Contact Us: (251) 432-5521

Joseph P.H. Babington


Direct: 251.434.0874
Mobile: 251.604.6415
Email: jpb@helmsinglaw.com

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

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.

EDUCATION
  • University of Notre Dame, B.A. (with highest honors) 1981
  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D. 1984
BAR ADMISSIONS
  • Louisiana 1984
  • Alabama 1988
COURT ADMISSIONS
  • 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
MARTINDALE-HUBBELL RATING
  • AV Preeminent
ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENTS
  • 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)
PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION

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

SPECIAL RECOGNITION
  • 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
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
  • Legatus
  • 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
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