Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg & Waldrop, P.C.

David A. Draper

David Draper is a Knoxville native and the senior shareholder in the firm’s Knoxville construction law practice group. He is an AV-rated trial lawyer with broad experience in civil litigation, arbitration, and mediation.  Prior to obtaining his law degree, he operated a paint contracting business and worked in commercial construction.  His law practice is concentrated in construction, professional liability defense, commercial disputes and insurance coverage disputes.  His construction clients include owners, designers, industrial, commercial, utility, and residential general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers.  He has successfully defended a broad range of licensed professionals, including architects and engineers, lawyers, health care providers, surveyors, and realtors.  He also has extensive experience in insurance coverage disputes, much of it related to the construction industry.

Mr. Draper has extensive arbitration experience and he serves as both an arbitrator and mediator.  He is a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 listed Civil Mediator.  He is a founding member and past president (2015) of the Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel, and long-time member of the Steering Committee of the Construction Practice Group of ALFA International – a global legal network of premier law firms in which the firm is a member.  In his law practice, he aspires to the example of his now retired father lawyer, Jack Draper, who counseled that a lawyer should always seek to leave no stone unturned, but to resolve, rather than perpetuate conflict wherever possible.  Away from work, he enjoys playing guitar, reading works of history, attending almost any live music show, and exploring the outdoor wonders of Southern Appalachia.  He is blessed with a loving wife, Sherry, and two wonderfully aspiring young adult offspring, Ashley and Jack.


  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Knoxville Bar Association


  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America©, Construction Law – Litigation – Construction
  • Founding member, President (2016), Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel
  • Fellow, Knoxville Bar Foundation
  • Recipient, President’s Award for distinguished service to the Knoxville Bar Association, 1999
  • Board of Governors of the Knoxville Bar Association, 1998-2000
  • Co-chair, Knoxville Bar Associations’ Functions Committee, organized the Cheers for Charity event to benefit Legal Aid of East Tennessee
  • Master of the Bench, Hamilton Burnett American Inns of Court
  • Member, Knox Area Chamber Partnership Premier Partners program
  • Committee member, Chamber’s Intergovernmental Relations Committee
  • Past Chair, City of Knoxville Better Building Board
  • Advisory board, Knoxville Waterfront Development
  • Legal Counsel, Apartment Association of Greater Knoxville


  • Elder Emeritus, Stewardship Chair, Erin Presbyterian Church
  • Knox Area Chamber Partnership
  • Past Chair, United Way of Greater Knoxville, Lawyer’s Division
  • East Tennessee Historical Society


  • Founding member and President (2016), Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel
  • Past board member and sustaining associate, Associated General Contractors, Knoxville branch
  • Associate member, Associated General Contractors, Tri-Cities branch
  • Board member (2019-2021), American Institute of Architects of East Tennessee
  • Associate member, Tennessee Association of Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors
  • Member, Construction Specifications Institute, Knoxville Chapter


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Best Lawyers Award Badge

Knoxville Office

One Centre Square, Fifth Floor
620 Market Street
Knoxville, Tennessee 37902
Telephone (865) 546-4646
FAX (865) 523-6529


Transylvania University, B.A., 1985

Campbell University, J.D., 1993

Bar Admission

Tennessee, 1993

U. S. District Court, Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Tennessee

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution

    Lewis Thomason represents clients in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings, including mediations and arbitrations. We understand that ADR often presents unique opportunities for parties to take charge of legal disputes and conclude what otherwise would be lengthy, unpredictable and costly litigation. Certain Lewis Thomason lawyers have received extensive training in mediating… [Read more]

    Business & Commercial

    We offer comprehensive representation to businesses of all types. As detailed below, our services range from helping resolve business disputes through litigation, mediation, arbitration or negotiation to offering sound legal advice upon which to base your business decisions as well as transactional representation, document preparation services and business formation and… [Read more]


    We have a broad and substantial construction practice with a solid record of service to the design and construction industry. Our experienced and dedicated construction practice group attorneys understand the construction industry and can help you navigate its often complex contracts and diverse relationships. We work closely with clients to identify… [Read more]


    We have more than four decades of experience providing counsel and legal defense to insurance companies, self-insured clients, businesses and individuals. The firm has represented thousands of insured clients of leading insurance companies in a wide range of cases and has represented insurers in cases involving coverage disputes, policy interpretation,… [Read more]


