Jere L. Beasley | Principal & Founder

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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In January 1979, Jere Locke Beasley considered his options for making a future in Alabama's Capital City, Montgomery. With a lifelong love of politics and a spirit for public service, he had served as Lieutenant Governor under Governor George Wallace, and had filled the Governor's shoes briefly while Wallace recovered from an assassination attempt.

In 1978, Beasley made a bid for the Governor's spot on a permanent basis, but was defeated in the race. He decided to hang out his shingle as a private practice lawyer. He believed working as a plaintiff's lawyer would allow him to continue his mission of service. Today, the firm operates as Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., and is the largest plaintiff's law firm in the country whose offices are located in one city, and a leader in civil litigation on behalf of claimants, having successfully represented hundreds of thousands of people. Beasley was recently named to the Lawdragon Hall of Fame.

Ted G. Meadows | Principal

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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Ted became a principal at Beasley Allen in 2002. Since that time, he has been a leader at Beasley Allen with verdicts and settlements totaling more than $325 million, including a $72.6 million compensatory verdict in a hormone replacement therapy trial. This verdict was selected by the National Law Journal as No. 30 on its list of Top 100 Verdicts of 2011.

Ted is currently leading the charge in cases where talcum powder caused ovarian cancer. He helped lead the trial team that secured a $72 million jury verdict against Johnson & Johnson on Feb. 22, 2016. A jury in The City of St. Louis Circuit Court found Johnson & Johnson liable for injuries and death resulting from the use of its talc-containing products such as Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder for feminine hygiene. The jury awarded the family of Plaintiff Jacqueline Fox $72 million after agreeing the products contributed to the development of her ovarian cancer. The verdict includes $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages. The jury found Johnson & Johnson liable for failure to warn, negligence and conspiracy. Fox passed away in Oct. 2015 at age 62. This verdict resulted in the Fox trial team being a finalist for the 2016 Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year. One month later, Ted returned to the courtroom where he helped lead another trial team to a $55 million jury verdict against Johnson & Johnson for injuries resulting from the use of Johnson’s Baby Powder for feminine hygiene. The jury awarded Gloria Ristesund $5 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages. Ted continues to fight on behalf of thousands of women who have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, blaming the company for their ovarian cancer linked to use of talcum powder products. In May, Ted was named to the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America.

P. Leigh O’Dell | Principal

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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Leigh O’Dell is a Principal in the firm’s Mass Torts Section and is instrumental in helping to guide the section’s work. She is also a member of Beasley Allen’s five-person Executive Board, which is charged with helping lead the firm into the next generation. Leigh has taken on some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the country for their reprehensible actions. She was recently selected to serve as Co-Lead Counsel of In re: Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Products Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, a multi-district litigation involving more than 9,000 women who are suffering or who have died of ovarian cancer as a result of their exposure to Johnson’s Baby Powder or Shower-to-Shower products.

Additionally, Leigh is a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for multidistrict litigations against six transvaginal mesh manufacturers. She previously handled cases involving adverse side effects of Gardasil, a vaccine manufactured and marketed by Merck & Co. Inc. for the prevention of cervical cancer. Earlier in her career, she spent six years as part of the trial teams for five of the 17 bellwether trials against Vioxx maker, Merck & Co. resulting in a then-record global settlement with the pharmaceutical giant, which agreed to pay $4.85 billion to resolve all Vioxx-related claims. Leigh is actively involved in a number of professional organizations including serving on the National Trial Lawyers Association’s executive committee. An award-winning attorney, Leigh was selected earlier this year to The National Trial Lawyers’ Mass Tort Trial Lawyers Association – Top 25.

 

Brittany S. Scott | Associate

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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Brittany Scott is a lawyer in Beasley Allen’s Mass Torts Section and is working on cases related to the development of ovarian cancer linked to talcum powder use. Brittany has served as part of a team of attorneys who took three talcum powder cases to trial. In February 2016, a St. Louis, Missouri, jury found Johnson & Johnson liable for the death of Jackie Fox, and awarded her family $72 million in damages. In May 2016, another St. Louis jury awarded Gloria Ristesund $55 million in damages, finding Johnson & Johnson liable for Ristesund’s damages related to her ovarian cancer. In October 2016, a St. Louis jury awarded Deborah Giannecchini $70.075 million for her injuries suffered in relation to her ovarian cancer.

Before practicing law, Brittany earned a B.A. in Medicine, Health and Society from Vanderbilt University and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Alabama Birmingham. Brittany is one of the few Beasley Allen attorneys with a unique skill set that allows her to navigate the intersection of law, medicine and public policy.

