Meet Our Attorneys

Elizabeth E. Chambers

Principal

T: (205) 328-2200

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Legal Secretary

Ramona Dodd

T: (205) 271-7140

Beth Chambers has always focused her career on helping those in need. Beth’s sincere desire to advocate for people harmed by unsafe drugs and medical devices inspired her to attend law school. She is honored to be an advocate for her clients against large corporations and insurance companies.

Upon graduation in 2003 from Birmingham School of Law, she joined Cory Watson. Since then, Beth has represented thousands of clients who were injured from the use of dangerous drugs or medical devices and has been involved in some of the largest mass tort cases in the country. Perhaps one of Beth’s favorite quotes best expresses her feelings about the work does: “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”-Theodore Roosevelt

Indeed, Beth continues to do “work worth doing.” When she’s not helping people through the law, she’s still helping. She and her husband support several local charities that benefit women and children, foster children, and disabled adults. At work and home, the common thread for Beth is advocating for those who need it most.

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama State Bar

Court Admissions

  • The Supreme Court of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Appointments & Representative Cases

  • MDL 1657 IN RE: Vioxx Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 1928 IN RE: Trasylol Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 1789 IN RE: Fosamax Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 2452 IN RE: Incretin-Based Therapies Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 2502 IN RE: Lipitor (Atorvastatin Calcium) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 2545 IN RE: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 2691 IN RE: Viagra (Sildenafil Citrate) Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 2657 IN RE: Zofran (Ondansetron) Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 2092 In RE: Chantix (Varenicline) Products Liability Litigation
  • IN RE: Risperdal Litigation, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas
  • MDL 2428 IN RE: Fresenius GranuFlo/NaturaLyte Dialysate Products Liability Litigation

Honors, Awards & Accomplishments

  • Super Lawyers, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Birmingham School of Law, Academic Scholarship Recipient
  • B-Metro Top Women Attorneys 2015

Professional Affiliations

  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • Alabama State Bar
  • Alabama Association for Justice
  • American Association for Justice
  • Women En Mass

Education

  • Birmingham School of Law, J.D.
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham, B.S.
  • University of West Florida, B.S.

Beth Chambers Award Badges

Jon Conlin

Principal

Co-Chair, Drug & Medical Device Litigation Practice

T: (205) 271-7147

F: (205) 324-7896

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Legal Secretary

Ramona Dodd

T: (205) 271-7140

Paralegal

Letrice Stovall

T: (205) 271-7154

For Jon Conlin, practicing personal injury law is more than filing lawsuits and going to court, it’s an act of chivalry. Emboldened by the idea that plaintiff’s attorneys can take on the biggest, most prepared defendants on behalf of injury victims, he pursued a career in law that’s spanned more than 15 years. In fact, he started working at Cory Watson Attorneys as a law clerk while studying at The University of Alabama School of Law, and he’s been at the firm since.

A Birmingham native with deep Alabama roots, Jon attended Indian Springs High School before earning his bachelor’s degree from Samford University. And while some believe you can either go big or go home, Jon chose to pursue multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements from the place he’s always called home.

A nationally-recognized litigator, Jon will tell you that his true pride comes from the positive effects his work is able to create for the clients he represents. When asked what he likes best about helping people through the law, he says, “Maybe it’s the Don Quixote in me, but sometimes the world needs more people who are willing to tilt at windmills.”

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama State Bar

Court Admissions

  • The Supreme Court of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court District of Nebraska
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

Appointments

  • MDL 2433: In re: E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company C-8 Personal Injury Litigation: Court Appointed Co-Lead Counsel and Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee
  • MDL 1842: In re: Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch Products Liability Litigation: Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, Discovery Committee Chair, Expert Committee Member, and Law Committee Member
  • MDL 2327: In re: Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation: Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee appointed Discovery Committee Member.
  • MDL 1387: In re: ProteGen Sling and Vesica System Products Liability Litigation: Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee appointed Discovery Committee Member and Expert Committee Member

Honors, Awards & Accomplishments

  • The National Trial Lawyers, Top 100 Lawyers
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Member
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Member
  • Super Lawyers, 2012, 2013, 2015
  • Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, 2011
  • Best Lawyers in America, Best Law Firms

Professional Affiliations

  • Alabama State Bar Association
  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • Alabama Association for Justice, Emerging Leaders Section

Education

  • The University of Alabama School of Law, J.D.
  • Samford University, B.A.

Jon Conlin Award Badges

 

 

 

Ernest Cory

Principal

Managing Shareholder

T: (205) 328-2200

F: (205) 324-7896

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Legal Secretary

Tara Henderson

T: (205) 271-7187

Ernest “Ernie” Cory has practiced law for more than 35 years with a focus on dangerous drugs, defective medical devices, products liability, mass torts and class actions. He has represented clients across the U.S. and in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Ernie is nationally recognized for his ability to level the playing field against corporate America, and is frequently appointed as lead counsel and to other leadership positions in high-profile complex litigation, mass torts, and class actions.

A founding principal of Cory Watson, Ernie’s legal roots are local; he tried his first jury trial just 11 months after becoming an attorney in Gadsden, Alabama and over his career has helped thousands of people across the state. Ernie realized early that it was essential to establish client trust, and that successful results require hard work. Every client mattered. This commitment to service and unwavering integrity provided the foundation for the firm he founded more than two decades ago, and those values serve as guiding principles for Cory Watson Attorneys today.

He’s proud to have helped assemble a legal team that has served more than 150,000 families and recovered more than $2 billion in settlements and verdicts. According to Ernie, “We know corporations and insurance firms are going to hire the best lawyers they can afford. I have made it my goal for 35 years to be the best, to hire the best, and to never back down from a fight. Our clients deserve nothing less.”

Ernie grew up in Birmingham, Alabama where he graduated from Vestavia Hills High School. He went on to study at the University of Alabama, graduating magna cum laude. He earned his Juris Doctor from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. Ernie feels it is important to give back to the community and profession that have provided him with so many opportunities, and he serves in a number of philanthropic and leadership positions within the bar and legal profession.

Ernie is an avid Alabama football fan and on Saturdays in the fall, he can generally found in Tuscaloosa at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Ernie is an active member of Church of the Highlands where he and Vivian lead a weekly small group. They enjoy supporting local causes serving children and supporting education. Ernie spends his free time with his family, in his gardens and traveling.

