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David is a seasoned first-chair litigator. For nearly 15 years, he has represented clients ranging from major corporations to family businesses in courtrooms across the country. He was previously a partner at Vinson & Elkins L.L.P., a leading global law firm, where he developed broad experience in complex civil and white-collar criminal matters.

Today, David focuses his practice in eminent domain and condemnation, representing DC, Maryland, and Virginia landowners whose property is threatened by governmental entities and utility companies. He represents clients in both total and partial takings of all types of property, including retail, commercial, industrial, residential, and raw land. His clients have been involved in takings by federal, state, and local authorities.

David has significant courtroom experience, including jury trials, bench trials, injunction hearings, and pretrial proceedings. He has also represented clients in a wide variety of discovery matters, including preliminary investigations, subpoenas, investigative demands, and depositions. He has handled appeals in state and federal courts.


Finally, David is a leader in the legal community. From 2013 to 2014, he served as the 126th President of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia. He also regularly teaches continuing legal education courses for other lawyers in the areas of trial advocacy and eminent domain law.


Duke University School of Law, J.D. cum laude, 2002

Dartmouth College, A.B. with honors , 1999


Euromoney’s Benchmark Litigation, Under 40 Hot List, 2016

Euromoney’s Benchmark Litigation, "Future Star" in District of Columbia, 2012−2013, 2016−2017

Selected to Washington, DC, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2014

Bar Association of the District of Columbia, “Young Lawyer of the Year,” 2009

Washington Business Journal, “Top Washington Lawyers, Young Gun” 2009



President: Bar Association of the District of Columbia, 2013–2014

Treasurer-Elect and Former Board Member: Bar Association of the District of Columbia

Faculty Member: National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) Trial Training Program at Georgetown University

Former Chair: Young Lawyers Section of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia

Former Chair: Operation Crackdown Steering Committee

American Bar Association

David E. Hawkins | Eminent Domain Attorney


District of Columbia

State of Florida

State of Maryland

Commonwealth of Virginia

Supreme Court of the United States

U.S. Courts of Appeals: Second Circuit, Fourth Circuit, Ninth Circuit, and DC Circuit.

U.S. District Courts:  District of Columbia, Middle District of Florida, Southern District of Florida, Central District of Illinois, Eastern District of Texas, Eastern District of Virginia

U.S. Bankruptcy Court: Eastern District of Virginia

Admitted to other courts pro hac vice for particular cases.


Trial counsel for Fortune 500 company seeking compensation for partial taking of industrial property in New York City.

Trial counsel for family business whose land was denied access to highway and bisected by dead-end access road in Virginia road project.

Trial counsel for individual accused of defrauding September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

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