David P. Dearing | Principal

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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David Dearing is a Principal in Beasley Allen’s Mass Torts Section and has more than 25 years of experience as a trial lawyer. Currently, David is primarily working on talcum powder cases linked to the development of ovarian cancer. David was on all five talcum powder trial teams that won verdicts in 2016 and 2017 against Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc America, totaling more than $700 million.

Prior to joining Beasley Allen, he served four years as an assistant state attorney in both the Fourth and Eighth Judicial Circuits in Florida. David’s private practice areas have included wrongful death, personal injury, products liability, workers compensation and criminal defense. David is a member of a number of professional organizations including the prestigious International Society of Barristers, the American Inns of Court – Chester Bedell Inn of Court and E. Robert Williams Inn of Court, where he holds the position of Emeritus, Master of the Bench; The Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Christian Legal Society.

Danielle Ward Mason | Principal

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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Danielle Ward Mason was named at Principal at Beasley Allen in 2015. She is the first African-American woman to achieve that status with the firm. She joined the firm as an Associate in 2009 and has spent the past seven years in the firm’s Mass Torts section, investigating claims involving dangerous drugs and medical devices. Currently, Danielle is the lead attorney handling the firm’s Reglan litigation, where she has done extensive work in ensuring the survival of those claims despite the challenges created by the Supreme Court’s generic preemption decision, Pliva v. Mensing, in 2011. Reglan is associated with the development of uncontrolled muscle movements, a permanent and incurable condition known as Tardive Dyskinesia.

In addition to being the lead attorney for Reglan claims, Danielle devotes the rest of her time to talcum powder litigation against defendants Johnson & Johnson, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc., and Imerys Talc America, Inc. In February 2016, Danielle, along with her law partners Jere Beasley, Ted Meadows and David Dearing secured a $72 million verdict against these defendants in St. Louis City Court on behalf of the family of Jackie Fox. The verdict includes $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages. The jury found Johnson & Johnson guilty of negligence, conspiracy and fraud. The talc litigation trial team secured a second verdict in May, on behalf of plaintiff Gloria Ristesund. That jury awarded $55 million, which included $5 million in actual damages and $50 million in punitive damages. Danielle continues to fight on behalf of thousands of women who have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, blaming the company for their ovarian cancer linked to use of talcum powder products.

Andrew "Andy" D. Birchfield | Principal & Mass Torts Section Head

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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Andy Birchfield, an AV rated lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell, earned his J.D. from Thomas Goode Jones School of Law in 1992, graduating magna cum laude. He exemplifies the values that have made Beasley Allen one of the country’s leading firms in civil litigation.

Birchfield’s commitment to his clients, his indefatigable work ethic, his integrity, his honesty, and his excellent skills as a trial lawyer have resulted in extraordinary success since he launched Beasley Allen’s mass tort practice and was named Section Head. The section now consists of 11 lawyers and 60 support staff. To date, Andy has been involved in cases resulting in settlements and verdicts totaling in excess of $5.4 billion. Birchfield’s efforts have been indispensable in heading the firm’s Vioxx litigation. In April of 2005, Andy was chosen to co-lead the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee for the federal Vioxx Litigation MDL; and he has been lead counsel or co-lead counsel in five Vioxx trials, including one that resulted in a $51 million verdict against Merck. Following that verdict, Merck & Co. agreed to a $4.85 billion settlement for Vioxx litigation.

In December 2010, he was named one of Beasley Allen’s Litigators of the Decade. Birchfield has been named to the Super Lawyers list and Chambers USA Product Liability nationwide section. In 2016, Andy was selected to serve on the Beasley Allen Executive Board. Andy is currently serving as co-lead counsel in the Xarelto multidistrict litigation. Xarelto is a blood thinner that has been linked to major bleeding events including gastrointestinal bleeds and brain hemorrhages.

W. Daniel “Dee” Miles, III | Principal & Consumer Fraud Section Head

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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When Dee graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, he served as a Corporate Internal Auditor for Amsouth Banc Corporation (now “Regions Bank”) from 1985-86. Dee then entered Cumberland School of Law where he was chosen to study “Comparative International Law” at the University Heidelberg in Heidelberg, Germany in 1988. Upon graduation from law school, Dee served as a law clerk to the Honorable John M. Patterson, Judge of the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals from 1989-90. Dee was then asked to serve as a Staff Attorney for the Alabama Supreme Court under Justice Henry Steagall from 1990-91.