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama State Bar

Court Admissions

  • The Supreme Court of the United States
  • The Supreme Court of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court of Rhode Island

Appointments

  • Lead Counsel and Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee , In Re: Viagra (Sildenafil Citrate) Products Liability Litigation MDL 2691
  • Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee In Re: MDL No. 2502, Lipitor (Atorvastatin Calcium) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation
  • Lead Counsel and Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee , In Re: Chantix (Varenicline) Products Liability Litigation MDL 2092
  • Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, In Re: Trasylol Products Liability Litigation MDL No. 1928
  • Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee and Co-Chair for Discovery Committee, In Re: Bausch & Lomb Contact Lens Solution Products Liability Litigation, MDL No.1785
  • Co-Lead Counsel, In Re: Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch Product Liability Litigation, MDL No.1842
  • Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, In Re: General Motors Corporation Dex-Cool Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1562
  • Lead Counsel and Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel-In Re: ProteGen Sling and Vesica Systems Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1387
  • Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, In Re: General Motors Corporation Dex-Cool Products Liability Litigation, MDL No.1562
  • Class Counsel, Denney v. Jenkins & Gilchrist, et al, USDC Southern District of New York, CV 03-5460

Honors, Awards & Accomplishments

  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated Martindale-Hubbell
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2014, 2016
  • Super Lawyers, 2008-2015
  • Super Lawyers, Top 50 Alabama Attorneys
  • Best Lawyers in America, Best Law Firms
  • Birmingham Magazine, Top Birmingham Attorneys, 2009-2012
  • Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Stars, Personal Injury, 2010-2013
  • The American Trial Lawyers Association, Top 100 Lawyers 2007-2012
  • Cumberland School of Law Advisory Board, 2009-2013
  • America’s Top 100 Attorneys®, Lifetime Achievement Member
  • Top American Lawyers, Lifetime Charter Member

Professional Affiliations

  • Alabama Civil Justice Foundation, Pioneers of Justice Society, Charter member
  • American Association for Justice, Sustaining Member, Member of Aviation Section and Product Liability Section
  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program, Board of Directors
  • Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Committee, Development Committee

Education

  • Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, J.D.
  • The University of Alabama, B.S., summa cum laude

EC (1)

Douglas A. Dellaccio, Jr.

Principal

Co-Chair, Complex Litigation Practice

T: (205) 271-7120

F: (205) 324-7896

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Legal Secretary

Ramona Dodd

T: (205) 271-7140

Practice Areas

Doug Dellaccio, Jr., has always rooted for the underdog. So much so, in fact, that he chose to make a career out of it by representing injury victims. For more than 20 years, Doug has helped everyday people level the playing field against insurance companies, businesses, and major corporations. And for more than 11 of those years, he’s been an important part of the Cory Watson Attorneys litigation team.

A Birmingham native, Doug earned his undergraduate and Juris Doctor degree right where he grew up. Now, as a father, he and his wife raise their children in nearby Vestavia Hills and attend Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Homewood. Doug’s Alabama roots provide a sense of community, and he serves the state of Alabama on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation, Alabama Association for Justice, and as a member of the Early Warning Panel for the City of Mountain Brook’s school system.

Doug’s spirit of helping extends into the courtroom. Doug’s proudest moment as an attorney was helping a family that had lost a daughter in a car crash. He took the case on—despite two other local well respected law firms turning it down due to its difficulty—and helped the victim’s loved ones recover a settlement.

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama State Bar

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Honors, Awards & Accomplishments

  • Super Lawyers, 2012, 2013, 2015
  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated Martindale-Hubbell
  • Best Lawyers in America, Best Law Firms
  • Birmingham Magazine, Top Attorneys, 2013, 2014, 2015

Professional Affiliations

  • Alabama Association for Justice
  • Alabama Civil Justice Foundation, Board of Directors
  • Alabama State Bar Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • American Bar Association
  • Birmingham Bar Association

Education

  • Birmingham School of Law, J.D.
  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Doug Dellaccio Badges

 

G. Rick DiGiorgio

Principal

T: (205) 271-7105

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Legal Secretary

Ramona Dodd

T: (205) 271-7140

Practice Areas

G. Rick DiGiorgio learned the art of problem solving and the importance of caring for others from being the eldest of eight children. He was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama while his dad attended The University of Alabama. After his dad graduated, the family moved around for a while, but they all eventually settled in Birmingham where both of his parents come from big families. Their family of eight added to an already massive extended family, boasting hundreds of cousins in the Birmingham area. It was natural that Rick would work, live, and serve in his home state of Alabama after law school.

Rick’s connection to family and a focus on his spiritual life have always inspired him in his role as a lawyer. Although he graduated from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 1981, with an immediate successful run in criminal defense, his deep-rooted desire to help people led him to form his own personal injury law firm in 1992 with his younger brother, Christopher.

Then in 2001, he joined the Cory Watson team. While grand verdicts and positive results are always preferred outcomes, he is most proud that his clients know he cares for them.

When Rick is not busy helping people through the law, he spends time with his wife, his two adult children, and his grandchild. Also, in keeping with the heart of Rick’s favorite quote, “Seek first the kingdom of God,” (Matthew 6:33), Rick spends much of his free time studying the bible and discussing the spiritual side of life. His gift to look beneath the surface of a person’s physical need allows him to help clients on a deeper, more meaningful level.

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama State Bar

Court Admissions

  • The Supreme Court of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Appointments

  • In Re: Conagra Peanut Butter Products Liability Litigation: Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee; Discovery Subcommittee

Honors, Awards & Accomplishments

  • Super Lawyers, 2012-2015
  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated Martindale-Hubbell
  • Thomas More Society of Metro Birmingham, Catholic Lawyers Group, Inaugural President
  • Sertoma International, Life Member
  • Cahaba Valley Sertoma Club, Past President

Professional Affiliations

  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • Alabama State Bar Association
  • Alabama Trial Lawyers Association, Board of Governors
  • American Association of Justice
  • National Lawyers Association

Education

  • Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, J.D.
  • Centre College of Kentucky, B.A.

Rick DiGiorgio Badges

 

Stephen Hunt, Jr.

