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David F. Kirby

Founding Partner
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Attorney David Kirby is consistently recognized as one of the most outstanding and accomplished trial lawyers in the United States. Following in the footsteps of his esteemed father, the former State Senator J. Russell Kirby, David is also one of the most respected and well-liked attorneys in North Carolina.

Over the last 25 years, David has successfully handled high-profile cases, ranging from product liability and catastrophic personal injury to workplace safety and security. His cases and verdicts have been featured on CNN, 20/20, Dateline NBC, and other national media outlets. In 1997, David and his law partner, John Edwards, secured the largest jury verdict ever awarded in a personal injury case in North Carolina on behalf of the family of Valerie Lakey, a 5-year-old Raleigh girl who was critically injured by a defective swimming pool drain. The following year, David won the national Steven J. Sharp Public Service Award for his role in representing the Lakey family.

Awards & Accolades

David is a member of The Inner Circle of Advocates, an organization of the 100 top plaintiffs’ lawyers from around the country. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America and, in 1996, was named Lawyer of the Year by the national publication, Lawyers Weekly USA. In 2016, he was named a Lawyer of the Year in Raleigh for Medical Malpractice by Best Lawyers in America, the same publication named him Lawyer of the Year in Raleigh for Plaintiff’s Personal Injury for its 2017 edition and Lawyer of the Year in Raleigh for Plantiff's Product Liability Litigation in 2018.

David is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and a Fellow in the International Society of Barristers. Additional honors and accolades include being named among Business North Carolina magazine’s Legal Elite, Lawdragon’s Top 500 Plaintiff Lawyers in U.S., and North Carolina Super Lawyers: Top 10 Lawyers in North Carolina, as well as being a Lifetime Inductee in the William Horn Battle Society of the University of North Carolina School of Law.

In addition to being a frequent lecturer on motor vehicle negligence and damages in personal injury and wrongful death cases, David speaks to high school students annually about the Constitution and Bill of Rights and how they are upheld through the practice of law. He also is a guest lecturer at the UNC and Campbell University schools of law.

Supporting His Community

David serves on the Board of Directors of the Wade Edwards Foundation and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. He is also a past president and former board member of the children’s advocacy group, Wake Up For Children. In 2005, he was named the Easter Seals UCP Philanthropist of the Year for his aid to children with special needs. In the past, he has served on the boards of the Wake County Bar Association and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. David is a member of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina School of Law and was the founding donor of the school’s J. Russell Kirby Public Service Scholarship.

David is a former Sunday school teacher and an active member of Edenton Street United Methodist Church. He is married to Lyn Kirby and has three children: Emily, James, and Winston.

Notable Cases

  • $10.75 million settlement following the death of two children and brain injury to a third as a result of a truck wreck.
  • $7.9 million following the deaths of two people killed when an armed disgruntled worker returned to the jobsite (national record).
  • $8.3 million verdict following the wrongful deaths of two boys killed in a bus accident.
  • $30.9 million settlement (following $25 million verdict) for 5-year-old girl who was seriously injured when trapped on a defective drain at a neighborhood pool.
  • $8.1 million settlement in the wrongful death of a father of three following a highway wreck.
  • $5.35 million settlement for a law enforcement officer killed in tractor-trailer wreck.
  • $4.7 million settlement in the wrongful death of a college student during “hell week” hazing.
  • $4.6 million verdict for a brain injury suffered when the driver of a repo wrecker struck a woman.
  • $4.6 million settlement for the wrongful death of a 3-year-old, and injuries to the mother and father from tractor-trailer crash.
  • $5 million jury verdict – $3.5 million for wrongful death; $1.5 million for emotional distress – after 11-year-old boy was struck and killed by an elderly driver as his father looked on.
  • $6.65 million settlement in the wrongful deaths of three family members killed on Christmas Day following a wreck caused by a defectively built portion of the highway.
  • $3.75 million settlement for a worker who was seriously injured when struck by a truck.

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