David W. Skinner

Overview

David Skinner is the Managing Principal of Meyers Nave. A renowned trial attorney with 25 years of experience, David represents public agencies and private parties in a wide array of complex transactions and high-profile eminent domain litigation matters. He has successfully tried numerous jury and bench trials in Southern and Northern California, and has handled several appeals that have established important legal precedents for public entities. David is regarded as one of the leading eminent domain attorneys in California and has provided expert testimony on the applicable “standard of care” governing eminent domain attorneys who serve public entities.
 
David has extensive experience working with city and other public agency attorneys to develop and implement practical, cost-effective and time-sensitive land acquisition strategies, as well as coordinating complex multi-party litigation. He has appeared in closed session with city councils, county boards and other legislative bodies to ensure client knowledge and support of high-stakes litigation.
 
Recent examples of David’s experience include:

  • Defending the City of Los Angeles in a class action filed in federal court alleging that the City failed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act with regard to its curb ramps and sidewalks.
  • Representing the City of Sacramento with regard to the Sacramento Kings’ threat to move its National Basketball Association team to Seattle, including the City’s prosecution of a high-profile eminent domain case involving a former Macy’s Department Store site that was vital for the development and construction of a new downtown sports arena and entertainment complex.  
  • Representing numerous public entities in water and utility related projects, including sanitation districts in acquiring properties for wastewater treatment plants and sewer trunkline projects; Kirkwood Meadows Public Utility District in the acquisition of a gasoline/propane facility and electrical transmission system; and California American Water Company in the acquisition of a water facility in Felton, CA, a lawsuit filed in Santa Cruz County relating to Cal Am’s water rates, and a local public water district’s desire to take over Cal Am’s water utility operations.
  • Defending the City of Los Angeles in a high-profile jury trial in federal court involving First Amendment freedom of speech issues regarding several street performers at Venice Beach who claimed their constitutional rights were violated and that they suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages as a result of the City’s application of its amplified sound regulation (at the beach) and rules of decorum (at City Council meetings). The jury awarded only $1 to each plaintiff.
  • Successfully defending (after trial) the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) in a legal challenge by General Growth Properties – the largest owner and operator of retail shopping malls in the United States. The company challenged VTA’s environmental review of, and property acquisition efforts for, a light rail project in San Jose.
  • Successfully defending (after trial) the Rancho Cordova Redevelopment Agency (Sacramento County) in a legal challenge by a developer which challenged the Redevelopment Agency’s efforts to acquire and redevelop a 10-acre parcel of land for a community college and transit-oriented development project.
  • Representing the Transportation Agency for Monterey County in a 16-mile Commuter Rail extension project in the “pre-condemnation” acquisition phase, including advising on all eminent domain, valuation, project timeline, and coordination issues, as well as assisting with several hardship acquisitions.
  • Representing the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority on various large eminent domain actions to acquire property for the 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Project and for the Metro Purple Line Westside Subway Extension Project.

Published Decisions

  • City of San Diego v. Barratt American (4th Dist. 2005) 128 Cal.App. 4th 917)
  • City of San Diego v. Barratt American (4th Dist. 2005) Appeal Action No. D042582
  • City of San Diego v. D.R. Horton Holding Company (4th Dist. 2005) 126 Cal.App. 4th 668)
  • Regents of the University of California v. Sheily (2nd Dist. 2004) 122 Cal.App.4th 824)
  • City of Saratoga v. Hinz (6th Dist. 2004) 115 Cal.App.4th 1202)
  • City of San Diego v. Rancho Penasquitos Partnership (4th Dist. 2003) 105 Cal.App.4th 1013)
  • City of South San Francisco v. Mayer (1st Dist. 1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 1350)
  • City of Hollister v. McCullough (6th Dist. 1994) 26 Cal.App.4th 289)
  • Contra Costa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District v. Lone Tree Investments (1st Dist.1992) 7 Cal.App.4th 930)