Dee joined the firm in 1991 and has not only been a pioneer of consumer fraud and commercial litigation nationwide, he has demonstrated great leadership resulting in the firm’s numerous record-setting verdicts for clients in many areas of law. Currently his is working in particular on cases involving Medicaid Fraud. In addition to representing clients in litigation, Dee manages the entire Consumer Fraud / Commercial Litigation Section of the firm. He is involved in every case being litigated in this section and on a national level. Dee is an AV rated lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell, and has been named to Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, and was Beasley Allen Litigator of the Year in 2008.

C. Lance Gould | Principal

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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Lance began his legal career with Beasley Allen in 1997. Currently, Lance’s practice is focused on whistleblower litigation, wage & hour litigation, and class actions. Whistleblower litigation is a particularly important area of the firm’s Consumer Fraud Section work. Under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, the whistleblower is entitled to receive up to 30 percent of any money the government recovers. This is both an incentive and a reward for the tremendous sacrifices – both personal and professional – whistleblowers often make by reporting the truth. In 2016, Lance published a book on the topic of whistleblower law titled Whistleblowers: A Brief History & A Guide to Getting Started.

Lance initially focused his practice in the area of consumer fraud litigation. He handled actions brought by individuals who were victims of Predatory Lending practices. Some of these deceptive practices included mortgage fraud, equity theft, loan flipping and insurance packing. Lance was a member of the trial team in a landmark case involving a door-to-door sales and finance scam, which resulted in a verdict of $581 million. As a result of this litigation, the finance company quit these types of activities in the state of Alabama. Also, Lance has represented thousands of clients at Beasley Allen resulting in multi-million dollar settlements, and influenced corporations to correct their improper practices. Lance is a co-chair of the Wage and Hour section of the Workers Injury Law and Advocacy Group. This section provides assistance and guidance to attorneys helping employees recover wages and benefits which they are entitled. Lance has authored publications on the Fair Labor Standards Act, False Claims Act and has been a guest speaker at both the state and national levels. Lance has earned a Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent rating.

Larry A. Golston, Jr. | Principal

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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Larry joined Beasley Allen in 2000 and prior to working in the Fraud section he worked in the firm’s Business Litigation section and later the Environmental & Toxic Torts section. While working in Environmental & Toxic Torts, Larry was a part of the legal team that obtained a settlement of the largest toxic exposure claims in U.S. history. That case involved PCB contamination in Anniston, Ala., by Solutia, Monsanto and Pharmacia. The federal court settlement exceeded $700 million for more than 18,000 clients.

Currently, Larry handles cases involving Fraud, Employment Law, and Business Litigation. Currently, Larry’s practice is focused on whistleblower litigation, retaliation, wage & hour litigation, sexual harassment, employment discrimination, business fraud and class actions. A particularly important area of the firm’s Fraud section work is whistleblower litigation. Under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, the whistleblower is entitled to receive up to 30 percent of any money the government recovers. This is both an incentive and a reward for the tremendous sacrifices – both personal and professional – whistleblowers often make by reporting the truth.

Larry recently helped to secure a $30 million settlement agreement in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to settle whistleblower allegations that private contractor U.S. Investigations Services, Inc. (USIS), formerly the Federal Government’s largest provider of security background checks, violated the False Claims Act (FCA). Larry represented former USIS employee Blake Percival, who filed a whistleblower complaint in 2011 alleging USIS violated the FCA in performing a contract with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to perform background investigations of federal employees and those applying for federal service. USIS acknowledged that it was hired by the U.S. Government to conduct background checks for Edward Snowden, who leaked NSA surveillance documents to the public. USIS also performed the security background check for Aaron Alexis, a technology contractor who shot 12 people to death at the Washington Navy Yard last year. The Snowden and Alexis cases drew the USIS’s work, or lack thereof, into the spotlight and underscored Mr. Percival’s allegations.

Alison D. Hawthorne | Principal

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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Since joining Beasley Allen in November 2010 as an attorney in the Consumer Fraud Section, Ali has focused her practice primarily on complex litigation on a national level. Ali began her career at Beasley Allen working on the Average Wholesale Price (AWP) and McKesson litigations, which seek to recover millions of dollars lost by state Medicaid agencies as a result of fraudulent price reporting by the nation’s largest drug manufacturers. Since the beginning of the AWP and McKesson litigations, Beasley Allen has recovered more than a billion dollars for the states it represents and has made a tremendous positive impact on state agencies throughout the country.

