David Gurnick

Practice Groups
University of California, at Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law, Juris Doctor(1984) University of California, at Los Angeles,Bachelor of Arts, English (1981)
  • Summa Cum Laude
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Biography
  • Publications & Presentations
  • Noteworthy Legal Activities
  • Memberships
  • Awards
  • In Memoriam

    David Gurnick, franchise attorney, business lawyer and litigator, was a State Bar of California Specialist in Franchise and Distribution Law, as certified by the Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization. He was also a Certified Franchise Executive, as designated by the International Franchise Association.

    Mr. Gurnick’s practice also focused on licensing, trademarks and copyrights, trade secrets, e-commerce, antitrust and competition matters, and related litigation.

    Representing clients in all aspects of franchise and distribution law, Mr. Gurnick was often asked to testify as an expert in the field. He authored two texts: Distribution Law of the United States, addressing laws governing U.S. manufacturers and retailers, and Franchising Depositions, a treatise on taking and defending depositions in franchising cases.

    He was also a contributing author of Franchising: Cases, Materials, & Problems, the first law school textbook on franchise law, published by the American Bar Association; International Franchising, a text on law and strategies for international franchising programs; and was a co-author of California Franchise Law Jury Instructions, published by Matthew Bender.

    Representing our clients in wide-ranging industries, Mr. Gurnick provided counsel and transactional and litigation services to local, national and international companies, some of which included:

    • Audio/Visual Retailers
    • Automobile & Service Station Dealers
    • Building Inspection and Maintenance
    • Clothing Manufacturers & Distributors
    • Commercial & Residential Movers
    • Cooperatives
    • Food Products Manufacturers
    • Health/Beauty Manufacturers, Distributors
    • High-Tech Equipment Manufacturers
    • Home Improvement/Repair Franchises

    • Hoteliers
    • Personal Care Service Retailers
    • Product Importers & Distributors
    • Professional Consulting Firms
    • Professional Law Practices
    • Professional Medical Practices
    • Restaurateurs
    • Software Developers and Licensors
    • Spa Companies
    • Travel Agencies

    Mr.Gurnick assisted numerous franchisors in registering to offer and sell franchises, structuring to avoid and work around franchising and other legal issues, and negotiating solutions to wide-ranging business challenges. The business lawyer won millions of dollars of court judgments in litigation and settlements for clients: franchisors, franchisees, manufacturers, distributors, resellers, and policyholders in claims against insurance companies. He represented clients in federal and state courts.

    As a franchise attorney, Mr. Gurnick served as an adjunct professor of law teaching semester courses, as well as a panelist at the American Bar Association Forum on Franchising, International Franchise Association annual Legal Symposium, and California Continuing Education of the Bar. He also served on the editorial board of the American Bar Association Franchise Law Journal, and Franchise Law Committee of the State Bar of California.

    Mr. Gurnick served two terms as President of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association. He has also served as Chair of the Association’s Business Law Section, Chair of the Association’s Litigation Section, trustee of the University of West Los Angeles College of Law, President of the Valley Community Legal Foundation, and as trustee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

    Admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, he was also admitted before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and Ninth Circuit, and the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The business and franchise law attorney was a member of the Bar in California and the District of Columbia.

    Valley Bar Association Past President
    • Co-Presenter, Franchising: Litigating the Definitional Elements - ABA 41st Annual Forum on Franchising at Omni National Hotel, Nashville, October 2018
    • Co-Presenter, Legal Developments 2016 - ABA 39th Annual Forum on Franchising at The Fountainbleu, Miami, November 2016
    • Admitted in: California; District of Columbia; U.S. Central District of California; U.S. Ninth Circuit; U.S. Federal Circuit; U.S. Supreme Court
    • American Bar Association - Forum Committee on Franchising
    • Los Angeles County Bar Association
    • San Fernando Valley Bar Association -President, 2012-13; and 1993-94 - Member, Board of Trustees
    • Valley Community Legal Foundation -President, 2012-13 - Member, Board of Trustees
    • The Lewis G. Rudnick Award by The ABA Forum on Franchising, November 2023 (awarded posthumously)
    • Best Lawyers: Franchise Law by Best Lawyers Magazine 2008 - 2023
    • AV Rating of 5.0 Preeminent,  Martindale-Hubbell's highest rating awarded by peers of the bar and judiciary for legal ability and ethics.
    • Justice Armand Arabian Leaders in Public Service Award 2013
    • Top 25 Attorneys of the Valley by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal
    • Southern California Super Lawyer, by Super Lawyers Magazine
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