Honors and Awards

  • Recipient, Northern California Super Lawyer; 2005, 2006

Presentations and Publications

  • Panel Presenter, “Every Community Needs a Stadium – How Can you Build one, Finance one and Make it Successful?” International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA), 80th Annual Conference, 2015
  • Panel Presenter, “Rights of Entry” and “Temporary Severance Damages,” 17th Annual Eminent Domain Conference, CLE International, 2015
  • Presenter, “Temporary Takings: When Do They Give Rise to a Claim for Damages?” 14th Annual Eminent Domain Conference, CLE International, 2012
  • Speaker, “Considerations for Effective Trial Testimony,” Federal Agency Update: International Right of Way Association, 2010
  • Speaker, “Temporary Construction Easements and Severance Damages,” California Continuing Legal Education Seminar, 2009
  • Speaker, “Extended Term Temporary Construction Easements,” Northern California Appraisal Institute, Spring Litigation Conference, 2009
  • Speaker, “Eminent Domain Process for Upside Down Mortgages,” Federal Agency Update: International Right of Way Association, 2009
  • Speaker, “Severance Damages from Temporary Construction Easements,” California Continuing Legal Education Seminar, 2008
  • Speaker, “Expert Witness Testimony in Eminent Domain Trials,” California Continuing Legal Education Seminar, 2008
  • Speaker, “Implications of Proposition 98 and Proposition 99 on Eminent Domain Law,” International Right of Way Association Chapter 2 Meeting, Pleasanton, CA, 2008
  • Speaker, “New Standards for Acquiring “Probability of Rezoning” Under Campus Crusade for Christ case and Trial Preparation,” Northern California Appraisal Institution Annual Retreat, Woodside, CA, 2008
  • Speaker, “Implications of Proposition 98 on Eminent Domain Law,” Meyers Nave seminar, 2008
  • Speaker, “Trial Strategies in Eminent Domain Law,” California Continuing Legal Education Seminar, San Francisco, CA, 2007
  • Speaker, “Trial Preparation,” Northern California Appraisal Institute Presentation, San Francisco, CA, 2007
  • Presenter and moderator of day-long seminar on “Eminent Domain in California,” Lorman Education Services, Eminent Domain Seminar, Oakland, CA, 2007
  • Speaker, “New Requirements for Obtaining Orders for Possession,” International Right of Way Association, Chapter 2 Meeting, Pleasanton, CA, 2007
  • Speaker, “New Requirements for Obtaining Orders for Possession,” International Right of Way Association, Chapter 27 Meeting, Sacramento, CA, 2007
  • Speaker, “Opening Statement and Closing Argument at Trial,” California Continuing Legal Education Seminar on Eminent Domain in California, San Francisco, CA, 2006
  • Speaker, “Implications of Proposition 90 on Eminent Domain Law,” National Airport Association Annual Seminar, Reno, Nevada, 2006
  • Co-author, “Will Eminent Domain for Redevelopment Purposes Survive Legislative Changes After Kelo?,” California Real Property Journal (Vol. 24, No. 2), 2006
  • Speaker, “Challenges facing Public Entities in Eminent Domain Litigation,” California Special Districts Association Annual Retreat, Sonoma, CA, 2006
  • Presenter and moderator of day-long seminar on “The Future of Eminent Domain for Redevelopment Purposes in California after ‘Kelo’ and Update on Recent Eminent Domain Decisions,” Lorman Education Services Seminar on Eminent Domain, Oakland, CA, 2005
  • Speaker, “Trial Preparation,” Northern California Appraisal Institute Seminar, San Francisco, CA, 2005
  • Speaker, “Update on ‘Project Benefits’ in Valuation Analysis,” California Continuing Legal Education Eminent Domain Seminar, San Francisco, CA, 2004
  • Speaker, “Legal Issues on Entitlement to and Valuation of Loss of Business Goodwill,” International Right of Way Association Chapter 27 Meeting, Sacramento, CA, 2004
  • Speaker, “Trial Tactics,” California Continuing Legal Education Eminent Domain Seminar, San Francisco, CA, 2003
  • Speaker, “Trial Tactics,” California Continuing Legal Education Eminent Domain Seminar, San Francisco, CA, 2002
  • Speaker, “Eminent Domain for Redevelopment Purposes,” California Redevelopment Association Seminar on Eminent Domain, Pleasanton, CA, 2002
  • Speaker, “Loss of Business Goodwill in Eminent Domain Proceedings,” County Counsel’s Association of California Public Works and Contracts Annual Retreat, Palm Springs, CA, 2002
  • Speaker, “Overview of Substantive Law of Regulatory Takings,” California Continuing Legal Education Regulatory Takings Seminar, Los Angeles, CA, 2002
  • Speaker, “Discovery Process in Eminent Domain Litigation,” California Continuing Legal Education Eminent Domain Seminar, San Francisco, CA, 2001
  • Speaker, “Update on Eminent Domain Valuation Issues,” Northern California Appraisal Institute Annual Seminar, Sacramento, CA, 2001

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Member, The State Bar of California

Education

  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, JD, 1989
  • University of California at Berkeley, BA, History and Political Science, 1984