    As participants in the system are learning, litigation is expensive, in money, time and resources. A lengthy pretrial process can be just the start given today’s clogged court dockets and even reaching trial can have unpredictable results. The legal community has developed several forms of alternate dispute resolution, such as… [Read more]

    Municipal & Administrative

    We have a long history of providing legal counsel to cities and towns throughout Tennessee. Whether negotiating contracts on behalf of local governments or representing municipalities and utility divisions in litigation involving personal injuries and contract disputes, we understand the special legal needs of city and county governments and their… [Read more]

    Professional Liability

    As a professional, your reputation means everything. We are sensitive to the fact that professional liability lawsuits and claims affect reputations, as well as personal finances, and we stand ready to aggressively protect your practice at both the trial and appellate levels. Representative clients include: Accountants Attorneys* Architects Contractors Directors of Corporations Engineers Financial Advisors Hospitals and Medical Facilities Insurance… [Read more]

  • Representative Experience

    • Representation of a large metropolitan government and its lead architect in arbitration proceedings initiated by the principal project contractors. Claims of over $6 million for alleged delay, disruption, and extra work were asserted. The claims were settled in part and arbitrated in part over 27 days of hearings, with all but $37,000 of the approximately $2 million in arbitrated claims being defeated.
    • Representation of a large regional general contractor in a hotel mold case in middle Tennessee. The claim involved allegations of improper design, product specification, defective installation of windows, and negligent contract administration. Mr. Draper was successful in obtaining a mediated settlement that minimized the contractor’s liability for betterment, while at the same time maximizing indemnity from lower tier contractors.
    • Representation of a regional asphalt products and paving firm in a breach of contract case arising out of the resurfacing of a racetrack facility. Claims involved technical evidence of paving tolerances, profile-graphs, and racecar performance under varying track conditions. Track owner’s claims were defeated in whole at trial and client was awarded in excess of $200,000 in fees and expenses.
    • Representation of three of the area’s largest school districts in complex contract negotiation for new construction. Mr. Draper has negotiated contracts for new school construction of behalf of School Boards under design/build, owner/architect/general contractor, and owner/construction manager arrangements on projects with budgets in excess of $50 million.
    • Representation of a mechanical engineering design firm involving North Carolina project owner claims alleging improper equipment specification in new school construction. Mr. Draper negotiated a settlement involving development of an initial testing protocol, followed by certain remedial work and payment of a very limited range of related expenses.
    • Representation of owners, designers and contractors in a multitude of foundation failure cases, ranging from settlement of multi-story office buildings to shifting and deflection of single-family homes. Such cases have included claims of improper site investigation, poor engineered fill, and improper foundation design.
    • Representation of the project engineer on a 65-mile natural gas pipeline project dispute in which client sought payment and was counter sued for allegedly improper design and contract administration. Case was settled with payment of client’s fees.
    • Representation of the apartment owners and managers in lawsuits involving alleged discrimination, wrongful eviction, alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act, and ADA accessibility claims.


  • Mr. Draper has authored and presented seminars on a wide-range of topics bearing on the construction industry and professional liability for more than 19 years to local and regional audiences. Some of his recent seminar engagements include the following:

    • Complying with Rules and Regulations on Design Professional Practice, Halfmoon Seminars, Knoxville, 2015.
    • Contract Terms Worth Fighting For – or Against – Lorman Education Services, Knoxville, 2014
    • Walking the OSHA Tightrope – from Whistleblowers to Criminal Liability, Construction Practice Group Seminar, American Law Firm Association, Asheville, 2014.
    • Virtual Design and Construction: Making It Work and Avoiding Problems, Lewis King Krieg & Waldrop, P.C. Construction Practice Seminar, Knoxville, 2014.
    • Avoiding Risk with Case Studies on “Recent” Engineering Liability Cases – and a touch of BIM!, 2014 Engineer’s Conference – ACEC/TSPE/ASCE, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 2014
    • Contracting Practices & Standard Terms and Conditions, Tennessee Association of Plumbing Heating and Cooling Contractors, Knoxville, 2014.
    • OCIP Insurance and The Knoxville Convention Center – Some Lessons Learned, Spring Conference, Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel, Asheville, 2014
    • Risk Management in the Age of the Electronic Health Record, Medical Group Management Association, Fall Conference, Knoxville, 2013.
    • The Designer’s Duty of Inspection – A Case Study, American Institute of Architects of East Tennessee, 2011.
    • Managing Risk in Green Design and Construction, Lorman Education Services, Knoxville, 2009