Most recently, Ali has been involved in litigation in multiple states that seeks to recover money on behalf of the states that was paid for pharmaceutical products and devices as a result of fraudulent and deceptive acts against the states. Additionally, Ali is involved in class action litigation involving consumer fraud within the health care and cosmetics industries. Ali received an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell. She was selected as the Beasley Allen Lawyer of the Year for the Fraud Section in 2014 and 2015.

Archie I. Grubb | Principal

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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Archie Grubb is a Principal in Beasley Allen’s Consumer Fraud Section where he handles whistleblower cases, class actions and business litigation. He has served as co-counsel in two class action settlements, providing millions of dollars in relief to homeowners who paid for force-placed flood insurance.

Additionally, Archie has played an active role in the multidistrict litigation related to the Volkswagen emissions scandal, which resulted in billions paid to more than 500,000 Volkswagen diesel owners. Archie continues to work on the Volkswagen litigation, as well as an antitrust multi-district class action litigation against Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Takata and various automakers over defective airbags, and General Motors involving defective ignition switches.

He also is engaged in class actions related to defective aerial booms in bucket trucks, defective laminate flooring products, wrongfully withheld Social Security benefits and improperly applied rental car insurance charges. In addition, Archie is co-counsel in class actions alleging violations of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) and the Drivers’ Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) and is also involved in a number of whistleblower cases currently filed under seal in federal courts throughout the country. Archie is a member of the American Association for Justice’s Class Action Litigation Group, and the Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund, an organization dedicated to supporting whistleblowers.

J. Cole Portis | Principal & Personal Injury Section Head

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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Cole, an AV rated lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell, a “Super Lawyer,” and a “Best Lawyer,” serves as Section Head of our Product Liability / Personal Injury section. Cole is currently serving as President of the Alabama State Bar.

Unreasonably dangerous and defective products caused these unnecessary deaths and injuries. Instead of placing profits above safety, Cole’s hope is that manufacturers of consumer products will safely engineer and manufacture products so that innocent victims won’t be hurt or killed. In order to encourage the safe engineering and manufacture of consumer products, Cole will continue to prosecute companies that manufacture defective automobiles, aircraft, ATVs, farm equipment, logging equipment, textile machines and other consumer products. Cole and his staff have successfully handled more than 100 cases that were tried or resolved for more than one million dollars.

More importantly, Cole and his staff are blessed to be able to counsel and care for their clients. Cole is married to the former Joy Mikell of Millbrook, and they have four daughters and five sons. Cole and his wife are strong advocates for adoption. They have adopted six of their nine children. The couple also are foster parents.

 

D. Michael Andrews | Principal

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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Mike Andrews joined Beasley Allen in 1998, working in the Products Liability section. The majority of his practice deals with complex product liability cases involving serious injury or death. He has handled several cases against manufacturers of aircraft, light and heavy trucks, automobiles, and agricultural and construction equipment. He enjoys highly technical cases and has a particular passion for working on behalf of injured children. Several of his cases have resulted in seven-figure settlements.

Mike is a Martindale Hubbell AV rated attorney. On Sept. 2, 2015, Mike and partner Kendall Dunson received an $8 million verdict on behalf of a nurse who was seriously injured in a crash involving a 2004 Volkswagen Passat. In that case, a Federal Court jury found that the Honeywell turbocharger in the Passat was defective and dangerous in that it allowed oil to leak through the turbocharger compressor seal. As a result, the diesel engine ingested the oil and resulted in an uncontrolled vehicle runaway. Medical expenses exceeded $650,000. The jury award included $1 million for the husband for loss of consortium.

Mike is also heavily involved in litigation related to the General Motors (GM) defective ignition switch. The switch can move from the “run” to the “accessory” or “off” position while the vehicle is in operation, resulting in a loss of power. This disables power steering, brakes, and can disable the airbags, just when a motorist needs them most. Drivers may lose control of the vehicle and crash. GM began recalling cars in February 2014, although evidence indicated the manufacturer knew about the problem as early as 2001. Mike has a particular interest in cases involving Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI. TBI results from a blow to the head. TBI can result from repeated concussions as well as severe head injuries.

