Overview

David E. Cannella is a business trial attorney who focuses on complex business litigation. He has extensive experience in class-action defense, trade secret litigation, enforcement of restrictive covenants, defamation, franchise and distributor litigation, unfair competition, government contracts, as well as deceptive and unfair trade practices.

Mr. Cannella has tried jury and nonjury business litigation cases to verdict as lead trial counsel in state and federal courts and has significant arbitration experience. Since 2010, Mr. Cannella has been board certified in Business Litigation Law by The Florida Bar. This distinguishes Mr. Cannella as an expert in the area of Business Litigation.

In addition to his business litigation experience, Mr. Cannella has handled issues involving pharmaceutical and medical device product liability defense. He has been lead counsel in catastrophic injury claims.

Mr. Cannella has testified regarding attorney fees in both state and federal courts. He has appeared pro hac vice as lead counsel in Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Tennessee.

In the community, Mr. Cannella volunteers as a board member, mentor and advisor for the Orange County Teen Court Youth Offender Diversion Program, which handles criminal cases involving first-time youthful offenders involved primarily in misdemeanors. He also is dedicated to pro bono efforts, and in 2016, he represented a shooting victim of the Pulse Nightclub attack in Orlando in a dispute with an auto finance company. He has also served as a guardian ad litem representing minor children.

Previously, Mr. Cannella served as an adjunct professor of business law at the University of Central Florida, and he was a faculty member of the Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques at Emory University School of Law.

Experience

  • Served as lead counsel in the 2018 dismissal with prejudice of a lawsuit against a timeshare developer for alleged violations of the Florida Timeshare Act and alleged fraudulent inducement and obtained an award of attorney's fees against the "timeshare exit" lawyers who filed the case
  • Served as lead counsel in the 2017 dismissal with prejudice of a lawsuit against a timeshare developer for alleged violations of the Florida Timeshare Act and alleged fraudulent inducement
  • Obtained a 2014 judgment in favor of a timeshare developer against a timeshare reseller for misappropriation of trade secret information
  • Obtained a 2014 final summary judgment on behalf of a national restaurant chain sued for damages in excess of $800,000 in connection with a long-term commercial lease
  • Obtained permanent injunctive relief in 2010 on behalf of a timeshare developer against a "vacation club" that was using the client's proprietary information to solicit guests and customers at the client's Ocean Walk Resort in Volusia County, Fla.

  • Won a 2018 trial brought by a former employee against a Women Business Enterprise (WBE) construction company in which the former employee claimed entitlement to ownership of the company and "profit split" based on a letter of intent; enforced proposal for settlement to recover a portion of the attorneys' fees on behalf of the client
  • Won a 2018 final summary judgment in a commercial real estate dispute between a seller and a buyer that resulted in a judgment in excess of $775,000 for the client (seller)
  • Served as lead counsel in the 2016 final summary judgment on behalf of the sponsor of a Florida specialty license plate against a political consultant for breach of contract claims
  • Won dismissal of antitrust claims, trademark claims and breach of contract claims brought by a former "alliance partner" against the client, a leading provider of admixtures for specialty concrete, in a 2010 American Arbitration Association (AAA) matter
  • Represented a telecommunications company in a 2009 lawsuit for $5 million in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in which a former system integrator provider sued for breach of contract and tortious interference with business in connection with the installation of telephone equipment and support on cruise ships; plaintiff voluntarily dismissed claims with prejudice after Mr. Cannella filed a motion for summary judgment on behalf of the client; the telecommunications company paid nothing to the plaintiff
  • Represented a global nutraceutical company in defense of a commercial defamation matter
  • Obtained a 2006 jury trial defense verdict on behalf of a food manufacturer in a $550,000 case brought by a former distributor for defamation, fraud and breach of contract; Mr. Cannella enforced a statutory proposal for settlement and the client was reimbursed its attorney's fees and costs in connection with the case

  • Obtained a 2018 permanent injunction on behalf of an insurance broker against nine former employees across the United States who left the client on the same day to work for a competitor
  • Obtained a 2014 $7.5 million judgment in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida (Gainesville Division) in a case involving a commercial mortgage-backed security (CMBS)
  • Obtained a 2013 final judgment in excess of $3.5 million and permanent injunctive relief in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida (Orlando Division) on behalf of a commercial buyer of consumer debts against collection agencies and their principals that misappropriated the accounts and attempted to continue collections
  • Resolved a 2013 claim against a financial advisor after moving to compel arbitration; after compelling arbitration, the investor claimants withdrew their complaint in writing, which led to an amendment to the client's Form U4
  • Obtained a 2004 dismissal of claims against a financial planner for breach of fiduciary duty in connection with advice rendered regarding the termination of a defined benefits plan

