Rushton Stakely Welcomes 2023 First Group of Summer Clerks

Aleah Brown
Aleah Brown, from Dothan, Alabama, has completed her second year of law school at The University of Alabama School of Law. She is a Capstone Legal Scholar, recipient of a CALI award for an externship at the Tuscaloosa County Public Defender’s Office, and Dean’s Community Service Award recipient. She is also a member of the Black Law Student Association (BLSA), a representative for the Public Interest Student Board and BARBRI, and she served on the 2022-2023 BLSA Trial Advocacy Competition Team. She graduated summa cum laude from The University of Alabama in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science. She serves as a volunteer for The Brown House and the Blackbelt Action Committee.


Nathan Pohlman
Nathan Pohlman is from Montgomery, Alabama and has completed his first year of law school at The University of Alabama School of Law. He is a member of the Federalist Society and the Christian Legal Society. He graduated summa cum laude from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business & Economics.


Andrew Harris
Andrew Harris is from Montgomery, Alabama. He has completed his first year of law school at Tulane University School of Law. Mr. Harris graduated from Washington and Lee University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Cognitive & Behavioral Science and a minor in Poverty and Human Capabilities Studies. While attending Washington and Lee University, Mr. Harris served as an intern for Chief District Judge Emily C. Marks, and he also completed internships with the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty and the Washington and Lee Office of Community-Based Learning.


Dakota Rivers
Dakota Rivers, from Montgomery, Alabama, has completed his first year of law school at The University of Alabama School of Law. He is a member of the Federalist Society and the Saint Thomas More Society. Mr. Rivers graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Mr. Rivers also participated in the University of John Cabot Study Abroad Program.

Best Lawyers® Names Haynes, Simmons, and Tyson Lawyer of the Year

Rushton Stakely is pleased to announce that shareholders, William S. Haynes, Christopher S. Simmons, and Fred W. Tyson have been selected as “Lawyers of the Year” in the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America®, a guide that is highly respected in the legal community.  Lawyers are selected based on extensive reviews by their peers, and only one lawyer in a specific practice field and location is selected annually for this publication.

Mr. Haynes has been honored for his work in Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants in Montgomery, Alabama. He joined the firm in 1987 and has over twenty-five years’ experience litigating a broad range of civil liability cases, with his primary focus is on the defense of medical malpractice cases involving physicians, dentists, hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare professionals. He also has experience handling other complex litigation matters in the areas of professional liability, healthcare, and insurance defense.

Mr. Simmons has been honored for his work in Litigation and Controversy – Tax in Montgomery, Alabama. He joined the firm in 1993 and practices in state and federal taxation, corporate and business law, securities law, municipal finance, employee benefits law and estate planning. He has represented corporations, partnerships, public entities and individuals in a broad spectrum of transactions including mergers and acquisitions, tax-exempt financings, and joint ventures.

Mr. Tyson has been honored for his work in Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants in Montgomery, Alabama.  He joined the firm in 1982 and has over thirty years of experience litigating a wide range of civil cases throughout the state. His practice is primarily devoted to the defense of physicians, hospitals, nurses and other healthcare professionals in medical malpractice cases. He also handles other complex litigation matters such as legal and other professional liability cases.

For 130 years, Rushton Stakely has provided the highest levels of legal service throughout the United States. Founded in 1890, the firm is now composed of over 30 experienced lawyers practicing in a broad spectrum of legal fields.  From the courtroom to the board room, our lawyers will advocate for you.

