Ryan Luna and Samantha Gunnoe Win Defense Verdict at Jury Trial

Helmsing Leach attorneys Ryan Luna and Samantha Gunnoe successfully represented defendant State Farm Fire and Casualty Company in a breach of contract case tried to a jury in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. The plaintiff’s claim was based on a first-party insurance claim for property damage caused by Hurricane Sally. The jury returned their verdict in our client’s favor in under six minutes of deliberation.


Casey Pipes to speak at National Eminent Domain Seminar in New Orleans

Helmsing Leach partner Casey Pipes will be on the faculty of the ALI-CLE Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation seminar taking place February 1-3, 2024 in New Orleans. Casey will be presenting along with Patria McGarr, an appraiser with CohnReznick, and Philip Sanchez, a lawyer from New York, on a program titled, Art or Science? Demystifying Appraisal Practice for Juries, Judges, and Clients. For more information about this seminar, please visit https://www.ali-cle.org/course/Eminent-Domain-and-Land-Valuation-Litigation-2024-CF004.

Tom Gaillard Wins Appeal at the Alabama Supreme Court

Tom Gaillard successfully represented a municipal police chief and local municipality in a case involving claims for false arrest and improper prosecution. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the municipality and its police chief, and the plaintiff then filed an appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court. In a recent ruling in favor of our clients, the Alabama Supreme Court upheld the order of the trial court dismissing these claims against the city and its police chief.

Robert Rouse named Lawyer of the Year in Business Organizations & Tax Law

Helmsing Leach’s Robert Rouse was named Best Lawyers’ 2024 Lawyer of the Year in Business Organizations and Lawyer of the Year in Tax Law (Mobile, Ala.). Each year, Best Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers around the country via an extensive peer review. Only one attorney can be named a Lawyer of the Year in each location and practice area. Robert was also recognized by Best Lawyers for his Trusts and Estate practice this year.

Robert has been recognized by Best Lawyers since 2007.

For more information about the firm’s Tax, Trusts, Estate and Probate practice, visit this link.

Joe Babington, Jim Newman, and Jeffery Hartley recognized as 2024 Benchmark Litigation Stars

Benchmark Litigation, a definitive guide to the world’s leading litigation firms and lawyers, has named Helming Leach partners Joe Babington, Jim Newman, and Jeffery Hartley Litigation Stars for 2024. Litigation Stars are identified through extensive interviews with litigators, dispute resolution specialists and their clients. Helmsing Leach is also distinguished as a recommended firm.

Four Helmsing Leach attorneys, practice area recognized in Chambers USA Guide 2023

Helmsing Leach is pleased to share that firm partners Jeffery Hartley (Bankruptcy/Restructuring), Joe Babington (Litigation: Commercial General), Casey Pipes (Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use), and Warren Herlong (Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use) were ranked in Chambers and Partners’ USA Guide 2023. Chambers and Partners is one of the world’s leading legal data and analytics providers, highlighting the most prestigious law firms and attorneys. The firm overall was ranked for Commercial Litigation. To obtain the annual rankings, Chambers’ research teams of more than 200 people assess lawyers and law firms across the USA by conducting thousands of interviews with in-house counsel and third-party experts. Helmsing Leach is one of a select few law firms consistently recognized by Chambers in the state of Alabama.

Bill Watts & Tom Gaillard obtain summary judgment for municipal client

Bill Watts and Tom Gaillard recently won a victory for a local municipal client with the Alabama Supreme Court. The case involved claims against a local municipality and one of its police officers based on allegations of false arrest and malicious prosecution among other claims.  The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the Defendants and the Plaintiff appealed that decision. After extensive briefing, the Alabama Supreme Court recently affirmed summary judgment in favor of all Defendants.

Casey Pipes leads team in Counselors of Real Estate Consulting Corps assignment in Knoxville, Tenn.

Helmsing Leach partner Casey Pipes led a Counselors of Real Estate (CRE®) Consulting Corps team the week of April 17, 2023, in Knoxville, Tenn. for the benefit of the City of Knoxville and the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors. The assignment was to assist in creating a strategy to redevelop and revitalize Knoxville’s South waterfront area. The CRE® Consulting Corps is a public service program of The Counselors of Real Estate that provides real estate analysis and action plans for municipalities, not-for-profit organizations, government entities, educational institutions, and other owners of real property. Each Consulting Corps assignment is conducted by a team of members of the Counselors of Real Estate with expertise specific to the needs of the client, and all team members volunteer their time. The team delivers unbiased, market-driven action steps to address a real estate challenge, often enhancing the performance of a property or portfolio and improving the financial well-being of the client. This assignment called for Casey and his team to be in Knoxville from Sunday through Friday. The final report is available here.

For more information about Helmsing Leach’s robust real estate practice, visit our real estate practice area or call our office at 251.432.5521.

Ryan Luna, Karen Tucker and Win Stuardi obtain defense verdict for Mobile County hospital

The Helmsing Leach trial team of Ryan Luna, Karen Tucker, and Win Stuardi recently obtained a defense verdict in Mobile County for a local hospital involving a psychiatric patient attempting to leave the ER who collided with a visitor in the ER lobby. The collision resulted in the visitor sustaining multiple fractures, including a hip fracture. The lawsuit was filed by the visitor and only named the hospital as a defendant. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that a hospital security guard was negligent in his actions in de-escalating the situation with the patient. The plaintiff was hospitalized for 30 days and was in physical therapy for 60 days after her discharge from the hospital. The lawsuit initially asserted personal injury claims of negligence, wantonness, and battery, with the plaintiff seeking damages for pain, suffering, and mental anguish as well as punitive damages. At trial, the hospital established, through well-developed testimony, that the security guard’s actions were reasonable and appropriate. A total of 16 witnesses testified at trial. At the conclusion of the plaintiff’s case, the plaintiff dismissed her wantonness and battery claims. The plaintiff requested $3-5 million in damages related to the negligence claim; however, the jury was not influenced by the request and a defense verdict was rendered after less than 45 minutes of deliberation.