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Anne G. Burrows

Anne G. Burrows is a member in the Firm’s Athens office. She practices in the areas of real estate, probate, estate planning, municipal, education, and commercial law. She received her J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law where she was a member of the Law and Psychology Review. She obtained her B.A., cum laude, from the University of Richmond and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Mrs. Burrows previously held the position of Deputy District Attorney for Limestone County.

Mrs. Burrows is past President of the Limestone County Bar Association. She is also a member of Elkmont United Methodist Church.

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Douglas W. Fink

Douglas W. Fink is a Member in the Firm’s Mobile office. He is a member of the Firm’s Life, Health and Disability, Admiralty, Product Liability, Insurance, and Personal Injury Groups. His litigation practice and experience encompasses these and a wide variety of other litigation areas, including commercial litigation, premises liability, underground storage tank liability, and professional liability.

Mr. Fink has tried jury and non-jury cases in both State and Federal Courts and has tried cases in arbitration. He has represented a wide range of clients, including insurance companies, insurance brokers, pharmacists, pharmacies, manufacturers, oil companies, shipyards, shipping and transportation firms, vessel owners, and airlines.

Mr. Fink is a member of the Commercial Litigation, Drug and Medical Device and Professional Liability Committees of the Defense Research Institute. He is a member of the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association and has served on its editorial board. He is also a member of the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute and has been elected as a Port Director.

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Jack P. Russell

Jack Russell has represented private equity companies, developers, and lenders through all phases of real estate development and lending. His practice focuses on the finance, acquisition, and dispositions of office, multi-family, hotels, restaurants, and subdivisions throughout the Sunbelt region.

He also has significant experience acting as outside general counsel, advising clients on transactional matters, business litigation, and all phases of corporate development and governance. In particular, he frequently advises general contractors, community banks, non-traditional lenders, and subcontractors.

Representative transactions include the purchase and sale of industrial manufacturing facilities; merger of a multiple unit franchisee entity; and the sale of a real estate development company to an outside equity group. In addition, he has recently represented commercial lenders, community banks, and loan servicing companies through various mixed-use developments, real estate syndications, the refinancing of commercial warehousing facilities, and hotel transactions.

Jack also has significant experience in the single family sector, having been lead counsel for Alabama and Georgia-based developers and national homebuilders through numerous subdivisions.

He has been a frequent speaker, having spoken or presented at the University of Alabama School of Law, Samford University, Birmingham Entrepreneur’s Organization (“EO”), ABICLE, Law Review CLE, and the National Business Institute.

Douglas W. Fink

Douglas W. Fink is a Member in the Firm’s Mobile office. He is a member of the Firm’s Life, Health and Disability, Admiralty, Product Liability, Insurance, and Personal Injury Groups. His litigation practice and experience encompasses these and a wide variety of other litigation areas, including commercial litigation, premises liability, underground storage tank liability, and professional liability.

Mr. Fink has tried jury and non-jury cases in both State and Federal Courts and has tried cases in arbitration. He has represented a wide range of clients, including insurance companies, insurance brokers, pharmacists, pharmacies, manufacturers, oil companies, shipyards, shipping and transportation firms, vessel owners, and airlines.

Mr. Fink is a member of the Commercial Litigation, Drug and Medical Device and Professional Liability Committees of the Defense Research Institute. He is a member of the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association and has served on its editorial board. He is also a member of the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute and has been elected as a Port Director.

Matthew R. Brooks

Matthew R. Brooks is an associate with Hand Arendall Harrison . His practice is focused on Civil Litigation, dealing primarily in insurance claims, commercial disputes, and construction litigation.

Matt earned his Juris Doctorate from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida where he also served as the Vice President of the Student Veterans Law Symposium. Matt grew up in southeastern Kentucky and earned his B.A. from Morehead State University (KY). After completing his undergraduate degree in 2004, Matt spent 9 years in the U.S. Marines serving in ground infantry and armor occupational specialties. During this service, he completed multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. In addition, Matt spent 2 years as a project officer in future technologies at the Warfighting Laboratory in Quantico, VA.

Mr. Brooks joined Hand Arendall Harrison Sale in July 2021.

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Banking and Financial Services Litigation

In today’s challenging environment, the lawyers in our firm’s Banking and Financial Services Litigation Practice Group serve a critical role in helping banks, financial institutions and other clients navigate complex litigation while making informed decisions that simultaneously address their short-term needs and their long-term best interests. Our lawyers provide efficient, strategic and effective representation for disputes involving all banking and financial services-related issues as well as the multitude of other issues that frequently lead to litigation for banks and other entities.

Litigation Counsel for All Types of Disputes in the Banking and Financial Services Sectors

The lawyers in Hand Arendall Harrison Sale’s Banking and Financial Services Litigation Practice Group represent the firm’s clients in a broad spectrum of banking and financial services litigation. Our experience includes achieving favorable results for financial institutions and other clients in matters involving:

  • Class actions
  • Consumer protection
  • Customer contracts
  • Fiduciary duty and related claims
  • Fraud
  • Lender liability
  • Loan recovery
  • Trust litigation

Our clients in the banking and financial services industry include banks, finance companies, mortgage bankers and brokers, asset management and financial services companies, servicers, trusts and trustees, and lease and finance companies. We rely on the insights gained from decades of representing some of the country’s leading banking and financial services entities to help our clients make informed and strategic decisions during discovery and pre-trial practice, during settlement negotiations, at trial, and on appeal.

Representative Matters

With decades of experience in banking and financial services litigation, our lawyers have won many notable cases at the trial and appellate levels. Some examples of our recent successes include:

  • Successfully defended a national financial services company against claims of improper marketing practices in the sale of variable annuities. Our representation included the defense of regulatory reviews and investigations conducted by multiple state attorneys general and state securities and insurance commissions.
  • Secured a directed verdict in favor of a bank in a lawsuit seeking $13 million in damages for our client’s alleged breach of a commitment letter.
  • Successfully defended against and negotiated a favorable settlement in a nationwide class action attacking bankruptcy proof of claim fees.
  • Successfully defended a national bank in three class action lawsuits alleging fraudulent bankruptcy affidavit practices.

Speak with an Attorney in Our Banking and Financial Services Litigation Practice Group

If you would like to speak with a lawyer about our banking and financial services we encourage you to get in touch. Call or contact us online to speak with a member of our Banking and Financial Services Litigation Practice Group today.

Litigation Services

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Lisa Darnley Cooper

Lisa Darnley Cooper is a member in the Firm’s Mobile, Alabama office and is a member of the Firm’s labor and employment and litigation groups.

Lisa’s pragmatic and thorough approach to her clients’ matters allows her to skillfully answer these common questions: How can we best minimize risks to our business and employees? Can or should we do “this”? We did “this,” now what? How can we do “this” better?

She focuses primarily on employment-related and business litigation, and her experience includes defending employers in discrimination, harassment, retaliation, FMLA, and FLSA proceedings at the administrative level and in state and federal courts. Lisa routinely advises clients on risk mitigation and compliance issues related to discrimination, harassment, terminations or reductions in force, and reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She has extensive experience drafting employee handbooks and workplace policies, contracts, and non-competition and non-solicitation agreements. She is frequently called upon to conduct a variety of workplace investigations or audits. Lisa also often assists the Firm’s transactional lawyers with employment related issues in mergers and acquisitions. Her work portfolio spans numerous industries and workplace settings including transportation and trucking, healthcare, manufacturing, construction, retail, utilities, automotive, education, tourism, and municipalities as well as state agencies.

Complementing her employment practice, Lisa assists businesses and municipalities with ADA accessibility and/or Fair Housing Act (FHA) compliance. She has handled numerous matters defending against private litigants and complaints or investigations originating with the DOJ or HUD.

Prior to joining the Firm, Lisa served as a law clerk to the Honorable Charles R. Butler, then Chief District Court Judge for the Southern District of Alabama.

Ginger P. Gaddy

Ginger P. Gaddy is a member of the Firm and practices in the Public Finance and Economic Development Practice Group. She also leads the Firm’s Tax, Trust and Estate Planning Practice Area. Ms. Gaddy’s primary practice includes serving as bond counsel, disclosure counsel, special tax counsel and borrower’s counsel in public financings. Her clients include hospitals, utility systems, municipalities, counties and owners and developers of student housing.

Ginger’s practice also includes general estate planning and probate work from simple wills and trusts to complex estate/gift tax minimization techniques.

During law school, Ginger served as Associate Editor of the American Journal of Trial Advocacy. She is a member of the Alabama Bar Association, the Mobile County Bar Association and the National Association of Bond Lawyers. Ginger has served on the steering committee and as a panelist for Bond Attorneys Workshop sponsored by the National Association of Bond Lawyers, and is the former President of the Alabama Federal Tax Clinic. She served on the board of trustees of the Alabama Law Foundation. She is a member of Leadership Mobile’s Class of 2010.

Windy Cockrell Bitzer

Windy Cockrell Bitzer is a member of the Firm’s Litigation Section and has substantial pre-trial, trial, and appellate experience in courts throughout the State of Alabama, the Eleventh Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. Windy regularly represents and counsels businesses and educational institutions in commercial disputes and employment matters. She is experienced in matters ranging from fraud, False Claims Act, breach of contract, tortious interference, non-compete agreements, and other business torts to Title VII, Title IX, FMLA, FLSA, ADA, ADEA, and other employment-related issues. Windy also conducts internal investigations and provides training on EEO best practices.

Windy has a particular interest in appellate work and serves as leader of the Firm’s Appellate Litigation Team. She often counsels and assists other attorneys with ensuring issues are properly preserved for appellate review and assists throughout the appellate process, including preparation of appellate briefs and for oral argument.

Windy has been recognized by Best Lawyers in employment litigation and appellate practice and by Alabama Super Lawyers in business litigation and employment law. She is a graduate of the IADC Trial Academy. Windy is a member and former subcommittee chair of the ABA Section of Litigation Corporate Counsel and Woman Advocate Committees and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Windy received her J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law where she was a member of the Managing Board of the Alabama Law Review, the John A. Campbell Moot Court Board, and the Bench & Bar Legal Honor Society.