Sixteen Rushton Stakely Attorneys Named Best Lawyers 2021

Rushton Stakely is pleased to announce that sixteen of our attorneys were chosen for the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©. The selected lawyers are: Dennis R. Bailey, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Communications Law, Litigation – Banking and Finance, Litigation – Intellectual Property, Litigation – Labor and Employment, Litigation – Real Estate, and Product Liability Litigation – Defendants; Jeffrey W. Blitz, Real Estate Law; L. Peyton Chapman III, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants, and Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants; William I. Eskridge, Real Estate Law; Alan T. Hargrove, Jr., Insurance Law, and Litigation – Insurance; William S. Haynes, Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants, and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants; Paul M. James, Jr., Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants;  J. Theodore Jackson, Jr., Litigation and Controversy – Tax, Tax Law, and Trusts and Estates; Thomas H. Keene, Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants, and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants; Daniel L. Lindsey, Jr., Tax Law, and Trusts and Estates; Patrick M. Shegon, Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants; Christopher S. Simmons, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Litigation and Controversy – Tax, Public Finance Law, Tax Law, and Trusts and Estates; Frank J. Stakely, Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants, and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants; Fred W. Tyson, Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants, and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants; Helen Crump Wells, Tax Law, and Trusts and Estates; Ben C. Wilson, Litigation – Health Care, Litigation – Labor and Employment, and Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants.

Rushton Stakely is also pleased to recognize Theresa J. Friedman on her inclusion of The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch 2021 Edition for Environmental Law and Real Estate Law.

For over 30 years, Best Lawyers® has been regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence in the United States.  Inclusion in the Best Lawyers® list is based on a rigorous national survey of leading U. S. attorneys, and Corporate Counsel® magazine has called Best Lawyers® “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”  We are proud that sixteen of our attorneys were recognized with this distinguished honor.

Alabama Supreme Court Affirms Summary Judgement for Termite Company

The Alabama Supreme Court recently affirmed Summary Judgment in favor of a termite company represented by Paul James, Jr.  The issue in the case was whether a Wood Infestation Inspection Report (“WIIR”), had been falsely prepared by a termite company.  Allegations of fraud, misrepresentation, suppression, intentional fraud, negligent inspection, wanton conduct, and other claims were also asserted against the client.

The Alabama Supreme Court affirmed the entry of Summary Judgment in favor of the termite company ending the litigation.

Bailey Wins in Bankruptcy

On February 27, 2020, Evans Bailey’s client was awarded a summary judgment in a case alleging the violation of the automatic stay before Judge Tamara Mitchell in the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama. The Debtor alleged that the defendant, Evans’ client, violated the automatic stay when it settled claims with the Debtor’s property insurer after the insurer had made payments directly to the Debtor on his property insurance policy in violation of the standard mortgagee clause in the policy.  The Court found that the amounts paid because of a violation of the mortgagee clause in the policy were not property of the Debtor’s estate. It also found the Debtor had suffered no damages because the amounts paid to the Defendant were used, in part, to satisfy the Debtor’s mortgage with the Defendant.  Johnson v. Apex Mortgage, A.P. No. 18-00178-TOM (Bankr. N.D. Ala.).

Alabama Supreme Court Affirms $570,000 Judgment

On November 22, 2019, the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed a $570,000 judgment in favor of Dennis Bailey and Evans Bailey’s client in case involving the violation of a pre-nuptial agreement.  On a matter of first impression, the Court was asked to opine whether the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act (“ERISA”) barred claims for violation of a pre-nuptial agreement after the plan administrator had distributed death benefits to the deceased’s spouse.  Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Shaw agreed with federal courts and the Supreme Court of Georgia and found that ERISA did not bar state law contract claims post-distribution by the plan administrator.  Accordingly, the Court affirmed the lower court’s entry of judgment in favor of Dennis and Evans’ client, the deceased’s estate and sole-heir.  William Eskridge and Rick McBride assisted in the representation of the estate and heir.  Moore v. Moore, AL. Sup. Ct. No. 1180482.

Bailey, Bailey, and Davis Win Appeal of Libel Verdict Against Broadcasting Company

The Rushton Stakely trial and appellate team of Dennis Bailey, Katie Davis and Evans Bailey obtained a unanimous decision from the Alabama Supreme Court reversing a libel verdict against Birmingham Broadcasting LLC (WVTM-TV) a/k/a Channel 13 as well as a judgment rendered for Channel 13 on all claims.  The opinion was written by Justice Sarah H. Stewart and released Feb. 28, 2020.

