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Joseph P. H. Babington
Preeminent Martindale Hubbell

Joseph P.H. Babington

Member of the Firm

For more than three decades, Joseph P. H. Babington has handled civil litigation in state and federal courts in Alabama and around the country. Joe has tried cases, argued appeals, and prosecuted and defended arbitrations. He has worked on a broad range of complex matters and has deep experience in products liability defense, catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases, and business and commercial disputes. 

Joe presented the winning argument in the United States Supreme Court in Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137 (1999), which clarified the rules governing admissibility of expert testimony in federal courts. Since Kumho, he has successfully handled dozens of cases involving challenges to admissibility of expert testimony. He has also represented defendants, including many of the world’s leading drug and medical device manufacturers, in numerous mass tort, multi-district, and class action litigations.

After graduating with highest honors from the University of Notre Dame, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Joe earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. Joe and his wife, Kristin, have been married for more than 35 years and have four grown children and four grandchildren. Joe enjoys active outdoor sports, especially paddle boarding, hiking, and fishing.

Areas of Focus

Joseph P. H. Babington has been engaged in a general civil litigation practice since 1984. He has tried cases, argued appeals, and prosecuted and defended arbitrations. He has handled a broad range of complex disputes, from antitrust and breach of contract to fraud and libel to RICO and theft of trade secrets, to name a few. Joe is admitted  in all state and federal courts in Alabama and Louisiana as well as the United States Supreme Court, where he presented the winning argument in Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137 (1999).

Best known for his work in products liability defense, catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases, and business and commercial litigation, Joe has been engaged by manufacturers, distributors, retailers , testing facilities, and component fabricators across many industries. Joe and other members of the Helmsing Leach products liability team have defended numerous products and obtained successful outcomes for their clients in hundreds of cases.

Joe has participated in all facets of mass tort and multi-district litigations, serving as national counsel, on trial and science teams, and as state or local counsel. The firm’s mass tort and MDL clients include several of the world’s largest drug and medical device manufacturers. In this work, Joe has appeared or been admitted to practice pro hac vice in prominent state and federal jurisdictions across the country, including work on expert and trial teams in matters before the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles; the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois; the Court of Common Pleas for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; the Circuit Court of Palm Beach County, Florida; and other challenging venues.

He has also defended companies in class actions, including a telephone service company in an antitrust matter, an inmate telecommunications provider against allegations of fraud and suppression, a chemical manufacturer in a pesticide products liability case, an oil-field services company in dozens of economic injury and property damage class actions arising from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and an insurance carrier in a case alleging systematic underpayments of Alabama property-damage claims over an extended time frame.

In addition to his work on more typical cases, Joe has successfully prosecuted actions in which his clients sought and obtained extraordinary relief, such as preliminary and permanent injunctions and writs of attachments. Joe recently led a team of Helmsing Leach lawyers that recovered more than $6 million for a client within two months of initiating the action.

Other practice areas in which Joe has substantial experience are insurance coverage and commercial arbitration. Joe has handled coverage cases involving Chinese drywall, allocation of large wrongful death verdicts, and professional liability. His arbitration work includes the successful defense of employment-related claims and of a bet-the-company business dispute as well as the prosecution of two arbitration proceedings concerning fraud and breach of a manufacturing agreement—Helmsing Leach’s clients were awarded $8.8 million and $800,000 respectively.

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Significant Cases

Joe has handled several thousand cases during his career. The WestLaw (WL) database lists more than 100 reported opinions or other court decisions in cases in which Joe represented a party. Several significant or representative cases include:

Speeches & Presentations

Joe has made dozens of continuing legal education (CLE) and other professional presentations to numerous organizations, including the Section of Litigation of the American Bar Association; the Eleventh Circuit Judicial Conference; the Defense Research Institute; the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel; the Alabama State Bar; and others. Examples of recent CLE presentations include:

Woodshedding Workshop: Legal, Practical and Ethical Considerations of Communications with 3rd Party Witnesses – presented to DRI Toxic Torts Seminar, March 20, 2009

Location Marker IconScottsdale, Arizona

Faculty for FDCC Deposition Boot Camp, December 7-8, 2015

Location Marker IconAtlanta, Georgia

Top 10 Rules for Preparing Your Expert Deposition - presented during FDCC Webinar, February 2016

Update on 2018-2019 noteworthy cases from 11th Circuit, presented to Trial Attorneys of America Annual Meeting, June 12-14, 2019

Location Marker IconChicago, Illinois