Barnes graduated from Parker High School in 1962 and earned degrees in sociology at Miles and in law at Texas Southern University. He served in the U. S. Army and in the Alabama State House of Representatives. He was appointed to the municipal bench in the 1990s.
- "David Barnes" obituary (March 29, 2011) Birmingham News
- Bryant, Joseph D. (March 29, 2011) "Birmingham to rename courtroom in honor of deceased Judge David Barnes." Birmingham News