David B. Salmons is chair of the firm's appellate practice and focuses on complex appellate, constitutional, and regulatory matters across a range of legal subject matters. David has argued 14 cases before the US Supreme Court and numerous other cases before other federal appellate courts, federal district courts, and State appellate courts. David’s litigated cases involve cutting-edge issues in the areas of environmental, tax, bankruptcy, commercial, administrative, civil rights, and constitutional law.
David’s clients trust him with bet-the-company litigation. Regarded as a top appellate advocate by Chambers USA and Best Lawyers, David offers his clients a full-service appellate practice: applying appellate-level strategy, briefing, and argument from the earliest stages of litigation through appeal. While not in the office, David volunteers his time to the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP), where he serves as Chairman of the Board.
Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, David was a partner in the litigation practice of another international law firm, where he was chair of the appellate practice, co-chair of the firm’s practice committee, and managing partner of the firm’s DC office. David previously served six years as an assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States. During this time, he received several awards for his work on important appellate matters, including the Department of Justice’s John Marshall Award for Excellence in Handling Appeals in 2006, the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of US National Security in 2003, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence in 2005. David also is a former law clerk to Judge W. Eugene Davis of the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
US Supreme Court in City of San Antonio v. Hotels.com: Obtained an important win for several online travel companies (OTCs), including Hotels.com, Expedia, Hotwire, TripNetwork, Internetwork Publishing, Orbitz, and Travelnow.com. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court rejected the City’s arguments (supported by the Solicitor General) and held that only appellate courts have authority to deny a prevailing party appellate costs.
TrueNorth Capital Partners v. Hitachi Metals — Persuaded Second Circuit to affirm grant of summary judgment in favor of Hitachi Metals on breach of contract claims.
Montesa v. Schwartz — Successfully argued that individuals lack standing to pursue Establishment Clause claims where they do not claim to have been exposed to the challenged governmental conduct, persuading the Second Circuit to reverse a district court ruling.
Visa v. Osborn — Represented major financial sector business associations in US Supreme Court amicus brief addressing standards for pleading antitrust conspiracy.
Roberts v. PayPal, Inc. — Persuaded the Ninth Circuit that the Telephone Consumer Protect Act did not bar PayPal from sending text messages to a customer who had signed up for PayPal’s mobile services.
Earll v. eBay Inc. — Achieved a path-marking victory on appeal for eBay, when the Ninth Circuit held that Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which applies to "places of public accommodation," does not apply to the websites of web-only businesses, like eBay.com.
Forest Grove School District v. T.A. — Argued before the US Supreme Court, on behalf of an child with a disability and his family who sought reimbursement for private special-education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The US Supreme Court ruled 6–3 (after having divided 4–4 on the same question the previous term) that parents may recover reimbursement in appropriate cases whenever a school district fails to make a free appropriate public education available to the child.
Agudas Chasidei Chabad v. Russian Federation — Represented a religious corporation on appeal to the DC Circuit involving claims against the Russian Federation to recover religious texts seized during the Bolshevik Revolution and Second World War.
QUALCOMM Inc. v. Broadcom Corp. — Represented QUALCOMM in appeal to Federal Circuit involving intellectual property claims related to non-disclosure of patents before standard-setting organization
Giles v. California — Represented anti-domestic violence advocacy groups in US Supreme Court amicus brief addressing Confrontation Clause issues.
The University of Chicago Law School, 1996, J.D., High Honors
Brigham Young University, 1993, B.A., History, Summa Cum Laude
District of Columbia
US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Supreme Court of the United States
Clerkship to Judge W. Eugene Davis of the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (1996 - 1997)
Awards and Affiliations
Recognized, Appellate Practice, Washington, DC, The Best Lawyers in America (2011–2020, 2022)
Ranked, Appellate Law, Nationwide, Chambers USA (2014–2021)
Recommended, The Legal 500 US, Dispute Resolution - Appellate - Supreme Court (federal and state) (2017–2021); Financial Services Litigation (2013)
Recognized, Washington, DC Super Lawyers (2014)
Recipient, Department of Justice, John Marshall Award for Excellence in Handling Appeals (2006)
Recipient, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Award for Excellence (2005)
Recipient, Attorney General’s Office, Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of US National Security (2003)
Editor-in-chief, University of Chicago Law Review (1996)