General civil trial and appellate practice for more than 25 years, with a focus on product liability defense, mass tort, multi-district, class action, and other complex litigation, substantial experience in commercial disputes and insurance matters, and special knowledge regarding expert witnesses. Successfully argued Kumho Tire case in United States Supreme Court.
- University of Notre Dame, B.A. (with highest honors) 1981
- University of Virginia School of Law, J.D. 1984
- Louisiana 1984
- Alabama 1988
- Supreme Court of the United States
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- United States District Courts for the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Alabama
- United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana
- Supreme Court of Alabama and all other Alabama state courts
- Supreme Court of Louisiana and all other Louisiana state courts
- Pro Hac Vice in various other state and federal courts
- AV Preeminent
- Phi Beta Kappa
REPRESENTATIVE REPORTED CASES
- Kumho Tire Co v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137(1999)
- Ex parte Delta International Machinery Corp., 2011 WL 3211098 (Ala.S.Ct. 2011)
- Barnhill v.Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., 2011 WL 1837816 (S.D. Ala. May 10, 2011)
- Patterson v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., 2011 WL 3047794 (N.D. Ohio 2011)
- Ex parte Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., 991 So2d. 1263 (Ala. 2008)
- The Mitchell Co., Inc., v. Campus, 2008 WL 183344 (S.D. Ala. 2008)
- Wyatt v. Matrixx Initiatives, Inc., 2007 WL 7238402 (N.D. Ala. 2007)
- Benkwith v. Matrixx Initiatives, Inc., 467 F.Supp. 2d 1316 (M.D. Ala. 2006)
- Sutherland v. Matrixx Initiatives, Inc., 2006 WL 5185611 (N.D. Ala. 2006)
- Central Alabama Comprehensive Health Care, Inc. v. Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 427 F.Supp. 2d 1129 (M.D. Ala. 2006)
- Tillman v. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco, 340 F. 3d 1277 (11th Cir. 2003)
- Hester v. Bayer Corporation, 206 F.R.D. 683 (M.D. Ala. 2001)
- Courtaulds Fibers, Inc. v. Long, 770 So.2d 198 (Ala. 2000)
- Brock v. Baxter Healthcare Corp., 96 F. Supp. 2d 1352 (S.D. Ala. 2000)
- Tillman v. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 89 F. Supp. 2d 1297 (S.D. Ala. 2000)
- Connally v. Sears, Roebuck & Company, 86 F.Supp. 2d 1133 (S.D. Ala. 1999)
- Wakeland v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 996 F.Supp. 1213 (S. D. Ala. 1998)
- Woodward v. NOR-AM Chemical Co., 1996 WL 1063670 (S. D. Ala. 1996)
- Frantz v. Brunswick Corp., 866 F.Supp. 527 (S.D. Ala. 1994)
- Masonry Arts, Inc. v. Mobile County Comm’n, 628 So.2d 334 (Ala. 1993)
- Ward v. Pennington, 523 So.2d 1286 (La. 1988)
- South Central Bell Telephone Co. v. Louisiana Power & Light Co., 501 So.2d 869 (La. App. 5th Cir. 1987)
- ONS Group, Inc. v. Mintz, 501 So.2d 255 (La. App. 4th Cir. 1986)
- Middle South Energy Inc. v. City of New Orleans, 800 F.2d 488 (5th Cir. 1986)
EXAMPLES OF SIGNIFICANT REPRESENTATIONS
- National counsel, trial counsel, and science team member for international pharmaceutical companies in several multi-district and mass tort litigations.
- Alabama counsel for international oil-field services and cement company in Gulf Oil Spill /Macondo Well Blowout litigation in more than 30 class actions.
- Trial team for major pharmaceutical company in fraud pricing case tried for two weeks in Montgomery, Alabama, ending in dismissal of all claims after appeal.
- Obtained dismissal of chemical manufacturer in toxic tort wrongful death case in Wilcox County, Alabama.
- Successfully argued “Daubert” motions in numerous federal courts.
- Coverage counsel for national insurance carrier on Alabama Chinese Drywall claims and cases.
- Trial counsel for international oil services and telecommunications company in four-week arbitration resulting in $8 million award in favor of client.
- Lead counsel in week-long arbitration concerning breach of a manufacturing contract, ending in $800,000 award for client product inventor/licensor.
- Lead counsel in arbitration before three-member panel, successfully defending multi-million dollar fraud and breach-of-contract claims against petroleum distributor and obtaining monetary judgment on counterclaims.
- Satisfactorily resolved multiple significant personal injury claims against major railroad carrier arising out of accident in Marengo County, Alabama.
- Successfully resolved several multi-plaintiff wrongful death and catastrophic injury claims arising out of aviation accidents.
- Alabama counsel in more than 15 federal multi-district litigations and mass torts involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, chemicals, and other products.
- Alabama counsel in nationwide class action settlement of toxic tort claims involving more than 3,000 class members; handled class notification, opt-outs and other issues.
- Defended international tobacco manufacturer and regional distributors in numerous Alabama product liability cases, obtaining dismissal of all claims and cases.
- Represented leading outboard engine manufacturer for 20 years in warranty and product liability cases in Louisiana and Alabama.
- Obtained summary judgment for testing company in products and workplace injury case involving severe burns.
