David Donaldson Profile Photo

David Donaldson

School of Journalism




David H. Donaldson, Jr. is a 1973 Philosophy major graduate summa cum laude at Texas A&M and earned his J. D. in 1976 with high honors from the University of Texas Law School. After law school he clerked for the Honorable Tom Gee on the U.S. 5thCircuit Court of Appeals before joining Graves Dougherty.

He began his practice at Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody in Austin in 1977 with an emphasis on media law, intellectual property and trade secrets disputes, and general commercial litigation. After 17 years with Graves Dougherty, he became a founding partner of Austin-based George & Donaldson where he continued his focus on media and intellectual property disputes until he re-joined Graves Dougherty in 2004 where he practiced until his retirement in November 2008. He has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America in the category of First Amendment law. While not actively practicing law, he remains current in his role as a member of the Texas Pattern Jury Charge Committee. Mr. Donaldson is a member of the Austin Bar Association, and a Life Fellow of the Austin Bar Foundation and the Texas Bar Foundation.

For over 30 years he represented numerous media clients, both print and broadcast, including The Wall Street Journal , Forbes Magazine, the Associated Press, Texas Daily Newspaper Association, the Texas Press Association, Austin American-Statesman and small local newspapers, Courtroom Television, KXAN-TV, KVUE, K-EYE, and Time-Warner.

He is on the Advisory Board for the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. He has been the recipient of the Foundation’s James Madison Award, and has received a Society of Professional Journalists’ “Friend of the First Amendment” award. He began teaching Media Law as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Texas in the Fall of 2009.