David was born and raised in the small steel mill town of Steubenville, Ohio where he lived until the family returned to their hometown of Niagara Falls, NY. He spent his early youth in Western New York where he attended Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., and graduated in 1984 with dual majors and a bachelor of arts degree in Honors History as well as Honors Political Science. David moved to Arizona in 1984 to attend Arizona State University College of Law where he graduated in 1987.
David was admitted to the State Bar of Arizona in 1988 and began as an associate in a small size firm offering a variety of legal services, including representing injured persons. Shortly thereafter, David was recruited to join a new Phoenix law firm formed by a group of the top litigation attorneys in Arizona. There David worked exclusively representing injured persons, with most of the clients suffering catastrophic type injuries including severed limbs, paraplegia, quadriplegia, permanent disabilities, and death. The complexity of the cases was also unique and included such diverse tort areas as product liability, construction accidents and defects, aviation litigation, mass torts, environmental torts, and even complex business litigation. During this time David was fortunate to be working alongside and being trained by the top litigators in Arizona on both sides of the case. David found himself in both state and federal court successfully battling such defendants as Ford, GM, Toyota, Kawasaki, Honda, Mercury Marine, the State of Arizona, and even the United States of America.
In 1994 David became a partner with the law firm of Rake & Catanese, P.C., and continued his representation of severely injured people. During the 14 years of that firm’s work, he and his partner continued successfully representing Arizona’s injured, including winning cases against large manufacturers and companies to make their products and services safer for Arizona consumers. David and his firm found success in a wide range of tort litigation including construction accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, employment violations, and civil rights violations to name a few. These successes included representing one of the four Tucson youths wrongfully arrested for the murder of 9 Buddhist Monks, one of the top ten jury verdicts in Arizona in 1997, and at its time the largest sexual harassment verdict in Arizona.
In 2008 David formed the Catanese Law Firm where he focused strictly on taking cases to trial. Using his 20-plus years of courtroom experience, David was retained by other attorneys and their firms looking for an experienced litigator to assist their clients in the courtroom. Over the next seven years, David tried case after case in both state and federal court, trying as many cases for Arizona’s injured as any Plaintiff’s attorney in the state. The result of this courtroom experience was better offers of settlement for his clients whose cases did not have to go to trial and were able to be settled.
In 2015 David was honored to join the Zachar Law Firm. Having known Chris Zachar since law school and having worked alongside Chris, it was the dedication to the needs of the client and integrity to the practice of law and especially the skill of being trial lawyers that attracted him to the firm. While at the Zachar Law Firm David has continued to find success in the courtroom having secured verdicts in excess of $3.1 Million, including multiple punitive damages verdicts. In addition to the victories in the courtroom, David has secured settlements in excess of $16.6 million.