Principal

T: (205) 271-7170

F: (205) 324-7896

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Legal Secretary

Charlotte Heath

T: (205) 271-7130

To Stephen Hunt, Jr., respect is a two-way street. He has been profoundly inspired by mentors whom he respected and has been sought after to counsel others who respect him.

It was while growing up in Birmingham, Alabama that Hunt was inspired to become an attorney by the influence of a mentor worthy of respect. Retired Judge H.W. “Bucky” McMillan coached Hunt’s youth basketball team, and Hunt, who admired the Judge’s fair demeanor, believed that trait must have developed from the Judge’s practice of law.

After graduating from The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Hunt pursued his law degree from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University and has practiced law at Cory Watson Attorneys ever since. His areas of focus include Products Liability, Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation, and Motor Vehicle Accident Litigation, among others.

In the community, Hunt pays forward the leadership and guidance learned from Judge McMillan as an Assistant Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 96. And when he’s not in court or in the office, Hunt enjoys backpacking, hunting, and spending time with his family.

Though Hunt has earned recognition for helping the firm achieve notable verdicts and settlements for clients, the part of being an attorney Hunt finds most rewarding is helping people come to grips with their situation and guiding them through to the other side. His proudest accomplishments are the trust and respect the lawyers at Cory Watson have earned from their clients and the community.

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama State Bar

Court Admissions

  • The Supreme Court of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court of Nebraska
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

Appointments & Representative Cases

  • MDL 2657 In Re: Zofran (Ondansetron) Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 1842 In Re:Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 1785 In Re:Bausch & Lomb, Inc. Contact Solution Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 2092 In Re:Chantix (Varenicline) Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 2387 In Re: Coloplast Corp. Pelvic Support Systems Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 2325 In Re:American Medical Systems, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 2326 In Re:Boston Scientific Corp. Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 2327 In Re:Ethicon, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 2187 In Re:R. Bard, Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation

Honors, Awards & Accomplishments

  • Super Lawyers, Alabama Rising Stars, 2013-2016
  • Top 40 Under 40 National Trial Lawyers
  • Cumberland School of Law, Dean’s List
  • Eagle Scout-Troop 320, Birmingham, Alabama

Professional Affiliations

  • Alabama State Bar Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • Alabama Association for Justice
  • Birmingham Bar Association

Education

  • Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, J.D.
  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham, B.A.

Community Involvement

  • Assistant Scoutmaster, Boy Scout Troop 96
  • TumTum Tree Foundation, Board Member

Stephen Hunt Badges

R. Andrew Jones

Attorney

T: (205) 397-9654

F: (205) 324-7896

Learn More

Legal Secretary

Kristan Alexander

T: (205) 271-7195

R. Andrew “Andy” Jones is a man of action—inspired by those who take bold strides to help others. His favorite quote, “Do what you can, where you are, with what you have,” comes from the invigorating words of President Teddy Roosevelt, and it reflects the values that Andy holds dear in his personal and professional life.

From an early age, Andy was interested in becoming a lawyer in order to have a positive impact on others. Since joining Cory Watson Attorneys as a summer law clerk in 2011, Andy has quickly distinguished himself among his colleagues and clients. Within just three years of becoming an attorney, he was tapped as co-lead of the firm’s Asbestos Practice, where he has helped obtain over $15 million dollars in settlements for clients. He has also had success as a litigator by fighting for a case that had a positive impact on future wrongful death cases statewide.

In the community, Andy is involved in the Birmingham Bar Association and Alabama Association for Justice–specifically the sections of these organizations that allow young lawyers to share innovative ideas that lead to better results for their clients. Andy also mentors local college students looking to attend law school through Birmingham Southern College’s Panther Partnership Program. Among his accomplishments and awards, Jones has been a voice of influence as the Associate Editor for the Cumberland Law Review and as a contributing writer for the American Association for Justice’s Newsletter.

Before becoming an attorney at Cory Watson, Andy has always been a true Alabama native. He grew up in Alabaster, graduated from Shades Mountain Christian School in Bluff Park, attended The University of Alabama, earned his law degree at the Cumberland School of Law, and has never lived outside of North or Central Alabama. When he’s not in court or in the office, Andy and his family can be found outdoors enjoying the natural beauty of his home state. His favorite pastimes include hiking, rock climbing, and trail running.

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama State Bar

Court Admissions

  • The Supreme Court of Alabama
  • The United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama

Appointments & Representative Cases

  • MDL 2502 – In Re: Lipitor — Marketing Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 2691 – In Re: Viagra (Sildenafil Citrate) and Cialis (Tadalafil) Products Liability Litigation

Honors, Awards & Accomplishments

  • American Bankruptcy Institute Medal of Excellence
  • Cumberland School of Law, Scholar of Merit Award
  • Cumberland Law Review, Associate Editor
  • Dean Parham Williams Trial Competition, Finalist
  • “A Legal Perspective on Legionella,” in American Association for Justice Newsletter, Writer, Spring 2015

Professional Affiliations

  • Alabama State Bar Association
  • Birmingham Bar Association

Education

  • Cumberland School of Law, J.D.
  • The University of Alabama, B.A.

Hirlye "Ryan" Lutz

Principal

Co-Chair, Class Action & Consumer Fraud Litigation Practice

T: (205) 271-7106

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Legal Assistant

Jamie Taylor

T: (205) 271-7145

Ryan Lutz is a compassionate competitor. Inspired to enter the highly adversarial field of litigation after playing collegiate basketball, Ryan has successfully focused his competitive spirit toward helping those injured personally and economically by large corporations who place profits over safety and fairness. Ryan believes that helping people through the law gives ordinary people a voice, and his “win the day” approach to practicing law gives a powerful voice to those who need it.

Born and raised in Birmingham, Ryan earned his undergraduate degree from Auburn University before returning to Birmingham to pursue his Juris Doctor at Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. Since joining Cory Watson 11 years ago, Ryan served as class counsel for one certified nationwide class action against an automobile manufacturer, and two certified nationwide class actions against fireplace manufacturers. The fireplace manufacturers made dangerous glass front fireplaces that were severely injuring infants and toddlers who accidently touched the glass and suffered third degree burns. As a result of litigation, the fireplace industry changed its standards to require mandatory safety screens, preventing further harm to young children.

Ryan’s drive to help and connect to fellow citizens nationwide is evidenced by his work, his lifestyle, and his concern for children extends beyond the courtroom. He is a board member and current president of the Tumtum Tree Foundation, a charity that raises money for local children’s charities. The foundation has raised over $10,000,000.