Windy has volunteered as a “Big Sister” in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Mobile. She is an active member of the Mobile Bar Association, having chaired the Federal Civil Practice, Bench & Bar, and Law Day Committees. Windy serves on the Board of Directors of the Mobile Bar Foundation, is a Leadership Mobile graduate, and served on the planning committee for the 2016 Eleventh Circuit Judicial Conference.

E. Shane Black

Shane Black practices in the field of general civil litigation. His litigation practice encompasses a variety of areas, including commercial litigation, property law, municipal law, education law, and complex litigation. The following list of Representative and Reported Cases reflects the variety of his practice.

Mr. Black was born in Ripley, Alabama and was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1997. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in 1994 from Birmingham-Southern College, cum laude. He obtained his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law, summa cum laude. Mr. Black is a member of the Order of the Coif, and served as the Editor in Chief of the Alabama Law Review.

Outside of his law practice, Mr. Black serves as the President of the Board of Directors for Athens Main Street.

Tracy R. Davis

Tracy Davis is a member of Hand Arendall Harrison Sale’s employment, healthcare, and commercial litigation teams. During her tenure at the Firm, Tracy has concentrated in a variety of litigation areas. She has extensive trial experience in large complex litigation, contract cases, and all types of employment disputes. She regularly provides counsel to state entities, health centers, and community colleges on various topics.

Outside of the law practice, Mrs. Davis is a wife and mother. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, designing and completing home renovation projects, and reading novels.

She graduated from undergraduate studies from the University of Alabama. She attended Loyola University School of Law, served as a Managing Editor of the Law Review, and graduated magna cum laude.

Tuskegee University – Hart

Christine Harding Hart

Christine Hart is a member of the Firm’s litigation section in Mobile. Her practice consists largely of federal court litigation and she has litigated cases from the initial pleading stage through trial and appeal. She also provides counseling and training to local businesses and institutions on a variety of issues. She is admitted to practice in Alabama and California (inactive), all federal district courts in Alabama, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.

Christine has substantive knowledge and experience in anti-discrimination matters involving Title VII, Title IX, ADA/Rehabilitation Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. She also has experience litigating constitutional matters involving First Amendment free speech and Fourteenth Amendment equal protection and due process. She monitors developments in the Eleventh Circuit and the Supreme Court related to federal practice, discrimination, and constitutional rights.

Christine serves as an officer for the South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program (SAVLP) Board, and provides pro bono legal services as a SAVLP Volunteer Lawyer. She also serves on the Board of Flight Works Alabama, and volunteers as the Alabama Chapter Chair for Stanford University’s Alumni Interview Program. Christine is a member of Class 15 of the Alabama State Bar Leadership Forum, and serves on the Alabama State Bar’s Diversity and Inclusion in the Profession Committee and the Lawyer in Every Classroom Task Force.

Christine grew up in Orange County, California, and attended Stanford University and the USC Gould School of Law. She clerked for the Honorable Theodore A. McKee, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, shortly after she began her legal practice.

Christine lives “across the Bay” in Spanish Fort with her husband Curtis and their young son.

Anne G. Burrows

Anne G. Burrows is a member in the Firm’s Athens office. She practices in the areas of real estate, probate, estate planning, municipal, education, and commercial law. She received her J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law where she was a member of the Law and Psychology Review. She obtained her B.A., cum laude, from the University of Richmond and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Mrs. Burrows previously held the position of Deputy District Attorney for Limestone County.

Mrs. Burrows is past President of the Limestone County Bar Association. She is also a member of Elkmont United Methodist Church.

Roger L. Bates

Roger Bates serves as the Managing Lawyer for the Firm. Mr. Bates has extensive experience in complex business and commercial litigation, including business and contract disputes, insurance and financial service products, labor and employment and healthcare-related litigation. Mr. Bates also has extensive experience in representing our clients before state and federal regulatory agencies and assisting them with governmental relations issues. Mr. Bates regularly represents secondary and postsecondary educational institutions in litigation, compliance and regulatory matters. Mr. Bates is a member of the Board of Trustees of the The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges which is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions for eleven Southern states.

Mr. Bates has tried numerous cases in both federal and state courts (both jury and non-jury), and has handled many arbitrations and meditations. Mr. Bates has served as a specially appointed Deputy Attorney General in Alabama since 1995 and often represents the State of Alabama and sub-agencies in complex and institutional reform litigation. Mr. Bates was also appointed to serve a term as the City Attorney for the City of Hoover, Alabama and he currently serves as the County Attorney for Chilton County, Alabama. 

Mr. Bates has served on numerous committees of the Birmingham Bar Association and has lectured on a variety of topics for continuing legal education seminars. As General Counsel for the Alabama Pharmacy Association, Mr. Bates publishes a quarterly journal article on law and ethics. Mr. Bates is active in the Birmingham area community. Mr. Bates is a member of the American Bar Association, and of its State and Local Government Law and Litigation Sections. He is also a member of the American Health Lawyers Association and the Alabama Association of Municipal Attorneys. In 2015, he was named a Fellow of the Alabama Law Foundation in recognition of his service to the community.

Mr. Bates was born in Clanton, Alabama. After being admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1982, he was a law clerk to Senior U.S. District Judge C. W. Allgood until 1983. In 1979, Mr. Bates received a B.S. degree from Auburn University, and in 1982, he obtained his J.D. from Cumberland School of Law. While attending law school he was awarded the Donald E. Corley Best Advocate Award, served on the National Mock Trial Team, and was an associate member of the American Journal of Trial Advocacy.

Biographical Information

Charles Matranga is an associate in the firm’s litigation section. He maintains a diverse practice with an emphasis in personal injury defense litigation.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Spring Hill College, Charles graduated magna cum laude from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 2021. While in law school, he served on the Executive Board of the Mississippi Law Journal and was a member of the Moot Court Board and the Air and Space Law Society. During this time, he also published two articles relating to modern issues involving data privacy and cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Charles currently lives in Mobile. He enjoys playing golf and finishing in last place in his fantasy football league every year.

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale Earns Top Rankings in U.S. News “Best Law Firms”

December 1, 2022 News

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers collaboratively for the 12th consecutive year announced the 2022 “Best Law Firms” rankings. Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC is proud to announce it was distinguished as a National Top Tier firm in Timber Law and Finance Law, along with 20 city-specific first-tier rankings.

Achieving a national tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and depth of legal expertise that reflects the highest level of respect a firm can earn among clients and other leading lawyers.

The following practice areas were ranked as first-tier for the firm’s Birmingham office:

  • Insurance Law
  • Public Finance Law

The following practice areas were ranked as first-tier for the firm’s Mobile office:

  • Admiralty & Maritime Law
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Corporate Law
  • Employment Law – Individuals
  • Employment Law – Management
  • Energy Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Insurance Law
  • Litigation – Construction
  • Litigation – Environmental
  • Litigation – Labor & Employment
  • Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
  • Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
  • Real Estate Law
  • Tax Law
  • Timber Law
  • Transportation Law
  • Trusts & Estates Law

The U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in the field and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. To be eligible for a 2022 ranking, a law firm must have at least one lawyer recognized in the 28th edition of The Best Lawyers in America® list for that particular location and specialty.

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC,  is the result of a merger of two law firms in January 2018.  The two firms, Hand Arendall LLC and Harrison Sale McCloy Attorneys at Law, merged which resulted in one of the largest regional law practices with offices along the coast of Northwest Florida and throughout the state of Alabama.  Since the start, HAHS LLC has maintained a fundamental commitment to providing quality legal services.  Cases and projects are staffed with the goal of achieving success for the client with maximum efficiency.  With offices in Athens, Birmingham, Mobile, and Fairhope, Alabama and Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Panama City, and Panama City Beach, Florida the firm is uniquely situated among the Southeast’s major law firms to provide legal direction to clients throughout Alabama, Florida and Mississippi. Learn more at www.handfirm.com.

Morris Joins Hand Arendall Harrison Sale in Birmingham

December 1, 2022 News

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC (HAHS) is happy to announce that Shelby Morris has joined the firm’s Birmingham office.

Morris is an associate attorney focusing on local government work and bankruptcy and creditor’s rights. She was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia. She attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Writing, was inducted into the Sigma Tau Delta honor society, was awarded runner-up Most Outstanding Professional Writing Student, and was a Dean’s List recipient. While earning her Master’s degree in Rhetoric and Composition, Morris developed and taught freshman composition classes while tutoring students at the University Writing Center. Later, she earned her Juris Doctorate from Cumberland School of Law where she was an active member of Women in Law and was an Academic Success mentor. 

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale provides its clients with legal services in all areas of traditional civil practice. We are legal advisors in your business success. The Alabama firm, Hand Arendall, was organized in 1941, and the Florida firm, Harrison Sale McCloy, was organized in 1984. After merging the two firms in 2018 to become Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, the firm is one of the largest law firms in the region with more than 85 attorneys. The firm has a fundamental commitment to creating long-lasting relationships. Cases and projects are staffed with the goal of achieving success for the client with maximum efficiency. With offices in Mobile, Birmingham, Fairhope and Athens, Alabama; and Destin, Panama City, Panama City Beach, and Santa Rosa, Florida, Hand Arendall Harrison Sale is uniquely situated among the Southeast’s major law firms to provide legal direction to clients throughout Alabama, Northwest Florida and Mississippi.

Biographical Information

Matthew R. Brooks is an associate with Hand Arendall Harrison . His practice is focused on Civil Litigation, dealing primarily in insurance claims, commercial disputes, and construction litigation.

