David P. Atkins is a member of Pullman & Comley’s Litigation Department and leads its Professional Liability Section. He practices in the areas of professional liability, commercial litigation, appeals and administrative proceedings. Attorneys, law firms, CPAs and health care professionals seek David to represent them in malpractice, licensing, court sanctions and disqualification proceedings, ethics and disciplinary (grievance) matters. His extensive experience includes handling disputes among owners of professional service practices including physicians and attorneys. Firms and corporate legal departments frequently engage David for risk management consultations, in-house continuing legal education programs on legal ethics, as well as an expert witness on legal ethics and professional liability issues.
He has served as a court appointed mediator in civil cases as part of the Special Masters Dispute Resolution Program of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. David mediates disputes between co-owners of professional service practices as an alternative to litigation. He is a current board member of the national Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL) whose members include recognized leaders in the fields of attorney discipline and legal malpractice defense.
A sought after writer and speaker, David has written and spoken widely on attorney discipline, legal ethics and law office risk management. He co-authored “Attorney Advertising in Connecticut: Everything You Need to Know about the New Era of Oversight and Regulation,” (Connecticut Lawyer); “Conflict Waivers: When in Doubt, Spell It Out,” (Connecticut Lawyer); “Responding To a Disciplinary Complaint: The Do’s and Don’ts,” (Connecticut Law Tribune); "Advancing Client Costs: Pitfalls and Changes in Rule 1.8(e),” (Connecticut Law Tribune); "The Unfinished Business Doctrine: Law Firm Dissolutions Bring Risks," (Connecticut Law Tribune); and "Litigation Funding: Ethical Considerations for the Plaintiff's Lawyer," (Connecticut Lawyer). He authored “The Duty To Report Client Misconduct and The Client Veto,” (Connecticut Law Tribune); “Contacts With An Opposing Party’s Employees: When Is A Witness Off Limits?” (Connecticut Law Tribune); and "Law Firm Breakups and Lawyer Departures: The Ethical Do's and Don'ts," (Connecticut Lawyer).
Always willing to share his knowledge with others in the legal community, David is a regular speaker at programs sponsored by the Connecticut, Fairfield County, Greater Bridgeport, New Haven County and Westport Bar Associations and the Connecticut and Westchester County chapters of the American Corporate Counsel Association. He also has been an invited speaker on professional responsibility issues at the University of Connecticut School of Law; Yale Law School; and Quinnipiac University School of Law.
- Represented professionals in partnership accounting and buyout disputes following a co-owner's departure from a practice or upon the practice's dissolution
- Prosecuted and defended claims that employees engaged in theft of an employer's trade secrets
- Defended a Connecticut company accused by a customer of conspiring to fix prices
- Successfully defended Connecticut law firms in jury trials on claims of professional negligence
- Successfully defended a certified public accountant in a jury trial on a claim of breach of loyalty to a former client
- Defended licensed professionals, including physicians, psychologists and certified public accountants in claims of misconduct filed with state licensing tribunals
- Represented a national law firm in recovering a fee from a former client amounting to over $15 million
- Connecticut Bar Association - Task Force on Grievance Procedures; Special Committee on In-House Counsel Certification
- U.S. District Court Grievance Committee, District of Connecticut - former special counsel
- Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL) - Member, Board of Directors (2015-2019)
- State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Committee on Uniformity of Court Procedures (2009)
- American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA)
- CT Against Gun Violence - member, board of directors
Honors & Awards
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of commercial litigation, ethics and professional responsibility and legal malpractice law since 2007
Listed in Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers to Businesses in the area of litigation: general commercial since 2016
- Selected to the Connecticut Super Lawyers list since 2007 in the areas of business litigation and professional liability (defense)
- Received the highest peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell (AV)