David M. Snyder was born March 16, 1949 in Ames, Iowa
and grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he attended public
schools and graduated from Northeast High School in 1967. He received
an Associate of Arts degree from St. Petersburg Junior College in 1969,
and was graduated from the University of South Florida in Tampa, with a
Bachelor of Arts in English in 1971.
1975, following service in the U.S. Navy, Mr. Snyder returned to
Florida and worked briefly as a staff writer for the Clearwater Sun,
then, from 1975-79, in the same capacity for The St. Petersburg Times.
His reporting assignments included police, city and county government,
state trial courts and public utilities.
1979, he enrolled in Stetson University College of Law. In his first
semester of law studies, he achieved the Dean's List and the top grade
point average in his class. He maintained those distinctions throughout
his studies earning "Book Awards" for the highest grades in many
subjects. He was Editor-in-Chief of the Stetson Law Review. He
graduated summa cum laude in May 1982.
In the summer of 1981 (between the second and third years of law school), Mr. Snyder worked as a law clerk in the legal department of The New York Times Company in New York City where he assisted staff attorneys, corporate officers, editors and reporters with corporate, antitrust, securities, defamation, privacy and cable television franchising matters.
Mr. Snyder is currently admitted to practice law in the states of New York (1983) and Florida (1983) and before federal courts for Middle District of Florida (1986), Southern District of New York (1983) and Eastern District of New York (1983).
Mr. Snyder's first employment as a lawyer was as an associate with the New York City law firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel. Concentrating in litigation, he worked on a broad range of antitrust, securities, insurance, professional liability, labor and media law matters. These matters included:
- Defense of a national and local media in defamation and privacy invasion suits in state and federal courts;
- Defense of securities litigation on behalf of issuers and underwriters;
- Professional Liability Defense of accounting firms;
- Antitrust defense of a national media company in actions involving circulation and advertising.
- State and Federal administrative and judicial proceedings involving bargaining unit certification and clarification, unfair labor practices and employment discrimination.
- Insurance contract litigation.
In 1985, Mr. Snyder relocated to Tampa and associated with Trenam, Simmons, Kemker, Scharf, Barkin, Frye & O'Neill, P.A. where he became a shareholder in 1988. From 1993 to 1996, Mr. Snyder was a shareholder/partner in the Tampa, Florida law firm of Silverstein & Snyder, P.A.In Tampa, he expanded his practice to include litigation in the areas of banking operations, creditors' rights, directors and officers liability, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations ("RICO"), construction, probate, real estate, limited and general partnerships as well as closely-held and publicly-owned corporations. His experiences included lead roles in:
- Jury and non-jury trials of professional services contract and real estate matters.
- Defense of financial institutions and/or their directors and officers in RICO, securities fraud and errors and omissions litigation;
- Appellate litigation of subrogation and procedural issues in insurance and matrimonial litigation;
- Media relations counseling and pre-litigation dispute resolution on behalf of clients in business, legal and political sectors.
- Advice and counseling of media client concerning defamation, privacy, access and newsgathering privilege issues.
- Creditor's rights litigation in state court and bankruptcy court.
In June 1996, he opened the Mediation & Law Offices of David M. Snyder, P.A. As a solo practitioner, Mr. Snyder's practice has focused media law, providing newsgathering guidance, prepublication review and counseling, and representing individual journalists, publishers and broadcasters in trial and appellate courts in a wide array of libel, privacy, prior restraint and access matters. He currently serves as first amendment counsel to the Creative Loafing group of alternative weekly newspapers (Atlanta, Charlotte, Tampa and Sarasota) and local counsel to CBS Broadcasting, Inc. in a Florida privacy action. He is frequently called upon to lecture and moderate discussions on those topics for communications professionals, students, lawyers and judges.
He also continues to represent individual and corporate clients in a variety of businesses in mediation, arbitration and trial and appellate litigation concerning corporate and partnership governance, contracts, business torts, employment agreements and equal opportunity compliance, real estate, insurance and annuities, probate, intellectual property compliance counseling and licensing and securities.
In addition to client counseling and trial and appellate advocacy, Mr. Snyder serves as an arbitrator and mediator in a wide variety of economic disputes. He is a certified mediator for the state circuit and county courts, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida and the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). He is also a Public Arbitrator for the NASD and in that capacity he serves on, and often chairs, three-person panels that act as judge and jury in securities disputes.
He has provided pro bono services to the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Speak-Up Tampa Bay Public Access Television, Bay Area Legal Services, the Hillsborough County Volunteer Juvenile Arbitrator program and Hillsborough County School Enrichment Resource Volunteers in Education.
Mr. Snyder also teaches what he does. In 1986 and 1987, he taught appellate research and advocacy as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Stetson Law School and has judged moot court and trial advocacy for the law school. He now serves as an adjunct professor at both the University of Tampa and Florida Southern College, where he teaches a survey course in communications law to undergraduates.
In addition to publishing hundreds of articles as a daily newspaper reporter, Mr. Snyder's has written and published on a wide range of legal topics, from criminal habeas corpus to voting rights. He co-authored "Rediscovering Florida's Common Law Defenses to Libel and Slander," which has been authoritatively cited by the Florida Supreme Court. He has moderated and been a panelist in seminars addressing recent developments in defamation law, pre-publication counseling for avoidance of defamation, media/government relations, privacy suits and lawyers' news media relations.
His professional affiliations include the American Bar Association, its Litigation and Business Law sections and its Forum on Communications Law, committees on torts and insurance practice, first amendment litigation and professional ethics. Mr. Snyder also is a member of several sections of The Florida Bar as well as its Media and Communications Law Committee. He served as that committee's chair (1995), vice chair (1991), co-chair of the 1992 Media Law Conference and chair of the Reporters' Workshop for 1990. In 2002, he chaired an ad hoc subcommittee that, in conjunction with the Florida First Amendment Foundation, conducted "Sunshine Seminars" encouraging public participation in government throughout the state. He also is a member of the Hillsborough County Bar Association, a Master in the Tampa Bay Inn of Court, a life member of the Naval Reserve Association and the U.S. Navy Public Affairs Alumni Association and member of The Naval Memorial Foundation where his naval service is listed in its national "Ship's Log."
Mr. Snyder's military service began soon after high school graduation when he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He trained as a Navy journalist and achieved the rank of petty officer third class while attending junior college. After obtaining his bachelor's degree, he graduated from Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI and received a reserve commission as an ensign. He retired in 2001 at the rank of Captain (O-6) after 34 years' service (including about four years on active duty) in military public affairs assignments. Those assignments included command of three Naval Reserve public affairs units as well as staff public affairs assignments afloat and ashore with the U.S. Atlantic Fleet (1971-73), the U.S. Second Fleet/NATO Striking Fleet Atlantic (1974), the U.S. Navy Forces of the Multinational Peacekeeping Force, Beirut, Lebanon (1984), U.S. Central Command (1985-86), U.S. Atlantic Command (1990-92), the NATO Amphibious Striking Force Atlantic (1992), U.S. Special Operations Command (1993); Commander Naval Reserve Force (1994); NATO's Allied Forces Southern Europe (1995, 1998), the U.S. Pacific Fleet (1999); Joint Operations with the Philippine Navy and Marine Corps (2000) and the U.S. Pacific Command (2001). He has studied defense economics, strategy and policy at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. His military decorations include the Navy Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), the Navy Commendation Medal, the Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Expeditionary Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, the National Defense Medal (two awards), the Armed Forces Reserve Medal (three awards), Navy Overseas Service ribbon, Rifle Marksmanship (Sharpshooter) and Pistol Marksmanship (Expert).