David Ernst is considered one of the country’s leading food safety industry lawyers. He is acclaimed for having “developed an impressive national reputation in food outbreak disputes” and “respected for his expertise in class actions relating to the food and beverage industries” by Chambers USA: “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.”
David represents national restaurant chains, food manufacturers, and distributors in claims and litigation throughout the country. Over the last 23 years, David has handled more than 2,500 matters in 30 states arising from outbreak and contamination events, including Listeria, E. coli, Hepatitis A, Salmonella, and botulism claims. David also has significant experience in food safety commercial and consumer class action litigation.
In addition to his litigation practice, David regularly advises food industry clients on risk management and policy development. David is a thought-leader in this space, having spoken to dozens of industry and legal groups across the country and in China.
While his primary focus is to help food industry clients avoid litigation and trials, David has completed more than 50 first-chair jury trials in his career and is a member of The American Board of Trial Advocates.
Professional & Community Activities:
- Board of Directors, Portland Youth Philharmonic, 2015-2018
- Chair, 2009-2011; Board of Directors, 2006-2011 – Business for Culture and the Arts
- Master Member, Owen M. Panner American Inn of Court, 2010-2016
- Chair, 2010-2012; Board of Directors, 2005-2015 – Classroom Law Project
- Co-chair, Portland Managing Partners Roundtable, 2007-2008
- Board of Directors, Multnomah Bar Foundation, 2005-2007
- Program Co-chair, Second Annual DRI Conference on Food Liability, Chicago, 2006
- Program Chair, First Annual DRI Conference on Food Liability, St. Louis, 2005
- Board of Directors, Multnomah Bar Association, 2005-2009
- Board of Visitors, Lewis and Clark Law School, 2003-present
- Chair, 9th Circuit Lawyer Representatives, Oregon, 2001
- Member, American Board of Trial Advocates
- Member, DRI
- J.D., Lewis & Clark Law School, 1985, cum laude
- B.S., Oregon State University, 1982, with honors
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