David has been with the firm since its inception in 1987. His practice
focuses on business law, real estate, and civil litigation.
David has represented individuals, businesses, and homeowner associations.
He has testified as an expert in court cases and as an advocate before
the State Legislature on pending legislation.
His achievements include many successful trial and arbitration results,
such as a small corporation’s recovery against a lawyer for failure
to register securities; a property owner against a business for failure
to maintain adjoining premises; an individual against a large U.S. housing
corporation for fraud; the defense of a La Jolla art gallery accused of
insurance fraud; a sports clothing manufacturer for damages against a
printing company; a small entrepreneur against a foreign corporation over
the the rights to a new invention; a multimillion dollar jury award on
behalf of a public charity; and in 2014, with Jim Allen, a $111 million
jury verdict awarded to 61 San Jose homeowners. He has obtained multimillion
dollar settlements in cases involving nuisance, negligence, breach of
contract, and housing habitability claims.
On four different occasions his success in the courtroom has earned him
the Outstanding Trial Lawyer award: In 1994 following a six-month jury
trial and a $5 million judgment on behalf of San Bernardino homeowners;
in 1998, after an eight-week jury trial and a judgment in excess of $2
million on behalf of San Diego homeowners; and in 2005 when he and his
partner represented a nonprofit corporation that builds housing for low
income citizens. This three-week jury trial resulted in a $4 million judgment.
In 2014, David Semelsberger and Jim Allen represented 61 homeowners in
California Hawaiian Mobile Estates, whom obtained a $111 million jury
verdict against their landlord Equity Lifestyles after three months in
trial in San Jose, California.
David earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Durham, England
and St. Vincent College and graduated magna cum laude. Attorney Semelsberger
studied law at the University of Notre Dame, Law Center in London and
later received his Juris Doctor, cum laude, at the University of San Diego.
During his time there, he acted as executive editor of the law journal,
About David Semelsberger
Areas of Practice:
U.S. Federal Court, 1982
cum laude, University of San Diego School of Law, San Diego, California, 1981
magna cum laude, St. Vincent College, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, 1978
Representative Appellate Cases:
Pelletier v. Eisenberg, 223 Cal. Rptr. 84 (Cal. App. 4th District, 1986)
County of San Diego v. Rancho Vista Del Mar, 16 Cal. App. 1046 (Cal. App. 4th District, 1993)
Cummings v. Capistrano Terrace Ltd., Fourth District, Div. 3, 2013 WL 180141 (2013)
Honors and Awards:
Top Ten Plaintiffs’ Verdicts of 2014, L.A. Daily Journal
Listed as one of the Top Lawyers, San Diego magazine (2013-2017)
California’s Million Dollar Verdicts, The Recorder (2012, 2015)
- Listed among San Diego Super Lawyers (2017)
Outstanding Trial Lawyer, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego (1994, 1998, 2005, 2015)
Trial Lawyer of the Year Nominee, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego (1993)
Marvin Kratter Award for Constitutional Law from USD Law School
American Jurisprudence Awards for Constitutional Law and Evidence
Professional Associations and Memberships:
David Semelsberger "Failure To Maintain Cases"
- American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section
- Sustaining Member, San Diego Trial Lawyers Association (1982–1989)
- Member, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
- California Bar Association, Real Property and Litigation Sections