Benjamin E. Baker | Principal

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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Although Ben’s practice has always focused on products liability and crashworthiness cases, his secondary specialties are in the areas of heavy truck defects and construction site injuries. In January 2017, Ben obtained a $16.8 million verdict in heavy truck cab guard defect case. Prior to that in the fall of 2014 Ben received a $10 million verdict against Mazda Motor Corporation from a Bessemer, Alabama, jury after a three-week trial related to a defective fuel system. The case involved a post-collision fuel-fed fire of a 2008 Mazda 3 vehicle that collided with a pole. Mazda had designed the vehicle inconsistent with industry standards by placing an unguarded muffler next to the fuel tank, which ruptured the tank during the impact. Ben was on the trial team that obtained a $3 million verdict against Toyota in Oklahoma City in 2013. The case was the first in the nation tried on the theory that Toyota’s throttle control software was defective and could cause unintended acceleration. The Oklahoma jury determined that punitive damages should also be awarded. Toyota settled the case before the punitive phase of the trial.

Ben has been selected as a finalist for Public Justice’s 2014 Trial Lawyer of the Year, along with the other members of the trial team, for his work in the verdict against Toyota in Bookout, et al v. Toyota that was tried in Oklahoma City. This award is given by Public Justice to the lawyer or trial team making the most outstanding contribution to the public through precedent setting litigation in the past year. Ben has also obtained a $12 million verdict against a heavy truck cab guard manufacturer, which is the first known verdict in the United States involving a defectively designed heavy truck cab guard. In December 2008 and 2010, Ben was selected as Beasley Allen’s Lawyer of the Year for the Product Liability Section. In 2012 and 2014, Ben was selected as the firm’s Litigator of the Year. Ben recently published a book, Tire Litigation: A Primer, which helps lawyers identify and litigate cases involving tire failures.

LaBarron Boone | Principal

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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LaBarron joined the firm in 1995. He handles a wide variety of cases involving crashworthiness, seatbelt restraint systems, airbag deployments, tractor rollover litigation, and tire tread separation. In addition, he has successfully handled numerous consumer and insurance fraud cases for the firm. He was co-lead counsel in the landmark consumer fraud case Merriweather v. Whirlpool, which resulted in the largest predatory lending verdict in U.S. history, $581 million.

LaBarron was also a member of the trial team that won the landmark $114 million verdict in the case of Aultman v. Terex Telelect. LaBarron’s most recent notable verdict was a $4 million verdict in the case of Carolyne Thorne v. Wal-Mart Stores. This verdict received coverage in the Wall Street Journal and other national media outlets. LaBarron has been included in the 2011 and 2012 editions of Best Lawyers in America, published by U.S. News & World Report. In 2016, LaBarron was selected to serve on the Beasley Allen Executive Board.

Kendall Dunson | Principal

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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Kendall joined the firm in 1998. He is past president of the Montgomery County Bar Association, which was formed in 1915. He was the first African American to serve in this role. He is past president of the Alabama Lawyers Association, and has also served as president of the Capital City Bar Association.

He recently completed a term as a Board Member for the National Bar Association. At Beasley Allen, Kendall practices in the areas of Product Liability, General Personal Injury, and Workers’ Compensation cases involving defective industrial machinery. Kendall has worked on numerous cases with goals of compensating clients for their losses and influencing corporations to design and manufacture safer products. Most recently, Kendall has been involved in several multimillion dollar lawsuits, including a $24.75 million verdict in a premises liability case; an $18.79 million verdict in a commercial truck product liability case; a $5.75 million verdict for the children who lost their father in a maritime lawsuit; and a $4.7 million verdict in a seat belt failure case. He and his Beasley Allen law partner Mike Andrews also recently secured an $8 million jury verdict on behalf of a woman serious injured when her Volkswagen suddenly accelerated out of her control and crashed.

Dr. David G. Bronner

CEO Retirement Systems of Alabama

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Dr. David Bronner is the CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, a public pension fund with assets in excess of $37 billion providing benefits for over 339,000 public employees and retirees. RSA is ranked 107th of the top 300 private/public pension funds in the world with the top three being sovereign wealth funds.

Dr. Bronner earned a Ph.D. and law degree from the University of Alabama where he taught in the Graduate Schools of Business and Education and served as Assistant Dean and Lecturer in the School of Law before coming to the RSA.

Dr. Bronner has been featured in TimeGoverning magazine, The Institutional InvestorThe Money ManagerWall Street JournalBusiness WeekForbes Magazine, and Pension & Investment Age for his investment strategies and financial market decisions. In 2003, PlanSponsor magazine named the RSA “Plan Sponsor of the Year.”

