Photo of David Munkittrick

David Munkittrick is a litigator and trial attorney. His practice focuses on complex and large-scale antitrust, copyright and entertainment matters in all forms of dispute resolution and litigation, from complaint through appeal.

David has been involved in some of the most significant antitrust matters over the past few years, obtaining favorable results for Fortune 500 companies and other clients in bench and jury trials involving price discrimination and group boycott claims. His practice includes the full range of antitrust matters and disputes: from class actions to competitor suits and merger review. David advises antitrust clients in a range of industries, including entertainment, automotive, pharmaceutical, healthcare, agriculture, hospitality, financial services, and sports.

David also advises music, publishing, medical device, sports, and technology clients in navigating complex copyright issues and compliance. He has represented some of the most recognized names in entertainment, including Sony Music Entertainment, Lady Gaga, U2, Madonna, Daft Punk, RCA Records, BMG Music Publishing, Live Nation, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Universal Music Group and Warner/Chappell.

David maintains an active pro bono practice, supporting clients in the arts and in immigration proceedings. He has been repeatedly recognized as Empire State Counsel by the New York State Bar Association for his pro bono service, and is a recipient of Proskauer’s Golden Gavel Award for excellence in pro bono work.

When not practicing law, David spends time practicing piano. He recently made his Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Recital Hall with a piano trio and accompanying a Schubert lieder.

David frequently speaks on antitrust and copyright issues, and has authored or co-authored numerous articles and treatise chapters, including:

  • Causation and Remoteness, the U.S. Perspective, in GCR Private Litigation Guide.
  • Data Breach Litigation Involving Consumer Class Actions, in Proskauer on Privacy: A Guide to Privacy and Data Security Law in the Information Age.
  • Location Privacy: Technology and the Law, in Proskauer on Privacy: A Guide to Privacy and Data Security Law in the Information Age.
  • FTC Enforcement of Privacy, in Proskauer on Privacy: A Guide to Privacy and Data Security Law in the Information Age.
  • The Role of Experts in Music Copyright Cases, Intellectual Property Magazine.
  • Nonprofit Education: A Historical Basis for Tax Exemption in the Arts, 21 NYSBA Ent., Arts, & Sports L.J. 67
  • A Founding Father of Modern Music Education: The Thought and Philosophy of Karl W. Gehrkens, Journal of Historical Research in Music Education
  • Jackson Family Wines, Inc. v. Diageo North America, Inc. Represented Diageo in trademark infringement litigation
In a world full of electronic information (not to mention hackers and identity thieves), data breaches—the loss, theft, or unauthorized access to data—are a reality for companies that collect and store personal information. Breaches can occur in myriad ways: a hacker gains access to a database or an unencrypted laptop

We pack tons of personal and sensitive information in our DNA.  While the human genome has been mapped for a decade, legal issues of genetic privacy are just beginning to rise.  Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court decided what Justice Alito described as “perhaps the most important criminal procedure case that this court has heard in decades.”  The case addressed whether police could constitutionally take a DNA sample from a person arrested for a serious crime, and in a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that DNA collection serves the legitimate government interest in identifying arrestees.  In the majority opinion, however, Justice Kennedy noted that, “If in the future police analyze samples to determine, for instance, an arrestee’s predisposition for a particular disease or other hereditary factors not relevant to identity, that case would present additional privacy concerns not present here.” 

Data use and sharing disclosures on mobile devices need work, the FTC said in a staff report released last week.  The report recommends ways that actors in the mobile marketplace—such as mobile operating system providers, application developers, advertising networks, and analytics companies—can inform consumers of data collection and sharing practices.  While the FTC tailors recommendations for each group, the recommendations are essentially focused on providing consumers with timely and understandable data use disclosures.  If such disclosures do not materialize, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said to reporters in a teleconference discussing the report, the mobile industry may face regulatory or legislative mandates.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments last month in Clapper v. Amnesty International, a case that asks the Court to determine whether a group of lawyers, journalists, and human rights workers have standing to challenge the federal government’s international electronic surveillance program under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.  The plaintiffs alleged Fourth Amendment privacy violations among other things, and injury from the likelihood that the government was recording their conversations with clients and sources overseas.  But the plaintiffs could not say with certainty whether any eavesdropping occurred, giving rise to the standing issue before the Court.

Clapper involves standing in the context of constitutional privacy, but the same general standing requirements apply in consumer privacy actions.  Standing is one of the initial hurdles of any would-be plaintiff, and the first element of standing is injury-in-fact.  In the developing area of consumer privacy litigation, recent cases reflect uncertainty in the federal courts as to what constitutes injury-in-fact sufficient to confer standing.

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently announced settlements of cases brought against Google and Facebook for alleged privacy violations. The Google settlement drew headlines for being the largest fine ever assessed for the violation of a FTC consent order ($22.5 million).  But Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch’s dissents are perhaps more momentous, as they have prompted the FTC to re-examine its practice of accepting settlements in which companies deny wrongdoing.

Earlier this year in United States v. Jones, the United State Supreme Court addressed the privacy implications of Global Positioning Systems (“GPS”), holding that placing a GPS tracking device on a suspect’s car was a “search” under the Fourth Amendment. Though a growing number of employers are using GPS systems to track employee activity on the job, the effect of the Supreme Court’s decision in the private sector remains unclear.

The smart grid is an advanced metering infrastructure made up of “smart meters” capable of recording detailed and near-real time data on consumer electricity usage.  That data would then be sent to utilities through a wireless communications network.  In recent years, utilities have increased the pace of smart meter deployment—smart meters are expected to be on 65 million homes by 2015.  A smart grid could deliver electricity more efficiently and would enable consumers to track and adjust their energy usage in real time through a home display.  But these new capabilities also implicate new privacy concerns.