When he’s not working, he and his wife are experiencing the joys of parenthood as they recently had their first child, Asher. Ryan also enjoys sports, exercise, travel, food, wine, and music.

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama State Bar

Court Admissions

  • The Supreme Court of Alabama
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Appointments & Representative Cases

  • Co-Lead Counsel for the Class, Rotandi v. Miles Industries, Ltd., N.D. Cal. 11-CV-02146
  • Co-Lead Counsel for the Class, Keilholtz v. Lennox, et. al., N.D. Cal., 08-CV-00836
  • Co-Lead Counsel for the Class, Banks v. Nissan North America, Inc., N.D. Cal. 11-CV-2022
  • Co-Lead Counsel, Batista v. Nissan North America, Inc., S.D. FL 14-cv-24728
  • Counsel for Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, Google, Inc. v. Jim Hood, Attorney General of the State of MS, S.D. MS 3:14-cv-981.
  • Co-Lead Counsel, Lisk v. Lumber One Wood Preserving, LLC, Appeal No. 14-11714, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11891 (11th Cir. Ala. July 10, 2015)
  • Counsel for Plaintiffs, In re: Oral Sodium Phosphate Solution-Based Products Liability Action, N.D. Ohio, Case No. 1:09-SP-80000
  • Co-Lead Counsel, City of Irondale v. Community Health Systems, Inc., Case No. 01-cv-2009-902547
  • Counsel, In re: Google Inc. Gmail Litigation, MDL No. 2430
  • In re Google Inc. Gmail Litig., Case No. 13-MD-02430-LHK, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172784 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 26, 2013)
  • Banks v. Nissan North Am., Inc., 301 F.R.D. 327 (N.D. Cal. 2013)
  • Panico v. BDR Thermea, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110056 (N.D. Cal. 2012)
  • Whelan v. BDR Thermea, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143129 (N.D. Cal. 2011)
  • Wallace v. Jackson, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113400 (M.D. Ala. 2010)
  • Ex parte Cmty. Health Sys. Prof’l Servs. Corp., 72 So. 3d 595 (Ala. 2011)
  • Keilholtz v. Lennox Hearth Prods., 268 F.R.D. 330 (N.D. Cal. 2010)
  • Wallace v. Jackson, 667 F. Supp. 2d 1267 (M.D. Ala. 2009)

Honors, Awards & Accomplishments

  • Super Lawyers, Alabama Rising Stars, 2012-2015
  • Birmingham Magazine, Top Birmingham Attorneys
  • Birmingham Business Journal Rising Star
  • Mealey’s Pharmaceutical Superconference, “Digitek-An Overview,” Guest Speaker
  • HB Litigation Conference, “Fleet Phospho-Soda-Over the Counter Drug Litigation,” Guest Speaker
  • Alabama Association for Justice, “Spotting a Class Action—Don’t Miss Your Opportunity,” Guest Speaker
  • Full athletic basketball scholarship to The University of Alabama at Huntsville
  • The University of Alabama at Huntsville, Dean’s List
  • Auburn University, Dean’s List
  • Cumberland School of Law, Dean’s List
  • Cumberland School of Law, Scholar of Merit Award

Professional Affiliations

  • Alabama State Bar Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • Alabama Association for Justice, Emerging Leaders Section
  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • TumTum Tree Foundation, Board Member and current President

Education

  • Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, J.D.
  • The University of Alabama at Huntsville
  • Auburn University, B.S.

Community Involvement

  • TumTum Tree Foundation

Ryan Lutz Badges

Lauren S. Miller

Attorney

T: (205) 271-7168

Learn More

Legal Assistant

Ashley Potts

T: (205) 397-9653

Lauren Miller has always looked up to her father, a cancer research scientist, whose hard work and determination has positively impacted the lives of others. She was inspired by his work from an early age, hoping to one day have a career that allowed her to dedicate herself to serving those in need. Lauren found her passion in law and is devoted to seeking justice for her clients.

Lauren represents clients injured from dangerous drug use and sexual assault while advocating for students and families affected by campus sexual violence. As an understanding counsel for her clients, Lauren’s inclination to help people shines through her dedicated work.

Lauren was born in Palo Alto, California and grew up in Arkansas. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University, Lauren moved to Alabama to pursue her law degree. With parents who were born and raised in Alabama, Lauren has a strong connection to the community. When Lauren is not practicing law, she serves as a Small Group Leader at Church of the Highlands and enjoys spending time with her husband, Michael, and two young daughters in Homewood.

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama State Bar

Court Admissions

  • The Supreme Court of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama

Honors, Awards & Accomplishments

  • Cumberland School of Law, Dean’s List
  • Middle Tennessee State University, Dean’s List

Professional Affiliations

  • Alabama State Bar Association
  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • Alabama Association for Justice
  • National Alliance of Victims’ Rights Attorneys & Advocates

Education

  • Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, J.D.
  • Middle Tennessee State University, B.S.

Ryan Myers

Attorney

T: (205) 397-9623

F: (205) 324-7896

Learn More

Legal Assistant

Jamie Taylor

T: (205) 271-7145

Ryan Myers has long noticed that the law affects every part of our daily lives—driving to work, buying a product, and owning property serve as just a few examples. Now, as a practicing lawyer, he enthusiastically helps his fellow Alabamians navigate the law as it pertains to them.

According to Ryan, the most effective legal work comes from a personal investment in every client’s case, and he approaches the law with a tenacity that is best summed up by former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, “If you live long enough, you'll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you'll be a better person. It's how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.”

Born and raised in Birmingham, he attended Auburn University before returning to Birmingham to pursue his Juris Doctor at Samford University Cumberland School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude. He now gives back to the community that raised him through his involvement in the Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program, which helps provide free legal services to low-income residents. In 2015, the program won a national award for its work helping residents with civil court issues.

Ryan’s passion for sports is also uniquely Alabamian—he follows Auburn football and is a big supporter of the Birmingham Hammers, the city’s up-and-coming soccer team. He also loves spending time with his dog, Kirby, an American bulldog/lab mix.

