Helmsing Leach provides Christmas gifts and food for Daphne Elementary School students in need

Each year, Helmsing Leach raises money from lawyers and staff for local families in need over the holidays. This holiday season, the firm is pleased to partner with Daphne Elementary School to provide Christmas presents for students who may not have them otherwise. Gifts include “wants” and “needs” such as toys, clothing, slippers, books, and art supplies. Additionally, nonperishable food donations by the firm and others across Mobile & Baldwin counties will ensure that Daphne Elementary families in need will not go hungry over the holiday break. The firm believes that this season is a time for giving, and we are thankful to everyone in our office who donated.

Casey Pipes to speak at the ALI-CLE Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation conference in 2023

Helmsing Leach partner Casey Pipes will speak at the ALI-CLE Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation conference on February 2, 2023, in Austin, Texas. He will be co-presenting a paper with Bill Blake from Nebraska on the topic of the valuation of easements in eminent domain cases (as opposed to fee takings). For more information on how to attend the conference live or virtually, please visit http://www.ali-cle.org/CE003.

Joe Babington and Ryan Luna secure dismissal of insurance company client in federal court action

Helmsing Leach partners Joe Babington and Ryan Luna recently secured an order dismissing one of the firm’s insurance company clients from a federal court action. The federal lawsuit alleged that the insurance company had committed negligence and wantonness in handling settlement of claims arising out of a serious automobile accident and sought recovery of compensatory and punitive damages. The federal court action included allegations that the insurance company had failed to honor rights under Alabama Code 34-3–61 (the attorney’s lien statute). The federal court rejected all claims against the firm’s client and granted the insurance company’s motion to dismiss. The court found that the plaintiff—the first law firm purportedly representing the party injured in the automobile accident—was not owed any duty by the insurance company, including under the attorney’s lien statute, because there was no action or settlement at the time the injured party dismissed the plaintiff law firm and employed a second attorney who settled the claims arising out of the automobile accident.


Helmsing Leach has an active practice group representing insurers in coverage, bad faith, and extra-contractual insurance litigation. For more information, contact Ryan Luna, Joe Babington, or Casey Pipes.

Seven Helmsing Leach attorneys selected for Mid-South Super Lawyers 2022

Helmsing Leach attorneys Joe Babington, Russell Buffkin, Jeffery Hartley, Warren Herlong, Jim Newman, and Win Stuardi were included in the 2022 Mid-South Super Lawyers list. Additionally, Philip Mahoney was named a 2022 Rising Star. Super Lawyers recognizes top attorneys in their respective practice areas through a rigorous third-party validation process. 


Mid-South Super Lawyers 2022

  • Joe Babington: Personal Injury – Products Defense
  • Russell Buffkin: Personal Injury General Defense
  • Jeffery Hartley: Creditor Debtor Rights 
  • Warren Herlong.: Eminent Domain 
  • Jim Newman: Business Litigation
  • Win Stuardi: Personal Injury – Med Mal Defense 


Mid-South Rising Star 2022

  • Philip Mahoney: Personal Injury General – Defense 

The December 2022 print publication can be found here.

Ryan Luna & William Watts obtain summary judgement for insurance client on claims of bad faith and breach of contract

Helmsing Leach attorneys Ryan Luna and William Watts obtained summary judgment from the federal district court in Mobile, Ala. in two lawsuits on claims against an insurer for bad faith and breach of contract under a homeowner’s policy for damages arising from a hurricane.  The court held that the plaintiffs were not able to prove their damages. The court ruled that the testimony of their expert on the reasonable and necessary costs of repair was inadmissible because the expert was merely a “mouthpiece” for one of his estimators who inspected the property and determined the costs.

For more information about our insurance defense practice, visit this page.

Ryan Luna, Karen Luce & Win Stuardi obtain favorable ruling for Mobile hospital client in medical malpractice case

The trial team of Ryan Luna, Karen Luce and Win Stuardi recently obtained a defense verdict in Mobile County for a local hospital in a medical malpractice case arising out of the deaths of premature twins. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that the twins’ deaths were caused by the negligence of the emergency department nurses in failing to properly assess and diagnose her with an infection. She also asserted personal injury claims on her own behalf as well as mental anguish based on the death of the twins. At trial, the hospital established, through well-developed testimony from the plaintiff’s treating physicians and retained experts, that the twins’ deaths were not caused by any breach of the standard of care by the hospital nurses, but instead were the unfortunate but unavoidable consequence of early preterm labor. In closing, the plaintiff requested over $20 million; however, the testimony from the treating physicians and retained experts was sufficient to overcome the plea to the jury’s emotions and a defense verdict was rendered after less than an hour of deliberation.

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® recognizes Helmsing Leach in 2023 “Best Law Firm” rankings

Helmsing Leach was recognized as a “Best Law Firm” across 29 practice areas in the in the 2023 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list published by U.S. News and World Report and Best Lawyers®. The “Best Law Firms” rankings are awarded to eligible firms each year who have at least one lawyer listed in Best Lawyers®. Helmsing Leach has 12 attorneys named to Best Lawyers for 2023 and one named to Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch.

“Best Law Firms” undergo a submission process that includes a Law Firm Survey and Client/Professional References. Rankings in U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” are among the top distinctions a law firm can receive. More information can be found here.

Helmsing Leach’s firm rankings for 2023 are below:

Metropolitan (Mobile) Tier 1

  • Appellate Practice
  • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
  • Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships)
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Commercial Transactions / UCC Law
  • Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law
  • Health Care Law
  • Insurance Law
  • Land Use & Zoning Law
  • Legal Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Litigation – Banking & Finance
  • Litigation – Construction
  • Litigation – Environmental
  • Litigation – Real Estate
  • Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants
  • Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
  • Municipal Law
  • Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
  • Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
  • Real Estate Law
  • Tax Law
  • Trusts & Estates Law

Metropolitan (Mobile) Tier 2

  • Litigation – Antitrust
  • Litigation – Bankruptcy
  • Litigation – Labor & Employment
  • Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants

Metropolitan (Mobile) Tier 3

  • Bet-the-Company Litigation
  • Corporate Law
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Law

Joe Babington and Jim Newman named Benchmark Litigation Stars for 2023

Helmsing Leach partners Joe Babington and Jim Newman have been honored as Benchmark Litigation Stars for 2023. Benchmark Litigation is a definitive guide to the world’s leading litigation firms and lawyers. Research is conducted through extensive interviews with litigators, dispute resolution specialists and their clients to identify the leading litigators and firms. Benchmark Litigation Stars are identified through this research as preeminent litigation practitioners in the U.S.

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.