David S. Godkin

David S. Godkin


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


David S. Godkin co-founded Birnbaum & Godkin, LLP in 2005. Mr. Godkin is a trial lawyer with nearly 40 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 and Employment  Panels, the FINRA Arbitration Panel, and the CPR Panel of Distinguished Neutrals.

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 Lawyers for Civil Rights and the University of Vermont Foundation. 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.


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

Bar Admissions

Massachusetts, 1981
U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, 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  for Civil Rights 
Board of Directors and Executive Committee
University of Vermont Foundation Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Secretary

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