David M. Zimmerman

davezim@jvdelllaw.com

Overview

Dave moved from Pennsylvania to Georgia and joined the team at the J.V. Dell law firm in July 2020, after practicing law in Pennsylvania for 29 years. Before moving to GA, Dave was a partner with Bonya Gazza & DeGory, LLP, the law firm with which he worked since graduating from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1991. His Pennsylvania practice was wide ranging, with a focus on litigation, real estate, oil and gas, and other business and personal matters.

Education

Dave graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1984 with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. He worked as a project engineer for the Naval Ordnance Station, Indian Head, Maryland (now known as the Naval Support Facility Indian Head) for four years, where he designed, tested and produced cartridge explosive devices for Navy weapons systems, including the Tomahawk Cruise Missile, SEAWARS (the Sea Water Activated Release System), and the MK50 Torpedo. In 1988, Dave enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and graduated in 1991.

 

Experience

Over the course of his practice, Dave has represented individuals and businesses in litigation matters, including cases involving trespass; construction matters; timber 

disputes; real estate and personal property ownership disputes; eminent domain matters (including condemnors and condemnees); tax assessment and other tax matters; account collections; judgment enforcement and collection; and fraudulent transfers of assets.

Dave also represents businesses and individuals in non-litigation matters, including real estate sale and purchase transactions; business and personal contract review; non-compete matters, including preparation and review of non-compete covenants and agreements; corporate formations; fictitious name registrations; regulatory compliance; and real estate title opinions and title curative efforts. In Pennsylvania, Dave also represented individuals and coal, oil and gas companies in lease and ownership matters.

 

Litigation

Dave has significant experience representing businesses and individuals in civil litigation. Dave’ litigation experience includes:

  • Jury and bench trials.
  • Appeals in  courts of appeal.
  • Condemnations; de facto takings; and pre-condemnation dispute work-outs.
  • Commercial matters, such as breach-of-contract claims and business torts.
  • Construction and construction materials matters, including payment disputes, construction defect claims, and warranty claims.
  • Real estate matters, including ownership, boundary line and title disputes.
  • Personal injury claims, both pursuing and defending against claims.
  • Representing taxpayers in tax assessment appeals and other tax related matters.

 

Appellate Matters

Dave has substantial experience in handing appeals in appellate courts, where he has obtained favorable outcomes in all but one case. Several of his cases have been the subject of published opinions. (Read more HERE.)

 
 

 

 

Appellate Cases

Dave’s experience in handing appellate cases includes the following:

·                  In re Estate of Anna Pettenati, 760 A.2d 1229, Pa Commonwealth Court, 2000 (which can be reviewed here). Attorney Zimmerman’s client died with a jointly owned bank account. Pennsylvania imposed inheritance tax on one-half of the value of the account. Attorney Zimmerman appealed to the trial court, which struck the tax. Pennsylvania appealed the decision to the appellate court, which confirmed that tax should not have been imposed. The case is cited in numerous secondary sources, including West’s Pennsylvania Practice; American Jurisprudence; and Summary of Pennsylvania Jurisprudence.

 

·                  Gallaher v. Riddle and Dalessio, Pa Superior Court, 850 A.2d 748, 2004 (which can be reviewed here). Attorney Zimmerman sought to collect on a judgment he obtained for his client. The defendant claimed he had no assets. Upon inheriting money, he refused the inheritance. Attorney Zimmerman successfully requested the trial court to set aside the renunciation under the Pa Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act. The trial court ruled in Attorney Zimmerman’s favor and defendant appealed. The appellate court affirmed the trial court decision, and created new legal precedent by ruling that the renunciation was a fraudulent transfer, undertaken to improperly avoid paying the judgment. The case is cited in multiple subsequent court opinions and secondary sources, including Bogert – The Law of Trusts and Trustees; Corpus Juris Secundum; West’s Prebankruptcy Planning and Exemptions; West’s Pennsylvania Forms; Summary of Pennsylvania Jurisprudence; Law Review Journal of the Vanderbilt University School of Law; American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education, and various publications of the American Bar Association’s American Law Institute.

 

·                  Giannnilli v. NSRC and the City of Latrobe, Pa Commonwealth Court, 2014 WL 929488 (which can be reviewed here). This case involved the condemnation of a strip of property beside a Latrobe alley that separated the property and an active railway. In a separate condemnation, Attorney Zimmerman’s client and Latrobe agreed to an amicable taking of Latrobe’s interest in the alley, which Latrobe conveyed to the client. The property owners filed a de facto taking case, claiming that the condemnation of Latrobe’s interest in the alley affected their rights to the public way such that it was a condemnation of their property as well. The trial court ruled in the property owners’ favor. Attorney Zimmerman filed an appeal, and the Commonwealth Court overturned the trial court ruling and directed that the case be dismissed. The property owners tried to file an appeal with the Pa Supreme Court, but it refused to take the appeal.

 

Admissions and Affiliations

Dave is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and North Carolina (inactive) and the following courts:

  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
  • Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
  • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
  • All Pennsylvania Courts of Common Pleas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Dave is a member of the Indiana County Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Community Involvement

While living and practicing law in Indiana, PA, Dave was an active member of the community, through the following:

  • Member, Board of Directors, Indiana County Endowment (current)
  • Member-at-Large, Board of Directors, Indiana Area Lacrosse Club (current)
  • Youth Coach, Indiana Little League
  • Program Coordinator & Coach, Indiana Area Soccer Boosters, Pee Wee Soccer Program
  • Program Coordinator & Team Representative, Indiana Area High School Boys Lacrosse
  • President and Member, Board of Directors, Indiana Area Lacrosse Club
  • Member, Development Advisory Board, St. Bernard School
  • Chair, St. Bernard School Education Improvement Tax Credit Program
  • VP and Member, Board of Directors, Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Indiana County
  • Treasurer and Member, Board of Directors, Birthright of Indiana County

In Georgia, Dave is enrolled in the 2021 Leadership Class of the Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce

Personal

Dave was born and raised in the Robinson Township suburb of Pittsburgh, and graduated from Montour High School in 1980. He lived in Indiana, Pennsylvania from 1991 until he and his family moved to Lake Oconee in 2020. Dave has been married to Helen McEachen Zimmerman since 1995. Dave and Helen have three children: their oldest child, Mary, is a 2018 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing and works as a ICU nurse in Jacksonville, Florida; their son, David, is a 2019 Mechanical Engineering/Business & Technology graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and works for IBM; and their youngest, Grace, a recent graduate with an accounting degree from the University of South Carolina, will be interning at EY Atlanta and then pursuing her masters degree in accounting.