David L. Cook

Partner Rochester

David concentrates his practice in the area of environmental law and litigation, specifically focusing on commercial, real estate and agribusiness matters.

David has significant expertise on all major federal and New York State environmental laws, including environmental compliance, regulations, natural resources and environmental due diligence with respect to real property use and redevelopment. He has represented clients on both individual and joint presentation of potentially responsible party (PRP) groups as common counsel. David has also been lead counsel in providing comments to major regulatory proposals by both the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and New York State under the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act.

David is also recognized as one of the leading agribusiness lawyers in New York State – having played an integral role in major enforcement actions brought by federal and state regulators against agriculture operators, including major dairy and other agricultural operations, throughout the Northeast.

As a litigator, he has represented clients on shareholder disputes, non-compete agreements, wage and hour claims, civil rights claims, discrimination, insurance coverage, zoning and land use, eminent domain, real estate contract disputes, title defense, toxic torts and construction. He has handled litigation in state and federal trial and appellate courts, including multiple trials to verdict, as well as in arbitrations and mediation.


Honors & Awards

  • Listed in Chambers USA, 2021-2023
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®
    • Named the Best Lawyers® Litigation – Environmental “Lawyer of the Year” in Rochester, 2022
  • Selected for the Upstate New York Super Lawyers® List, 2007-2009, 2011-2023
  • Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Judicially Appointed Mediator – United States District Court for the Western District of New York and the Western District of Ohio
  • Named to The United States District Court for the Western District of New York Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2021
  • Pro Bono Award, U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, 2010
  • President’s Pro Bono Service Award, New York State Bar Association, 2003
  • William McNight Pro Bono Award, Volunteer Legal Services Project, 2003
  • Empire State Counsel Recognition, New York State Bar Association
  • Nathaniel Award Finalist, The Daily Record, 2003
  • Wayne County Action for Racial Equality Special Recognition Award, 2000
  • 40 Under 40, Rochester Business Journal, 1996
  • Leadership Rochester, 1995
Awards & Certifications

Education & Admissions

  • J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, J.D., 1986
  • Brigham Young University, M.P.A., 1986
  • Weber State University, B.A., cum laude, 1982
Admitted to Practice
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • Spanish

Speaking Engagements

View All
  • Presenter, “Business of Cannabis,” Rochester Business Journal and The Daily Record, August 2022
  • Panelist, “The Business of Cannabis,” Rochester Business Journal Webinar, June 2021

Activities & Professional Associations

Community Activities

  • Brigham Young University Alumni, Board of Directors
  • Brigham Young University, Marriott School of Business, Romney Institute Advisory Board
  • Farmworker Legal Services of New York, Director
  • Greater Rochester Community of Churches, Director
  • Habitat for Humanity, President
  • Interfaith Forum of Rochester, Treasurer
  • Monroe County Legal Assistance Corporation, President
  • Overview Business Holdings, Director
  • Seneca Waterways Council, Boy Scouts of America, Director

Professional Associations

  • American Agricultural Law Association
  • American Bar Association
    • Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER)
    • Litigation Section
  • Monroe County Bar Association
    • Litigation Section
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Commercial & Federal Litigation Section
    • Environmental & Energy Law Section
  • New York State Agribusiness Association
  • The New York Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Northeast Dairy Producers Association

Articles & Publications


  • Co-Author, “Weeding Out Bad Seeds: How New York State’s Seed Law Protects Hemp Growers from Unscrupulous Seed Vendors,” Buffalo Business First, March 2020