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About me

David J. Darnell is a highly experienced trial attorney with an impeccable track record. In other words, he delivers results and helps clients win.


Mr. Darnell specializes in business, contract and complex commercial matters, as well as disputes involving corporate governance, fiduciary duties, partnerships, fraud and other torts.


Mr. Darnell obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he majored in Communications and Environmental Studies. He then earned his law degree at Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, where he participated in the Southwestern Moot Court Honors Program and served on its Board of Governors.


Mr. Darnell is an accomplished advocate with both the pen and in open court. In fact, his skills were acknowledged early in his legal career in the 1999 National Moot Court Competition, where he won the prestigious Best Brief award and was a Semi-Finalist in oral argument. 


In 2015 and again in 2016, Mr. Darnell was selected as a Super Lawyer, a rating awarded to the top 5% of all attorneys in the state.  In addition, in 2012, 2013 and 2014, he was selected as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers, a peer nominated honor bestowed on the top 2.5 % of all attorneys in the state who are 40 years of age or under.


As a professional, Mr. Darnell’s counsel has led to significant results for clients in trials, arbitrations and mediations. One case in particular involved the defense of a multi-million dollar claim in a 6 week jury trial, which resulted in a monetary award to his client who was only a defendant in the action. He has also obtained numerous seven and eight figure recoveries for clients on the plaintiffs’ side of the bar.


Some of Mr. Darnell’s recent cases include:


•               A compete defense for his clients after an eight day trial in which the plaintiffs had sought more than $7 million dollars on claims of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. After hearing the evidence and closing arguments, the trial court found in favor of Mr. Darnell’s clients and against the plaintiffs on all counts. In addition to zero liability, his clients were awarded more than $17,000 in costs.


•               A $15.5 million settlement for his client in a case involving claims of illegal dividends and breach of fiduciary duty against corporate officers and directors.


•               A judgment for more than $1 million after a federal jury trial.


•               A very favorable settlement for clients who were sued in a wrongful death case arising out of unfortunate circumstances and presenting substantial risks of losing everything they owned. The settlement preserved their assets and brought closure to an emotionally charged lawsuit.


•               The total dismissal of a case against his clients based on alleged constitutional and due process violations.


•               A $695,000 arbitration award for his client in a breach of contract case.


Mr. Darnell is an active member of the California state bar and is licensed to appear and try cases before every state court in California, as well as the United States District Court for the Southern, Central, Eastern and Northern Districts of California.


Practice areas


  1. Litigation: 50%
    16 years
  2. Business: 30%
    16 years
  3. Investment Fraud: 10%
    16 years
  4. Insurance: 10%
    16 years


Payment types:

Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

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Contact info

Callahan & Blaine

3 Hutton Centre Drive
Ninth Floor
Santa Ana, CA, 92707


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2016
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2015
Southern California Rising StarSuper Lawyers2014
Southern California Rising StarSuper Lawyers2013
Southern California Rising StarSuper Lawyers2012
Best Brief Award, Medal for Excellency in AdvocacyAmerican College of Trial Lawyers1999
Semi-Finalist, Medal for Excellency in AdvocacyAmerican College of Trial Lawyers1999
Oralist FinalistSouthwestern University School of Law1998
Best Writer FinalistSouthwestern University School of Law1998
Dean's ListUniversity of California at Santa Barbara1996
Dean's ListUniversity of California at Santa Barbara1995
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Senior AttorneyCallahan & Blaine2010 - Present
Attorney and Team LeaderBKGG2004 - 2010
AttorneyWeston Herzog LLP2001 - 2004
Association namePosition nameDuration
Orange County Bar Association, Business & Litigation SectionMember2009 - Present
State Bar of California, Litigation SectionMember2009 - Present
Orange County Bar AssociationMember2006 - Present
State Bar of CaliforniaMember2000 - Present
Active OCBoard Member2009 - 2010
Southwestern Moot Court Honors ProgramBoard of Governors1999 - 2000
Soutwestern Moot Court Honors ProgramMember1998 - 2000
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Whitehead v. HerronComplete defense for my client at trial
Skorheim v. Flanders$15.5 million win for my client
AMI v. Dominion$1,055,000.00 judgment for my client
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Southwestern University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor2000
University of California - Santa BarbaraCommunications and Environmental StudiesOther - Bachelors1996