David S. Godkin

David S. Godkin

Email: godkin @
Phone: (617) 307-6110
Fax: (617) 307-6101

David S. Godkin co-founded Birnbaum & Godkin, LLP in 2005. Mr. Godkin is a trial lawyer with more than 30 years of experience litigating and arbitrating complex business and intellectual property disputes. He has a national practice, and has tried cases to juries, judges and arbitrators throughout the United States. He has argued appeals in federal and state appeals courts. Mr. Godkin is also an experienced arbitrator, and a member of the American Arbitration Association's Commercial Panel.

Mr. Godkin has published numerous articles, serves as a faculty member on continuing legal education programs, and regularly participates in the Trial Advocacy Program at the Harvard Law School.

Mr. Godkin holds the highest (AV) rating given by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. He has been selected as a "Massachusetts Super Lawyer" each year since 2004, based on ballots sent to 37,000 attorneys across Massachusetts by Law & Politics Magazine.

Mr. Godkin is involved in many community activities involving law and the arts. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of the Boston Bar Association. He has been actively involved as lead counsel in prominent pro bono matters involving education, fair housing discrimination, and racial violence. He received the Pro Bono Award in recognition of his work on one such case.

logo of Ethical Standards

General Business Litigation and Arbitration Matters

  • Representation of a biotechnology company in a dispute with a contract manufacturer
  • Representation of minority stockholders of a Massachusetts high technology company in a case alleging numerous claims including breach of fiduciary duty
  • Representation of a Massachusetts sports protective gear company in a trademark infringement case against numerous competitors
  • Representation of a software company in a contract dispute with vendor
  • Representation of a high technology company in a dispute with a former officer concerning a stockholder agreement
  • Representation of a public company in an ERISA dispute with former employee
  • Representation of a company in a case alleging breach of a non-competition and non-solicitation agreement
  • Representation of an individual in an arbitration involving accounting malpractice
  • Representation of a Massachusetts company in an arbitration proceeding involving the valuation of two closely-held corporations in the U.S. and France
  • Representation of a Boston-based start-up technology against claims involving ownership of its technology

Patent Litigation Cases

  • Representation of a Boston-based company in numerous cases alleging infringement of a patent involving LED technology
  • Representation of a Boston-based military supply company against claims that a product infringes two patents
  • Representation of patent licensor in a case alleging breach of a license agreement involving golf club technology and defense of a counterclaim alleging patent invalidity
  • Representation of a Japanese company against claims of patent infringement involving computer games
  • Representation of a Japanese company against claims that its device used to perform laser eye surgery infringes two patents
  • Representation of a Boston-based biotechnology company against charges that it obtained patents without naming the correct inventors, and a multitude of related claims alleging breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty
  • Representation of a Massachusetts inventor sued as an "involuntary plaintiff" in a patent infringement case in California

Professional Experience

Birnbaum & Godkin, LLP, Founder and Partner, 2005 - present

Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault, LLP, 1987 - 2005
    Partner in the Litigation Practice Group and member of the Intellectual Property Litigation Group.
    Associate, 1987 - 1988

McCabe/Gordon, 1985 - 1987

Hale and Dorr, 1981 - 1985


Georgetown University, J.D., magna cum laude, 1981
University of Vermont, B.A., magna cum laude, 1977
Phi Beta Kappa

Professional Affiliations

American Intellectual Property Law Association
American Bar Association
Boston Bar Association
Massachusetts Bar Association
American Arbitration Association: Commercial Panel

Bar Admissions

Massachusetts, 1981
U.S. District Court, District of Masschusetts, 1981
U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, 1982
U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, 1985
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 1998

Board Memberships/Civic Activities

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
    Board of Directors and Executive Committee
Chorus pro Musica, Inc.
    Board of Directors

Selected Presentations And Publications

Author, Client Alert: "Avoid the Smoking Gun: How to Preserve a Corporation's Attorney-Client Privilege", December 2005

Faculty, "Arbitration of Intellectual Property Disputes," American Arbitration Association, March 2004

Faculty, "Can Spam Act of 2003 - An Overview," Webcast sponsored by West Publishing Co., January 2004

Faculty, "Trends in Non-Competes for Senior Executives and Board Members," April 2003

Co-Chair, Boston Bar Association, "Data Security and Privacy Law," CLE, April 2003

Faculty, NYCLA, "Data Security and Privacy Law: Regulatory Compliance and Remedies," February 2003

Faculty, Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault Client Seminar, "Whistle While You Work: A Practical Guide To The Final 'Whistle Blower' Rules of Sarbanes-Oxley," February 2003

Co-Author, "SEC Approves Final Rules Concerning Professional Responsibility Of Attorneys And Proposes New 'Noisy Withdrawal' Rules," Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault, LLP Client Bulletin, February 2003

Co-Author, "SEC Proposes New Rules Concerning Professional Responsibility Of Attorneys," Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault, LLP Client Bulletin, December 2002

Faculty, "Whistle While You Work - What Every In-House Counsel Needs To Know About the Proposed 'Whistle-Blower' Rules of Sarbanes-Oxley," Webcast, December 2002

Co-Author Chapter 7, "General Security Statutes," Electronic Security And Privacy Law, West Group (2002)

Co-Author Chapter 18, "Vexatious Litigation: Malicious Prosecution, Abuse Of Process, And The Anti-Slapp Statute," Business Torts In Massachusetts, MCLE, 2002

Faculty, MCLE Intellectual Property Conference, June 2001

Faculty, MCLE Intellectual Property Conference, June 2000

Co-Author, "Defenses in Year 2000 Litigation: New Technology, Old Theories," Boston University Journal of Science and Technology Law, July 1999

Co-Author, "Personal Jurisdiction: If the (International) Shoe Fits, Wear It - But Does It Fit The Net?" Journal of Internet Law, July, 1999

Co-Author, "Spoliation of Electronic Evidence," Journal of Internet Law, February, 1999

Co-Author Chapter 5, "Litigating Year 2000 Cases," West Group (1999)

Chair, Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault Client Seminar, "Year 2000: Lessons Already Learned," September 1998, co-sponsored by Massachusetts Software Council

Faculty, 1998 ABA National Institute on Representation of High Technology Companies (Boston, San Francisco and Chicago)

Faculty, "How To Evaluate And Prove Business Damages," MCLE, July 1997

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