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David E. Amaya

Partner, San Diego
San Diego
t: 858.597.9631
f: 858.597.9601


David Amaya is a partner in the firm's San Diego office and has devoted his entire legal career to representing employers. Fueled by a passion for workplace law and a competitive drive, he is a tireless advocate for his clients. He enjoys working with companies to develop creative and business-oriented solutions that resolve workplace issues while managing risk and remaining mindful of the client’s bottom line.

David’s practice focuses on the representation of employers in the healthcare and hospitality industries in both union and non-union settings. He also represents clients in a wide range of other sectors, from retail to transportation to education. He has defeated class certification efforts on several occasions, including at the appellate level in Ricardo Acuna v. FS Hotels (LA), Inc., 2011 Cal.App.Unpub. LEXIS 6898 (2011). In 2015, he second chaired a trial team that obtained a complete defense verdict for a company against whom over $20,000,000 in damages were sought. He has also won several anti-SLAPP motions resulting in awards of attorney’s fees and costs for his clients. 

Since 2016, David has been included in San Diego Super Lawyers - Rising Stars. David was also selected as a San Diego Metro Magazine, "40 under 40" Award Winner.

A native of Bucaramanga, Colombia, David grew up in a multi-cultural family. His love of soccer led him to a spot on the men’s varsity soccer team at the University of California – San Diego. He was captain and president of the club soccer team while attending law school at Indiana University Maurer School of Law in Bloomington, Indiana, where he graduated cum laude, earned top brief writing honors in the school’s Sherman Minton Moot Court Competition, and served as an Articles Editor on the Federal Communications Law Journal.  

David’s past legal experience includes stints at a large national full-service firm, the California Court of Appeal, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California.


Reported Cases

  • Ricardo Acuna v. FS Hotels (LA), Inc., 2011 Cal.App.Unpub. LEXIS 6898  (2011) (unpublished):  In a wage and hour class action against a hotel operator, a California Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court’s order denying the plaintiffs motion for class certification of the Hotel’s non-exempt current and former employees.

Honors & Leadership

Honors & Awards

  • Included in San Diego Super Lawyers - Rising Stars (2016 - 2018)
  • San Diego Metro Magazine, "40 under 40" Award Winner

Professional Activities

  • San Diego County Bar Association

Community Activities

  • Court Appointed Special Advocate, Voices for Children


Seminars & Speaking Engagements

  • Presenter: "Labor and Employment Law Update" at Healthcare Human Resources Management Association of California 2016 Annual Conference
  • "Hiring, Disciplining, and Terminating Employees in California" Webinar Presenter, BLR®—Business & Legal Resources
  • "California's Unique Laws and New Laws for 2015" Webinar Presenter, BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 
  • “Paying Interns and Seasonal Employees in California: How to Ace your State and Federal Wage and Hour Obligations” Webinar Presenter, BLR®—Business & Legal Resources 
  • Guest Lecturer: "Organizational Accommodations in the Workplace -- Disability and Religion" at San Francisco State University 
  • Guest Lecturer: "Employee Privacy Rights, Social Media, and Trade Secrets" at San Diego State University 
  • Guest Lecturer: "Organizational Accommodations in the Workplace -- Disability and Religion" at San Francisco State University 


  • "The Expansion of the ‘Special Errand’ Exception” – published in Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, Employment Practices Quarterly, Winter 2009
  • “California Supreme Court Nixes Employees’ Rights to Recovery of Attorney’s Fees In Meal and Rest Break Claims” - published in Los Angeles Daily Journal
  • “I object!” Overcoming communication obstacles between organizational stress researchers and legal advisors.” – in print in Derailed organizational stress and well-being interventions: Confessions of failure and solutions for success.  M. Karanika & C. Biron (Eds.). Spring (Publisher)


Bar Admissions

Court Admissions


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