David L. Winnett

David L. Winnett

David L. Winnett

San Francisco, California
Download Bio

David L. Winnett is a skilled trial attorney representing catastrophically injured plaintiffs. Since starting his career as a prosecutor over 20 years ago, he has tried dozens of civil and criminal cases to verdict. He is CAOC’s 2018 Consumer Attorney of the Year, a two-time finalist for SFTLA’s Trial Lawyer of the Year, and a past finalist for MTLA’s Trial Lawyer of the Year. He is an instructor at USF’s Intensive Advocacy Program. He is also a member of CAOC’s Board of Governors and numerous community boards, a graduate of CAOC’s Leadership Academy, and a Fellow of the New Leaders Council.

In addition to his time as a prosecutor, Mr. Winnett was previously a partner at an Am Law 200 firm. His varied professional background, including his time spent as a prosecutor and as a civil defense lawyer, provides him with a unique perspective on the many legal challenges our clients often face and strategies for confronting those challenges.

Mr. Winnett lives in Novato with his wife and three daughters. They are active in the Bay Area softball community and Marin School of the Arts and enjoy cooking and traveling together as a family.

Year Joined Firm

  • 2014

Areas of Practice

  • Construction Accidents
  • Workplace Injuries
  • Personal Injury Accidents
  • Dangerous Property
  • Defective Products

Bar Admissions

  • California, 2002
  • Illinois, 1995
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 2002
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California, 2005
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois, 2000
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 2005
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 2010
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2010


  • Southern Illinois University School of Law, Carbondale, Illinois
    • J.D. - 1995
    • Honors: Freshman Moot Court Finalist
    • Honors: Received the Corpus Juris Secundum Award for Torts
    • Honors: Dean’s Scholarship Recipient
  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
    • B.A. - 1992
    • Honors: James Scholar
    • Major: English/Pre-Law

Published Works

  • The continuing viability of the consumer expectation test in defective seat back cases, May/June 2019
  • Ask the Expert, Organized Labor, September 2017
  • What Not to Share, Plaintiff Magazine, September 2017
  • Unintended Death Sentences, Plaintiff Magazine, November, 2016
  • Ask the Expert, Organized Labor, October, 2016
  • Legal Malpractice: Proving The Case-Within-A-Case, Plaintiff magazine, November , 2015
  • Avoiding the Voidable: Ensuring Contingency Fees and Fee-Sharing Agreements are Enforceable, December 30, 2014


  • CAOC Palm Springs Seminar, “Get Loaded”, May 2019
  • CAOC Travel Seminar, Moderator, November 2017
  • CAOC Travel Seminar, “Unintended Death Sentences: Prosecuting Prisoner Suicide Cases” Speaker, November 2016
  • Marin County Bar Association, “The Realities of Working with a Trial Consultant…No ‘Bull’” Speaker, November 2016
  • CAOC Hawaii Travel Seminar, “Avoiding the Voidable; How to Ensure That Your Contingency Fee and Fee-Sharing Agreements Are Enforceable And Sufficiently Protect Your Interests” Speaker, December 2014
  • WestLegalEdcenter webinar: “Disaster Response & Recovery” Speaker, September 2013
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association seminar: “The Ethics of Social Networking: Avoiding Pitfalls and Exploring Opportunities” Speaker, January 2012
  • WestLegalEdcenter webinar: “Recent Developments in the Debate Over Screening” Speaker, October 2010
  • Professional Insurance Associates seminar: “If You Are Sued, These Are the Top 10 Questions Your Attorney Will Ask You” Speaker, October 2008
  • WestLegalEdcenter webinar: “Lawyers’ Liability for Intentional Torts” Speaker, December 2007

Honors and Awards

  • Rated AV-Preeminent for Ethical Standards & Ability, Martindale – Hubbell, 2014-2019
  • CAOC’s 2018 Consumer Attorney of the Year
  • Doe vs. Mazda Case Featured in San Francisco Chronicle’s Northern California Verdicts Section, 2017
  • Finalist for the San Francisco Trial Lawyers – Trial Lawyer of the Year, 2016, 2017
  • Selected to Northern California Super Lawyers List, 2015-2019 – Top 5% of attorneys, as voted by peers.
  • Finalist for the Marin Trial Lawyers Association – Trial Lawyer of the Year, 2017
  • The Recorder's California's Top Verdicts and Settlements of 2016 - Doe v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc.
  • Southern Illinois University, School of Law, Juris Doctor 1995, Recipient of the Corpus Juris Secundum Award in Torts
  • Best Lawyers

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Association for Justice
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Consumer Attorneys of California, Board of Directors
  • Legal Aid of Marin, Board of Directors
  • Marin County Bar Association, Bench Bar Committee
  • Marin Trial Lawyers Association, Board of Directors
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association

Past Employment Positions

  • Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
  • St. Clair County, Illinois, State’s Attorney’s Office, Prosecutor

Pro Bono Activities

  • Golden Gate Illini Club, Treasurer, 2003 - 2006
  • Hamilton Elementary School PTA, Volunteer, 2002 - 2016
  • Hamilton Elementary School Watch D.O.G.S., Co-Chair, 2007 - 2016
  • Marin School of the Arts Foundation, Board of Directors, 2017 - Present
  • Marin School of the Arts Drama Boosters, Various Leadership Positions, 2013 - 2016
  • Novato Girls Softball, Assistant Coach and Various Leadership Positions, 2003 - 2016
  • St. Clair County CASA, Treasurer & Board Member, 1998 - 2002
  • SF Bike Coalition