Matt earned his Juris Doctorate from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida where he also served as the Vice President of the Student Veterans Law Symposium. Matt grew up in southeastern Kentucky and earned his B.A. from Morehead State University (KY). After completing his undergraduate degree in 2004, Matt spent 9 years in the U.S. Marines serving in ground infantry and armor occupational specialties. During this service, he completed multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. In addition, Matt spent 2 years as a project officer in future technologies at the Warfighting Laboratory in Quantico, VA.

Mr. Brooks joined Hand Arendall Harrison Sale in July 2021.

Biographical Information

Victoria Henien is an associate with Hand Arendall Harrison Sale. Prior to joining the Firm, Victoria worked as a South Carolina Circuit Court Judicial Law Clerk for two years.  This position provided extensive experience in the chambers of the Chief Administrative Judge for three counties assisting in Business Court, Civil Circuit Court and Criminal Circuit Court.  

Victoria obtained her Juris Doctor from Charleston School of Law in 2019. While in law school, she was a legal intern at the Charleston County Probate Court and the City of Charleston Corporation Council. 

Additionally, she was the Service Chair of the Christian Legal Society, a member of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity and volunteered with the SBA Ronald McDonald House Charities. Upon law school graduation, she was honored with a Pro Bono Recognition for service.  

Victoria earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Mississippi, where she graduated in 2016, majoring in political science with a minor in English. She greatly enjoyed her time at the University of Mississippi and loves to return to Oxford for fall football games in the Grove. Victoria was involved in Alpha Delta Pi sorority recruitment and philanthropy leadership. 

Born in Chicago Illinois, she then moved to Orlando, Florida with her family at an early age. She currently resides in Fort Walton Beach with her doodle, Henri. In addition to practicing law, she enjoys being involved in church, spending time with her family, and living on the Emerald Coast.

Biographical Information

Shelby Morris is an associate attorney focusing on local government work and bankruptcy and creditor’s rights.

Shelby was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia. She attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Writing, was inducted into the Sigma Tau Delta honor society, was awarded runner-up Most Outstanding Professional Writing Student, and was a Dean’s List recipient. While earning her Master’s degree in Rhetoric and Composition, Shelby developed and taught freshman composition classes while tutoring students at the University Writing Center. Later, she earned her Juris Doctorate from Cumberland School of Law where she was an active member of Women in Law and was an Academic Success mentor. When she’s not practicing law, Shelby enjoys traveling, exploring Birmingham’s food scene, and spending time with her cats.

Jackson and Maddalena Present COVID Impacts on Your Business

December 1, 2022 COVID-19 Resources

An ever changing current topic and issue for our communities, COVID Impacts on Your Business, Compensation, Staffing and Ever-changing Regulations, was the title of the presentation by Hand Arendall Harrison Sale Attorneys, Rob Jackson and Julia Maddalena on August 25, 2021.  Information was being updated as they prepared the day of the event to be as current as possible. As outlined in the presentation, flexibility and resiliency are key words as our communities move forward. This presentation was given in partnership with the Bay County Florida Chamber of Commerce held, in both a webinar format and in-person, for local business leaders and their personnel.  Should you have any questions regarding this presentation or other employment or personnel issues, please contact either Rob or Julia

41 Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2022

December 1, 2022 News

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC is pleased to announce that 41 lawyers have been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2022.

The Best Lawyers in America® is regarded as one of the oldest and most respected ranking publications in the legal industry. Recognized attorneys undergo a rigorous peer-reviewed selection process that assesses and evaluates the attorney’s professional abilities and expertise. 

Two attorneys were recognized as a “Lawyer of the Year,” an honor given to attorneys with the highest peer-feedback in each specific practice area and geographic region. Only one lawyer is recognized as the “Lawyer of the Year” for each practice area and location. Congratulations to:

Six attorneys were also selected as Best Lawyers: “Ones to Watch,” a recognition honoring associates and other lawyers, 5-9 years into their careers, for outstanding professional excellence in private practice. Those selected for this honor are divided by geographic region and practice areas and reviewed by their peers on the basis of professional expertise.

Congratulations to the following recognized attorneys as “Ones to Watch”: 

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale attorneys listed in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® are listed by below by office.

Athens, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama

Fairhope, Alabama

Mobile, Alabama

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC, HAHS LLC, is the result of a merger of two law firms in January 2018.  The two firms, Hand Arendall LLC and Harrison Sale McCloy Attorneys at Law, merged which resulted in one of the largest regional law practices with offices along the coast of Northwest Florida and throughout the state of Alabama.  Since the start, HAHS LLC has maintained a fundamental commitment to providing quality legal services.  Cases and projects are staffed with the goal of achieving success for the client with maximum efficiency.  With offices in Athens, Birmingham, Mobile, and Fairhope Alabama and Florida offices in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach and Panama City, the firm is uniquely situated among the Southeast’s major law firms to provide legal direction to clients throughout Alabama, Florida and Mississippi. 

Biographical Information

Jennifer Wintrode Shuler is Of Counsel with Hand Arendall Harrison Sale. Ms. Shuler is Florida Bar Board Certified in City, County, Local Government Law and has been a local government attorney for twenty years, working in both the private and public sector. Ms. Shuler began her legal career in her home state of Michigan working for a private law firm that represents villages, towns, and cities in the greater Detroit area. Upon moving to Florida, Ms. Shuler continued her local government work while representing the City of Mary Esther. Ms. Shuler next spent four years practicing with a firm handling insurance litigation for insurers such as Florida Association of Counties Trust, Preferred Governmental Insurance Trust and the Florida Sheriff’s Insurance Fund in defense of local government clients all over the Florida Panhandle. In 2012, Ms. Shuler joined the Bay County Attorney’s office, where she served as the Deputy Assistant County Attorney for nine years.

Throughout her legal career in Florida, Ms. Shuler has provided numerous Ethics, Public Records Act and Sunshine Law presentations to County Boards and Commissions. In addition, she has provided ethics training to the Emerald Coast Section of the American Planning Association and presented continuing legal education to the Florida Association of County Attorneys entitled, “HIPAA Training for EMS Providers.”

Ms. Shuler currently serves as the County Attorney for Liberty County and helps to represent many Firm local governmental clients, as well as private individuals who request assistance with government and administrative matters.

Ms. Shuler earned her Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California: Santa Cruz.

Ms. Shuler is a member of The Florida Bar, The Michigan Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Northern District of Florida. Ms. Shuler has volunteered for many years with Legal Services of Northwest Florida and in 2018, she was honored to receive the Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award in a Florida Supreme Court ceremony.

Biographical Information

Nathan believes in client-centered service while understanding and meeting the unique needs of each individual client. His practice areas include real estate law, business and general corporate law, probate law and probate litigation, estate planning, and community association law. Nathan is admitted to practice law in Florida and Alabama and works in the Santa Rosa Beach and Destin offices.

Prior to joining the Firm, Nathan was the Managing Attorney and In-House Counsel for a local real estate company, and he was previously in private practice in the Panhandle and in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. While in private practice in Tuscaloosa, Nathan was an Adjunct Instructor for legal seminars in the Honors College at The University of Alabama. Nathan earned his law degree from The University of Alabama School of Law, and his Bachelor of Science in business and real estate from The University of Alabama, summa cum laude.

Born and raised in lower Alabama, Nathan grew up with Destin and South Walton in his back yard. After relocating to the area, Nathan immediately set out to establish a legacy of active community involvement. He is currently Chair-Elect of the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, and he serves on the Board of Directors of Westonwood Ranch in Freeport. Nathan also served as President of the Young Professionals of Walton County in 2020, and in 2019, he was chosen as Young Professional of the Year by his peers in the local Walton County community. Nathan served as President of his 2018 Leadership Walton class and President of the Emerald Coast Real Estate Council until 2019. Additionally, Nathan enjoys being active in both the Florida and Alabama state bar associations and presenting seminars to real estate agents in the Panhandle area.

Outside of his professional obligations, you can find Nathan cheering on the Alabama Crimson Tide and the New Orleans Saints in the fall, traveling, enjoying his record collection, trying new recipes in the kitchen, or enjoying all of the wonderful things about living along the beautiful Emerald Coast.

Biographical Information

Ben Thomas is an associate in the Firm’s litigation section.  He is a dedicated advocate who takes joy in effectively representing his clients through even the most difficult issues.  From his time working for the Attorney General of Alabama to clerking in the Tenth Judicial Circuit of Alabama, he has garnished invaluable experience that he uses to represent clients in civil litigation. Mr. Thomas has handled matters in a wide array of practice areas including general insurance defense, tractor trailer accidents, coverage law, and automotive liability defense.  Prior to joining Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, he practiced at a firm specializing in civil litigation. 

Mr. Thomas spent his undergraduate years at Washington and Lee where he played four years of varsity baseball, was a member of Beta Theta Pi and Reformed University Fellowship.  While playing baseball, he was named the team’s Student Athlete Mentor.  Mr. Thomas obtained his Juris Doctorate at The Cumberland School of Law where he was a Dean’s List recipient.  While in law school, Mr. Thomas also clerked for The Alabama Securities Commission, The Mobile District Attorney’s Office, The Attorney General of Alabama and The Judicial Inquiry Commission. 

Mr. Thomas currently resides in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife, Rachael Thomas and their two dogs Lucas and Tito. In addition to practicing law, Mr. Thomas is involved with Easter Seals and enjoys spending time with his wife, hunting and cooking.

Cover Letter

Probate Refresher: Sales of Property & Distribution

December 1, 2022 Presentations

Chris Hamer discussed the status of title to real estate upon a person’s death, and provided an overview of selling property, distributing assets and other estate administration procedures, during a Birmingham Bar Association Solo/Small Firm Section Virtual CLE on June 16, 2021. To view a copy of the presentation, Probate Refresher: Sales of Property & Distribution, click here.

 

 

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale Hosts Wills for Heroes

December 1, 2022 News

The firm, in conjunction with South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program (SAVLP), was proud to host the Wills for Heroes event for first responders in the City of Fairhope on June 16, 2021. During the event participants were provided with a will, advanced healthcare directive, and power of attorney at no cost to their family. Pictured below are left to the right volunteer Fire Chief Chris Ellis, Mayor Sherry Sullivan, Attorney Chris Williams, Fairhope Police Lieutenant Shane Nolte, and SAVLP Director Ariana Moore.

