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Firm News

Alabama Supreme Court Success For Jim Newman & Bill Watts

Firm members Jim Newman and Bill Watts obtained the reversal of a summary judgment on an appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court in Rochester-Mobile, LLC v. C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., 2017 WL 2610508 (Ala. June 16, 2017).  In this case of first impression, the Court adopted the Helmsing attorneys’ argument that the term “lease”, as used in the statute (Section 35-4-6, Code of Ala.) requiring the recording of leases with terms longer than 20 years, did not include a sublease.  This ruling will serve to preserve as valid any sublease for a term longer than 20 years that was not recorded within one year of its execution, as required under the statute.

Joe Babington Begins Term As President Of The Trial Attorneys of America

The Trial Attorneys of America installed firm member Joe Babington as its President during its annual meeting in Chicago this week.  TAA is an invitation-only organization of commercial litigation and product liability defense trial counsel.  Mr. Babington has served the past two years as the organization’s Vice President and Program Director.  His term as President runs through June 2019.

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts Reappoints Jeff Hartley To Bankruptcy Rules Committee

United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. has reappointed firm member Jeff Hartley to the United States Judicial Conference’s Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules.  The Judicial Conference is the federal court system’s principal policy-making body.  Its Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules is charged with developing and promulgating policies and procedures to govern the nation’s ever-evolving bankruptcy system.

Mr. Hartley, who heads up the Bankruptcy and Creditor’s Rights Department at Helmsing Leach, was first appointed to the Bankruptcy Rules Committee in 2014.  His reappointment is for a three-year term.

Mr. Hartley has deep experience in the development and practice of bankruptcy law. At Helmsing Leach, he handles all aspects of insolvency litigation and all manner of bankruptcy transactions involving financially-troubled companies. From 1994 to 1997, he was a member of the National Bankruptcy Review Commission, which was established to evaluate the bankruptcy system and make recommendations for legislative reform to the President, Congress and the United States Supreme Court. From 1994 to 1996, he was a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Margaret A. Mahoney, Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Alabama.

Casey Pipes Leads Counselors Of Real Estate Team Tasked With Developing Reuse Plan For Georgia Hospital Buildings

Firm member Casey Pipes headed up a team of Counselors of Real Estate members who were asked to develop a plan to repurpose a former hospital in Thomasville, Georgia.  Southwestern State Hospital, a mental health and developmental disabilities facility, closed in 2013, leaving vacant eighteen large buildings, totaling 400,000 square feet, on a 208-acre campus.  Along with Mr. Pipes, the other members of the CRE Consulting Corps Team were Steve Price, CRE, Terra Property Analytics, Seattle, Washington; John Dalkowski, III, CRE, National Real Estate Research, New York, New York; Craig Benton, CRE, Synovus Financial Corporation, Alpharetta, Georgia; and Robert Dietrich, CRE, Kidder Mathews, Los Angeles, California.  To read more about the project, please click here.

Casey Pipes & Kirk Mattei Author Article On Role Of Social Media In Real Estate Development

Firm member Casey Pipes and associate Kirk Mattei recently published an article titled “Social Media Development = Real Estate Development in Real Estate Issues, the journal of the Counselors of Real Estate.  The article discusses the enormous impact social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have on real estate development, and offers suggestions to developers on how best to employ these increasingly important tools.  To read the article, please click  here.

Herlong & Pipes To Present At International Right Of Way Association Conference

Firm members Warren Herlong and Casey Pipes will speak at the 58th Annual Right of Way Conference of the Alabama Chapter of the International Right of Way Association, which will take place March 1-3, 2017 in Tuscaloosa.  Their presentation, titled “Defending the Appraisal in Condemnation,” is scheduled for the morning of Thursday, March 2nd.  To review the agenda for the entire conference, please click here.

Case Pipes Elected VP Of Associate Board Of Petroleum and Convenience Marketers of Alabama

Casey Pipes was elected Vice President of the Petroleum and Convenience Marketers of Alabama (PCMA) Associate Board for 2017.  The PCMA is the advocacy group for the convenience store and motor fuel retailer industry in Alabama.  The Associate Board is comprised of people who serve the C-store industry, such as fuel distributors, food and beverage distributors, and service providers.  Mr. Pipes’ connection with the PCMA is his representation of numerous C-store owners and tenants in land condemnation actions throughout Alabama.  The Associate Board helps raise money for and oversee the PCMA Educational Foundation which provides college scholarships to employees and family members of employees who work in the C-store industry.  For more information, please visit

Helmsing Leach Lawyers & Staff Make Donation To United Way

For many years, Helmsing Leach has encouraged its attorneys and staff members to make an annual contribution to United Way, a network of community-based groups that raises billions of dollars every year to support programs benefitting local communities, including Mobile and its surrounding areas.  The firm’s 2016 donation to the organization was $11,040.00 the organization.

Warren Herlong and Casey Pipes Conduct Eminent Domain Law Seminar In Birmingham

On December 4, 2016, firm members Warren Herlong and Casey Pipes conducted a seminar for the Alabama Chapter of the Institute on Eminent Domain Appraising for real estate appraisers in Birmingham, Alabama.

Warren Herlong Presents On Eminent Domain Law To Alabama Probate Judges

Firm member Warren Herlong recently gave a presentation to the Alabama Probate Judges Association titled, “An Overview of Alabama Eminent Domain Law – What Every Alabama Probate Judge Should Know.”  The presentation,  part of a seminar sponsored by the Alabama Law Institute at the University of Alabama School of Law, was attended by the probate judges for all of Alabama’s 67 counties, along with their staff.