair, 2020-2021)
  • Pennsylvania Supreme Court Appellate Court Procedural Rules Committee (appointed member, 2008-2014, vice chair, 2013-14)
  • Coordinator of Pennsylvania Supreme Court Pro Bono Pilot Program (appointed, 2015)
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association, Amicus Curiae Brief Committee (2015-present; co-chair, 2018-present)
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association, Appellate Advocacy Committee (co-chair, 2011-2015)
  • 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. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (appointed member, 2006-2009)
  • 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)
  • Dauphin County Bar Association
  • The Vista School/Vista Foundation (director and corporate secretary, 1999-2016; director and president, 2016-2021)
  • 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)
  • Frequent lecturer on appellate advocacy, federal practice, civil litigation, legal writing, 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
Additional Thought Leadership Pages
  • 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
Additional News & Event Pages
  • Featured Profile, "Reaching Beyond the Practice," The Pennsylvania Lawyer, July/August 2021
  • U.S. Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Trust's Mineral Rights Due Process Case, Mealey’s Fracking Report, 3 May 2021
  • Judge Enjoins Philadelphia From Restricting Vape Sales To Adults-Only Stores, Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental, 29 April 2021
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