Wills for Heroes

Biographical Information

Gregory Hawley is Senior of Counsel in the firm’s Birmingham office. His primary practice areas include Conservatorship, Business Litigation, and Environmental Litigation.

Conservatorship: Mr. Hawley has been serving as one the Jefferson County Conservators since appointed to that position in 2013 by the Probate Court. In that capacity, he has managed hundreds of conservatorship and guardianship cases, worked with a dozen or more elder care facilities, hospitals, with doctors, nurses, caregivers, and with mental health professionals to meet the needs of his conservator clients. In 2021, upon the retirement of the other Jefferson County Conservator, Mr. Hawley at the request of the Court assumed the handling of those court-appointed cases as well.

Business Litigation: In his 35 years of practice, he has appeared in about half the county courthouses and most of the federal courthouses in Alabama. He has represented defendants in numerous environmental tort, products liability and  mass tort class actions.

Environmental Litigation: Hawley has represented  several energy companies to resolve their disputes in Alabama concerning environmental and contract issues arising from the production, storage or transportation of gasoline and fuels.

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale Welcomes the Hamer Law Group

December 1, 2022 News

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC (HAHS) is happy to announce the Hamer Law Group is transitioning its practice to combine with the firm and Christopher S. Hamer and W. Alan Duke, Jr. have joined the firm’s Birmingham office.

Hamer, a Birmingham native, joins the firm as a Member. He regularly advises and represents clients in probate and estate matters, civil litigation, business transactions and litigation, probate support for personal injury litigation, estate administration, estate and trust litigation, guardianships, conservatorships and taxation.

As the founding member of the Hamer Law Group, Hamer said about the combination, “We are pleased to continue providing our services across a broader geography combined with the depth of bench enabled by a roster of talented litigators and lawyers at Hand Arendall Harrison Sale.”

Duke joins the firm as Of Counsel in the Estate Planning & Wealth Preservation and Probate Litigation groups. He is an experienced litigation and appellate attorney who brings a unique background in engineering to the cases he handles.

“We are excited to have the Hamer Law Group join the firm,” said Rip Britton, Birmingham managing lawyer. “They will expand the firm’s Estate Litigation practice, and allow us to enhance our service to our clients.”

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale provides its clients with legal services in all areas of traditional civil practice. We are legal advisors in your business success. The Alabama firm, Hand Arendall, was organized in 1941, and the Florida firm, Harrison Sale McCloy, was organized in 1984. After merging the two firms in 2018 to become Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, the firm is one of the largest law firms in the region with more than 85 attorneys. The firm has a fundamental commitment to creating long-lasting relationships. Cases and projects are staffed with the goal of achieving success for the client with maximum efficiency. With offices in Mobile, Birmingham, Fairhope and Athens, Alabama; and Destin, Panama City, Panama City Beach, and Santa Rosa, Florida, Hand Arendall Harrison Sale is uniquely situated among the Southeast’s major law firms to provide legal direction to clients throughout Alabama, Northwest Florida and Mississippi.

Biographical Information

Alan Duke is an experienced litigation and appellate attorney who regularly handles cases involving the administration of substantial and complex estates and trusts. He has been recognized multiple times by Birmingham Magazine in its Top Attorneys list as well as the Mid-South’s Rising Stars by Super Lawyers.

Alan’s probate practice is well-rounded; he often represents personal representatives and trustees during their administration, serves as attorney for beneficiaries in protecting their interests in trusts and estates, and is even appointed as an estate administrator when necessary. Alan draws on his unique background in engineering to take a detail-oriented approach in the matters that he handles and leverages that experience for success in his role as an attorney representing clients in trust and estate litigation. 

Beyond his practice, Alan works to stay informed about trust and estate issues by teaching Trusts & Estates and Alabama Probate Law at Birmingham School of Law. Alan has also served as an adjunct professor in the Building and Construction Technology department at Jefferson State Community College, where he teaches Contracting and Construction Law.

Biographical Information

Chris, a Birmingham native, regularly advises and represents clients in probate and estate matters, civil litigation, business transactions and litigation, probate support for personal injury litigation, estate administration, estate and trust litigation, guardianships, conservatorships and taxation.

He has been recognized by Birmingham Magazine in its Top Attorneys list in the areas of Probate Law (2017-2020) and Tax Law (2017), and was selected to the Mid-South’s Rising Stars by Super Lawyers for Estate & Trust Litigation (2018-2021). Chris maintains the highest Avvo Rating of 10.0 – Top Attorney, and has been recognized with Avvo’s Clients’ Choice Award (2012, 2017). Additionally, he has been selected as one of the 18 Best Birmingham Litigation Attorneys (2017-2020) and as one of the 16 Best Birmingham Probate Attorneys (2020) by the website Expertise.com. Chris currently serves as the Chair-Elect of the Probate Section of the Birmingham Bar Association.

Chris received his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Commerce & Business Administration, with a concentration in Small Company Management, from the University of Alabama in 2005. After earning his undergraduate degree, he worked as General Manager of Sports Transportation for over seven years, and successfully negotiated the sale of the company to an industry peer in 2011. Chris received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Birmingham School of Law, graduating with honors in 2010. After completing his law degree, he attended the University of Alabama School of Law and received his Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation, graduating cum laude in 2013, with a concentration in Business Tax.

Chris lives in Birmingham with his wife, Beth, and three daughters, Abbey, Olivia and Charlotte. He is a member of Canterbury United Methodist Church in Mountain Brook, where he has served on the board of the Child Development Center.

Banking and Financial Services Litigation

In today’s challenging environment, the lawyers in our firm’s Banking and Financial Services Litigation Practice Group serve a critical role in helping banks, financial institutions and other clients navigate complex litigation while making informed decisions that simultaneously address their short-term needs and their long-term best interests. Our lawyers provide efficient, strategic and effective representation for disputes involving all banking and financial services-related issues as well as the multitude of other issues that frequently lead to litigation for banks and other entities.

Litigation Counsel for All Types of Disputes in the Banking and Financial Services Sectors

The lawyers in Hand Arendall Harrison Sale’s Banking and Financial Services Litigation Practice Group represent the firm’s clients in a broad spectrum of banking and financial services litigation. Our experience includes achieving favorable results for financial institutions and other clients in matters involving:

  • Class actions
  • Consumer protection
  • Customer contracts
  • Fiduciary duty and related claims
  • Fraud
  • Lender liability
  • Loan recovery
  • Trust litigation

Our clients in the banking and financial services industry include banks, finance companies, mortgage bankers and brokers, asset management and financial services companies, servicers, trusts and trustees, and lease and finance companies. We rely on the insights gained from decades of representing some of the country’s leading banking and financial services entities to help our clients make informed and strategic decisions during discovery and pre-trial practice, during settlement negotiations, at trial, and on appeal.

Representative Matters

With decades of experience in banking and financial services litigation, our lawyers have won many notable cases at the trial and appellate levels. Some examples of our recent successes include:

  • Successfully defended a national financial services company against claims of improper marketing practices in the sale of variable annuities. Our representation included the defense of regulatory reviews and investigations conducted by multiple state attorneys general and state securities and insurance commissions.
  • Secured a directed verdict in favor of a bank in a lawsuit seeking $13 million in damages for our client’s alleged breach of a commitment letter.
  • Successfully defended against and negotiated a favorable settlement in a nationwide class action attacking bankruptcy proof of claim fees.
  • Successfully defended a national bank in three class action lawsuits alleging fraudulent bankruptcy affidavit practices.

Speak with an Attorney in Our Banking and Financial Services Litigation Practice Group

If you would like to speak with a lawyer about our banking and financial services we encourage you to get in touch. Call or contact us online to speak with a member of our Banking and Financial Services Litigation Practice Group today.

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Douglas J. Sale published in the Stetson Law Review

Panama City, FL —May 24, 2017—Harrison Sale McCloy Attorneys at Law, HSMc, Founding Partner Douglas J. Sale has been published in the Stetson Law Review. His inclusion, FREE ENTERPRISE VS. ECONOMIC INCENTIVES: THE EVOLUTION OF THE “PUBLIC PURPOSE” FULCRUM was published in the May 2017 Edition.

“Representing local governments and private businesses since the 1970’s in Northwest Florida where we have seen substantial economic expansion, our lawyers have been active in developing a variety of projects that have leveraged a good but of private investment with the use of limited public assets. Each of these projects had to yield an acceptable return to the private investor but, at the same time, had to serve a public purpose that met the standards set by the Florida Constitution. Over the past half century those standards were amended by the citizens at referendum once and have been reinterpreted by the courts many times,” Sale stated. “In writing this article, it was my intent to show the history of that evolution and share our experience with practical ways to place these types of projects on sound, constitutional as well as economic footings. The public policy incorporated in these constitutional standards is precisely the same debate ongoing between Governor Scott and House Speaker Corcoran over economic incentives, pejoratively labelled corporate welfare. That debate is not new.” 

The Stetson Law Review is published three times a year and addresses contemporary topics that are relevant both nationally and to Florida practitioners. Sale’s 50 page article is included as the lead article in Volume 46:3, page 481. http://www.stetson.edu/law/lawreview/current.php

ABSTRACT

Free Enterprise vs. Economic Incentives:

The Evolution of the “Public Purpose” FulcrumDouglas J. Sale

This Article explores the evolution of Florida law regarding public-private partnerships (“P3s”) and provides practical tips for local government practitioners to best position themselves and the governments they represent for success in partnering with private entities. Local governments and the private sector may collaborate on projects involving economic development, blight elimination or redevelopment, and acquisition of a needed asset or service. However, to avoid running afoul of the Florida Constitution, the government actor must be careful to ensure that the public benefit is sufficiently served and that the project does not disproportionately benefit the private partner. The standard-although not always consistently applied by the Florida Supreme Court-varies depending on the type of financing employed by the government,specifically on whether the governmental assets to be used are in hand at the time of the project’s inception, and if not, how they will be obtained (taxation versus enterprise net revenues). In any case, the constitutionality of a given project will hinge on whether it demonstrates a sufficient public purpose to be served.

