Attorney Profile

David B. Applefeld is a nationally recognized trial attorney with over 25 years of experience. He concentrates his practice in the areas of construction law, commercial litigation, and insurance coverage disputes. Mr. Applefeld has litigated complex construction defect claims, insurance coverage claims, mechanics’ lien actions, and architectural and engineering professional negligence claims in all levels of state and federal courts, before administrative agencies, and before the American Arbitration Association. 

Mr. Applefeld also represents businesses and individuals in contract disputes, partnership breakups, business dissolutions, and conspiracy, fraud, and RICO claims. Mr. Applefeld serves as national trial counsel and special litigation counsel for several contractors, developers, and commercial property owners. He has handled catastrophic personal injury claims, class action lawsuits, product liability cases, and regulatory matters.  

Mr. Applefeld frequently posts, speaks, and counsels his clients on legal issues impacting the construction, real estate, and insurance industries. He has been selected by his peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America in both the areas of commercial litigation and construction litigation. For the past fifteen years, Mr. Applefeld has been recognized for his construction litigation practice by Maryland Super Lawyers, an annual publication of Thomson Reuters.  

Representative Matters

Construction Litigation

  • Defended multi-million-dollar class action construction defect, fraud, and consumer protection lawsuit filed against a developer in U.S. District Court. The Court de-certified the class and dismissed all class claims against the developer.
  • Represented a prefabricated concrete manufacturer in prosecution and settlement of insurance coverage claims arising from a parking garage collapse.
  • Successfully represented the designer of a professional sports stadium against allegations of design defects. The Circuit Court for Baltimore City entered judgment in favor of the design firm and all claims were dismissed.
  • Represented a custom builder in insurance coverage litigation filed in U.S. District Court. The Court entered judgment for the builder, ordered the insurance company to pay the builder all costs and attorney fees incurred in the litigation, and ordered the insurance company to provide coverage for the builder.
  • Represented a developer and insurer in litigating and settling multi-million-dollar construction defect and design claims against the general contractor and designers of waterfront condominium complexes in Ocean City, Maryland.
  • Successfully represented homeowners in claims against a custom home builder arising out of defective design and construction of a custom home in Howard County, Maryland.  The case settled prior to arbitration.
  • Successfully represented owners of a newly constructed family counseling facility in claims against design professionals arising out of a defective mechanical system design and failure to design soundproofing of counseling rooms.
  • Successfully represented an educational institution in the prosecution, negotiation and resolution of a builder’s risk insurance claim following catastrophic damage to its residential facility during a campus renovation project.

Commercial & Tort Litigation

  • Represented a federally-insured savings institution in litigating and settling consolidated multi-million-dollar mortgage fraud, conspiracy, and RICO claims brought in U.S. District Court against mortgage brokers, title companies, and facilitators.
  • Defended a pharmaceutical manufacturer in a product liability trial in U.S. District Court against defective product allegations arising from an allergic reaction. Following trial, a verdict on all claims was returned for the pharmaceutical manufacturer.
  • Successfully a represented recreational vehicle dealership in a “roll-over” case.
  • Represented a restaurant owner and operators in a lawsuit filed by a landlord-developer in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City seeking injunctive relief for alleged violations of non-competition provisions contained in a lease. The trial court entered judgment for the restaurant owner and operators. The judgment was affirmed on appeal by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.
  • Successfully defended the broker of a multi-million-dollar international telecommunications loan in a lawsuit alleging breach of contract. The Florida state court dismissed the claim.
  • Represented a valve manufacturer negotiating and resolving claims alleging product failure in a nuclear power plant.
  • Successfully defended a financial institution in wrongful discharge, misrepresentation, and fraud claims brought a by former manager.  The Circuit Court for Frederick County entered judgment in favor of the financial institution at the close of the plaintiff’s case.  The judgment was affirmed on appeal by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.
  • Successfully defended private school board member in a lawsuit filed by parents alleging negligence, fraud, conspiracy, and breach of fiduciary duty. The Circuit Court for Carroll County dismissed all claims against the board member. 
  • Represented an alleged religious cult deprogrammer in a “test case” lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, challenging the FBI’s policy of not prosecuting deprograming activities sponsored by the families of cult members.  After the Court disqualified the plaintiff’s expert witnesses as well as the plaintiff’s claims for assault, battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and kidnapping, the case settled for an undisclosed amount.
  • Successfully represented an OBGYN practice in medical negligence action. The Circuit Court for Montgomery County entered judgment in favor of the medical practice on all claims.
  • Represented the target defendant in negotiating and resolving one of the largest legal malpractice claims ever filed in Maryland.
  • Represented a shooting victim in recovery against a handgun owner on negligence and negligent-entrustment claims.
  • Following appointment by the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland to represent an inmate on a pro bono basis in a Section 1983 excessive force case, successfully reached a six-figure settlement with Prince George’s County and several correctional officers prior to trial.

