David M. Cumberland’s entire career has been devoted to civil litigation and trials representing individuals, businesses and public entities. He has tried over a hundred cases to verdict including disputes relating to environmental contamination, breach of contract, police practices, gender and age discrimination, real estate and construction, wrongful termination and personal injury. Mr. Cumberland graduated summa cum laude from California State University at Fresno (CSUF). He received his law degree from the University of Pepperdine. Mr. Cumberland is rated AV® Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest peer review rating given to attorneys based on legal ability and ethical standards.

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LITIGATION EXPERIENCE

Mr. Cumberland is a trial specialist, having tried to verdict over 100 cases in both state and federal court. Some of the trials Mr. Cumberland has been involved in as trial counsel include:

Pacific Mechanical Corp. v. City of San Luis Obispo

Represented the City of San Luis Obispo in an eleven-week jury trial over a dispute with a contractor over construction and improvement of a water reclamation facility. Plaintiff claimed $4.9 million in damages. Plaintiffs’ claims were fully defensed and due to the jury awarding damages and the court awarding attorney’s fees, San Luis Obispo recovered approximately one million dollars on its cross-claim for breach of contract

Cohen, et al. v. Port San Luis Harbor District

Represented Port San Luis Harbor District, along with Martin Moroski, in six-week jury trial of case involving claims of breach of commercial leases. Defendant District defensed 17 out of 18 causes of action with a $50,000.00 verdict rendered to one of the two plaintiffs. The other plaintiff was completely defensed on all 18 causes of action

Furakawa Farms v. City of Santa Maria

Represented the City of Santa Maria in a breach of contract and reimbursement claim brought by plaintiff, Furakawa Farms seeking recovery of hundreds of thousands of dollars for clean-up costs and loss of profits due to flooding. The matter involved a four-week jury trial. A defense verdict was rendered for the City of Santa Maria.

Athie v. City of Santa Maria

Represented City of Santa Maria in a two-week jury trial regarding a claim by plaintiff that he incurred numerous herniated discs in his neck and back resulting in surgery to repair same along with an income loss and diminution of earning capacity claim due to being crushed by a backhoe operated by a City employee at the Santa Maria landfill. A defense verdict was rendered for the City.

Richards v. State of California

Represented the State of California, which was sued by plaintiff, a construction worker alleging he incurred numerous herniated discs to his neck and back resulting in surgery to repair same and a loss of income and earning capacity claim as a result of his being injured while working on a casework bridge project. A defense verdict was rendered for the State of California.

Larabie v. City of Santa Maria

Represented the City of Santa Maria in a three-week trial involving plaintiff’s claim he suffered injuries by falling in a construction zone owned and controlled by the City of Santa Maria. A defense verdict was rendered for the City.

Olson v. San Luis Coastal Unified School District

Represented San Luis Coastal Unified School District in a four-week trial involving two consolidated cases involving two students who suffered crush injuries to the thoracic spine when a vehicle fell off jack stands on top of the plaintiffs due to the negligent operation of a forklift by a District instructor. The District admitted liability and causation, and tried the case on damages. The jury awarded $1,200,000.00 to plaintiff Olson, and $276,000.00 to plaintiff Van Heuver. Prior to trial, demands were made by Olson for $4,500,000.00 and for Van Heuver of $1,200,000.00.

Vargas v. City of Santa Maria

Represented the City of Santa Maria in excessive force case brought by heirs of decedent who died after being restrained by City of Santa Maria police officers. The trial lasted four weeks. A defense verdict was rendered for the City.

Victoria Stuart v. San Luis Paints, et al.

Represented a paint company and its subsidiary which were both sued for violating Proposition 65, a state proposition enacted in 1986 to promote clean drinking water and to keep toxic substances that cause cancer and birth defects out of consumer products. Plaintiff claimed a failure to place proper warning labels on hundreds of thousands of commercial sign painting cans. The Court rendered a full defense judgment. Prior to trial, the initial demand by plaintiff was for over a billion dollars. After designation of experts a second demand was made for $100,000,000.00, which was later reduced to $10,000,000.00 as trial began.

Thorpe v. Dr. Klarich

Represented plaintiff (who was a paraplegic) in medical malpractice case against a physician who failed to meet the standard of care in conducting a gluteus maximus surgical repair causing a major infection and numerous additional surgeries to repair same. The jury awarded plaintiff over $500,000 in damages.

Beeman v. Dr. Clark

Represented plaintiff along with attorney James Duenow in medical malpractice action versus a physician who failed to properly and timely treat and refer plaintiff to a cardiologist while in the process of incurring a heart attack, resulting in a major loss of heart function. The jury award, along with an arbitrator awarded by the court, resulted in plaintiff recovering over $600,000 in compensation

PRIOR WORK HISTORY

During law school Mr. Cumberland clerked for the firm of Stearns & Nelson in Los Angeles. After graduating from law school he was hired as an attorney at Stearns & Nelson. From 1982 to 1983, Mr. Cumberland worked for the firm of Goethals & Swanson in Orange County. In 1983, after deciding to return to the Central Coast where he grew up, he accepted a position with the firm of Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel in San Luis Obispo where he worked until 1987.

In 1987 he formed his own firm in San Luis Obispo, first known as Radovich & Cumberland, which eventually became Cumberland, Coates & Duenow, LLP. In 2009, Mr. Cumberland joined AMMCG as a partner.

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS, ADMISSIONS, STANDING

Mr. Cumberland is a member of the California Bar Association and the San Luis Obispo County Bar Association. Mr. Cumberland is admitted to practice in all California State and Federal Courts. Mr. Cumberland is a member of the Association of Defense Counsel for Northern California and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Mr. Cumberland has served as a court appointed arbitrator, discovery referee and judge pro tempore. Mr. Cumberland enjoys a peer rating of AV® Preeminent from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest peer review rating given to attorneys based on legal ability and ethical standards.

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Arts, California State University Fresno, summa cum laude
Juris Doctor, University of Pepperdine Law School

PERSONAL

Mr. Cumberland is married, has two adult children, and resides in Arroyo Grande. In his spare time, he enjoys playing tennis, basketball, and other sports. Mr. Cumberland has also coached numerous athletic teams in the Santa Maria Valley and Arroyo Grande areas. He grew up in nearby Santa Maria and was selected as Santa Maria Valley Athlete of the Year in 1970, the year he graduated from Santa Maria High School.

Mr. Cumberland attended UCLA and CSUF on baseball and basketball scholarships, and while attending UCLA, was a member of the “Walton Gang,” which was led by Bill Walton, a future member of the NBA Hall of Fame. He also played minor league baseball with the San Francisco Giants after graduation from CSUF.