David T. Giannini may have one of the best “reverse commutes” in the world: from his home in the Marina District of San Francisco (which has been in his wife Carolyn’s family for more than 89 years) to his “floating office” aboard the 53-foot Studio Legale in Sausalito.
A successful commercial real estate attorney, David may consider himself “semi-retired,” but that’s only because community philanthropy, travel and family have replaced some of the intense hours he previously spent representing major corporations, pension funds and associations in commercial real estate litigation.
Today David limits his practice to Mediation and Arbitration of Disputes (ADR) with an emphasis on real estate issues, giving him time to invest his considerable energy and talents in helping organizations that promote and honor his Italian heritage and spirit. He has also been the recipient of the Cavaliere in the Order of Merit from the President of the Republic of Italy and the Gold Medal awarded by the Lucchesi nel Mondo in September 2012 (one of 15 recipients throughout the world).
Born in San Francisco’s Mission District, David is a first generation Italian-American, as is his wife Carolyn. His father ran retail fruit and vegetable concessions at the Crystal Palace Market and other locations throughout San Francisco and the Peninsula, working hard to ensure his children realized and appreciated the American dream. The elder Giannini more than succeeded. David and his three siblings spoke Italian at home, each going on to successful careers in law, medicine and education.
David received his undergraduate degree in History at Santa Clara University, then entered Law School at USF. During the Vietnam War, he spent three years in the Marine Corps as a Captain in the Judge Advocate Corps, and still holds the rank of Major. The Marines taught David a degree of discipline and critical thinking that were immeasurably valuable in developing his successful law practice.
But today, it’s giving back to others that inspires David. “I’ve been blessed with a life that enables me to help others, and that’s a wonderful place to be. Il Cenacolo is a great organization, and it’s because we have always stayed focused on preserving our Italian culture.”
In addition to having served as Il Cenacolo’s President in 1986-1988, David has currently, since June 2010, been serving as Cenacolo’s Treasurer. David has also served as the President and longtime Board Member of Italian Community Services; President of San Francisco’s Leonardo da Vinci Society; President of the Columbus Day Celebration; President of the Italian Federation; President and currently Treasurer of the Chambers Landing Recreation Association; Active Board Member of: San Francisco’s City and County Market Corporation (runs the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market); SS Peter and Paul Parish Council; and several other community-based organizations. He has also been serving as one of two representatives of the USF Law School Class of 1964 and served for several years on the Bar Association of San Francisco Fee Dispute Panel.
David and Carolyn are the proud grandparents of six grandchildren and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in June with their three sons and their families in Lido di Camaiore (Lucca) and Bergeggi (Savona).