David Kesselman '99
Class of 1999
David Kesselman came to King Hall knowing he had an interest in law and government. He left with the skills and inspiration to become one of California's top antitrust litigators.
Kesselman, whose father is an attorney, had always had an interest in law, and liked the feeling of being "at the center of things" that he got from involvement in government, serving as student body president while an undergraduate at UC Irvine and working in Washington on the staff of then California Congressman Anthony Beilenson. Still, when he decided to apply to law school, he wasn't quite sure where his legal education would take him.
All that changed at King Hall, when Kesselman took a course in antitrust law from Professor Dick Wydick, a specialist in the field and "a truly outstanding teacher," Kesselman said. Antitrust law turned out to be a good match for Kesselman's skills and interests, and he did well enough in the course to be awarded the Moses Lasky Anti-Trust Prize. After graduating in 1999, Kesselman signed on with Jones Day, practicing antitrust law there for about year before moving to Blecher & Collins, a small Los Angeles-based firm that focuses on plaintiff-side antitrust litigation, where he remained until 2012. He is now Antitrust Litigation Counsel and Co-Chair of the Antitrust Group with Goldberg, Lowenstein & Weathermax in Los Angeles.
Kesselman’s experience includes litigating antitrust, unfair competition, business tort, copyright, class action, wrongful termination and professional malpractice cases in both federal and state courts. "It's rewarding, because we're often doing consumer protection, and in many cases we're advocating for small and mid-sized businesses that have not been able to compete in the marketplace because of the actions of a much larger business," said Kesselman. "For want of a better way of putting it, we're often sticking up for the little guy."
Kesselman's work on a wide range of complex business litigation has resulted in his being listed in the "Rising Stars" edition of Super Lawyers magazine for eight years running. He is particularly proud of his work in Korea Supply Company v. Lockheed Martin Corp., a 2003 California Supreme Court case that clarified the intent required to bring a cause of action for tortious interference with prospective economic advantage.
"That was an instance in which the California Supreme Court made new law and set new standards in this area," said Kesselman. "For our purposes, it was a big victory."
Kesselman enthusiastically recommends King Hall to students who might want to pursue a career in business litigation. "If you're looking for a first-class legal education, coupled with a sense of community and a real open door policy where you get to interact with faculty on a daily basis, then King Hall is the place for you," he said, adding that he expects to see the Law School reach even greater heights under Dean Kevin R. Johnson. "King Hall's reputation is already high, but it can go even higher under his leadership. If you're looking for a law school that's on the rise, this is the place to come."