David Barmak

Member / Chair Emeritus, ELB Practice vCard


  • Georgetown University (JD)
  • State University of New York - Buffalo (BA)

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Virginia
  • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia
  • United States District Court for the District of Maryland
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • United States Supreme Court

David is an experienced trial lawyer and trusted advisor to businesses and their executives with a focus on employment law and HR issues. As a trial lawyer, David has handled hundreds of cases covering issues such as employment discrimination, whistleblower and other retaliation, noncompetition agreements and trade secret issues, wage and hour (FLSA) compliance, class and collective actions, and employment contract disputes. He has been the lead lawyer in numerous jury and nonjury trials in both federal and state courts, as well as arbitrations throughout the country.

Clients also rely on David for advice on employment law compliance, reducing employment practices risks, and improving employee relations. He regularly counsels clients on a broad range of employment law issues, including wage and hour laws, employee leave laws, internal investigations, dispute resolution policies and practices, non-compete and trade secret issues, employee training, personnel and other policies, and WARN Act issues and other matters. He also is frequently involved in the negotiation and drafting of executive employment, separation, and related agreements.

David's clients include publicly and privately held companies, non-profits and trade associations, and their executives in a broad range of industries, including:

  • Health care and life sciences
  • Financial-services
  • Defense and security
  • Telecom
  • Hospitality, including hotels and restaurants
  • Staffing and outsourcing
  • Consulting and professional services
  • Professional sports.

​Clients have also regularly turned to David for help addressing other complex business issues and disputes including those that involve contract interpretation and enforcement, partnership, shareholder, joint venture and other agreements, and insurance coverage and other insurance-related issues, among many other issues.

David is Chair of the firm’s Employment, Labor & Benefits Practice, and represents clients nationally. He has been recognized by several publications including Chambers USA, a leading legal research guide, in which clients interviewed described David as a “superior lawyer who is very knowledgeable and attentive” known for his “practicality and strong communication skills.”

David also has frequently written, lectured, and been quoted on issues such as class action risk mitigation, use of arbitration agreements and class action waivers, post-employment breaches of fiduciary duties, employee versus independent contractor status, employment discrimination, alternative dispute resolution, and budgeting for litigation. He is also co-editor of Mintz Levin’s Employment Matters blog.

Representative Matters

Employment-Related Litigation & Counseling

  • Prevailed at trial on behalf of a federal government contractor accused of defaming an employee, adversely impacting the employee’s security clearance
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of “fast casual” restaurant group on retaliation claim
  • Conducted an internal investigation of an executive’s alleged sexual harassment of various employees
  • Represented the former president of a major manufacturing company in the successful defense of harassment allegations
  • Successfully defended an FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) collective action in which, among other things, we were able to limit the number of opt-ins to only approximately 8% against typical rates of 15% – 30%
  • Obtained an order compelling arbitration of individual wage claims and dismissing class action claims against a government contractor
  • Represented a Fortune 500 company in successfully resolving without liability retaliation and whistleblowing allegations under the False Claims Act and state law
  • Represented a financial services firm in the successful resolution of trade secret claims against a former employee
  • Represented a clinical lab in the successful resolution of trade secret and breach of duty claims against ex-employees
  • Successfully defended a manufacturer against retaliation and whistleblower claims under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), resulting in a dismissal of the claims and a finding of no liability
  • Developed executive employment agreements for the senior executives of a major New England hospital system and affiliated entities

Complex Business Litigation

  • Representing purchasers of interests in tobacco escrow accounts relating to the allocation of responsibility for qualified settlement fund taxes
  • Successfully defended a title company against Freddie Mac’s attempt to add them to the list of excluded providers
  • Assisted a regional restaurant group (an LLC) in ousting a non-performing member
  • Successfully represented former shareholders in a suit to obtain disbursement to them of the balance of a contingent purchase price due under the terms of a stock purchase agreement
  • Successfully defended an accountant and an investment advisor on malpractice and ERISA fiduciary claims

Recognitions & Awards

  • Chambers USA: District of Columbia – Labor & Employment (2014 – 2017)
  • Included on the Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers: Employment & Labor, Business Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution List (2007, 2010 – 2018)
  • Included on the Virginia Super Lawyers: Employment & Labor, Business Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution List (2006)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
  • Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Employment Law 360 (2013 and 2014)

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Senior Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America, The Trial Lawyer Honorary Society
  • Chair, American Academy of Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Certified mediator, Institute for Conflict Management
  • Pro bono mediator, Civil Division of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
  • Past Master of the Bench, William B. Bryant American Inn of Court, Washington, DC
  • Past faculty member, National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Member, American Health Lawyers Association
  • Member, American Bar Association (ABA)
  • Member, ABA Litigation Section
  • Member, ABA Labor and Employment Law Section

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