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama State Bar

Court Admissions

  • The Supreme Court of Alabama

Honors, Awards & Accomplishments

  • Cumberland Law Review, Associate Editor
  • Cumberland School of Law, Dean’s List
  • Cumberland School of Law, Scholar of Merit
  • Cumberland School of Law, Merit Scholarship Recipient
  • Judge Abraham Caruthers, Fellow

Professional Affiliations

  • Alabama Association for Justice
  • Alabama State Bar Association

Education

  • Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, J.D., magna cum laude
  • Auburn University, B.A.

Adam W. Pittman

Attorney

T: (205) 271-7123

Learn More

Legal Assistant

Jamie Taylor

T: (205) 271-7145

Practice Areas

Adam Pittman became a lawyer to fight for those who need help. After beginning his practice, Adam litigated civil rights and discrimination lawsuits on behalf of teachers, employees, and government workers. Adam now litigates against some of the most powerful corporations, and he fights to hold them accountable for defective products, fraud, and other deceptive practices.

Adam is honored to be the person his clients trust when the stakes are high. It’s not enough just to win—Adam works hard every day to change corporate behavior and make consumers safer. “I became a lawyer because I wanted my work to make a difference for real people.”

Protecting consumers in class actions and complicated product defect cases requires hard work, strategy, and innovation. Adam represented the plaintiff in Lisk v. Lumber One, an important case before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, where these traits helped open the doors for consumers to bring class actions in Alabama’s federal courts for the first time.

Adam graduated from The University of Alabama School of Law in 2011, where he was named the best senior editor of the Alabama Law Review. Adam received his undergraduate degree from Auburn University, and grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. Adam continues to hold strong roots in the community. Adam is a member of the Alabama Association for Justice, and is actively involved in the Association’s Emerging Leaders section. He is admitted to practice in the highest state and federal courts in Alabama, and he handles complex litigation throughout the country.

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama State Bar

Court Admissions

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
  • The Supreme Court of Alabama

Honors, Awards & Accomplishments

  • Alabama Law Review, Senior Editor
  • Maynard, Cooper & Gale Award, 2011

Professional Affiliations

  • American Association for Justice
  • Alabama Association for Justice, Emerging Leaders Section
  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • The Rotaract Club of Birmingham

Education

  • The University of Alabama School of Law, J.D.
  • Auburn University, B.A.
attorney-kristian-rasmussen-edit

Kristian Rasmussen

Principal

Co-Chair, Drug & Medical Device Litigation Practice

T: (205) 271-7162

F: (205) 324-7896

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Legal Assistant

Somer Streetman

T: (205) 271-7162

Kristian Rasmussen’s reason for becoming a lawyer is really quite simple: he has a passion for helping people. Kristian began his legal career as a Judge Advocate General officer in the U.S. Navy. His time serving as a JAG officer affirmed his belief that as a lawyer he could truly help people.

Kristian has been practicing law since 1999, and has been at Cory Watson Attorneys since 2007. He sees the law as the great equalizer for honest, ordinary people who have been injured by the actions of large corporations. Kristian is keenly focused on his clients, taking his work very personal as he strives to represent each client as he would represent one of his own family members.

His accomplishments have earned Kristian a reputation as a skilled legal advocate who practices with the highest degree of integrity. Early in his career, Kristian was appointed by U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle at age 28 to be co-lead trial counsel in a large multistate consumer class action. That same year, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer appointed Kristian to help lead a large multidistrict litigation helping thousands of individuals from across the country. Kristian has also won multiple million dollar verdicts and settlements for his clients.

While Kristian’s courtroom experience is impressive, he makes time for fun outside of work. With three kids and two dogs, his home life is just as busy as his work life. During the school year, you’ll find him on the sidelines coaching one of the teams for his kids’ sporting events. They also enjoy hiking, hunting and trips to the beach.

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama State Bar
  • Florida State Bar
  • U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals
  • Law Society of Upper Canada, Foreign Legal Consultant

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals
  • Law Society of Upper Canada, Foreign Legal Consultant

Representative Cases

  • MDL No. 2691, In Re: Viagra (Sildenafil Citrate) Products Liability Litigation, Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee
  • MDL No. 2092, In ReChantix (varenicline) Products Liability Litigation, Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee
  • MDL No. 1699, In ReBextra and Celebrex Marketing, Sales Practices and Product Liability Litigation, 391 F.Supp.2d 1377 Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, Co-Chair Discovery Committee
  • MDL No. 1632, In ReHigh Sulfur Content Gasoline Products Liability Litigation, 344 F.Supp.2d 755 – Lead Trial Counsel , Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee
  • MDL No. 2428, In Re: Fresenius Granuflo/Naturalyte Dialysate Products Liability Litigation, Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee,
  • Paramore v. State Farm Automobile Ins. Co., No. 1D07-3781; Affirmed, June 27, 2008; Fla. 1st DCA, No. 1D07-4930
  • United States of America v. Hammond, 371 F.3d 776 (11th Cir. 2000)

Honors, Awards & Accomplishments

  • The American Trial Lawyers Association, Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • New York City Bar Association, Trial Advocacy Award
  • Special Assistant United States Attorney, Northern District of Florida
  • United States Navy, Officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps

Professional Affiliations

  • American Association for Justice, Leaders Forum
  • Florida Justice Association
  • Alabama Association for Justice
  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • Escambia-Santa Rosa County Bar Association
  • First Judicial Circuit Trial Lawyers Association

Education

  • Mississippi College School of Law, J.D.
  • The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, B.A.
  • United States Naval War College

Publications

  • Chantix: The Next Mass TortAAJ, Section on Toxic, Environmental & Pharmaceutical Torts; Vol. 15, No. 2, Spring 2008
  • Farm Bill Opens Door for Disadvantaged FarmersAAJ, Civil Rights, Vol. 16, No. 1, Fall 2008
  • Bextra – No Different Than Vioxx ATLA, Section on Toxic & Environmental Torts, Vol. 12, No. 2, Spring 2005

Kristian Rasmussen Award Badges

 

J. Curt Tanner

Attorney

T: (205) 271-7137

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Legal Assistant

Felicia Oliver

T: (205) 271-7620

Practice Areas

J. Curt Tanner knew he wanted to have a career in law from an early age. As a teenager, his father was badly injured in an accident. The legal team that represented his father made a big impact on Curt and his family, and the experience inspired him to go to law school. He knew he wanted to help people through difficult times the way he and his family were helped through his father’s accident.

