I. David Cherniak
Cherniak Law, LLC
Of Counsel to Speegle Hoffman Holman
(251) 338-4285
(251) 454-5166 M

The majority of David Cherniak’s practice is devoted to representing banking, finance and construction and real estate clients in litigation matters. He also manages transactional matters for those clients and regularly serves as local counsel on multistate finance packages for both property owners and lenders. Representing both lenders and borrowers provides David with the big-picture perspective and allows him to anticipate the necessary steps to help close deals efficiently. This experience serves his clients well when negotiations reach an impasse and litigation become unavoidable.

In David’s banking and finance law practice, he represents lending and financial institutions in secured and unsecured transactions, lender liability, guarantees and provides opinion letters on secured transactions. Clients include banks, developers and insurance companies. He is also adept at assisting in the management and liquidation of assets for both public and non-profit organizations, including the Julien E. Marx Foundation Trust of which he is both a Trustee and counsel.

David represents owners, coatings companies, contractors and major subcontractors in maritime, ship building, ship repair, delays, defects, regulatory, payment and contractual issues in his construction litigation practice. Litigation matters and transactions in real estate and construction include all types of properties, from public works to privately-owned projects and span a range from small, retail to large, industrial ventures.

David’s clients appreciate his aggressive, analytical approach and his ability to proactively develop a game plan of action items rather than reactively responding to circumstances. They also value his communication methodology in keeping them informed about the big picture while not involving them in the day-to-day minutia of his work. He believes in developing an in-depth understanding of his clients’ industries and spends the necessary time to educate himself when he works in new territory.  He enjoys working with people and the competitive nature of his practice.




  • Served as lead counsel for an institutional lender in an eight-state eight complex industrial loan package totaling more than $40 million.
  • Negotiated the $12 million stock sale by a construction company to a purchaser as part of a proposed IPO roll up.
  • Represented purchasers in negotiating acquisition and financing of a telemarketing company.
  • Served as lead counsel in defense of fair housing claims brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and private plaintiffs; cases settled through pre-suit mediation including five apartment complexes and more than 2,000 apartment units.
  • Served as lead counsel for lenders on numerous agribusiness loans.
  • Served as lead counsel for numerous purchasers and sellers in acquisitions of shopping centers, office complexes and apartment complexes.
  • Served as lender's counsel in closing agribusiness loans on poultry growing units and processing plants with loans totaling approximately $15 million.
  • Served as lead counsel in representing institutional lender in bringing suit against architect and foundations contractor regarding the construction of a commercial office complex; combined jury verdict and settlement with individual defendants totaled in excess of $1 million.
  • Represented a seller in the sale of a regional shopping mall consisting of more than 850,000 square feet; the purchase price exceeded $28 million.
  • Represented a general contractor who constructed an offshore pipeline in litigation with the oil company/owner; obtained judgement in excess of $1.8 million.
  • Represented majority shareholders in defending derivative shareholders lawsuit arising from ownership of a local motel; settlement by agreement whereby clients sold their interest for approximately $1.3 million.
  • Defense of a construction company in a claim brought by workers' compensation insurer for retro premium; obtained a $327,000 settlement for contractor on its counterclaim.
  • Represented a lender in post-foreclosure litigation against architect and foundations contractor of office complex arising out of defective foundation system; obtained combined jury verdict and settlement in excess of $1 million.
  • Represented insurance companies on two separate occasions in defending litigation arising out of the mysterious disappearance of insured; on both occasions, the insured was located, alive and well, resulting in judgment for defendants and conviction of the insureds.
  • Represented subcontractors in prosecuting watercraft lien claims against the vessel owner following insolvency of shipyard; obtained more than $750,000 in settlements.
  • Served as lead counsel in litigation and arbitration proceedings for labor and materials subcontractor arising out of the construction of a fiber optic cable line; obtained a $1.2 million settlement for client.
  • Represented owners, contractors, subcontractors and lenders in numerous proceedings resolved by both arbitration and litigation, both dry land and ship repair.
  • Served as lead counsel for a regional medical center in defending a claim for additional compensation by the architect arising out of construction of an addition to the hospital; the case settled by dismissal of claim and payment to hospital of $150,000 on hospital's counter claim for errors and omissions.
  • Represented a marine subcontractor in litigation against the manufacturer of a coating system used in chemical cargo tanks; the case concluded with a substantial settlement paid to subcontractor.
  • Successfully defended claims by insuror and NCCI for $1.6 million retro premium against principals of insured and its successor company.
  • Retained by claims manager on behalf of errors and omissions carrier of title insurance agency to defend litigation arising out of insured's failure to obtain partial releases of underlying mortgages for purchasers of 183 time share units; successfully obtained releases of $1.2 million of mortgage liability for $407,000 and recovered over $200,000 to further reduce that amount from limited partners of borrower.
  • Represented a ship repair subcontractor in successfully obtaining ruling from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals holding that subcontractors were entitled to protection of Maritime Lien Statute under Suits in Admiralty Act when providing repairs to government owned vessels.


