The information included here is designed for those who may be interested in my legal services and minimizes discussion of my technology and business experience.
Because I deal with the majority of my clients via phone, email and/or video calls, I have included more extensive detail concerning my legal background and experience than most attorneys do on their web sites. The purpose is to provide clients and prospective clients with a good factual basis for deciding whether my experience matches their needs in the absence of a face-to-face meeting.
I am always happy to meet with clients and prospective clients if geography and schedules permit. I am also happy to provide additional information on any aspect of my professional background. Get in touch with me through my Contact Page.
Private Intellectual Property Investments
2008 – 2011, Provo, Utah
I started a business to acquire and generate royalties from technology patents. I raised capital and negotiated the acquisition of a portfolio of patents. I have pursued multiple patent infringement suits that have generated licensing fees for the business. Because of multiple non-disclosure agreements, I am not able to publicize or discuss some of the details of the business and the litigation in which it engaged.
Helius, Inc., now Hughes Enterprise Solutions – More
2006 – 2008, Lindon, Utah
As Vice-President for Intellectual Property, I managed the company’s patent portfolio. This included hiring and supervising the activities of a major patent litigation law firm. Helius was acquired by Hughes, a large satellite communications company.
Corda Technologies, now Domo – More
2001-2006, Lindon, Utah
As Vice-President – Marketing/Sales/Business Development, I negotiated technology agreements with Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Fidelity Investments, Business Objects, Siebel, Apple Computer and others. Corda Technologies was acquired by Domo.
Neighborhood America, now INgage Networks – More
2000-2001, Naples, Florida
I served as Executive Vice-President and focused on business development. Neighborhood America was re-branded as INgage Networks.
Ancestry.com – More
1999-2000, Provo, Utah
I began as Vice-President for Strategic Partnerships and was later named Chief Revenue Officer, adding responsibilities for sales and marketing. I negotiated major partnership agreements with Disney, Hallmark, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, AOL, Kodak, Compaq, American Express and others.
Lexis-Nexis – More
1995-1999, Dayton, Ohio
I was Director of Small Law Programs and headed the project that introduced the first Lexis web-based legal research product. As Director of Vertical Applications, I managed the business of providing electronic filing and litigation management services for courts dealing with large numbers of mass tort lawsuits. I also proposed the creation of a knowledge-management consulting practice and obtained the first knowledge-management consulting contract for the company.
Attorney in Private Practice
1979-1995, Monett, Missouri
After starting my own practice, I represented clients in a variety of litigation, business and intellectual property matters. My work required numerous contract and litigation settlement negotiations.
The following cases illustrate my experience in analyzing various types of contracts and locating provisions that benefitted my clients:
+ I represented a client in a dispute with a large health insurance company. The company contended its coverage for the client’s serious illness was strictly limited under the terms of its policy.
After a thorough review of the lengthy policy agreement, I determined the policy as written not only failed to strictly limit coverage, but included no limits whatsoever on coverage for my client’s illness. After I threatened to sue, the company paid my client’s medical bills in full. Shortly thereafter, the company issued new policies for every policyholder in the state to remedy the contract errors I located.
+ Legal Aid frequently asked me to represent its indigent clients. In one such case, a large bank repossessed my client’s automobile, sold it at auction for less than the amount due on the auto loan and sued my client for the deficiency.
After a review of the security agreement upon which the bank based its lawsuit, I determined the agreement was not properly drafted and failed to include a provision to allow collection of a deficiency judgment. We tried the case and the court ruled in favor of my client.
The bank appealed the decision. Before any further hearings, the bank offered to drop its suit and release my client from any further claims if I agreed not to disclose the problems with its existing security agreement, which the bank had used for thousands of then-outstanding auto loans. My client accepted the offer.
+ I represented a client who had been sued by the federal government for failure to repay a large collection of student loans. After I entered my appearance, the U.S. Attorney’s office, which handled dozens of these suits every year, immediately filed a lengthy and comprehensive Motion for Summary Judgment with which it generally won such lawsuits.
After I reviewed the loan documents and complex federal regulations governing collection of unpaid student loans, I discovered the government had not delivered an obscure but required document to my client prior to filing suit. I filed a Summary Judgment Motion on behalf of my client. The judge ruled in my client’s favor a few days thereafter.
When I practiced law in California, I dealt with many contracts, but never did any litigation. My first contract litigation case in Missouri was a big revelation and changed the way I drafted every contract thereafter.
I draw on my litigation experience as I draft or redraft contracts because I’m sensitive to ways contracts can be attacked and the potential for misunderstanding or incorrect interpretations of poorly-written agreements by a judge or jury.
Litigation experience also helps when I’m looking for weaknesses in an unfair contract my client has already signed to help my client exit or void the contract. I’m able to break the agreement down because I’ve had to do that in an adversarial courtroom environment.
To be clear, I do not mean to imply that contract attorneys without litigation experience are not able to competently draft documents of the highest quality. I have known a great many who do. Additionally, while I have a great deal of litigation experience, I no longer act as lead counsel in litigated cases, but have worked as co-counsel or as a paid expert consultant with attorneys who do.
Widely-Recognized Writer and Speaker
During the time I practiced in Missouri, I became a nationally-known expert on law office automation through my writing and speaking.
+ I was invited to speak to the Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association for ten years in a row, ending only when I sold my practice.
+ During the last several years of my practice, I spent about 25 days a year speaking to lawyers on a paid basis in dozens of continuing legal education programs.
+ In a single year, I was invited to speak to the New York City Bar Association, the Beverly Hills Bar Association and the Hawaii State Bar Association.
The American Bar Association Journal invited me to become a monthly columnist for its principal publication, The ABA Journal. I also wrote regular articles for many other legal publications.
See my Supplemental Curriculum Vitae for details on some of my published articles. If you search on Google Books for attorney david vandagriff, you’ll see some of the articles I have written and also references to my work in papers and articles written by other attorneys and law professors.
I was pleased to receive several awards relating to my legal work. Following is a partial list:
+ Sole Practitioner of the Year – The American Bar Association
+ Fellow of The American Bar Foundation
+ President’s Award – The Missouri Bar
+ Pro Bono Publico Award – recognizing outstanding service to the indigent – The Missouri Bar
+ Equal Access to Justice Award – recognizing outstanding service to the indigent – Legal Aid of Southwest Missouri
Legal Software Developer
While practicing law, I wrote a number of computer programs to increase the efficiency of my own office. I refined one of these programs into Splitsville, a best-selling document assembly and expert system software program for use by divorce attorneys.
I served as Vice-President/General Counsel for this technology start-up. This company generated all its revenues from patent licenses I negotiated.
Gibson, Ogden & Johnson
I worked as an intern during law school, then as an attorney in this firm which specialized in business and securities law.
The J. Walter Thompson Company – More
Advertising account executive
CNA Insurance – More
Manager of Economic and Marketing Research
Northwestern University, B.S., 1969
Pepperdine University, J.D. cum laude, 1976 – Law Review, top 5% of class, multiple academic recognition awards
I am also happy to provide additional information on any aspect of my professional background. Get in touch with me through my Contact Page.