David Samuels is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Lewis Brisbois, a vice-chair of the Hospitality Practice, and a member of the Complex Business & Commercial Litigation Practice. With over 25 years of litigation experience, he provides counsel to a wide range of clients in the hospitality, construction and insurance industries. He has won numerous jury and bench trials, and has an impressive track record of successfully arbitrating and mediating complex disputes.
Mr. Samuels has litigated hundreds of general/premises liability matters on behalf of hotels and resorts. He is routinely sought by excess insurance carriers to serve as “monitoring” counsel in high exposure/catastrophic injury cases. He often represents general contractors in construction-related, third party personal injury matters, and he regularly handles cases on behalf of government agencies and municipalities arising from alleged dangerous public property conditions.
Primary Area(s) of Practice
- Complex Business & Commercial Litigation
- General Liability
- COVID-19: Commercial & Contractual Litigation Disputes
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Central, Southern and Northern Districts of California
- Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys (Board Member)
- California Hotel & Lodging Association
- American Hotel & Lodging Association
- Global Alliance of Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Attorneys
Awards & Honors
Mr. Samuels is regularly named to the list of Southern California Super Lawyers. He was also named to the list of Top Attorneys in Southern California by Super Lawyers Magazine and is recognized by Martindale Hubbell as an AV (Preeminent) peer-rated attorney, the highest possible Martindale attorney rating for legal ability and professional ethics.
- Risk Engineer POV: Propertywide Assessments for Underwriting Policies, AHIA Fall 2016 Meeting La Jolla, CA, October 27, 2016
- Terrorist Situation + Active Shooter Scenario, Global Travel Risk Management Summit 2016, New York, NY, June 9, 2016
- Hotel Compliance, 2016 AAHOA Annual Convention and Trade Show, Nashville, TN, March 30, 2016
- Incidents and Incident Reports, Westin South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, CA, March 8, 2016
- Responding to Guest Incidents and Preparing Incident Reports – Basics and Best Practices The La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club Security Department La Jolla, CA, February 5, 2016
- Responding to Guest Incidents and Preparing Incident Reports – Basics and Best Practices, Crime Alert Network Meeting, Garden Grove, CA, February 4, 2016
- California Department of Insurance Enforcement Actions, Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC) General Counsel Seminar, Las Vegas, NV, July 22, 2015
- Hotel Management Agreements: Understanding Both Owner’s and Management Company’s Perspectives, CHOICE Hotels 2015 Convention, Las Vegas, NV, May 13, 2015
- Hotel Operations Under Attack: What Future Threats Might Undermine the Lodging Business, CHOICE Hotels 2015 Convention, Las Vegas, NV, May 13, 2015
- Watch Out! The Biggest Threats Facing Your Hotel Operation Today, CHOICE Hotels 2015 Convention, Las Vegas, NV, May 13, 2015
- Child Safety and Fall Preventions, Crime Alert Network Meeting, Anaheim, CA, April 2, 2015
- Hospitality Law Conference: Lodging Breakout Track, Hospitality Law Conference, Houston, TX, February 10, 2015
- Post-Incident Evidence Preservation, 15th Annual California Tourism Safety & Security Conference, Costa Mesa, California, September 18, 2014
- Web Wary Travel: How to Safeguard Your Hotel from Internet-Related Legal Issues, California Hotel & Lodging Association (CH&LA), San Francisco, CA, August 21, 2014
- Strategies for Defending Against Department Enforcement Actions, Association of California Insurance Companies General Counsel Seminar, Las Vegas, Nevada, July 23, 2014
- Is Outsourcing an Entire Department The Right Decision For Your Property? California Hotel & Lodging Association (CH&LA) Hotel Owner Conference, Napa, CA, June 12, 2014
- Keeping Your Attendees Safe and Secure, Meeting Professionals International, Sacramento, CA, September 17, 2013
- Slips and Falls Prevention, Investigation and Litigation Tips, Resort Hotel Association Annual Conference, Edgewater Hotel, Seattle, WA, July 17, 2013
- Spa-related Slip and Fall Claims, Resort Hotel Association Annual Conference, Seattle, WA, April 17, 2013
- What You Need to Know: Ins and Outs – From the Government’s and the Advocate’s Perspective, Insurance Practice Section of the Barristers Club, San Francisco, CA, June 25, 2012
- The Stressful Side of Spas: Spa Claims, Operational Considerations and Compliance, Hospitality Law Annual Conference Houston, TX, February 10, 2011
- The Disaster Experience – A Multi-day, Multi-city Disaster Training Exercise for Hotel Owners and Operators, California Hotel & Lodging Association, January 2011
- The Stressful Side of Spas-Spa Claims, Litigation, and Wage and Hour Compliance, Annual Conference for the Resort Hotel Association, La Jolla, CA, July 20, 2010
- Selected Liability Issues Walking Surfaces, Swimming Pools, Fitness Centers & Spas, Incident Response and Reporting, Hospitality Law Annual Conference, 2010
- The Stressful Side of Spas, Resort Hotel Association Annual Conference, 2010
- Legal Hit List – Current Trends Affecting Innkeepers, California Association of Bed and Breakfasts International (“CABBI”) 2009 Annual Conference, 2009
- Premises Liability in Hospitality Operations: A Security Perspective, HRH Insurance, 2008
- Staying out of Legal Hot Water, Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) Annual Conference, 2008
- Releases and Waivers, Resort Hotel Association (RHA) Annual Conference, 2008
- Incident Report Writing, Presentation to various Hotel Security Departments, 2008
Pepperdine Law School
University of California at Davis
Bachelor of Arts
- Litigation: Obtained an Assumption of the Risk Summary Judgment on behalf of the operator of seasonal ice skating rink. Plaintiff’s ankle was broken in three places when a nine (9) year old beginner skater inadvertently collided with Plaintiff.
