David Kirby

Bar Admissions:

  • North Carolina

Court Admissions:

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina

American Board of Trial AdvocatesInternational Society of Barristers

David F. Kirby


Attorney David Kirby is consistently recognized as one of the most outstanding and accomplished trial lawyers in the United States. Following in the footsteps of his esteemed father, the former state Senator J. Russell Kirby, David is also one of the most respected and well-liked attorneys in North Carolina.

Over the last 25 years, David has successfully handled high-profile cases ranging from product liability and catastrophic personal injury to workplace safety and security. His cases and verdicts have been featured on CNN, 20/20, Dateline NBC and other national media outlets. In 1996, David and his law partner, John Edwards, secured the largest jury verdict ever awarded in a personal injury case in North Carolina on behalf of the family of Valerie Lakey, a 5-year-old Raleigh girl who was critically injured by a defective swimming pool drain. The following year, David won the national Steven J. Sharp Public Service Award for his role in representing the Lakey family.

David is a member of The Inner Circle of Advocates, an organization of the 100 top plaintiffs’ lawyers from around the country. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America and, in 1996, was named Lawyer of the Year by the national publication, Lawyers Weekly USA. In 2012, he was named a Lawyer of the Year in Raleigh for Medical Malpractice by Best Lawyers in America and the same publication named him Lawyer of the Year in Raleigh for Plaintiff’s Personal Injury for its 2014 edition.

David is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and a Fellow in the International Society of Barristers. Additional honors and accolades include being named among Business North Carolina magazine’s Legal Elite, Lawdragon’s Top 500 Plaintiff Lawyers in U.S., and North Carolina Super Lawyers: Top 10 Lawyers in North Carolina, as well as being a Lifetime Inductee in the William Horn Battle Society of the University of North Carolina School of Law.

In addition to being a frequent lecturer on motor vehicle negligence and damages in personal injury and wrongful death cases, David speaks to high school students annually about the Constitution and Bill of Rights and how they are upheld through the practice of law. He also is a guest lecturer at the UNC and Campbell University schools of law.

David serves on the Board of Directors of the Wade Edwards Foundation and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. He is also a past president and former board member of the children’s advocacy group, Wake Up For Children. In 2005, he was named the Easter Seals UCP Philanthropist of the Year for his aid to children with special needs. In the past, he has served on the boards of the Wake County Bar Association and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. David is a member of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina School of Law and was the founding donor of the school’s J. Russell Kirby Public Service Scholarship.  David is a former Sunday school teacher and an active member of Edenton Street United Methodist Church.

David is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (A.B. ’73) and the UNC School of Law (J.D. ’77). He is married to Lyn Kirby and has three children: Emily, James and Winston.

  • Catastrophic Personal Injury
  • Trucking Accidents
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Wrongful Death
  • Product Liability
  • Fire and Burn Injuries
  • Premises Liability
  • Negligent Security
  • Aquatic Accidents
  • Fraternity Hazing and Negligence
  • Medical Malpractice
  • $10.75 million settlement in death of two children and brain injury to a third as a result of a truck wreck.
  • $7.9 million in deaths of two people killed when armed disgruntled worker returned to the jobsite (set a national record for such cases).
  • $8.3 million verdict in the deaths of two boys killed in a bus crash.
  • $30.9 million settlement (following $25 million verdict) for 5-year-old girl who lost most of her intestines when she was trapped on a defective pool drain at neighborhood pool.
  • $8.1 million settlement in death of father of three following highway wreck.
  • $5.35 million settlement for law enforcement officer killed in tractor-trailer wreck.
  • $4.7 million settlement in death of college student during “hell week” hazing.
  • $4.6 million verdict for brain injury suffered when driver of repo wrecker strikes woman.
  • $4.6 million settlement in death of 3-year-old, and injuries to mother and father from tractor-trailer crash.
  • $5 million jury verdict – $3.5 million for wrongful death; $1.5 million for emotional distress – after 11-year-old boy killed by elderly driver as father looks on.
  • $6.65 million settlement in deaths of three family members killed on Christmas Day following a wreck caused by a defectively built portion of the highway.
  • $3.75 million settlement for worker injured when struck by a truck.


These results cannot be used to predict success in future cases.  All cases are different and must be judged on their own facts.