Curt began his legal career by representing individuals against some of the largest banks and investment firms in the world. Curt’s dedication to securing justice for his clients allowed him to help obtain a seven figure settlement in a Ponzi scheme case that involved multiple victims. Curt’s desire for justice and drive to help people continues to characterize his practice.

Curt was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. He attended the Cumberland School of Law after graduating from Auburn University. Curt is continuously involved in the local community. He believes that a personal injury lawyer should serve the community not just with their legal needs, but with any needs that will one day allow them to contribute back to the community themselves. Curt is involved in the Moot Court program at Cumberland School of Law, his alma mater. He sees a lot of value in helping law students develop skills that will make them successful attorneys.

When he’s not perusing justice on behalf of his clients, Curt enjoys traveling with his wife, Kathryn, and spending time at the lake with their dog.

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama State Bar

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • Supreme Court of Alabama

Honors, Awards & Accomplishments

  • Henry Upson Sims Moot Court Board, National Team Associate Justice
  • Cumberland School of Law, Dean’s List
  • Cumberland School of Law, Scholar of Merit

Professional Affiliations

  • Alabama State Bar Association
  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • Alabama Association for Justice, Emerging Leaders Section

Education

  • Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, J.D.
  • Auburn University, B.A.

Brett Turnbull

Principal

Co-Chair, Complex Litigation Practice

T: (205) 271-7121

F: (205) 324-7896

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Paralegal

Nicole LeMier

T: (205) 271-7167

Practice Areas

"The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things." --Ronald Reagan

Brett Turnbull has embraced that philosophy in distinguishing himself as a leading trial lawyer recognized for his jury verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients killed or injured by the negligent and wrongful actions of others. When he goes before a jury, he realizes he has one job, to get justice for his client by proving the claims and guiding the jury to award a fair and reasonable verdict. Respect for individuals and for the justice system led Brett, a University of Alabama graduate to pursue law studies at Cumberland School of Law, where he discovered early on that his true passion was trial law. A class leader, Brett won national recognition for his trial advocacy skills.

That leadership track has continued throughout Brett’s legal career, and he gives back to his profession, serving in leadership positions with the Alabama Association for Justice, Alabama State Bar, and Southern Trial Lawyers Association. Brett has more than a decade of successful courtroom experience in complex litigation including trucking cases, products liability, automobile defects, and nursing home malpractice.

Brett is a dedicated husband and father of four. On the weekends, you’ll find him at the ballpark, enjoying CrossFit, or a round of golf.

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama Bar Association

Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of Alabama
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Claims
  • U.S. District Court – Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court – Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court – Southern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court – District of Colorado

Honors, Awards & Accomplishments

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating, 2013-Present
  • National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40
  • Super Lawyers, 2013-2016
  • Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, 2011-2012

Professional Affiliations

  • Alabama Association for Justice – Emerging Leaders Section Chair (2014), Trial Contributor, Executive Committee, Speaker at both Emerging Leaders Seminars and AAJ Statewide Seminars.
  • Alabama State Bar – Young Lawyers Section, Lawyer Referral Service, Young Lawyer Executive Committee (2006)
  • Birmingham Bar Association – Young Lawyers Section, Jefferson County Lawyer Mentoring Program
  • Southern Trial Lawyers Association – Alabama Board of Governors (2012-2013)

Education

  • Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, J.D.
  • University of Alabama, Bachelor of Science, International Finance
  • University of Alabama, Bachelor of Arts, German

Brett Turnbull Badges

F. Jerome Tapley

Principal

Co-Chair, Class Action & Consumer Fraud Litigation Practice

T: (205) 271-7112

F: (205) 324-7896

Learn More

Legal Assistant

Jamie Taylor

T: (205) 271-7145

Practice Areas

For Jerome Tapley, the decision to become a lawyer was a deeply personal one. When he was a boy, a family member died in a work-place accident. Tapley witnessed first-hand how lawyers could make a difference in people’s lives. The trial lawyers who represented Tapley’s family successfully held the responsible party accountable for the tragedy. Tapley knew then he wanted to be a trial lawyer. His road toward achieving that goal was not easy, but hard work has never been an obstacle for Tapley.

Tapley was born in Alexander City, Alabama, a hard-working, cotton mill town that taught him the values of persistence, keeping his word, and doing his best. The lessons he learned from his community propelled him to become the first college graduate in his family, graduating from Auburn University Montgomery and earning his law degree through Cumberland School of Law at Samford University.

Tapley, now a principal at Corey Watson Attorneys, focuses 100 percent on courtroom litigation, including Class Action, Mass Tort, and Products Liability litigation. He’s admitted to all state and federal courts in Alabama and Florida.

When he’s not in court or at the offices of Cory Watson, Tapley devotes time to the Alabama Association for Justice and the American Association for Justice. He and his family are members of Haven Field Community Church where he serves as Chairman of the Governing Board and on the Elder Team.

Tapley’s hobbies include doing anything mechanical, woodworking, furniture building, hunting, and fishing. He particularly enjoys bird hunting with his dog, Duke. Though Tapley has a variety of hobbies and interests, one of his favorite quotes speaks to his hard-working background: “"No one has ever drowned in sweat.”- Lou Holtz.

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama State Bar
  • Florida State Bar

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana

Appointments & Representative Cases

  • Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel, In re: Google Inc. Gmail Litigation, MDL No. 2430
  • Co-Lead Class Counsel, Rotandi v. Miles Industries, Ltd., N.D. Cal. 11-CV-02146
  • Class Counsel, Banks v. Nissan North America, Inc., N.D. Cal. 11-cv-02022
  • Co-Lead Class Counsel, Keilholtz v. Lennox, et. al., N.D. Cal., 08-CV-00836
  • Class Counsel, Craft v. North Seattle Comm. College Foundation, M.D. Ga. Case No. 3:07-cv-132-CDL
  • Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, In Re: General Motors Corporation Dex-Cool Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 1562

Honors, Awards & Accomplishments

  • Top 40 Under 40 National Trial Lawyers
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated Martindale-Hubbell
  • Super Lawyers, 2011-2016
  • Omicron Delta Kappa, Leadership Honors Society
  • Order of Omega, Greek Honors Society
  • Cumberland School of Law, Trial Advocacy Board, Scholar of Merit
  • American Journal of Trial Advocacy
  • Auburn University Montgomery, Student Government, President

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Alabama State Bar Association
  • Florida Bar Association
  • Alabama Association for Justice, Emerging Leaders Section
  • American Association for Justice

Community Involvement

  • Haven Field Community Church, Chairman of the Governing Board, the Elder Team

Select Reported Cases

  • Lisk Lumber One Wood Preserving, LLC (11th Cir. 2015) 792 F.3d 1331.
  • Google, Inc. v. Hood (5th Cir. May 18, 2016, No. 15-60205) 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9109.
  • Brandon Banks v. Nissan North Am., Inc. (D.Cal. 2013) 301 F.R.D. 327.
  • Batista v. Nissan North Am., (S.D.Fla. Dec. 7, 2015, Civil Action No. 14-24728-Civ) 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177227.
  • Keilholtz v. Lennox Hearth Prods. (N.D.Cal. 2010) 268 F.R.D. 330.

