David C. Shonka

Senior Fellow

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David Shonka is a partner at Redgrave LLP in Washington, DC.  With his outstanding record as a trial and appellate litigator and legal strategist, Shonka is considered a thought leader in the broader legal community.  His practice focuses on all things Information Law including privacy, security, eDiscovery, cross-border data transfers, government civil law enforcement investigations, and information governance.

Shonka’s professional experience includes advising on litigated competition and consumer protection cases in the federal district courts, trying cases in administrative proceedings, representing clients in appellate cases, and overseeing the revision of the FTC’s Rules of Practice pertaining to investigations and administrative litigation.  He speaks frequently on topics such as government investigations, the GDPR, privacy, data security, and eDiscovery, both in the U.S. and abroad, and has been an instructor for trial advocacy courses and has introduced legal and technology training programs to personnel. 

Shonka is currently a member of The Sedona Conference® Working Group on Data Security and Privacy Liability (WG11), serves on the Steering Committee for International Electronic Information Management, Discovery and Disclosure (WG6), and is a former member of the Steering Committee for Electronic Document Retention and Production (WG1). He was also the first Chair of the FTC’s eDiscovery Steering Committee and served as a government member of ACUS from 2012 until his retirement from the FTC. 

Prior to joining Redgrave LLP, Shonka served three terms as the Acting General Counsel at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and ten years as the agency’s Principal Deputy General Counsel.  In both roles, he oversaw the Office’s Litigation, Legal Counsel, and Opinions and Analysis Groups, as well as FOIA, Employment Law, and Energy Counsel Staff.  Prior to becoming the Principal Deputy General Counsel, David was the agency’s Assistant General Counsel for Litigation.  Before joining the FTC, Shonka was an associate at a Washington, DC law firm and a litigator in the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice.

Shonka received a J.D. with honors from the University of Maine Law School and a B.A. from the University of Nebraska.  He has received the FTC’s Louis D. Brandeis Award for Outstanding Litigator (1988), Award for Excellence in Supervision (2000), Award for Contribution to Equal Employment Opportunity (2007), EDI Leadership Award (2014), and the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive (2015).  


  • Partner, Redgrave LLP