David M. Governo

David M. Governo: Attorney with Smith Duggan Buell & Rufo LLP AV stamp icon
Attorney Awards


David M. Governo has over 35 years of experience counseling and representing corporations, insurance companies and individuals. He helps clients with a broad range of both business-related and litigation-related issues, including regulatory compliance, litigation management and trial strategy. His focus has been on highly technical, scientifically or medically complicated matters that require a creative, yet practical problem-solving approach. David has a national reputation as a leader in the fields of toxic torts, products liability and building-related legal issues including asbestos, lead, mold, insurance and indoor air quality.

David’s most recent (October 12, 2018) trial victory resulted in a defense verdict in favor of his client. This trial involved novel claims against two tobacco companies and David’s client, an automotive brake rebuilder, in which the plaintiff argued that the “synergy” between smoking and asbestos in the brakes caused a brake mechanic’s lung cancer and death. After a six-week, the jury returned a $43 million verdict for the plaintiff against one of the tobacco companies.

David has been actively involved in training other lawyers and educating insurance and corporate clients throughout his career. In 1992, he organized and chaired the first national litigation conference on lead poisoning. Since then, he has chaired eight national litigation conferences and has been invited to present papers at many conferences throughout the country on topics that include defending complex litigation, asbestos, lead, mold, indoor air quality, regulatory compliance and insurance coverage. David has attained Martindale-Hubbell's highest rating ("AV") and has been voted a Super Lawyer every year for over a decade. He has co-authored text books including Toxic Torts: Law and Science Manual and has published hundreds of articles, chapters and papers for legal and industry trade groups.

David's charitable work includes serving as a Trustee of the Windsor Club and as Chairman of the Board of Healthy Housing Solutions, a subsidiary of the National Center for Healthy Housing.

Honors & Awards

•Martindale-Hubbell's highest rating (“AV”) •Super Lawyer for 10+ years

Pro Bono Activities

•Serving as a Trustee of the Windsor Club •Chairman of the Board of Healthy Housing Solutions (Subsidiary of the National Center for Healthy Housing)

Litigation Percentage

•90% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Published Works

•Co-authored text books including Toxic Torts: Law and Science Manual

Areas of Practice (8)

  • Asbestos
  • Complex Civil Litigation
  • Environmental
  • Insurance
  • Litigation Management
  • Scientific
  • Medical & Technical
  • Toxic Torts

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
617-228-4467  Phone
617-851-8500  Cell Phone
University Attended:
Providence College, Providence, RI, B.A., Political Science, magna cum laude, Phi Sigma Alpha, Nat'l Hon. Soc. in Political Science, Phi Sigma Tau, Nat'l Hon. Soc. in Philosophy, 1978
Law School Attended:
Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, MA, J.D., 1981
Year of First Admission:
1982, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts; 1982, U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit; 1981, Massachusetts; 1981, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Professional Associations and Memberships

•American Bar Association, Member and Fellow
•Massachusetts Bar Association, Member
•Boston Bar Association, Member
•ASHRAE, Member
•Environmental Information Association, Member
•Indoor Air Quality Association, Member
•ASTM committees, Member
•Editorial Board of Indoor Environment Connections, Member
•Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC), Active Member
•Dean of the FDCC's Insurance Coverage College

Memberships & Associations

American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA)

American Bar Association (ABA Fellow)

ASHRAE (f/k/a American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers)

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
•Committee D-22, Indoor Air Quality
•Committee E-6, Performance of Buildings
•Committee E-50, Environmental Assessment
•Committee E-51, Environmental Risk Management
•Committee E-56, Nanotechnology

Boston Bar Association

Defense Research Institute (DRI)

Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
•Insurance Coverage College - Dean of Admissions
•Website/Social Media Committee - Vice Chair

Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA)

International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)

The Environmental Information Association

Massachusetts Bar Association

Northeastern University School of Law Alumni/ae Association Member, Board of Directors (1993-1995)

Birth Information:
Attleboro, Massachusetts, March 2, 1956

Peer Reviews

A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Documents (15)

Documents by this lawyer on Martindale.com

Boston, Massachusetts

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