  • Obtained 2017 final judgment as lead trial counsel in a trademark dispute on behalf of client in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida (Orlando Division). The District Court found that Mr. Cannella proved by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant committed fraud on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in its trademark registration
  • Represented the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority in its 2014-2016 litigation against a major international ride-hiring company to enforce compliance with the Aviation Authority's Ground Transportation Rules and Regulations
  • Served as counsel for a timeshare developer sued by a putative class representative who claimed the developer's use of a trust violated the Arkansas Trust Code in which the case was ultimately dismissed with prejudice
  • Served as Florida counsel for two online travel companies (OTCs) sued by the Orange County Comptroller and Orange County in which the plaintiffs sought a declaration that the OTCs owe Tourist Development Tax on the difference between the wholesale and retail rates in 2012; the court entered summary judgment in favor of the client OTCs
  • Obtained a 2012 arbitration award in excess of $570,000 and permanent injunctive relief on behalf of a liquor brand owner against a terminated distributor who continued to distribute the client's high-end tequila after termination until it was stopped by the injunction
  • Obtained a 2002 jury trial defense verdict on behalf of an employer arising from negligent hiring in a civil battery case in which the plaintiff claimed a traumatic brain injury
  • Obtained a 2007 summary judgment in a construction defect case in the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Florida dispensing with plaintiff's claims against a homebuilder for violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA), implied warranty claims and building code claims arising from use of textured cement finish rather than full thickness stucco

  • Served as Florida counsel in 2016-2017 for medical device manufacturer as part of Multi-District Litigation (MDL)
  • Served as Florida counsel for a smartphone manufacturer sued for patent infringement in the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Florida; obtained dismissal with prejudice of indirect infringement claims in 2015
  • Served as Florida counsel for a medical device manufacturer in a 2014 claim involving an alleged defect; the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida granted summary judgment in the client's favor after striking plaintiff's warnings and design expert after a successful Daubert challenge
  • Obtained a 2012 dismissal with prejudice of a putative consumer class action against a smartphone manufacturer in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • Defended a pharmaceutical company in wrongful death cases arising from alleged use of antidepressants from 2005-2010
  • Defended an automobile manufacturer in a 2005 statewide class-action suit alleging defects in a particular model of automobile used as a police car
  • Defended a pharmaceutical company in a mass tort action related to plaintiffs' use of diet drugs from 2004-2005

Credentials

Education
  • University of Florida Levin College of Law, J.D., with honors
  • Georgetown University, B.A., cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Florida
Court Admissions
  • All State Courts in Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Memberships
  • Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, President, 2016-2017; President-Elect, 2015-2016; Treasurer, 2014-2015; Secretary, 2013-2014
  • The Florida Bar, Civil Procedure Rules Committee, 2012-2015; Media & Communications Law Committee, 2009-2012
  • The Florida Bar Journal, News Editorial Board, 2003-2009
  • Orange County Teen Court, Board Member, 2012-present
  • George C. Young First Central Florida American Inn of Court, Master, 2012-present
  • American Bar Association, Membership Co-Chair, 2017-present; Section of Litigation Business Torts & Unfair Competition Committee, 2015-present
  • Leadership Orlando, Class 51
  • Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association, Guardian Ad Litem, 2014-present
  • Orange County Teen Court, Volunteer Advisor and Judge, 1995-present
  • Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Election Protection, Field Volunteer, 2012, 2014, 2016
  • University of Florida Justice Campbell Thornal Moot Court Board, Former Vice Chairman
  • University of Florida Trial Team, Former Vice President
Honors & Awards
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated
  • Client Service All-Star, The BTI Consulting Group, 2017
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, 2010-2020
  • Florida Super Lawyers magazine, 2006-2019
  • Florida Legal Elite, Florida Trend, 2012, 2014-2016
  • Top 40 Under 40, Orlando Business Journal, 2006
  • Best of the Bar – Litigation, Orlando Business Journal, 2005, 2006
  • Judge Thomas S. Kirk Founders Award, Orange County Teen Court Youth Offender Diversion Program, 2014, 2015

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News