In addition to describing strategies that local government attorneys can employ to best position their projects to meet the required standards, this Article also discusses the variety of mechanisms that a local government can use to implement such projects, including a city’s home-rule power; the 2013 Florida P3 statute; a specific grant of community redevelopment power; and other economic incentive programs included in various statutes and regulations. The Author is the former City Attorney for the City of Panama City Beach and a past President of the Florida Municipal Attorneys Association.

FULL ARTICLE is available at this link: http://www.hsmclaw.com/Documents/FreeEnterpriseVsEconomicIncentives_HarrisonSaleMcCloy.pdf

Proposal for Attorneys

Gary Bedsole

Gary Bedsole practices in the fields of taxation and general corporate matters. His practice encompasses a variety of areas, including mergers and acquisitions as well as U.S. federal, state, and local tax matters and tax controversies.

Mr. Bedsole was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 2000 and the New York State Bar in 2001. He received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in accounting from the University of Alabama in 1995 and 1996, respectively. He obtained a J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law, cum laude, in 1999 and an LL.M. in Taxation from New York University in 2000.

Gary Bedsole has over 20 years of experience in tax consulting and tax controversy matters involving large, mid-sized and family-owned domestic and international companies. Gary began his career with a prestigious New York City law firm, the tax department of which was founded by a prominent corporate tax scholar. He also spent over 10 years in the mergers and acquisitions tax group of a Big 4 accounting firm and almost 5 years in internal tax counsel roles at a public healthcare company based in Birmingham and a large private media conglomerate based in New York City.

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale Welcomes New Attorneys in Birmingham

December 1, 2022 News

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC (HAHS) is happy to announce that Gary Bedsole and Dorissa Smith have joined the firm’s Birmingham office.

Bedsole practices in the fields of taxation and general corporate matters. His practice encompasses a variety of areas, including mergers and acquisitions as well as U.S. federal, state, and local tax matters and tax controversies.

He was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 2000 and the New York State Bar in 2001. He received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in accounting from the University of Alabama in 1995 and 1996, respectively. He obtained a Juris Doctorate from the University of Alabama School of Law, cum laude, in 1999 and an LL.M. in Taxation from New York University in 2000.

Bedsole has more 20 years of experience in tax consulting and tax controversy matters involving large, mid-sized and family-owned domestic and international companies. He began his career with a prestigious New York City law firm, the tax department of which was founded by a prominent corporate tax scholar. He also spent more than 10 years in the mergers and acquisitions tax group of a Big 4 accounting firm and almost 5 years in internal tax counsel roles at a public healthcare company based in Birmingham and a large private media conglomerate based in New York City.

Smith is an associate in the Firm’s litigation section and focuses her practice primarily on insurance claims and coverage litigation. Smith is a 2009 graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree.  In 2013, Smith graduated from The University of Mississippi School of Law, where she was a member of the Moot Court Board and the Trial Advocacy Board.  While in law school, she completed internships with the Mississippi Secretary of State and the Mississippi Supreme Court.  Following law school, Smith also completed clerkships with a Mississippi trial court and the Mississippi Court of Appeals. She later joined private practice as an associate with law firm in Jackson, Mississippi, where she focused her work primarily on insurance defense and personal injury matters. 

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale provides its clients with legal services in all areas of traditional civil practice. We are legal advisors in your business success. The Alabama firm, Hand Arendall, was organized in 1941, and the Florida firm, Harrison Sale McCloy, was organized in 1984. After merging the two firms in 2018 to become Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, the firm is one of the largest law firms in the region with more than 85 attorneys. The firm has a fundamental commitment to creating long-lasting relationships. Cases and projects are staffed with the goal of achieving success for the client with maximum efficiency. With offices in Mobile, Birmingham, Fairhope and Athens, Alabama; and Destin, Panama City, Panama City Beach, and Santa Rosa, Florida, Hand Arendall Harrison Sale is uniquely situated among the Southeast’s major law firms to provide legal direction to clients throughout Alabama, Northwest Florida and Mississippi.

 

Jackson Presents Regarding Current Human Resource Issues

December 1, 2022 Presentations

Attorney Rob Jackson spoke to the Northwest District Dental Association regarding a fresh focus in 2021.  The theme of the conference was Refresh. Renew. Refocus.  As the business law practice group of Hand Arendall Harrison Sale continues to be contacted regarding human resource issues during this season of challenges, our team is available  for speaking opportunities in our communities.  We are legal advisors in your business success.  To view a copy of the presentation, click here.

Shane Black Honored with C. Eric Lincoln Humanitarian Award

December 1, 2022 News

Congratulation to Shane Black. Shane has been chosen to receive the C. Eric Lincoln Humanitarian Award.  This award is given by the Lincoln Bridgeforth Park Committee, which is a very active community service organization in the African-American Community in Athens, Alabama. 

To read the article, click here

Proposed Tax Changes by President Biden

December 1, 2022 Client Alerts

To view a .pdf of the article, click here.

Democratic victories in the two Georgia Senate runoff races have resulted in a 50-50 party split in the Senate with the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris giving Democrats a de facto majority in the Senate.  This de facto majority would permit Democrats to use the “budget reconciliation” process to advance President Joe Biden’s tax proposals with the support of only Democratic votes.

In the House of Representatives, a simple majority vote of 218 is generally needed to pass tax legislation.  Democrats currently have a slim 221 to 211 majority, with one race still undecided and two seats vacant.

The scope of any 2021 tax changes will be limited by the need to gain the near unanimous support of House Democrats and the support of all Democratic Senators.  While campaigning, President Biden proposed the following changes to individual income, payroll, and estate taxes:

  • Increase the top individual income tax rate for taxable income above $400,000 from 37 percent to the pre-Tax Cuts and Jobs Act rate of 39.6 percent;
  • Increase the tax rate on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends in excess of $1 million from the current tax rate of 20 percent to 39.6 percent;
  • Eliminate the step-up in tax basis of assets transferred at death;
  • Cap the tax benefit of itemized deductions for those earning more than $400,000 and restore certain limitations on itemized deductions for taxable income over $400,000;
  • Phase out the qualified business income deduction (also referred to as the passthrough deduction for income passed through from S corporations and partnerships to their owners) for filers with taxable income above $400,000;
  • Expand or increase certain tax credits, including the child and dependent care tax credit (CDCTC), earned income tax credit (EITC), and child tax credit (CTC), and reestablish the first-time homebuyers’ tax credit;
  • Impose a 12.4 percent payroll tax on income earned above $400,000; and
  • Reduce the estate and gift tax exemption levels to those in place in 2009 which are $3.5 million estate and $1 million gift with an increased maximum rate of 45%.

The following changes were proposed by President Biden for corporate income taxes:

  • Increase the corporate income tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent;
  • Create a minimum tax on corporations with book profit of $100 million or higher;
  • Establish certain new tax credits, including a manufacturing communities tax credit, and expand certain existing tax credits, including the new markets tax credit and certain renewable energy tax credits; and
  • Revise the global intangible low tax income (GILTI) structure by doubling the tax rate from 10.5 percent to 21 percent, assessing GILTI on a country-by-country basis, and eliminating GILTI’s exemption for deemed returns under 10 percent of qualified business asset investment.

The results of the 2020 election cycle will likely have a significant impact of the direction of tax policy in the US.  Businesses and individuals should examine the proposed tax changes and consider the potential impact on job creation, cash flows, investments, and transactions. If our tax team can provide any assistance in assessing the potential impact of any proposed tax changes or designing potential mitigation strategies, please do not hesitate to contact Gary E. Bedsole at gbedsole@handfirm.com or 205-502-0165.

 

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale Announces Leadership Changes

December 1, 2022 News

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC (HAHS) recently announced several key leadership changes for the firm. All the changes are effective as of January 1, 2021.

Roger L. Bates has been elected to a fourth term as Managing Lawyer for the firm. He has served as the firm’s Managing Lawyer since 2012. During his tenure, HAHS has grown significantly. Most recently, the firm merged with the former Harrison Sale McCloy firm in Florida to become Hand Arendall Harrison Sale. This merger brought about one of the largest law firms in the region.

Bates has been a member of the firm since 1996, when Tingle Watson & Bates joined Hand Arendall to establish the firm’s Birmingham office. He has extensive experience in complex business and commercial litigation, including business and contract disputes, insurance and financial service products, labor and employment and healthcare-related litigation. Bates also has extensive experience in representing our clients before state and federal regulatory agencies and assisting them with governmental relations issues. He regularly represents secondary and postsecondary educational institutions in litigation, compliance and regulatory matters.

J. Burruss “Buzzy” Riis has been appointed Managing Lawyer for the Mobile office. A native of Mobile, Riis succeeds R. Preston Bolt, who had served in the role since 2012. Riis has been with the firm since 1991. He practices in the field of general civil litigation with a concentration in personal injury, trucking defense and construction defense litigation. He also has more than 30 years’ experience in OSHA disputes on behalf of contractors, healthcare providers, shipyards, stevedores and manufacturing facilities in contesting citations from the Occupational Safety & Health Commission.

Norman M. Stockman has been tapped to lead the firm’s Litigation Section. He replaces Caine O’Rear III in the role. Stockman has been with the firm since 1999, and also leads the firm’s Admiralty and Maritime Section, Construction Practice Group, and Disaster Recovery Team. His diverse practice includes commercial litigation, maritime litigation and transactions, construction litigation and contract negotiations, and bankruptcy litigation.