Education

  • Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, J.D.
  • Auburn University Montgomery, B.S.

Jerome Tapley Badges

Mitchell Theodore

Attorney

T: (205) 271-7178

Learn More

Legal Assistant

Patricia Selzer

T: (205) 271-7158

Mitchell Theodore holds the South close to his heart. He was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, and attended undergraduate and law school at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Through the practice of law, Mitchell is able to help his clients in Alabama, and throughout the country, obtain the justice they deserve.

Although he doesn’t come from a family of lawyers, Mitchell has always had a desire to help people. He sees law as a profession that allows him to do just that. At the end of a day’s work, Mitchell says it’s gratifying to know that every day he’s able to help someone in need.

Mitchell is an attorney that goes above and beyond. Within the first year of his legal career, Mitchell obtained licenses in both Alabama and Florida. Since then, he’s had the opportunity to represent clients in nationwide litigations against some of the largest companies in the world. Helping individuals fight against the wrongdoings of these massive corporations drives Mitchell on a daily basis to work hard to obtain justice for the victims he represents. He is admitted to practice in the highest state and federal courts in Alabama, and he handles complex litigation throughout the country.

Mitchell and his wife enjoy any outdoor activity and travelling in their spare time. They reside in Birmingham with their two dogs, Goose and Sanka.

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama State Bar
  • Florida State Bar

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama

Honors, Awards & Accomplishments

  • Journal of the Legal Profession, Junior Editor
  • Dean’s Community Service Award
  • CALI Award, Contracts II
  • CALI Award, Select Problems in Criminal Law

Professional Affiliations

  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • Alabama Association for Justice
  • American Association for Justice
  • Alabama State Bar Association
  • Florida Bar Association

Education

  • The University of Alabama School of Law, J.D.
  • The University of Alabama, B.A., magna cum laude

Nina Towle

Attorney

T: (205) 271-7197

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Paralegal

Letrice Stovall

T: (205) 271-7154

By the time she was 5-years-old, Nina Towle had decided to become a lawyer. This prodigious desire to help people through the law began as young Nina watched re-runs of her favorite show, Matlock. This fictional portrayal of a lawyer made quite an impression on her, planting seeds of justice and service in her young mind.

As Nina grew, so did her interest in the history of law. She majored in history at the University of Georgia and studied historic legal victories of the civil rights era, focusing on justice-minded attorneys like Morris Dees and Thurgood Marshall. Then Nina’s childhood dream became reality in 2014. After graduating cum laude from Cumberland School of Law and passing the bar, she began practicing law at Cory Watson.

During her first year of practice, she was a part of the first bellwether trial team for a massive water contamination case out of West Virginia and Ohio. The trial resulted in a $1.6-million-dollar verdict for the plaintiff who had developed kidney cancer as a result of her exposure to the toxic water. This was an unbelievably rewarding end to her first year of practice.

Nina and her husband enjoy tackling do-it-yourself projects over the weekend and reside in their new home in Vestavia with their two very active border collies, Wyatt and Fin.

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama State Bar

Court Admissions

  • The Supreme Court of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama

Honors, Awards & Accomplishments

  • American Journal of Trial Advocacy, Associate Editor
  • Cumberland School of Law, Scholar of Merit Award
  • Cumberland School of Law, Dean’s List

Professional Affiliations

  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • Alabama State Bar Association
  • Alabama Association for Justice
  • American Association for Justice

Education

  • Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, J.D., cum laude
  • University of Georgia, B.A.
Leila H. Watson

Leila Hirayama Watson

Principal

Co-Founder

T: (205) 271-7102

F: (205) 324-7896

Learn More

Legal Secretary

Charlotte Heath

T: (205) 271-7130

Practice Areas

Leila Watson has dedicated her life to helping people through the law. It began when she was a social work student on a clinical team that evaluated children with developmental, physical, and mental disabilities. The mother of a little boy who was a patient at the clinic gave Leila a legal brief about her son. After reading the brief, she knew that the lawyer who wrote it was doing more to help that little boy and others like him, than she could do in her career as a social worker. At that moment, Leila decided to go to law school.

Leila Watson has practiced with Ernie Cory, co-founder of Cory Watson Attorneys, for 33 years. She has worked on precedent-setting cases with state and national implications. Leila represented Jett Williams and proved that Jett is the natural daughter of famous singer and songwriter, Hank Williams, Sr., and in the process updated Alabama law so no other heir would have to shoulder the burden of finding their inheritance on their own. Leila also obtained the first double-digit million-dollar wrongful death verdict in Alabama–$15,000,000.

Not only has Leila worked on big cases, she is also well-known for taking time to negotiate car accident cases, probate issues, municipal cases, and talking to people about whatever is disrupting their daily lives and finding solutions for them.

Ernie Cory convinced her as a young lawyer to handle cases on subjects she knew nothing about: “it’s not what you don’t know, it’s all about what you can learn.” So, she learned things like how to drive a tractor-trailer truck, set up a fuse box, maintain a hospital record, sell life insurance, and a host of other skills to present her cases at trial.

Leila’s legal skills and passion for studying the law are recognized by her colleagues. She was appointed by the Alabama Supreme Court to the Alabama Pattern Jury Instructions Committee–Civil in 1998. This Committee is rewriting the civil jury instructions in plain language to make the instructions understandable to lay persons. She served as the chair of the Alabama Association for Justice Amicus Curiae Brief Committee for years, responsible for steering the committee that selects and writes appellate briefs on issues of importance to ALAJ members. In 2016, Leila was elected President of the Birmingham Bar Association.