High profile investments to help Alabama thrive are a hallmark of Dr. Bronner, including office buildings in Montgomery, Mobile and New York and the development of eight hotels and conference centers in Alabama. Other investments include Raycom Media with 53 TV stations, and Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc., with over 160 newspapers which provide free advertising for the state of Alabama.

The venture of which Dr. Bronner is most proud is the Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, a collection of 26 championship golf courses at 11 sites that has put Alabama at the top of the list of golf destinations worldwide and helped increased tourism from a $1.8 billion industry to a yearly $13 billion industry.

Honorable Chief Judge W. Keith Watkins

Middle District of Alabama

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Honorable Chief District Judge W. Keith Watkins was appointed by President George W. Bush to a vacancy in the Middle District of Alabama on December 27, 2005, and was elevated to Chief District Judge on May 18, 2011. A native of Troy, Alabama, Judge Watkins practiced law in Tuscaloosa for two years and in Troy for 28 years, with a broad general practice. He is a graduate of Auburn University and The University of Alabama School of Law.

Among other positions in the bar, Judge Watkins is a Fellow in the Alabama Law Foundation and served as the Bar Commissioner for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit and as a member of the Alabama State Bar Task Force for Alternative Dispute Resolution. He served as the mediator in over 200 civil cases in state and federal courts in Alabama and Georgia prior to taking the bench. Judge Watkins and his wife have two grown children and four grandchildren.

Dr. Jack D. Denver

Physician Life Care Planning

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Dr. Jack D. Denver is a board certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pain Medicine, and Spinal Cord Medicine specialist who has practiced medicine in Alabama since 1993. Dr. Denver is a licensed physician in the State of Alabama, and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He is also a Certified Life Care Planner as designated by the International Commission on Healthcare Certification.

Dr. Denver’s medical career has included numerous medical directorships and hospital appointments. Dr. Denver has occupied medical directorships, board memberships and executive appointments with the Alabama Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Southern Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

In addition Dr. Denver has held advisory board and committee membership positions with Brookwood Medical Center and Lakeshore Rehabilitation Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama.

His professional associations have included the American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, the Alabama Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the American Medical Association, the Medical Association of Alabama, and the American Academy of Physician Life Care Planners.  Dr. Denver earned his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in Jackson, Mississippi, and a Bachelor of Science in Philosophy Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. In addition to practicing clinical physiatry, Dr. Denver is also a respected researcher and lecturer.

Rhon E. Jones | Principal

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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Rhon is head of the firm’s Toxic Torts Section. Rhon is arguably the top environmental attorney for plaintiffs in the entire country. It is easy to see why. Verdicts and settlements that he has participated in while at Beasley Allen are estimated at a remarkable 30 billion dollars. In a recent Alabama listing of “Super Lawyers” for environmental practice, he was the only lawyer listed that exclusively represents plaintiffs. Holding an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell, Rhon has been named to the 2013-2014 Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers, and consistently selected to Alabama Super Lawyers since 2008. He has regularly been selected for inclusion on both the Best Lawyers in America lists.

Since early 2010, he has devoted his law practice to victims of the devastating BP Oil Spill. He currently serves on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) for the BP Deepwater Horizon MDL, as well as class counsel in the economic and property class settlement against BP. He has served several roles on the PSC, including the negotiation of the method by which all business claims have been paid in the class settlement. That settlement has paid out more than $5 billion in claims to date and has been estimated to eventually pay out approximately $10 billion. Rhon was also heavily involved in the recently announced $18.5 billion agreement in principle to settle Federal, State and local government claims against BP, which will result in more than $2 billion for Alabama. In 2016, Rhon was selected to serve on Beasley Allen’s Executive Board.

John E. Tomlinson | Principal

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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John Tomlinson is a member of our Toxic Torts section. His practice focuses on litigating occupational and environmental toxic tort cases involving individuals who have sustained toxic injuries from chemical exposure. In particular, John is working on litigation involving cancer victims with occupational and environmental exposure to benzene. Exposure to toxic chemicals, including benzene, is a risk factor for the development of Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) and Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). John has developed comprehensive and specific knowledge of the scientific and medical issues unique to this area of practice.

John also handles cases involving environmental litigation. He has been a leader in the pursuit of claims against BP and other responsible parties as a result of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010. John played a significant part in assisting the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee (PSC) in its settlement negotiations with BP. As part of the PSC economic damages team, he personally helped negotiate all of the significant portions of the Business Economic Loss models for the Deepwater Horizon Class Settlement, which are estimated to ultimately result in multiple billions of dollars in compensation for class members. Leading up to and after the District Court’s final approval of the class settlement, John continued to assist Class Counsel in their efforts to monitor the implementation of the terms of the settlement agreement and assist class members with questions and concerns by serving on several class settlement support teams. His dedication and significant efforts have helped thousands of claimants in the Gulf Coast Areas receive compensation for their losses due to the oil spill. In 2010 and again in 2013, John was selected as Beasley Allen’s Lawyer of the Year for the Toxic Torts Section.