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale provides its clients with legal services in all areas of traditional civil practice. We are legal advisors in your business success. The Alabama firm, Hand Arendall, was organized in 1941, and the Florida firm, Harrison Sale McCloy, was organized in 1984. After merging the two firms in 2018 to become Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, the firm is one of the largest law firms in the region with more than 85 attorneys. The firm has a fundamental commitment to creating long-lasting relationships. Cases and projects are staffed with the goal of achieving success for the client with maximum efficiency. With offices in Mobile, Birmingham, Fairhope and Athens, Alabama; and Destin, Panama City, Panama City Beach, and Santa Rosa, Florida, Hand Arendall Harrison Sale is uniquely situated among the Southeast’s major law firms to provide legal direction to clients throughout Alabama, Northwest Florida and Mississippi.

Biographical Information

Ms. Dorissa Smith is an associate in the Firm’s litigation section and focuses her practice primarily on insurance claims and coverage litigation. Ms. Smith is a 2009 graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English.  In 2013, Ms. Smith graduated from The University of Mississippi School of Law, where she was a member of the Moot Court Board and the Trial Advocacy Board and a Dean’s List recipient.  While in law school, Ms. Smith completed internships with the Mississippi Secretary of State and the Mississippi Supreme Court.  Following law school, Ms. Smith also completed clerkships with a Mississippi trial court and the Mississippi Court of Appeals. She later joined private practice as an associate with law firm in Jackson, Mississippi, where she focused her work primarily on insurance defense and personal injury matters. 

 

Hart Named to Mobile Bay’s 2020 Class of 40 Under 40

December 1, 2022 News

Congratulations to our Member, Christine Hart for being selected as a member of Mobile Bay Magazine’s 2020 Class of 40 Under 40. Christine is truly a professional woman that raises the bar of this firm’s and the community’s success.  She is a wonderful person and we are proud to have her on our team at HAHS. You can read more about this well-deserved recognition in the article by clicking here.

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale Launches New Website

December 1, 2022 News

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC is proud to announce the launch of its new website. Handfirm.com was created with the first-time visitors and long-term clients in mind, whether you know the firm or are looking for legal representation. The new site provides improved navigation and functionality bringing relevant legal news, attorney contact management and firm services together.

“With our firm’s growth and recent merger, it was time to do this; to freshen, update, and step boldly into the year. This new digital address provides relevant legal information with updates and allows access to our more than 85 attorneys in eight offices. It’s easy to navigate, so easy, that I enjoy using it,” stated Managing Lawyer, Roger Bates.

The new website uses the latest technology to ensure compatibility with current browsers and mobile devices. It also features a much more robust news and events section offering visitors enhanced content in real time. The design allows visitors to quickly navigate and engage with the firm’s attorneys as well.

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale provides its clients with legal services in all areas of traditional civil practice. We are legal advisors in your business success. The Alabama firm, Hand Arendall, was organized in 1941, and the Florida firm, Harrison Sale McCloy, was organized in 1984. After merging the two firms in 2018 to become Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, the firm is one of the largest law firms in the region with more than 85 attorneys. The firm has a fundamental commitment to creating long-lasting relationships. Cases and projects are staffed with the goal of achieving success for the client with maximum efficiency. With offices in Mobile, Birmingham, Fairhope and Athens, Alabama; and Destin, Panama City, Panama City Beach, and Santa Rosa, Florida, Hand Arendall Harrison Sale is uniquely situated among the Southeast’s major law firms to provide legal direction to clients throughout Alabama, Northwest Florida and Mississippi.

Disaster Recovery

Recovery from natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, and floods often involves complex legal issues spanning multiple areas of practice, including governmental, regulatory, insurance, construction and maritime law.  The lawyers in our interdisciplinary Disaster Recovery Practice Group help individuals, businesses, and governmental clients with all aspects of disaster response and recovery.  After disaster strikes, a prompt, efficient and knowledgeable response is critical, and our Disaster Recovery Practice Group’s experience affords us the ability to help our clients develop effective response strategies and make informed decisions so that they can begin recovery efforts as quickly and safely as possible.

We Help Our Clients Move Forward with Confidence When Disaster Strikes

Recovering from a major disaster presents significant challenges. Protecting the health and safety of affected community members is always the first priority, but legal issues also require prompt attention to provide the needed relief, support and services. The lawyers in our Disaster Recovery Practice Group work with clients to plan for disasters before they happen and to develop and implement strategies after the inevitable occurs to best serve the needs of their customers and constituents efficiently and cost-effectively.

Notable Experience in Disaster Recovery

The following are some recent examples of our firm’s engagements to assist with disaster recovery efforts:

  • Represented municipal client that became the first governmental entity approved for debris removal following tornado outbreak.
  • Assisted county government with storm damage recovery and debris removal following an outbreak of severe storms.
  • Representing numerous local government entities in Alabama and Florida in the wake of Hurricane Michael in 2018, to include working with FEMA, contractors, insurers and insureds with respect to all aspects of disaster recovery operations and reconstruction.

Speak with a Lawyer in Our Disaster Recovery Practice Group

If you have questions about the services offered by our Disaster Recovery Practice Group, we encourage you to get in touch.  For more information about how we help companies and government entities overcome legal hurdles in times of crisis, please contact Disaster Recovery Practice Group Chairperson Norman M. Stockman or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Disaster Recovery

Recovery from natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, and floods often involves complex legal issues spanning multiple areas of practice, including governmental, regulatory, insurance, construction and maritime law.  The lawyers in our interdisciplinary Disaster Recovery Practice Group help individuals, businesses, and governmental clients with all aspects of disaster response and recovery.  After disaster strikes, a prompt, efficient and knowledgeable response is critical, and our Disaster Recovery Practice Group’s experience affords us the ability to help our clients develop effective response strategies and make informed decisions so that they can begin recovery efforts as quickly and safely as possible.

We Help Our Clients Move Forward with Confidence When Disaster Strikes

Recovering from a major disaster presents significant challenges. Protecting the health and safety of affected community members is always the first priority, but legal issues also require prompt attention to provide the needed relief, support and services. The lawyers in our Disaster Recovery Practice Group work with clients to plan for disasters before they happen and to develop and implement strategies after the inevitable occurs to best serve the needs of their customers and constituents efficiently and cost-effectively.

Notable Experience in Disaster Recovery

The following are some recent examples of our firm’s engagements to assist with disaster recovery efforts:

  • Represented municipal client that became the first governmental entity approved for debris removal following tornado outbreak.
  • Assisted county government with storm damage recovery and debris removal following an outbreak of severe storms.
  • Representing numerous local government entities in Alabama and Florida in the wake of Hurricane Michael in 2018, to include working with FEMA, contractors, insurers and insureds with respect to all aspects of disaster recovery operations and reconstruction.

Speak with a Lawyer in Our Disaster Recovery Practice Group

If you have questions about the services offered by our Disaster Recovery Practice Group, we encourage you to get in touch.  For more information about how we help companies and government entities overcome legal hurdles in times of crisis, please contact Disaster Recovery Practice Group Chairperson Norman M. Stockman or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Congress Passes Additional PPP Loan Measures

December 1, 2022 COVID-19 Resources

Click here for a .pdf version of the alert.

The U.S. Senate and the House have passed additional CARES Act Relief Legislation that extends the PPP Loan Program.  This is being sent to President Trump, who is expected to sign it. 

The key provisions are as follows:

  • The PPP Program would be restarted with an additional $284 Billion assistance package that would do away with numerous of the restrictions that were in the original version.
  • In addition to small businesses, the PPP Program would allow Loans to 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(6) entities and small businesses having up to 500 employees.
  • The maximum amount of the PPP Loan would continue to be $10,000,000.00.
  • Hotels and food service businesses would be eligible for up to three (3) times their average payroll as opposed to all other businesses which are limited to 2.5 times payroll.
  • Publicly traded companies are not eligible as they were during the first phase of the Program.
  • Expenses that the PPP Loan can be used to pay have been expanded to include not only payroll, rent and utilities but also expenses to buy supplies from vendors, cost of safety protective equipment for COVID defense, and to fix property damage “due to public disturbances”.
  • Even though small businesses may have already received PPP Loans during the first phase, they can now get a second helping. Small businesses with fewer than 300 employees that had a 25% drop in sales from a year earlier in at least one (1) quarter can qualify for an additional loan of up to $2,000,000.00.
  • The process would remain the same with potential small business borrowers applying through their Bank lenders who would, in turn, have the loans approved by SBA, with SBA eventually approving forgiveness applications.
  • The Bill clarifies that the expenses paid with PPP Loans are also deductible and the PPP Loans themselves are not classified as income. This corrects the position of the Treasury Department that such would constitute a “double dip”.
  • The Bill, in aid of restaurants and bars, reinstates the deduction for the so-called “three martini lunch” that was dropped during the Reagan administration for business entertainment.

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale has considerable knowledge of the PPP loan program, the attendant regulations and forms required.  We will be glad to work with you to make the necessary application, assist you with the loan closing process and give you specific guidance for your enterprise.

 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Leave Requirement Will Expire December 31

December 1, 2022 COVID-19 Resources

To view a .pdf of the alert, click here.

Congress extends tax credit for employers who provide FFCRA leave through March 31, 2021, but does not extend the mandate beyond December 31, 2020.

December 22, 2020

Last night, Congress passed a wide-reaching COVID-19 relief bill that will extend the tax credit available to private employers who provide FFCRA leave to their employees through March 31, 2021, but will not require employers to provide FFCRA leave after December 31, 2020.  

On January 1, 2021, covered employers will have the option to continue to provide their employees with FFCRA leave. Private employers that choose to do so will be entitled to payroll tax credits, similar to what they received in 2020 under the FFCRA, up until March 31, 2021. The bill does not appear on its face to provide employees with any additional leave, and so if an employee has already exhausted his or her two weeks of emergency paid sick leave or ten weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave, the employer is not entitled to a tax credit for any additional paid leave that is provided. However, for employers who provide their employees with 12 weeks of FMLA leave at the beginning of each calendar year, those employees may be entitled to additional expanded family and medical leave (if the employer chooses to provide it). Further regulatory guidance may clarify this issue.