Reported Cases

Goucher College v. Continental Casualty Company, 541 F.Supp 3d 642 (D. Md. 2021)

Mutual Ben. Group v. Wise M. Bolt Co., Inc., 227 F.Supp.2d 469 (D.Md. 2002)

National Mortg. Warehouse, LLC v. Bankers First Mortg. Co., 208 F.Supp.2d 565 (D.Md. 2002)

National Mortg. Warehouse, LLC v. Bankers First Mortg. Co., 190 F.Supp.2d 774 (D.Md. 2002)

In re Inner City Mgmt., Inc., 304 B.R. 250 (Bankr. D. Md. 2003)


  • Member, American Bar Association: Section of Litigation (Co-Chair of the Construction Subcommittee of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, 2009-present); Tort and Insurance Practice Section (Product, General Liability and Construction Law Committee); and Forum on the Construction Industry
  • Member, Maryland State Bar Association (Construction Law Section Counsel, 2014-present)
  • Member, The Bar Association of Baltimore City (Judicial Selection Committee, 2004-2005)
  • Member, The Baltimore County Bar Association
  • Board of Directors, The Simon E. Sobeloff Law Society, 2014-2017 
  • Board of Directors, University of Texas at Austin, Lacrosse Advisory Board, 2016-Present
  • Board of Directors, International Dyslexia Society of Maryland, 2007-Present 
  • President and Board of Directors FOGFB, Inc. (Friends of Gilman Football), 2015-2017
  • Maryland State Liaison, Defense Research Institute Product Liability Committee, 2000

Past Publications and Presentations

"Coverage for Defective Work? A Short Question with a Long Answer", Maryland Bar Journal, January 2016. 

"Maryland's Pioneering Mechanics' Lien Statute", Maryland Bar Bulletin, Jay L. Lenrow, Esq. and David B. Applefeld, Esq., May 2013.

"Wrongful Discharge in Maryland", Maryland Bar Journal, February 2013.

"Under Cover: An Introduction to Liability Insurance",, June 4, 2012.

"Independent Counsel: When Can the Policy Holder Select its Own Defense Lawyer and How Much Does the Insurer Have to Pay?", ABA Section of Litigation, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, co-author and presenter, March 4-6, 2010. 

"Is Your Building Actually Your Building? Depends on Copyright", Baltimore Business Journal, November 27, 2009.

"Show Me the Money: Getting Paid for Your Work", Mid-Atlantic Builder, May/June 2009.

"Construction Law for Architects, Engineers, and Contractors", Halfmoon Seminars, February 2008.

"Understanding Builder's Risk Insurance", The Critical Path, DRI Construction Law Committee.

"Are You Covered? An Introduction to Liability Insurance", Mid-Atlantic Builder, July/August 2007.

"Hiring Considerations: Employee v. Independent Contractor", Mid-Atlantic Builder, May/June 2007.

"Arbitration & Mediation: What Are You Agreeing to?" Mid-Atlantic Builder, January/February 2007.

News & Publications

June 06, 2020
WBAL interviews David B. Applefeld

​Mr. Applefeld spoke with WBAL TV about safety measures for businesses reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.

May 06, 2020
AIA Contracts and Covid-19: Force Majeure, Suspension, and Financial Assurance

The disruption of business activity caused by the coronavirus pandemic presents a number of legal issues for the construction industry, several of which are addressed in the AIA form contract documents, writes David B. Applefeld.

April 23, 2020
The Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020 Gains Industry Support

Several real estate industry trade associations have moved to support passage of the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020, writes David B. Applefeld. ​​

April 13, 2020
Real Estate, Leases & Covid-19

In this new Real Estate and Construction Law Report, Shapiro Sher attorneys David B. Applefeld and Mark L. Miller examine the ways the pandemic may impact leases and real estate development projects​.

March 15, 2020
Real Estate and Construction Law Report: Business Interruption Insurance

David B. Applefeld on business interruption coverage amid the Covid-19 pandemic​.

March 05, 2020
Real Estate and Construction Law Report: Force Majeure

​David B. Applefeld on force majeure​ provisions, Covid-19, and construction contracts.