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David Mehretu

headshot of David Mehretu
David MehretuPrincipal510.808.2000Bio PDF


David Mehretu is an experienced trial attorney who represents private and public entities in high impact litigation in federal and state court, administrative proceedings, and appeals with an emphasis on complex, high-profile, and politically significant matters often covered by the media. David is a member of the Trial & Litigation, and Labor & Employment Law Practice Groups. He also serves as Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee.

For private entities, David has broad experience in employment litigation and investigations, complex commercial litigation, class actions, intellectual property, unfair competition, real estate, environmental litigation and regulatory challenges. David has worked with private entities in major sectors of the economy, including technology companies, financial institutions, media and telecommunications enterprises, global consumer goods companies, food and beverage companies, real estate developers, and non-profit organizations. Recent examples include representing a Fortune 500 technology company in an employment litigation matter involving senior executives, a national sports association in investigations of association infractions by member teams, a national title insurance company in multi-party environmental litigation, and a large mental health services agency in a complex real estate dispute.

For public entities, David handles complex contractual disputes, defense of government officials, as well as employment, land use and environmental, First Amendment, and real estate litigation. Recent examples include representing a San Francisco Bay Area city in complex litigation related to a natural gas pipeline, a large water authority in CEQA-related litigation concerning a high-stakes detachment, the City of San Francisco in a high-stakes sexual harassment and race discrimination case involving matters of unsettled procedural law, the City of Los Altos in federal litigation brought by major telecommunication companies challenging a city ordinance governing the siting of cellular facilities, and the City of Modesto in a dispute concerning a lease and purchase agreement with a commercial developer based on complex bond financing transactions, and representing five public entities against two large municipalities in a multi-phased administrative proceeding over a contractual dispute concerning a contested $2 billion public works capital improvement program.

Recognized by judges, clients, and colleagues for excellent brief writing and oral advocacy, David has established a strong track record serving as lead attorney on numerous significant motions and briefs — including summary judgment, motions to dismiss, appeals, demurrers, opposition to class certification, and writs — with particular expertise in civil rights and constitutional matters and complex federal litigation. David has handled numerous significant oral arguments including dispositive motions, trial, and appeals.

David’s broad federal court experience includes litigation in United States District Courts in California, Colorado, Indiana, Texas, New York and New Jersey, as well as appeals in the Second, Seventh, and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He recently assisted in preparing for a two-week federal jury trial in the Eastern District of California on behalf of government officials in an excessive force and false arrest lawsuit. In the Central District of California, he recently prevailed on a motion to dismiss and a motion for summary judgment for which he was the lead on the brief and at oral argument on behalf of the County of Los Angeles concerning several constitutional claims related to permitting and entitlements. In the Southern District of New York, David served as second chair in a two-week trial in a multi-million dollar false advertising case for an international corporate joint venture, and in the District of New Jersey he prepared for trial in a major federal false advertising case, which settled on the eve of trial.

David has also represented pro bono clients in immigration proceedings, unlawful detainer actions, prosecuting restraining orders, and a murder trial, for which he has received awards for outstanding service.

Prior to joining Meyers Nave, David was an attorney at Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass in San Francisco and Cooley LLP in New York, clerked for the Honorable Saundra B. Armstrong, United States District Judge, in the Northern District of California, and served as a post-doctoral legal fellow at the Institute for Policy Integrity, a regulatory law and policy think tank based at New York University School of Law.

David is admitted to practice in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Second Circuit, and the following U.S. District Courts: the Northern District of California, Eastern District of California, Central District of California, Southern District of California, Southern District of New York, Eastern District of New York, Southern District of Texas, District of Colorado, and Southern District of Indiana.

David is a member of the Ethiopian American Foundation, which supports higher education and related development activities in Ethiopia, Asante Africa Foundation, a global team committed to providing programs that support education, gender equality, and entrepreneurship in East Africa, and the Charles Houston Bar Association, an affiliate of the National Bar Association representing the interests of African American lawyers, judges and law students throughout Northern California.

David received his J.D. from New York University School of Law (2006) where he served as an editor for the Review of Law and Social Change. He earned his B.A. in philosophy and politics from New York University (1997).


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