LEGAL ASSOCIATIONS & AFFILIATIONS
- Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel
- Defense Research Institute
- Trial Attorneys of America (Defense Products Liability Association) (Board of Directors since 2010)
- Alabama Defense Lawyers’ Association
- Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel
- Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute
- American Bar Association (Section of Litigation, Tort & Insurance Practice Subsection, Product Liability Committee; Aviation and Space Law Committee)
- Mobile Bar Association
- Civil Rules Committee, United States District Court, Southern District of Alabama (2000 to present)
- Civil Discovery Practice Committee, United States District Court, Southern District of Alabama (1997-2000)
- United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Bi-Annual Judicial Conference (attendee since 1999)
- Past Member, Board of Directors of the Young Lawyers Section of the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association
- Founder and Chairman, Alabama Defense Lawyers Trial Academy (1989-95)
- Past Member, Alabama State Bar Judicial Liaison Committee (5 years)
The Best Lawyers in America for:
- Commercial Litigation
- Litigation – Construction
- Litigation – Environmental
- Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants
- Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
- Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
Alabama Super Lawyers
- Trial Attorneys of America Worker Achievement Award (2010)
- Alabama Defense Lawyers’ Association Distinguished Service Award (1993, 1994)
PRESENTATIONS & PUBLICATIONS
- The Supreme Law of the Land – Update on Supreme Court’s 2008-2009 Preemption Decisions Concerning Drug & Medical Devices, 6/10/09, Presentation to Trial Attorneys of America Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois
- “Woodshedding” Workshop: Legal, Practical and Ethical Considerations of Communications with Third Party Witnesses, 3/20/09, Presentation to DRI Toxic Tort Seminar, Scottsdale, Arizona
- The Attorney Client Privilege: Production Logs, Waiver and Other Issues, 6/07, Presentation to Trial Attorneys of America Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois
- Turf Wars: Defense Removal Strategies in Response to Plaintiffs’ Efforts to Defeat Federal Jurisdiction, 7/21/05, Presentation at Alabama State Bar Annual Meeting, Point Clear, Alabama
- Update On Alabama Rule of Evidence 702-Past, Present and Future, 12/10/04, Presentation to the Mobile Bar Association, Mobile, Alabama
- Expert Strategies After A Decade Of Daubert, 9/10/04, A presentation to the DRI Construction Law Seminar, Scottsdale, Arizona
- Fraudulent Joinder Practice, 11/2/02, Speech to Alabama Defense Lawyers Association Annual Meeting, Beau Rivage Resort, Biloxi, Mississippi
- Fraudulent Joinder Practice – Responses to Plaintiffs’ Attempts to Defeat Federal Diversity Jurisdiction In Products Liability Cases, October 2002, published in the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association Journal
- Challenging Expert Witnesses in Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Cases in State Court, 5/31/02, Published in Fifty-State Survey of Challenging Expert Witnesses in Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Cases in State Court
- Fraudulent Joinder Practice – Responses to Plaintiffs’ Attempts to Defeat Federal Diversity Jurisdiction, 6/4/02, Trial Attorneys of America Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois
- Survival of the Fittest: How to Satisfy Expert Requirements After Kumho, 3/16/02, American Board of Vocational Experts, Las Vegas, Nevada. Paper subsequently published in Scientific vs. Non-Scientific and Related Issues of Admissibility of Testimony by Rehabilitation Consultants (Elliot & Fitzpatrick, Inc. (2002)
- Don’t Let Your Case “Blow-out”: A Comprehensive Framework For Working With Experts After Kumho Tire, 3/13/01, Published in American Bar Association Lis Pendens — Newsletter of the Committee on Condemnation, Zoning, and Land Use Litigation, Winter 2001
- Not Yet Out of the “Frye-ing” Pan – Expert Witnesses Under Alabama Rule of Evidence 702, April 2001, Published in the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association Journal, April 2001
- Update On Alabama Rule of Evidence 702 – Where Are Frye, Daubert, and Kumho?, 12/8/00, Mobile Bar Association CLE By The Hour, Mobile, Alabama
- Expert Witnesses Following Daubert, Kumho, and Amended Federal Rule of Evidence 702 – A Single Conceptual Framework., 12/8/00, Mobile Bar Association CLE By The Hour, Mobile, Alabama
- A Review of the Federal Circuits One Year After Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael: The Top Ten Cases and Top Ten Quotes for Corporate and Defense Counsel, 5/31/00, Trial Attorneys of America Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois
- They Need to Hear From the Trenches, 4/13/00, published in The Louisiana Bar Journal
- Expert Witness Testimony After Kumho: Practical Pointers for Application of Federal Rule of Evidence 702, 2/24/00, Defense Research Institute, Construction Law Seminar, Orlando, Florida
- Update on Experts After Kumho: Practical Pointers for Application of Federal Rule of Evidence 702, 12/10/99, Cumberland School of Law Hot Topics in Civil Litigation Seminar, Mobile, Alabama
- Application of Federal Rule of Evidence 702 to Economic Experts After Kumho, 10/29/99, Alabama Bar Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Business Torts & Antitrust Section Seminar, Point Clear, Alabama
- Single Conceptual Framework of Rule 702, 10/15/99, Alabama Bar Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Tort Law Seminar, Birmingham, Alabama
- Rule 702 After Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 6/10/99, Trial Attorneys of America Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois
- Men of St. Joseph
- L’Arche (Mobile) Donations Committee
- St. Thomas More Society
- Downtown Mobile YMCA (past board member)
- St. Ignatius Catholic Church (past parish council member)
- Catholic Youth Organization Basketball Coach (15 years)
- St. Ignatius Catholic Church CCD Teacher (13 years)
- Notre Dame Club of Mobile (past president)
- City of Mobile Swim Association, Master’s Swimming Program