Summary

David concentrates his practice in complex environmental, litigation, and insurance law matters. He is chair of the firm's Brownfield and Site Development practice area.  David’s legal publications include two books: Environmental Liability and Insurance Recovery (ABA Publishing 2012) and The Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Defense to CERCLA Liability (ABA Publishing 2013). He is also the author of “The Application and Regulation of Institutional Controls in Indiana” in Implementing Institutional Controls at Brownfields and Other Contaminated Sites (ABA Publishing 2012). David’s clients include corporations, municipalities, real estate development firms, and individuals each of whom are exposed to some form of, or seek to avoid, legal liability. When David’s clients are exposed to legal liability, he also assists in the recovery of insurance to offset the costs of such legal liability. In addition, a substantial part of David’s practice includes counseling businesses, real estate development firms, municipalities, redevelopment commissions, financial institutions, and individuals in the acquisition, disposition, and redevelopment of environmentally-contaminated properties. He also provides economic development and public-finance representation to clients involved in the development of environmentally-impaired real estate. 

David is the past Chair of the Environmental Law Section of the Indianapolis Bar Association. He attended the University of Notre Dame Law School where he was the recipient of the Graham Law Fellowship. While at Notre Dame, David received a Dean’s Award for achieving the highest grade in Trial Advocacy and was Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of College and University Law. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and has taught philosophy and world religions courses at several colleges and universities. David was named an Indiana Rising Star from 2012-2016 and was featured in the article "Hell, Belief and Brownfields," which was published in the 2014 Indiana Super Lawyers magazine. The article discusses David's interesting career path that started with teaching philosophy and world religions and led to his current practice. Read the article here. David has also been recognized in Chambers USA 2016 and 2017 in Environmental Law and in the Chambers USA 2014 and 2015 Editions as an Associate to Watch.

Awards

All Service Areas

Education

  • University of Notre Dame Law School (2006)
  • Trinity University (1996)
  • University of Utah (2003)
  • University of Utah (1993)

Admissions

  • Federal - Northern District of Indiana
  • Federal - Southern District of Indiana
  • State - Indiana

Notable Matters

Brownfield Redevelopment
  • Representing a community development corporation in the acquisition, cleanup and development of a contaminated facility into an educational building. Services include securing historic insurance, cost-cap insurance and pollution legal liability insurance and working with the Indiana Brownfields Program to secure a Comfort Letter to address the acquiring’s entity’s liability as the owner of the brownfield. 
  • Representing a biodiesel and glycerin fuel producer in the acquisition and redevelopment of a former fuel-production facility in Missouri, including developing a 10-million gallon biodiesel plant and a one million gallon glycerin plant at the facility.
  • Represented a company in the acquisition and development of a heavily-contaminated lead site, including working with the Indiana Brownfields Program to secure a Comfort Letter to address the client’s liability as the owner of the brownfield.
  • Represented a property management company in the acquisition and development of a former auto manufacturing facility.
  • Represented a community development company in the acquisition and development of a brownfield into an urban farming operation, including working with the Indiana Brownfields Program to secure a Comfort Letter to address the client’s liability as owner of the brownfield.
  • Represented a municipality in the acquisition and transfer of real estate in quantifying and containing environmental liabilities
Insurance
  • Representing a friction materials manufacturer in an action brought by the EPA related to trichloroethylene, perchloroethylene, and vinyl chloride contamination at a facility owned by the client. Services include analyzing the factual and legal cause of action, evaluating general liability and pollution legal liability insurance policies, and executing a strategy based upon the coverage analysis. 
  • Representing a utility company with regard to liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act related to its former operation of manufactured gas plants throughout Indiana.  Services include analyzing the factual and legal basis for liability, evaluating general liability insurance policies, and executing a strategy based upon the coverage analysis to recover insurance related to the client’s liability.
  • Representing an owner of a facility that tetrachloroethylene contamination is alleged to have occurred that is impacting a municipal wellfield in Indiana. Services include analyzing the factual and legal basis for liability, evaluating general liability insurance policies, and executing a strategy based upon the coverage analysis to recover insurance related to the cause of action. Taft is also responsible for defending the property owner against the claims alleged in the cause of action. 
  • Representing a municipality related to a claim brought against the city for alleged hazardous substances contamination at and emanating from city-owned property. Services include analyzing the factual and legal basis for liability, evaluating general liability insurance policies, and executing a strategy based upon the coverage analysis to recover insurance related to the cause of action. Taft is also responsible for defending the city against the claims alleged in the cause of action. 
  • Representing a company in the acquisition of a chemical production company with a contaminated production facility.  Services include securing historic insurance, cost-cap insurance, and pollution legal liability insurance to contain legal liability and cover remediation costs.  
  • Representing a metal finishing company in an action brought by the EPA related to the alleged release of hazardous wastes and hazardous substances into the environment at the facility owned and operated by the client. Services include analyzing the factual and legal basis for liability, evaluating general liability insurance policies, and executing a strategy based upon the coverage analysis to recover insurance related to the cause of action. Taft is also responsible for defending the city against the claims alleged in the cause of action. 

Speeches and Publications

David is a frequent presenter on a variety of environmental law and regulatory topics. Recent speaking engagements include:

  • Brownfields Key Concepts (Technical Assistance to Brownfields Program, the Indiana Communities Institute at Ball State University and the Indiana Brownfields Program, Aug. 16, 2017)
  • Environmental Liability and Landowner Protections (Wilcox Environmental Engineering, May 10, 2017)
  • The Art of the Brownfield Deal (The Indiana Economic Development Corporation, March 2, 2017)
  • Environmental Liability and Landowner Protections (August Mack Environmental, Inc., Jan. 24, 2017)
  • Environmental Liability and Landowner Protections (Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Dec. 7, 2016)

Professional Affiliations

  • Indiana State Bar Association (Member)
  • Indianapolis Bar Association (Member )