As with the initial passage of the FFCRA, governmental employers are not eligible for these tax credits; therefore, there is little, if any, incentive for those employers to continue to provide FFCRA leave.

As the FFCRA is phased out, employers should also be mindful of their obligations under the FMLA and ADA, which could trigger an employee’s entitlement to job-protected leave. Moreover, employers need to continue to adhere to their ordinary leave policies and ensure that their employees are treated equally and consistently.

The 5,593-page bill also provides supplemental and extended unemployment benefits, $600/person stimulus payments, and additional Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan opportunities, as well as tax changes and clarifications for existing and future PPP loans. The bill also expands and extends the employee retention tax credit program through July 1, 2021. However, it does not provide any COVID-19 related liability protections for employers.

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale continues to monitor the progress of this legislation and other COVID-19 related legislation and guidance. Please reach out to one of our lawyers for further information and guidance, so we can assist you with your individual business needs.

 

EEOC Issues COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance

December 1, 2022 COVID-19 Resources

Click here to read a .pdf copy of the alert.

December 22, 2020      

The EEOC has issued guidance for employers interested in requiring their employees to be vaccinated or providing their employees with access to COVID-19 vaccines. (See Section K of the attached link.)

While the EEOC guidance indicates that employers can require COVID-19 vaccinations, employers should be aware of the Title VII and ADA implications related to any vaccine mandate.

Under Title VII, employers may be required to provide a reasonable accommodation to any vaccine requirement, if an employee’s sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance prevents the employee from receiving the vaccination. EEOC guidance provides that employers should ordinarily assume that an employee’s request for religious accommodation is sincere.

Under the ADA, employers need to be cognizant of the extent to which a vaccine requirement would affect individuals with a disability. Employers considering a vaccine requirement should undertake an individualized assessment to determine whether an unvaccinated employee would pose a direct threat to the safety of the workplace. Employers requiring vaccination may still be required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees pursuant to the ADA, including remote work if possible.

EEOC guidance further indicates that additional ADA concerns may emerge if an employer provides access to the vaccine by engaging a third-party vendor, or even provides the vaccine itself.  Although the EEOC guidance makes clear that administration of the vaccine is not a “medical examination” within the meaning of the ADA, pre-vaccine medical screenings conducted by the employer and/or any contracted third-party vaccine provider could constitute a disability-related inquiry under the ADA and may implicate the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”), which generally prohibits employers or doctors working for employers from asking employees questions about genetic information (including family medical history). Thus, employers seeking to have their employees vaccinated may want to consider asking employees for proof of vaccination in lieu of administering the vaccine themselves.

The EEOC guidance makes clear that asking an employee to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination does not implicate the ADA. Accordingly, employers requesting proof of vaccination should ensure that employees are not required to provide any additional medical information other than proof of vaccination. However, employers should be aware that follow-up questions directed at an employee regarding why he or she was not vaccinated may implicate the ADA or GINA.

Employers seeking to implement a COVID-19 vaccination policy will need to carefully assess these issues and whether a mandatory vaccine program is right for their particular business. If you need further information or assistance with developing a COVID-19 vaccine policy, or assistance with an accommodation request, please contact a member of our Employment team.

Banking and Financial Services Litigation

In today’s challenging environment, the lawyers in our firm’s Banking and Financial Services Litigation Practice Group serve a critical role in helping banks, financial institutions and other clients navigate complex litigation while making informed decisions that simultaneously address their short-term needs and their long-term best interests. Our lawyers provide efficient, strategic and effective representation for disputes involving all banking and financial services-related issues as well as the multitude of other issues that frequently lead to litigation for banks and other entities.

Litigation Counsel for All Types of Disputes in the Banking and Financial Services Sectors

The lawyers in Hand Arendall Harrison Sale’s Banking and Financial Services Litigation Practice Group represent the firm’s clients in a broad spectrum of banking and financial services litigation. Our experience includes achieving favorable results for financial institutions and other clients in matters involving:

  • Class actions
  • Consumer protection
  • Customer contracts
  • Fiduciary duty and related claims
  • Fraud
  • Lender liability
  • Loan recovery
  • Trust litigation

Our clients in the banking and financial services industry include banks, finance companies, mortgage bankers and brokers, asset management and financial services companies, servicers, trusts and trustees, and lease and finance companies. We rely on the insights gained from decades of representing some of the country’s leading banking and financial services entities to help our clients make informed and strategic decisions during discovery and pre-trial practice, during settlement negotiations, at trial, and on appeal.

Representative Matters

With decades of experience in banking and financial services litigation, our lawyers have won many notable cases at the trial and appellate levels. Some examples of our recent successes include:

  • Successfully defended a national financial services company against claims of improper marketing practices in the sale of variable annuities. Our representation included the defense of regulatory reviews and investigations conducted by multiple state attorneys general and state securities and insurance commissions.
  • Secured a directed verdict in favor of a bank in a lawsuit seeking $13 million in damages for our client’s alleged breach of a commitment letter.
  • Successfully defended against and negotiated a favorable settlement in a nationwide class action attacking bankruptcy proof of claim fees.
  • Successfully defended a national bank in three class action lawsuits alleging fraudulent bankruptcy affidavit practices.

Speak with an Attorney in Our Banking and Financial Services Litigation Practice Group

If you would like to speak with a lawyer about our banking and financial services we encourage you to get in touch. Call or contact us online to speak with a member of our Banking and Financial Services Litigation Practice Group today.

Tax Exempt Financings

Representative Tax Exempt Financings 1997-2003

BC – Bond Counsel
DC – Disclosure Counsel
IC – Issuer’s Counsel
BRC – Borrower’s Counsel

Summer Associate Program

Since its founding in 1941, Hand Arendall has grown to a firm with over 85 lawyers and with offices in Birmingham, Mobile, Athens and Fairhope, Alabama. It is among the largest firms in Alabama and the largest on the central Gulf Coast, providing its clients with legal services in all areas of traditional civil practice. Our recruiting philosophy is to staff each of our offices with the most qualified and diverse law school graduates. The starting point for this effort is our summer associate program, and in recent years, we have typically offered 4 to 6 positions to students who have completed their first or second year of law school. The firm also hires applicants who are practicing lawyers as necessary to fit particular needs.

The firm’s summer associate program begins with on-campus and office interviews. We are looking for students with superior academic credentials, strong extracurricular pursuits, outgoing personalities and a commitment to the practice of law.

If the firm does not visit your law school for on-campus interviews, you should send your resume, a cover letter and transcript to the following contacts for the location you are interested in:

  • South Alabama: Paul T. Beckmann, Hand Arendall LLC, Post Office Box 123, Mobile, Alabama 36601, pbeckmann@handfirm.com
  • North Alabama: James S. Witcher III, Hand Arendall LLC, 1801 5th Avenue North Suite 400, Birmingham, Alabama 35203, jwitcher@handfirm.com
  • Florida: Robert Jackson, Hand Arendall LLC, 304 Magnolia Ave. Panama City, Florida 32401, rjackson@handfirm.com

The objective of the firm’s summer recruiting program is to hire highly qualified and well-rounded law students, to challenge them with demanding research and writing projects for active matters and to expose them to the many facets of the firm’s diverse civil practice. We also want them to have fun, to experience and enjoy practicing law and living in the areas where we are located. We also strive to ensure that the summer associates are given a more realistic view of law practice by arranging for them to attend depositions, court hearings, trials and transaction closings. By the end of each summer, we hope that each summer associate has learned the firm’s approach to providing outstanding legal services to clients and that the firm will have learned the students’ level of commitment and skills for the practice of law.

In addition to challenging our summer associates with projects and to exposing them to the practice of law outside the library, the firm also wants its summer associates to return something to the community as our lawyers do. We ask that our summer associates in the Mobile office participate in the local bar associations’ pro bono programs in the same way that Hand Arendall’s lawyers contribute to the program. Each student is asked to spend at least one day working in the local pro bono office. Through this experience, we hope that our summer associates gain an appreciation for the importance of contributing to their community and to those individuals who cannot afford legal services.

We sponsor many formal and informal social and recreational activities so that our summer associates can get a feel for the experience of living in the communities where we practice. During the last several years, our outside activities have included fishing, sailing trips, white water rafting, progressive dinners, golf tournaments, antique shopping tours, field softball teams in the local bar association leagues and other events which enable our summer associates and lawyers to get to know each other better in a relaxed setting outside of the office. Summer associates also attend firm and local bar luncheons.

Throughout its existence, the firm has sought a diverse academic corps of lawyers. The firm has in recent years hired law students from Alabama, Columbia, Cumberland, Duke, Florida, Harvard, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Tulane, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Washington & Lee, William & Mary, University of Pennsylvania, Emory, Notre Dame and Yale. In like manner, our lawyers are from a diverse geographic background.

Biographical Information

After receiving a degree in Physics from the University of Alabama, Steve Kerr worked for a leading defense contractor as a research scientist in the field of infrared and ultraviolet optical systems. Mr. Kerr then attended law school at the University of Alabama School of Law and received his JD degree. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Kerr passed the U.S. Patent Bar exam and became a registered patent attorney. He began his career as a patent attorney in Atlanta, Georgia in 1986. After 34 years in private practice, Mr. Kerr retired from full-time law practice at one of the largest law firms in the country, where he was a partner for over 20 years. He holds an AV® rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Mr. Kerr served as President of the Intellectual Property Section of the State Bar of Georgia, as managing partner of a boutique patent law firm in Atlanta, as Team Leader of the Mechanical Patent Team at his large law firm, and as president of the Vinings Rotary Club in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a member of the Alabama Bar Association, the State Bar of Georgia, the United States Patent Bar, and is admitted to several State and Federal Courts.

