Photo of David J. Yates

David J. Yates

Shareholder |
Shareholder | Detroit, MI
Related Info +
t. 248.994.0090
f. 248.994.0061
Practice Highlights
News & Events

David Yates serves on the firm's Executive Committee and is the managing shareholder of Segal McCambridge's Michigan office. As national trial and coordinating counsel for several companies for over 15 years, Mr. Yates has developed a cost-effective claims management system to handle hundreds of cases in multi-state litigation.

Mr. Yates is an active litigator who has successfully tried dozens of cases in the State and Federal Courts of Michigan and Illinois. A majority of his practice consists of defending transportation, trucking, limousine and taxi companies. Insurers, hospitals, property owners, retailers, national trucking and bus lines, and others retain Mr. Yates to manage complex litigation involving serious injuries. He has substantial experience defending clients in general litigation matters including construction, premises liability, employment, and transportation/trucking. He also counsels clients in aviation, commercial, product liability, and professional liability matters, helping businesses and public entities reduce the impact of litigation. Mr. Yates focuses on creating cost-effective strategies that meet his clients' needs and deliver successful results. Mr. Yates works with insurers, third-party administrators, and in-house counsel to defend and minimize their companies' legal matters, and his diverse practice enables him to represent each client in a wide spectrum of issues that may arise.

Mr. Yates frequently leads in-house client seminars for groups including insurance companies and self-insured companies, providing valuable information on current issues in commercial property, employment, and premises liability as well as transportation and trucking issues. His peers often hire him to represent their clients as a defense arbitrator. Mr. Yates is a member of Segal McCambridge's Governance Committee. In addition to his leadership roles within Segal McCambridge, Mr. Yates actively provides pro bono counsel through organizations such as H.E.L.P. (Homeless Experience Legal Protection) Program and the Oakland County Free Legal Aid Clinic.


  • Recognized as a Michigan Leading Lawyer (a designation limited to less than 5% of all lawyers licensed to practice law in Michigan), nominated and selected by peers in the legal community, 2015-2021

Professional & Civic Involvement

  • Defense Research Institute
  • H.E.L.P. Program
  • Michigan Defense Trial Counsel
  • Oakland County Bar Association
  • Oakland County Free Legal Aid Clinic
  • State Bar of Michigan

Representative Matters

  • Obtained summary disposition on a serious injury case wherein a minor had tip of his finger severed at major fast food franchise.
  • Obtained summary disposition for trucking client on the basis of a lack of liability where the Plaintiff entered the intersection on a green light but failed to ensure that the intersection was clear of vehicles.
  • Obtained summary disposition on behalf of auto auction by arguing that Plaintiff was more than 50% at fault for the accident when he stepped in front of a moving vehicle in an auction lane.
  • Obtained summary judgment and dismissal on a claim with a demand in excess of $100,000 after uncovering Plaintiff’s fraudulent misrepresentations.
  • Obtained attorney’s fees on behalf of an insurer client for a transportation company based on Plaintiff’s fraud in personal injury claim.
  • Recently obtained summary disposition on behalf of an insurer for a transportation company based on Plaintiff's fraud.
  • Obtained a defense verdict in a logistics case in which the Plaintiff claimed a shoulder injury requiring surgery was caused when he was unloading a truck that had allegedly been improperly loaded by the Defendant. The jury decided that the Plaintiff had not proved that he sustained any injury related to this incident. 
  • Secured summary judgment for insurance carrier client on behalf of a trucking company in novel area of law where the Plaintiff claimed entitlement to occupational accident benefits in excess of $100,000.00 and at the same time obtained the right to recoup those benefits already paid.
  • Successfully obtained order of denial of class certification on a major food contamination case.
  • After appeal by Plaintiff, obtained summary judgment and award of attorney fees and costs on behalf of a mortgage broker who was sued by a wholesale lender in commercial dispute.
  • Granted summary disposition in a liquor liability case where an intoxicated, non-permissive user of a motor vehicle severely injured two children.
  • Recently obtained summary disposition and an award of costs and fees from a third party for a commercial transportation client on a case with a seven figure demand.
  • As national counsel to a commercial property service company, a security services company, and an aviation services company, created a cost-effective claims management system for handling multistate litigation.
  • Successfully defended a local university on a whistleblower claim.
  • Counsels and defends a charter school system and local manufacturing company on employment matters to help them reduce risk, avoid litigation, and develop results-oriented defense strategies when litigation is unavoidable.
  • Obtained summary judgment on a dental malpractice case.
  • Negotiated a voluntary dismissal on a construction matter while motion for summary judgment was pending.
  • Obtained summary judgment on a recent commercial property premises liability matter.
  • Attained favorable resolution on a high exposure product/warranty matter regarding a recalled product that was attracting national media attention.
  • Obtained summary judgment on a wrongful death claim for a home healthcare hospital bed provider.
  • Achieved summary judgment for a local manufacturing company on a wrongful discharge claim by an employee alleging retaliation.
  • Defense verdict on a sexual harassment claim on behalf of a local university.
  • Obtained defense verdicts in six recent premises liability trials with an award for clients' attorney fees on three.

Published Appellate Opinions

Ishoo v. General Growth Properties, Inc., 966 N.E. 2d 1160 (1st Dist. 2012)

Speaking Engagements

CLE Seminar for CNA, "Lawyers' Professional Liability: Michigan Law," Chicago, IL (June 24, 2013).

CLE Seminar, "The Web We Weave: Confirming and Collecting Deceit Through Social Media," co-presenter (July 19, 2012).

CLE Seminar, "Digging Deeper: Dissecting Daubert," co-presenter (August 19, 2010).


Construction Litigation Desk Reference, Michigan chapter, Defense Research Institute’s Defense Library Series (August 2014)

Navigating Michigan PIP Claims: A Quick Reference Guide to First Party No-Fault Law, Segal McCambridge Publication (September 2013).

Navigating Premises Liability in Michigan: A Guide to the Duties of Owners/Possessors, Segal McCambridge Publication (September 2013).

Construction Litigation Desk Reference, Michigan chapter, Defense Research Institute’s Defense Library Series (February 2010).

“Growing Resume Inflation Makes Due Diligence in Hiring More Important than Ever,” Defense Research Institute’s In Transit (Summer 2009).


Wayne State University, J.D. (1993)

University of Michigan, B.A. (1989)


  • Illinois, 1994
  • Michigan, 1993
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit