Tom Gaillard & Bill Watts obtain dismissal of claims against municipal client

Helmsing Leach partners Tom Gaillard and Bill Watts obtained a favorable ruling in a recent wrongful death case. The case involved the shooting death of plaintiff’s decedent after an armed confrontation with police. The plaintiff sued a local municipality and several police officers for wrongful death under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Alabama law.  The trial court entered an order on August 24, 2022, granting a motion to dismiss in favor of all defendants.

Christopher Conte appointed as Chapter 13 Trustee for the Southern District of Alabama

Helmsing Leach announces that, after nearly 20 years with the firm, Christopher Conte will be leaving to become the Chapter 13 Trustee for the Southern District of Alabama on October 1. Christopher brings years of experience representing trustees, creditors, and debtors in all manner of bankruptcy cases to his new role.

The Chapter 13 Trustee is an officer of the bankruptcy court and is responsible for overseeing the administration of bankruptcy cases and private trustees under 28 U.S.C. § 586 and 11 U.S.C. § 101, et seq. This is an excellent opportunity for Christopher, and the firm wishes him well in his new endeavor.

12 Helmsing Leach Attorneys Named Best Lawyers in America 2023

Twelve attorneys at Helmsing Leach were recently recognized by Best Lawyers® as the Best Lawyers in America 2023. The recognition is based on an exhaustive peer review process by the current leading attorneys in a geographical area and practice area.

 

  • Alan Alexander
    Health Care Law
    Legal Malpractice Law – Defendants
    Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
    Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
  • Joe Babington
    Commercial Litigation
    Litigation – Construction
    Litigation – Environmental
    Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants
    Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
    Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
  • Russell Buffkin
    Commercial Litigation
    Litigation – Real Estate
  • John Dukes
    Commercial Transactions / UCC Law
    Real Estate Law
  • Jeffery Hartley
    Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
    Bet-the-Company Litigation
    Litigation – Bankruptcy
  • Warren Herlong, Jr.
    Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law
    Litigation – Antitrust
    Litigation – Real Estate
  • Karen Luce
    Appellate Practice
  • Jim Newman
    Commercial Litigation
    Insurance Law
    Litigation – Banking and Finance
    Litigation – Construction
    Litigation – Labor and Employment
  • Casey Pipes
    Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law
    Land Use and Zoning Law
    Litigation – Land Use and Zoning
    Litigation – Real Estate
    Municipal Law
    Real Estate Law
  • Robert Rouse
    Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships)
    Tax Law
    Trusts and Estates
  • Win Stuardi
    Commercial Litigation
    Litigation – Construction
    Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
    Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
    Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Bill Watts
    Appellate Practice

 

For more information about our firm and the services we offer, visit our firm profile.

Jeffery Hartley named Lawyer of the Year in Bankruptcy Litigation

Best Lawyers® has named Helmsing Leach partner Jeffrey Hartley the Lawyer of the Year in Bankruptcy Litigation. Only one lawyer is recognized as “Lawyer of the Year” for each legal specialty and location. In addition to this honor, Jeffery was also named a Best Lawyer in America in the fields of bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law and bet-the-company litigation. Jeffery has been recognized as a Best Lawyer in America since 2008. In 2015 and 2018, he was appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States, John G. Roberts, to serve on the influential Judicial Conference’s Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules.

For more information about Jeffery’s legal practice, visit https://helmsinglaw.com/attorneys/jeffery-j-hartley/

Karen Tucker Luce Recognized by Best Lawyers

Helmsing Leach partner Karen Tucker Luce has been named one of the Best Lawyers in Appellate Practice for 2023. Karen has extensive experience in appellate advocacy in both state and federal appellate courts. Best Lawyers recognizes the best lawyers annually via peer-review surveys by top lawyers in their respective fields and location.

Kirk Mattei Named to Best Lawyers®: Ones to Watch

Kirk Mattei has been recognized by Best Lawyers® as a Lawyer to Watch for 2023 in the fields of medical malpractice defense, product liability litigation defense, and professional malpractice law. This honor is given to lawyers for outstanding professional excellence in private practice. Best Lawyers® “Ones to Watch” awards are typically given to those who have been in practice for five to nine years. Kirk, a partner at Helmsing Leach, has been recognized by the publication since 2021. 

Casey Pipes named Lawyer of the Year in Municipal Law

Best Lawyers® has recognized Helmsing Leach partner and managing attorney Casey Pipes as the Lawyer of the Year in the field of Municipal Law for the Mobile, Alabama metropolitan area. The Lawyer of the Year distinction is awarded to lawyers with the highest peer ratings among top lawyers in a practice area and location. Only one lawyer per metropolitan area and practice area can receive this honor each year. Casey was also recognized by Best Lawyers for his work in the fields of eminent domain and condemnation law, land use and zoning Law, land use and zoning litigation, real estate litigation, and real estate law. Casey has been named to Best Lawyers® for the past 10 years.  Casey has been recognized as a Lawyer of the Year in the Mobile metropolitan market in seven out of the last eight years.   

To learn more about Casey’s legal practice, visit https://helmsinglaw.com/attorneys/j-casey-pipes/.

Joseph P.H. Babington named Lawyer of the Year in Environmental Litigation

Joe Babington, partner at Helmsing Leach, has been named Lawyer of the Year in Environmental Litigation by Best Lawyers®. Only one lawyer in a geographic location and practice area each year is given this distinction among their peers. Best Lawyers® are chosen through peer-feedback surveys. Joe was also recognized as a Best Lawyer in America in commercial litigation, construction litigation, mass tort litigation/class action defense, personal injury litigation defense, and product liability litigation defense. Joe was first named to Best Lawyers® in 2007.

For more information about Joe’s practice, visit https://helmsinglaw.com/attorneys/joseph-p-h-babington/.

Joe Babington presents “Anatomy of a Trial: Expert Witnesses” at FDCC annual meeting

Helmsing Leach partner and FDCC member Joe Babington chaired and presented in a CLE panel entitled “Anatomy of a Trial: Expert Witnesses” at the Annual Meeting of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC), held in Seattle, Wash. on July 25-29, 2022. The panel of three experienced trial lawyers discussed how to prepare, challenge, cross-examine and present expert witnesses in state and federal courts. The FDCC, composed of recognized leaders in the legal community who have achieved professional distinction, is dedicated to promoting knowledge, fellowship, and professionalism of its members as they pursue the course of a balanced justice system and represent those in need of a defense in civil lawsuits. For more information about the FDCC, visit www.thefederation.org.

Helming Leach adds associate attorney Rachel Buddrus

Helmsing Leach is pleased to announce the addition of associate attorney Rachel Buddrus to the firm. A graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law, Rachel has experience in an array of practice areas from mass torts to real estate law. While attending the University of Mississippi School of Law, Rachel worked for a local real-estate law firm and was admitted to limited practice as a student-attorney through the UM Low-Income Housing Clinic. As a law student, Rachel wrote and published research through the National Sea Grant Law Center and the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program on emerging issues in coastal and water law. After graduating law school, Rachel practiced as a litigation associate with a Texas-based firm. Most recently, Rachel clerked for the Honorable Judge Michael P. Windom in the Circuit Court for Mobile County.

“My clerkship exposed me to a wide variety of areas of the law,” Rachel said. “I am excited to join Helmsing Leach—a firm with an excellent local reputation—and learn from the firm’s attorneys while gaining more experience in civil litigation and transactional law.”

Bio

Rachel’s legal experience covers a range of civil litigation and transactional matters. While attending the University of Mississippi School of Law, Rachel worked for a local real-estate law firm and was admitted to limited practice as a student-attorney through the university’s Low-Income Housing Clinic, where she assisted clients on litigation and business matters in property. As a law student, she wrote and published research through the National Sea Grant Law Center and the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program on emerging issues in coastal and water law.

Before joining Helmsing Leach, Rachel clerked for the Honorable Judge Michael P. Windom in the Circuit Court for Mobile County and previously was a litigation associate with a Texas-based firm.

Rachel is a native of Dallas, Texas now residing in Springhill. Rachel loves the Ole Miss Rebels, walking her dog, and spending time with family and her fiancé. She is a member of St. Ignatius Catholic Church and the Junior League of Mobile.

Education

  • The University of Mississippi, B.A. (2016)
  • The University of Mississippi, J.D. (2019)

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas, October 2019
  • Alabama State Bar, April 2022

Professional Memberships

  • Mobile Bar Association (2021) 
  • Texas Bar Association (2019)

Areas of focus

  • Civil litigation
  • Transactional law