Once again, Helmsing Leach lawyers appear on the annual list of Alabama Litigation Stars compiled by Benchmark Litigation, a reference guide that is widely used by law firms and corporate counsel to identify and select leading litigators throughout the United States. The Helmsing lawyers honored with inclusion in Benchmark’s 2018 edition are firm members Joe Babington (product liability, labor/employment), John Leach (product liability and general commercial litigation) and Jim Newman (product liability, medical malpractice defense).
Firm partner Joe Babington recently gave a presentation to the Mobile Bar Association titled, “Kumho Tire v. Carmichael: how two Mobile lawyers argued a landmark case in the United States Supreme Court – 19 years later.” In 1998, Mr. Babington successfully argued the Kumho Tire case before the Supreme Court, and the Court’s opinion resulted in the 2000 amendments to Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence, which established additional requirements for admissibility of expert testimony in federal courts. Since 1999, the decision has been cited more than 11,000 times, including over 900 citations by federal appellate courts and 120 by Alabama federal district courts. Mr. Babington’s practice continues to focus on products liability defense, defense of catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases, commercial litigation, and insurance coverage. As his victory in Kumho Tire suggests, he has deep experience in working with expert witnesses and in challenging expert testimony offered against his clients.
Firm member Casey Pipes will speak at the Eminent Domain Institute’s Annual National Conference which will take place December 11-12, 2017 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mr. Pipes will participate in a roundtable discussion titled, Practice Pitfalls for Eminent Domain Practitioners, on December 11th at 4:15 pm.
Firm member Alan Alexander was recently invited to join the American Board of Trial Advocates (“ABOTA”) after a vote of the organization’s National Board of Directors formally approved his membership. ABOTA has chapters in every state, and its members constitute a “who’s who” of trial lawyers, nationwide. An invitation to join this prestigious organization is a highlight of any legal career.
Best Lawyers has named firm member Alan Alexander as its 2018 Lawyer of the Year in the practice category “Mobile Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants.” Only one lawyer in each practice area in each legal community is honored as “Lawyer of the Year.” Mr. Alexander was also selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America for his work in Health Care Law, Legal Malpractice Law – Defendants, and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.