Sharon J. Zinns | Of Counsel

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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Sharon Zinns has dedicated her practice to helping clients affected by asbestos-related illnesses including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. Throughout her career, Sharon has represented clients in a wide range of occupations across the country who developed mesothelioma or other cancers after being exposed to the toxic substance, asbestos. She has also represented individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma after household exposures to asbestos from the work clothes of their spouses or parents, or exposure to cosmetic talc products. And, she has handled wrongful death litigation on behalf of the surviving family members of people who have died from such diseases.

Sharon is a member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the group’s magazine, Verdict. She is also a member of the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers and previously served as the group’s Membership Committee Chair.

Tom Methvin | Principal & Managing Attorney

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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Tom Methvin, an AV rated lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell, earned his J.D. degree from Cumberland School of Law of Samford University in 1988. Since 1998, he has been the managing attorney of the firm. He was selected to Super Lawyers 2008 through 2012. Methvin is also a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and was ranked Band 2 in Chambers USA Plaintiff Litigation section. He is Past President of the Alabama State Bar. Methvin helped organize the firm into sections based on types of cases. This has allowed our lawyers to concentrate in certain areas and to be on the cutting edge in their field. He has helped Beasley Allen become a national powerhouse in representing victims of wrongdoing. He was the lead lawyer in a landmark predatory lending case involving a door-to-door sales and finance scam. The verdict of $581 million is the largest predatory lending verdict in American history. In July of 2007, Methvin was featured in Fortune Magazine as one of America’s Premier Lawyers. He was named Beasley Allen’s Lawyer of the Year in 2009.

Christopher D. Boutwell | Principal

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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Since joining Beasley Allen’s Toxic Tort section in 2008, Chris has devoted his practice to protecting the rights of those injured by exposure to toxic substances wrongfully placed in the environment by corporate giants and other polluters. Chris represents individuals, classes, and groups in individual lawsuits, as well as in complex, multi-party litigation in state and federal courts and Multi-District Litigation (MDL) throughout the United States. Chris, a Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated attorney, was named to the Super Lawyers “Alabama Rising Stars” list in 2013, 2014 and 2015. He has spoken at several seminars and CLE events on various topics, including: class action and complex litigation, environmental litigation, and the British Petroleum (BP) / Deepwater Horizon oil spill and Settlement Program.

In 2011, and again in 2015, Chris was selected as Lawyer of the Year for Beasley Allen’s Toxic Torts Section.

Gregory S. Cusimano | Partner

Cusimano, Roberts & Mills

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Gregory S. Cusimano is certified a Diplomat in Trial Advocacy by the National College of Advocacy (NCA) and the International Academy of Litigators.  He is past president and held every office in (ALAJ) the Alabama Association for Justice formally ATLA. The Cusimano Symposium is presented annually by ALAJ in his honor. He is past co-chair of the NCA, and is a sought-after author, teacher and consultant. Cusimano is contributing editor of five editions of The Alabama Tort Law book, and developed along with David Wenner the award-winning education program, “Overcoming Juror Bias”.  He co- developed the "Jury Bias Model ™” that many say revolutionized how cases are tried today.  Cusimano is a co-editor of a six-volume publication “Litigating Tort Cases”. He is also a co-author of the book published in 2018 entitled, “Winning Case Preparation” designed to analyze a case to determine its strengths and weaknesses, how to avoid being blindsided, and outlines a proven way of increasing the likelihood of success at trial.

He served as chair and member of numerous committees of AAJ. Cusimano has published in the Alabama Law Review, Trial Magazine as well as other legal publications. Greg was named as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, inducted as a Fellow of the Alabama Bar Foundation as well as the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).  Listed in Best Lawyers in America since 1993 as well as Super Lawyers, Cusimano was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America in 2000 (now AAJ). In 2012, Cusimano was the twelfth recipient of the Leonard C. Ring Champion of Justice Award from the American Association of Justice and later given a lifetime membership on its Board of Governors. In 2015, AAJ presented Cusimano with The Over and Above Award. Cusimano, a long time contributor to AAJ’s PAC, is a principal in “Winning Works LLC” a national litigation-consulting firm and is an owner in the law firm of Cusimano, Roberts, & Mills LLC, Gadsden, Alabama.