The plaintiff was the subject of a “To Catch a Predator” segment authored by Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale and broadcast by Channel 13. The sheriff displayed the mugshot of the plaintiff and stated that arrest warrants had been issued for the plaintiff for failing to register as a sex offender relating to decades old conviction for misdemeanor possession of obscene videos. After the broadcast, the plaintiff’s counsel convinced the local assistant district attorney that the sheriff’s office had been mistaken and that registration was not required. The warrants were withdrawn.  The sheriff’s office contacted Channel 13 and advised the warrants were withdrawn. The next week on “To Catch a Predator” the plaintiff’s mugshot was again shown under the words “Charges Dropped” and it was stated the charges were withdrawn.  Despite the applicability of the reporter’s privilege, summary judgment was denied and the case proceeded to trial where a jury awarded the plaintiff $250,000.  Dennis Bailey and Katie Davis defended the case at trial.

On appeal, Dennis Bailey, Katie Davis and Evans Bailey prepared the briefs and Dennis Bailey presented oral argument to the Alabama Supreme Court.  On Feb. 28, 2020, the court, speaking through Justice Sarah H. Stewart, unanimously reversed the jury verdict and rendered judgment for Channel 13 holding that the broadcast was privileged.

Members of the Sheriff’s office were also sued but dismissed on summary judgment. The Supreme Court of Alabama affirmed the dismissal of those claims on sovereign immunity grounds.

Defense Verdict Achieved in Radiology Case

Tommy Keene and Grant Sexton received a defense verdict on behalf of their radiology client in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County. The Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant misidentified a liver tumor which, in turn, delayed treatment for liver cancer by one year.  The tumor was classified as a benign hemangioma by the radiologist when, in fact, it turned out to be hepatocellular cancer.  The one-year delay allowed the tumor to double in size and spread to both lobes of the liver.  Thus, the Plaintiff alleged that the patient was deprived of a surgical cure for her liver cancer.  When the cancer was diagnosed, the patient received chemotherapy and other therapy but was no longer a surgical candidate nor a liver transplant candidate.  She died from her disease, and the wrongful death suit followed.

At trial, Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to return a ten-million-dollar verdict.  The jury returned a defense verdict even though the Defendant radiologist acknowledged in hindsight that he should have at least recommended further testing and should not have classified the tumor as a benign hemangioma.

Rushton Stakely Named as Finalist in 2019 River Region Ethics in Business & Public Service Awards

Rushton Stakely has been named as a finalist for the 2019 River Region Ethics in Business & Public Service Awards, Large Business Category. The Samaritan Counseling Center, Inc. sponsors the Ethics in Business awards program to help foster ethical professional conduct of businesses in the community. Each year, The Samaritan Counseling Center partners with Auburn University Montgomery to select organizations that help fulfill this mission. Businesses are nominated by a third party based on their long-standing reputation for professionalism through volunteerism, community service, employee health and safety, and diversity. Once nominations are received, AUM faculty and students conduct in depth interviews of all nominees, and they select three finalists for each business category.  Rushton Stakely is thrilled to have been selected as a finalist for this award. To even have been nominated is an extraordinary honor.

Rushton Stakely was established in 1890, and since that time, the firm has placed high emphasis on ethics and professionalism. Through hard work, devotion to detail, and forceful advocacy, we’ve earned the respect of our peers nationwide, and a reputation for service, quality, and achieving results for our clients.  We aren’t just dedicated to our clients. We are also committed to our community. As such, we find it very humbling to have been nominated for the Ethics in Business Award.

Alabama Supreme Court Affirms Dismissal of Patronage Capital Suit Against Electric Cooperative

In a decision that affects at least 13 other putative class action cases pending in Alabama circuit courts, the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action claiming that Alabama cooperatives could not utilize patronage capital credits under Alabama law. Recherche, LLC v. Baldwin County Electric Membership Corporation, No. 1171144. The Recherche decision affirms the long-standing and widely accepted practice of allocating patronage capital credits to members of electric cooperatives. The Court relied heavily on the case of Caver v. Central Alabama Electric Cooperative, 845 F.3d 1135 (11th Cir. 2017) which was defended by Rushton Stakely attorneys Dennis Bailey, Evans Bailey and Mac Freeman with the assistance of Ted Jackson and Chris Simmons. The Rushton Stakely team of Dennis Bailey, Chris Simmons and Evans Bailey also submitted a friend of the court brief on behalf of the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives in Recherche.