- Employment/Sexual Assault: Plaintiff was allegedly touched inappropriately by a hotel employee. Retained to defend the global hotel corporation against negligent hiring and premises liability claims arising from the purported incident. Successfully negotiated a resolution after demonstrating that there was no negligence by the client.
- Litigation: Attendee at a New Year’s Eve party fell on an acrylic dance floor that had been installed over the swimming pool at a hotel. Secured a 12-0 defense verdict after a three-week trial by demonstrating to the jury that the hotel had not been negligent in its operations.
- Litigation: Obtained a Scope of Duty Summary Judgment on behalf of a hotel owner/operator. Plaintiff was bitten by what her doctor’s believe was a black widow spider while dining on the hotel restaurant’s outdoor patio.
- Litigation: Successfully negotiated a settlement of less than $4,000 from an initial demand of $1.2 million. Plaintiff delivered materials to a construction site at a college. During the unloading process, the tip of the plaintiff’s finger was severed. Retained to defend both the nationally-recognized general contractor and the college against claims of premises liability and negligence.
- Litigation: Dismissal with prejudice in exchange for a waiver of costs. Plaintiff was found incoherent in the lobby bar of a hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Although she initially denied any loss of consciousness or injury, she subsequently sued, claiming she had slipped on water, hit her head and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Litigation-related investigation revealed the plaintiff had multiple aliases, social security numbers, birthdates and prior suspect claims.
- Litigation: Plaintiff was hit by a left turning vehicle while she was in the crosswalk. Retained by an excess carrier shortly before trial was about to commence, was retained by an excess insurance carrier to help resolve this catastrophic brain injury case with an estimated verdict potential of more than $10 million.
- Litigation: The Department of Insurance summarily revoked a clients’ license. Prevailed in an expedited trial held less than 30 days after the revocation occurred and the Department was ordered to reinstate the license.
- Wrongful Death Defense: Successfully negotiated a settlement for an amount that was significantly less than the estimated exposure. A car crashed in a construction zone intersection, leaving one dead and one paralyzed. Retained to defend the state transportation department as an additional insured under the general contractor’s policy.
- Wrongful Death Defense: Successfully negotiated a cost of defense settlement. College student in the back seat of a car was killed when that car was rear-ended on a state highway undergoing construction. Retained to defend the state transportation department as an additional insured under the general contractor’s policy.
- “On Guard - The Shifting Landscape of Guest Privacy” Hotel Business Review, December 19, 2016
- “Is Your Hotel Security Staff Exposing You to Liability?” California Hotel & Lodging Association Industry Newsletter, December 14, 2016
- “Transporting Guests Can Expose Hotels to Liability” Hotel News Now, November 29, 2016
- “The Legal Implications of Long-Term Guests” Hotel News Now, September 30, 2016
- “Million Dollar Andrews Verdict Should Put Hotels on Alert” HOTELSMag.com, March 9, 2016
- “Legal: Assessing Continued Service” In The Mix, December 2015
- “Is Your Hotel Properly Collecting and Preserving Incident Related Evidence?” CH&LA Industry Newsletter, April 28, 2015
- “A Primer on Defending Your Calif. Insurance License” Law360, March 26, 2015
- “Has Eden Roc Really Impacted Hotel Management Agreements?” Law360, March 3, 2015
- “Serving Alcohol At Co. Events And A Chilling Consequence” Law360, September 20, 2013
- “Setting the Record Straight by Documenting the Business Disruption” CONVERGE, July 30, 2013
- “Are There Felons Among Your Members?” Hospitality Resources International, February 5, 2013
- “Legally Speaking - Additional Insured’s Provisions” Resort Hotel Association Newsletter, November 30, 2010
- “2010 Help Guide: Best Practices for Swimming Pools” 2010 Best Western International, July 2010
- “The Importance of the Additional Insured Provisions in Vendor Contracts” The Club Managers Association of America Newsletter, Winter 2010
- “2010 Help Guide: Best Practices for Swimming Pools” 2010 Best Western International, January 1, 2010
- “Potential Sources of On the Hill Liability from Ski Resort Operations in California,” January 2010
- “Law Q&A: Go Beyond Pool Safety Requirements to Avoid Lawsuits” Hotel and Motel Management, December 10, 2009
Mr. Samuels served for five years as an approved mediator for the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He has coached youth sports teams for Agoura Pony Baseball, Agoura Youth Basketball Association, the YMCA and American Youth Soccer Organization.