Roman A. Shaul | General Counsel

Alabama State Bar

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Roman was born and raised in rural Tuscaloosa County.  He attended undergraduate, graduate and law school at the University of Alabama.  Roman practiced law in Tuscaloosa for a couple of years then practiced with the Montgomery, Alabama firm of Beasley Allen for 17 years.  In January of 2017, Roman was appointed to the state court bench to serve as a Circuit Judge in Montgomery County.  In June of 2018, after 18 months, despite being elected to a full-term, Roman resigned his judgeship to become the General Counsel of the Alabama State Bar.  He is married to Caroline Thames Shaul and has three daughters, Anne Kingsley (9), Isabel (8) and Thompson (1).

 

Soo Seok Yang | Sr. Staff Attorney

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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Soo Seok is a senior staff attorney in Beasley Allen Law Firm’s Mass Torts Section. Starting with Fosamax, he has been involved in various defective drug and medical device cases.  For the past few years, Soo Seok has been primarily working on ASR and Transvaginal Mesh litigation. Currently, he is focusing on Xarelto (rivaroxaban) blood thinner MDL litigation (MDL No. 2592), working for the Discovery Committee. Xarelto has been linked to serious injuries, including internal bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeds, brain hemorrhages, bleeding death and other bleeding side effects.

Soo Seok is a member of the Alabama State Bar and the Montgomery County Bar Association. He was selected by the Alabama State Bar to be one of 30 lawyers in the State Bar’s 2017 Leadership Forum. The forum is a highly competitive program designed to bring together and train tomorrow’s Bar leaders from across the state. He also was appointed by the President of the Alabama State Bar to serve on the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee for the 2017-2018 Bar year.

Soo Seok and his wife Doh Ah, have four children: Yookyum Abraham, Yoojin Johanna, Yooha Elijah and Yooeun Hannah Grace. Both their parents serve as missionaries in Taiwan. Soo Seok speaks Korean and conversational Chinese.

Gibson Vance | Principal

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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Gibson Vance practices in Beasley Allen Law Firm’s Personal Injury and Consumer Fraud sections, concentrating in actions against those who negligently or intentionally harm others. His clients include individuals and small businesses. He has participated in dozens of jury trials in his legal career, many of which have resulted in large verdicts for his clients.

Gibson has been appointed to serve on the Plaintiffs Steering Committee (PSC) for multidistrict litigation (MDL) surrounding a massive data breach affecting customers of Community Health Systems Inc. The litigation is consolidated under Judge Karon Owen Bowdre in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama. In January, Community Health Systems Inc. (CHS) admitted data from its affiliated physician practices and clinics was breached. Data taken included patients’ names, addresses, birth dates, social security numbers and, in some cases, telephone numbers and the names of employers or guarantors. An estimated 4.5 million individuals who obtained services from CHS-affiliated physicians in the last five years may have been affected.  In 2005, Gibson received a $2.9 million verdict in a securities fraud case in Henry County, Alabama.

He is married to Kate Vance, and they have two children, Carter and Andrew. They attend First Baptist Church of Montgomery. Gibson is a member of the Board of Directors for Wynlakes Golf and Country Club.

Leon Hampton Jr. | Of Counsel

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.

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Leon Hampton Jr. first joined Beasley Allen while in law school, working as a law clerk. He returned to the firm’s Consumer Fraud Section in August 2017 and is currently working on class action, employment and whistleblower claims.  In less than a year after joining Beasley Allen as fulltime counsel, Hampton has helped secure verdicts for clients totaling more than $16 million.

His courtroom experience was integral to the trial team that obtained a $1.9 million verdict on behalf of Leon Battle and exposed the defendant’s fraudulent efforts to hide unsafe working conditions.  A jury in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County awarded Battle $851,400 in compensatory damages and $1.05 million in punitive damages because of the defendant’s attempt to cover up its actions that led to Battle’s permanently disabling injury and because it retaliated against Battle for seeking Worker’s Compensation benefits.

Leon currently serves as the Vice President of the Alabama Lawyers Association, an organization that recognized him as the 2017 board member of the year. He is also a member of the Alabama State Bar, Montgomery County Bar Association and the Hugh Maddox’s Inn of Court. Leon serves on the Alabama State Bar’s 2017-2018 Election Procedures Review Task Force.