  • Represented seller in judicial sale involving more than 25,000 acres of Mobile River Delta timberlands.
  • Represented privately owned real estate development company in the incremental acquisition of timberlands totaling 65,000 acres more or less, including the following acquisitions:
    • Sumter County, 3,500 acres
    • Choctaw County, 10,000 acres
    • Marengo County, 4,000 acres
    • Sumter County, 7,000 acres
    • Mobile County, 3,000 acres
    • Baldwin County, 4,000 acres
    • Clarke and Washington Counties, 8,000 acres
    • Sumter County, 10,000 acres
  • Many of these acquisitions were acquired by virtue of like kind exchanges under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code including the exchange of a regional shopping mall for timberlands, culminating in a series of intra-company like kind exchanges to consolidate ownership and eliminate factual joint tenancies.


  • Member, American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers of America in the field of Real Estate Law, for a number of years, up to and including, the present.
  • Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers of America in the field of Construction Law or a member of years up to and including the present.
  • Selected as Mobile Real Estate Litigation Lawyer of the Year, several times
  • Selected by Best lawyers as Mobile Real Estate Lawyer of the Year, several times


  • AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, since 1980


Seminars / Presentations

  • Speaker, "Ethical Considerations," Real Estate Transactions Made Painless and Efficient, 2006
  • Speaker, "Solid Real Estate Financing Strategies," Real Estate Transactions Made Painless and Efficient, 2006
  • Speaker, 1998 - 2001 for Lorman Business Institute on construction lien law; spoke on construction lien litigation, and damages for delay and disruption.
  • Speaker, Alabama Real Estate Title Law: Solutions to the Most Common Problems, 2004.


  • Alabama Bar Institute for Continuing Legal Education, "Banking Law - Handling Environmental Problems in Small Loans," 1990.
  • Formerly Alabama Bar Institute, Alabama Practice Update, "Recent Developments in Commercial Litigation," 1991.
  • Member ABA Forum on the Construction Industry.
  • National Business Institute, Inc., "Basic Real Estate Law in Alabama - Title to the Real Estate," 1993.
  • National Business Institute, Inc., "Commercial Real Estate Leasing in Alabama," 1989.
  • National Business Institute, Inc., "Key Issues in Wetland Regulations in Alabama," 1992.
  • National Business Institute, Inc., "Major Land Use Laws in Alabama - Overview of Development and Land Use Law," 1991.


Bar Admissions

  • 1965, Alabama

Court Admissions

  • 1968, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • 1981, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • 2007, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • US District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
  • US District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • US District Court for the District of Maryland
  • Banking and Finance Law
  • Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights
  • Business and Corporate
  • Commercial and Business Litigation
  • Construction
  • Land Use and Environmental
  • Real Estate Lending and Developing
  • University of North Carolina and University of Alabama, AB 1963 and 1965 LLB
Five Dauphin Street
Suite 301 - Bayport Building
Post Office Box 11
Mobile, AL 36601
(251) 694-1700
(251) 694-1998 Fax
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