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David T. Bules Partner

David is a member of the firm’s Litigation group with extensive experience in ERISA and securities litigation.


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David defends clients across the entire spectrum of ERISA litigation, including breach of fiduciary duty, prohibited transaction, stock drop, employee stock ownership plan (“ESOP”) and 401(k) plan fee litigation, as well as ERISA class actions and appellate litigation. He advises plan sponsors and fiduciaries regarding litigation risks associated with investment and management of plan assets, as well as monitoring plan investments. He has significant experience advising clients with respect to a wide variety of ESOP issues.

David represented Fifth Third Bancorp in the first ERISA stock drop case to reach the U.S. Supreme Court. In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, the Court unanimously vacated the judgment of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and set new and high standards for evaluating breach of fiduciary duty claims based on investment in employer stock. The Court promptly reaffirmed the strength of that landmark decision when it summarily reversed the Ninth Circuit’s subsequent ruling in Amgen v. Harris for failing to adhere to the high standards announced in Fifth Third.

David also has extensive experience defending companies and their directors and officers against securities fraud class actions and shareholder derivative actions. In addition to his ERISA and securities litigation experience, he assists clients in connection with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. Department of Labor investigations.

Beyond his primary areas of expertise, David represents clients in a wide range of complex litigation matters involving intellectual property, insurance recovery, employee benefits, breach of fiduciary duty, trade secrets, unfair competition, fraud, employment, tort, healthcare, probate and trademark infringement, as well as business, commercial, corporate and contract disputes.

In the community, David serves as a mentor in the Oyler School – A.P. Hampton Mentoring Program. He previously served as the Co-Chairperson of the William & Mary Law School Collegiality Group with W. Taylor Reveley III, the 27th President of the College of William & Mary and former Dean of William & Mary Law School. He also served on the staff of former United States Congressman Ralph Regula in Washington, D.C.

Super Lawyers has named David a “Rising Star” every year since 2013.

David joined Calfee’s Cincinnati office in 2014.