While Leila is a passionate and dedicated lawyer, she is also a family-oriented woman who loves to volunteer. She and her family are very involved in the Birmingham community, supporting local charities that focus on children’s education and health and making Birmingham a great place to raise a family. Leila loves to cook and is always looking forward to her weekly Sunday night dinner with friends and family.

Leila approaches her life at home and at the office with this simple quote:

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” -Dr. Seuss

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama State Bar

Court Admissions

  • The Supreme Court of the United States
  • The Supreme Court of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court of Nebraska
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

Appointments

  • Member, Alabama Pattern Jury Instructions Committee- Civil, 1998-present

Honors, Awards & Accomplishments

  • Birmingham Business Journal, Top 40 Under 40 All-Stars: The Ultimate Top 40 Class
  • Birmingham Bar Association, President-Elect, 2016
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2008-2014, 2016
  • Super Lawyers, 2008-2015
  • Super Lawyers, Top 50 Alabama Attorneys
  • Super Lawyers, Top 25 Women Attorneys in Alabama, 2015
  • Avvo Top Women Attorneys, 2015
  • B-Metro Women Attorneys to Watch, 2015
  • Alabama Pattern Jury Instructions Committee- Civil, Member, appointed 1998
  • Alabama Association for Justice, Champion of Justice, January 2008
  • Birmingham Business Journal, Top Birmingham Women, 2009
  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated Martindale-Hubbell
  • The Supreme Court of Alabama, Law Clerk to Associate Justice Janie L. Shores, 1983-1984

Professional Affiliations

  • Birmingham Bar Association, President-Elect, 2016
  • Alabama Association for Justice, Member, Executive Committee, Chair of Amicus Brief Committee
  • American Association for Justice, STEP
  • American Board of Trial Advocates

Education

  • University of Maryland School of Law, J.D.
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, B.S.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

  • Alabama School Readiness Alliance Pre-K Task Force
  • Studio by the Tracks
  • Susan G. Komen® North Central Alabama
  • Leadership Birmingham 2016-2017
  • Childcare Resources (2007-2012)

Leila Watson Award Badges

 

 

 

Richard A. Wright

Attorney

T: (205) 271-7189

F: (205) 324-7896

Learn More

Legal Assistant

Monique Doss

T: (205) 271-7166

When asked how he got into the legal field, Richard Wright says it’s all in the family. Growing up with a civic-minded older brother taught him that the law was a way to create meaningful change for individuals and in the community. As a lawyer, he can help clients level the playing field against forces much bigger than themselves.

Now, just over a decade after he earned a Juris Doctor from Samford University Cumberland School of Law, Richard has made a career out of helping injury victims facing some of the worst circumstances of their lives seek positive results.

Raised in Columbus, Georgia, Richard moved to Birmingham to earn his bachelor’s degree at the University of Alabama Birmingham and never looked back. A father of four children, he’s laid down roots in the community as a member of Dawson Memorial Baptist Church. Richard also shares his skills with neighbors in need through the Alabama State Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program.

In his spare time, Richard spends time with his family and enjoys reading fiction, running, and watching the Atlanta Braves and Falcons, Auburn Tigers and his alma mater, UAB.

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama State Bar

Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama

Representative Cases

  • MDL 1842: In Re: Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 2197: In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 2244: In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 2329: In re: Wright Medical Technology, Inc., Conserve Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 2391: In re: Biomet M2A Magnum Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 2441: In Re: Stryker Rejuvenate ABGII Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation
  • MDL 2443: In Re: E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company C-8 Personal Injury Litigation

Honors, Awards & Accomplishments

  • Birmingham Bar Association Future Leaders Forum
  • Henry Upson Sims Moot Court, Executive Board

Professional Affiliations

  • Alabama State Bar Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • Alabama State Bar, Volunteer Lawyer Program
  • American Bar Association

Education

  • Cumberland School of Law, J.D.
  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham, B.S.

Charles R. Crowder

[in memoriam 1937-2010]

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Charles Rogers Crowder, retired Jefferson County Circuit Judge and a founding shareholder of Cory Watson Attorneys, died January 15, 2010, at the age of 72.

Judge Crowder's legal career spanned 48 years. He first served as law clerk to the Hon. Walter Gewin, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. He then returned to Birmingham, where he was engaged in the private practice of law until his appointment by Gov. George Wallace in 1973 to the Tenth Judicial Circuit in Jefferson County. He was a circuit court judge in the criminal courts until 1984, when he made the rare move to the civil courts.

He was elected presiding judge for the circuit in 1991 and served until his retirement in 1992. He was slated to serve as the next president of the Alabama Circuit Judges Association at the time of his judicial retirement. In 1992 he joined the law firm of Johnson & Cory and in 1995 was one of the founding shareholders of Cory Watson Attorneys.

He loved jury trials and returned to the courtroom as a lawyer and advocate. His greatest achievements in the law were not the famous cases he presided on as a judge or any large verdicts he won as a lawyer, but the service he gave to the citizens and his clients and the hundreds of young lawyers he mentored who are practicing law today.

He was a scholar and avid reader. He had an amazing memory and often quoted lengthy passages from the Bible, Shakespeare, and historical documents accurately and always appropriately. He had an extensive vocabulary and knew the most wonderfully descriptive words and phrases. He was a convincing and emotional speaker and relished an opportunity to pontificate. His wit and emotions were irrepressible.

A graduate of Phillips High School in Birmingham, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Auburn University in 1959 and was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He received his law degree from The University of Alabama Law School in 1962. His law school honors included membership in the Bench and Bar Legal Honor Society, the Alabama Law Review, and serving as president of the Sigma Delta Kappa Law Fraternity. His zeal for Auburn football is legendary.

Judge Crowder is survived by his wife of 34 years, five children, and four grandchildren. He was a member of the Alabama State Bar, Birmingham Bar Association, and the American Association for Justice. He was a longtime member of Canterbury United Methodist Church and was a past Potentate of Zamora Shrine Temple in Birmingham.

The Charles R. Crowder Memorial Fellowship has been established in his honor at the Birmingham Bar Foundation to promote the development of qualified college students in philanthropy and advocacy.