David W. Gaffey

David W. Gaffey

T: 703.280.3374
F: 202.327.6158

A partner in the Reorganizations & Bankruptcy Practice, Mr. Gaffey focuses on bankruptcy and restructuring matters, the purchase and sale of distressed assets, and advising distressed and insolvent companies.  He has significant experience representing debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, creditors’ committees, trustees, and distressed companies in chapter 11 reorganizations, chapter 7 liquidations, out-of-court workouts, involuntary bankruptcies, bankruptcy litigation, and insolvency and default matters. 
Prior to joining Whiteford, Mr. Gaffey served as law clerk to the Honorable Kevin R. Huennekens in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division, and as an attorney in the Disclosure Unit of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, the federal agency that handles claims of wrongdoing within the executive branch of the federal government.


  • Listed in Virginia Super Lawyers as a "Rising Star": 2016 - present
  • Listed in Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star”: 2017 – present

Memberships & Activities

  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Kevin R. Huennekens, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division (2011-2012)
  • Selected for the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges Next Generation program in 2018
  • Member: American Bankruptcy Institute
  • President-Elect and Young Lawyers Division Co-Chair: Northern Virginia Bankruptcy Bar Association
  • Member: Walter Chandler American Inn of Court (Washington, D.C. chapter)
  • Member: Turnaround Management Association
  • Member: Virginia Bar Association
  • Member: Duke Club of Washington
  • Member: Duke University Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee

Co-Author: “Bankruptcy Practice in Virginia,” The Virginia Law Foundation, Chapter 13:  Compensation for Attorneys and Other Professionals, Virginia CLE (2017)

Author: Stern v. Marshall in Virginia, 24 Bankr. L. News, no. 10, at 1 (2013)

Author: Bankruptcy Law, 47 Univ. Richmond L. Rev. 51 (2012)

Author: Outsourcing Infrastructure: Expanding the Use of Public-Private Partnerships in the United States, 39 Pub. Cont. L.J. 351 (2010)


Bankruptcy Issues: Automatic Stay

A resident filing for bankruptcy can have a serious impact on the financial outlook of a community association.  The financial impact on a community association can go well beyond lost dues, however.  A fundamental purpose of the Bankruptcy Code (11 U.S.C. § 101 et seq.) is to give a person in bankruptcy (a “debtor”) a “fresh start.”  To advance this purpose, the code imposes restrictions on creditors, including community associations, once a resident files for bankruptcy.  One of these restrictions is found in Section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code, which imposes an “automatic stay” upon the filing of a bankruptcy case that prohibits certain actions against a debtor in order to give the debtor time to reorganize its financial affairs.  The scope of the automatic stay is extremely broad.