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About me

David M. Donovan's training for law practice began in college, competing in intercollegiate debate. Following his law school education, David clerked for a United States District Court Judge in Little Rock, before beginning private practice. He is licensed in both Arkansas and Arizona, and has actively litigated in both jurisdictions.


David's practice focuses on complex insurance and commercial litigation. In recent years, he has focused his practice on: ERISA and disability insurance; insurance bad faith; products liability; professional liability, defending lawyers, engineers, architects, and insurance brokers; construction litigation; complex commercial litigation, including the defense of consumer class actions; and the prosecution and defense of lender liability claims. David also has an active medical malpractice practice.


David has extensive experience in federal court. He was appointed by the Judges of the Eastern District of Arkansas to the Court's Federal Practice Committee, serving as chairman in 2010. He has conducted CLE seminars on federal court practice.


David's practice extends to both trials and appeals. He is one of the select few Arkansas litigators who is recognized as both an accomplished trial and appellate lawyer.


David has been the lead defense counsel in the litigation of the constitutionality of the 'Arkansas Tort Reform' legislation.


Practice areas


  1. Litigation: 20%
    3 years
  2. Insurance: 20%
    3 years
  3. Personal Injury: 10%
    3 years
  4. Employment & Labor: 10%
    3 years
  5. Other: 40%
  6. More 


Payment types:

Cash, Check

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Contact info

Watts, Donovan & Tilley, P.A.

200 River Market Avenue
Suite 200
Little Rock, AR, 72201-1769


ARAuthorized to practice198110/30/2015
AZInactive 198605/22/2015
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Super LawyerMid-South Super Lawyers2014
Super LawyerMid-South Super Lawyers2013
Arkansas Chapter - The James M. Moody Civility AwardAmerican Board of Trial Advocates2012
Personal Injury LitigationBest Lawyers in America2012
Super LawyerMid-South Super Lawyers2012
Personal Injury LitigationBest Lawyers in America2011
Leading Business Lawyer - Labor & Employee BenefitsChambers & Partners USA Guide2011
Super LawyerMid-South Super Lawyers2011
Personal Injury LitigationBest Lawyers in America2010
Leading Business Lawyer - Labor & Employee BenefitsChambers & Partners USA Guide2010
Super LawyerMid-South Super Lawyers2010
Leading Business Lawyer - Labor & Employee BenefitsChambers & Partners USA Guide2009
Super LawyerMid-South Super Lawyers2009
Personal Injury LitigationBest Lawyers in America2009
Leading Business Lawyer - Labor & Employee BenefitsChambers & Partners USA Guide2008
Super LawyerMid-South Super Lawyers2008
Personal Injury LitigationBest Lawyers in America2008
Leading Business Lawyer - Labor & Employee BenefitsChambers & Partners USA Guide2007
Super LawyerMid-South Super Lawyers2007
Personal Injury LitigationBest Lawyers in America2007
Super LawyerMid-South Super Lawyers2006
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerWatts, Donovan & Tilley, P.A.2000 - Present
Association namePosition nameDuration
Pulaski County Bar AssociationPresident (2008)N/A
Arkansas Bar AssociationN/AN/A
American Bar AssociationN/AN/A
Defense Research InsituteN/AN/A
American Board of Trial AdvocatesN/AN/A
Judge William R. Overton American Inn of CourtN/AN/A
American College of Trial LawyersN/AN/A
Publication nameTitleDate
Defense Research Institute ERISA ReportSubrogation and Reimbursement Rights and Remedies of ERISA Plans2012
Author of Arkansas Section. American Bar AssociationMisrepresentation in the Life, Health, and Disabilty Insurance Application Process: A National Survey2009
Life, Health & Disability News (DRI, Defense Research Institute)Applying the Church Plan Exception to ERISA: When is a Benefit Plan Maintained by a Church?2005
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of ArkansasN/AJ.D., with honors1981
University of KentuckyN/AB.A.1977
Broward Community CollegeN/AN/AN/A
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Federal Practice Seminar, Little RockLegal Ethics2008