Telephone: 205-716-5200

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Suite 700
Birmingham, Alabama 35203-4804

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David S. Dunkle

In Memoriam (1945 – 2018)

It is with great sorrow that Cabaniss Johnston announces the passing of our dear friend and partner David “Dave” S. Dunkle on April 17, 2018.

David Dunkle was listed in The Best Lawyers In America, Super Lawyers magazine, and had the highest rating assigned by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. He served two years as a Legal Officer in the United States Army and held the rank of Captain.

He practiced in the tax and related areas of employee benefits and ERISA since 1972 and later focused his practice on employee benefits and estate planning.

He advised private and public employers, fiduciaries, and third-party administrators regarding all legal and tax aspects of employee benefits. This included their pension, multi-employer pension, 401(k)/profit sharing, tax-sheltered annuity, Section 457, non-qualified deferred compensation, ESOP, cafeteria, and health care plans. He assisted fiduciaries in correcting plan defects and resolving issues with the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor. He provided technical advice to employers on employee pension and welfare benefit issues in connection with mergers and acquisitions. He also testified in court as an expert on ERISA related matters.

Due to the substantial wealth that executives have accumulated under their employee benefit plans, David also provided estate planning services for executives. This included integrating their various employee benefits into their Wills and Living Trusts.

David was in the forefront of self-funded employee benefits since the 1970’s. As a Special Tax Advisor to Tax Management, Inc., he authored VEBAs and Other Self-Insured Arrangements, 395-2nd. He was also the author of the Shepard’s/McGraw-Hill treatise on employee benefit planning entitled Guide to Pension and Profit Sharing Plans. He wrote numerous articles for such tax publications as The Journal of Taxation and Taxes, and spoke frequently in the area of employee benefits. He also taught the Pension, Profit Sharing and Compliance Course to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and also taught income, gift and estate tax in the Accounting Department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He attended the course given at the Center for Fiduciary Studies (associated with the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business) regarding fiduciary/investment reviews and audits of ERISA plans and private and public trusts.

David was a member of the Section of Taxation and the Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law of the American Bar Association.

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To initiate a possible representation, call the telephone number located under the attorney’s photo. He or she will determine if any conflict exists, and, if not, put you in touch with an appropriate lawyer. When you receive an engagement letter from that lawyer, you will be our client, and we may exchange information freely.

Areas of Practice:

  • Pension & 401(k)/Profit Sharing Plans
  • Employee Welfare Benefits & VEBAs
  • Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans
  • ERISA & Fiduciary Responsibility
  • Fiduciary Investment Audits and Review
  • Executive Compensation
  • Estate Planning


  • LL.M. in Taxation, Georgetown University Law Center, 1970
  • J.D., University of North Carolina Law School, 1969
  • B.A., Honors in English, Virginia Military Institute, 1966

Admitted to Practice:

  • North Carolina State Bar (1969)
  • Alabama State Bar (1980)