Mr. Kerr’s experience includes preparation and prosecution of hundreds of U.S. patents and of patents in other countries throughout the world. He has been a member of patent litigation teams in several patent infringement cases across the U.S. and one case in Europe. He also has experience in trademark registration and enforcement and in matters involving copyrights and trade secrets.

Mobile

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale opened its office in Mobile for the practice of law in 1941. The firm was founded by Charles C. Hand (1890-1980) and Charles B. Arendall, Jr. (1915-1993). The Mobile office has nearly 40 attorneys and is the largest law firm in the City of Mobile. In addition to being engaged in the practice of the law, the firm’s attorneys are involved in many community-related organizations.

Fairhope

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale opened a Fairhope office in the winter of 2007. The location of the firm’s office in Fairhope enables HAHS to further expand its service to clients in Baldwin County.

Birmingham

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale has maintained an office in Birmingham since 1996. When the firm merged with Tingle Watson & Bates. In 2002, the firm expanded again merging with Gladden and Sinor, PC. The Birmingham office currently has more than 20 attorneys.

Athens

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale opened a North Alabama office in February of 2005, when the firm of Sherill, Batts and Black joined HAHS. The firm’s North Alabama office is located in Athens and is currently staffed by Shane Black, Anne Burrows and Britley Brown. The location of the firm’s office in the Athens/Huntsville area enables HAHS to efficiently serve its clients throughout the Northern part of the State.

Santa Rosa Beach

If you know the most visited and most beautiful beaches in Florida, you have heard of Panama City Beach and 30A. In 2018, with our practice expansion keeping up with the development along the Northwest Florida coast, it was vital to expand our presence westward to the heart of all the villages along 30A. The firm partners selected Redfish Village right on the 30A Highway in Santa Rosa Beach, the main transportation artery for the coastal highway as an office location of convenience for our clients. This office allows our full-time coastal living residents, business owners and second home clients to meet with us where they live, work or play.

Destin

The Hand Arendall Harrison Sale office located on the Emerald Coast Parkway is in the heart of Destin. This office opened in 2016 and has been featured in many publications as part of print and social media campaigns. Its corner of the block and top floor location offers spectacular views of the Gulf on one side and bay views on the other. We are conveniently positioned along one of the busiest business corridors in Northwest Florida. The origin for the Destin office was the result of attorney focus to this market. It opened with one full time attorney and has grown to an office of more than five dedicated attorneys plus additional staff. This office is a multi-practice office serving clients throughout the Florida panhandle region.

Vision Bank

Panama City Beach

For over 45 years and continuing today, the firm has represented the City of Panama City Beach and business clients instrumental to the development of the entire beaches area. Until the beaches office was established in 2018, the beach clients were represented by attorneys in the original office located in historic Panama City. With the economic development including real estate closings and title work along the coast, a more convenient conference office with attorneys and staff was added in Panama City Beach. After the merger with Hand Arendall in 2018, the beach office located on Panama City Beach Parkway near State HWY 79 continues to be in the middle of the growth for the beaches region and for the law firm.

Panama City

Our Panama City Florida office has roots in the legal community representing clients since 1930. The senior lawyers have practiced with the firm in its current office at 304 Magnolia Avenue in historic downtown Panama City since 1972. Franklin R. Harrison, Douglas J. Sale and D. Ross McCloy, Jr., all current practicing attorneys, formed Harrison Sale McCloy in 1984 by the merger of the two oldest law firms in Panama City and in 1991, the firm name of Harrison Sale McCloy was adopted. Harrison Sale McCloy has been active in civic organizations and involved in representing a variety of commercial, real estate and governmental clients in litigation, transactions and legislation.

Biographical Information

Denny Hughes concentrates on the defense of bad faith, fraud and punitive damage actions and other insurance defense matters at the trial and appellate levels, as well as the defense of class actions and complex litigation. He also assists insurers in coverage evaluations and the litigation of coverage issues. In addition, he represents employers in the defense of employment discrimination claims and advises employers on preventive employment law.

Mr. Hughes was appointed to the Board of the Alabama Insurance Planning Commission at the University of Alabama in 2012, for which he has been elected to serve as Chairman for 2021—2022. He is an Associate Member of the Board of the Association of Alabama Life Insurance Companies and a member of the Alabama Association of Arson Investigators. In 2001 Mr. Hughes was appointed as a Deputy Attorney General to represent the State of Alabama in the defense of civil actions against state agencies. He is a past member of the Board of Directors (President 2011—2012) of Camp Smile-a-Mile, which provides year-round programs for children with cancer and their families.

Biographical Information

Christine Hart is a member of the Firm’s litigation section in Mobile. She has litigated cases from the initial pleading stage through trial and appeal and focuses on federal court litigation. She is admitted to practice in Alabama and California (inactive), all federal district courts in Alabama, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.

Christine has substantive knowledge and experience in anti-discrimination matters involving Title VII, Title IX, ADA/Rehabilitation Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. She also has experience litigating constitutional matters involving First Amendment free speech and Fourteenth Amendment equal protection and due process. She monitors developments in the Eleventh Circuit and the Supreme Court related to federal practice, discrimination, and constitutional rights. She also provides counseling and training to local businesses and institutions on a variety of issues including discrimination and harassment.

Christine serves as an Officer-at-large for the South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program (SAVLP) Board, and provides pro bono legal services as a SAVLP Volunteer Lawyer. She also serves on the Board of Flight Works Alabama, and volunteers as Alabama Chapter Chair for Stanford University’s Alumni Interview Program. Christine is a member of Class 15 of the Alabama State Bar Leadership Forum, and serves on the Alabama State Bar’s Lawyers Hall of Fame Committee.

Christine grew up in Orange County, California, and attended Stanford University and the USC Gould School of Law. She clerked in Philadelphia for the Honorable Theodore A. McKee, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, shortly after she began her legal practice.

Christine lives “across the Bay” in Spanish Fort with her husband Curtis and their two young sons.

Biographical Information

Britley Brown is a native of Athens, joined the Firm’s Athens office as an associate in 2016. Britley lives in Athens with her husband, Jeremy, and dogs, Jenson and Sammie.

Biographical Information

Eddie Rowe is a member in the Firm’s business section. His practice focuses on representing businesses and individuals in commercial transactions ranging from residential and commercial real estate deals to company formation and governance arrangements to employment contracts and other operational agreements.  His real estate practice includes experience in advising clients in land use planning, entitlements issues, and other matters related to the transfer and development of real property. Eddie began his career as a trial lawyer and worked in the Firm’s commercial litigation section for many years before transitioning his focus to transactional matters.  Although his practice focus has shifted away from litigation, Eddie’s experience in handling a wide variety of commercial disputes provides him with a unique and valuable perspective.  Having guided clients through the difficult challenges that arise when an agreement is breached or a venture fails, Eddie frequently draws on his litigation experience when advising clients about the best approach to any given transaction, including the legal risks and practical outcomes that may result from the various approaches to the contractual arrangements involved and any available protections against such risks.

A Georgia native, Eddie graduated with honors from the University of Georgia in 2007. He then obtained his J.D., cum laude, from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University where he was the Executive Editor of the Cumberland Law Review.

Eddie and his wife Laura live in Fairhope where they raise their two daughters. Eddie is a member of the Mobile and Baldwin County Bar Associations. He is a former member of the board of directors for Bayshore Christian School in Fairhope and currently serves on the board of directors for the Fairhope Educational Enrichment Foundation (FEEF). The Rowes are members of Church of the Apostles Eastern Shore where Eddie also serves on the parish Vestry.

Biographical Information

Jack O’Dowd is a business lawyer who assists clients in a variety transactional matters, including mergers and acquisitions, real estate, and corporate law. Jack also works with families on their estate planning needs and guides them through the probate court process. He routinely assists client with issues that arise throughout the business lifecycle including entity formation, legal aspects of their operations,  buying and selling businesses, business succession planning.

Jack is a lifelong Mobilian. He received his undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of South Alabama and his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law. Jack’s previous experience working as a Certified Public Accountant  at a Big 4 accounting firm enhances his law practice.

Together with his wife Anna and their five children, the O’Dowds are active parishioners at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Mobile. Jack serves on the board of directors of the charity Soccer4Life, and he also enjoys playing and coaching the “beautiful game.”

Biographical Information

Jason Lee is a member in the litigation section. He works with clients in the areas of construction and public contracts, OSHA, land use and environmental, professional liability, transportation, insurance coverage and bad faith. 

He is a 2002 graduate of Auburn University, Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.  Mr. Lee specialized in Construction Management and completed his senior thesis in Concrete Design. While earning his Engineering degree from Auburn, Mr. Lee was awarded the State of Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors Scholarship and successfully completed the professional requirements for the Cooperative Education Program. While pursuing his Engineering degree, Mr. Lee worked with an Engineering News-Record top 25 General Contractor constructing commercial projects in Atlanta, Georgia. Furthermore, Mr. Lee gained additional design and technical experience working with the National Center for Asphalt Technology at Auburn University as well as managing preconstruction services for a large Water and WasteWater General Contractor in Georgia.

After graduating from Auburn University, Mr. Lee accepted a management position with an Engineering News-Record top 40 General Contractor in Atlanta, Georgia where he completed the construction of the Flint RiverQuarium and the I-Works Imagination Theater – a project designed by architect Antoine Predock. Afterward, Mr. Lee managed large Civil Construction projects for owners such as Alabama Power, Georgia Power, and The United States General Services Administration.

In 2008, Mr. Lee received his Master of Business Administration from Samford University, Brock School of Business. After which, Mr. Lee managed studio and design operations for healthcare and institutional projects for one of the largest, most discipline-diverse design firms in the United States based in Nashville, Tennessee.

In 2014, Mr. Lee received his Juris Doctorate from The Cumberland School of Law. While in law school, Mr. Lee was a Judge Abraham Caruthers Teaching Fellow, member of the 2012 and 2013 Career Advisory Board, member of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, 2012 Semi-Finalist in the Henry Upson Sims Moot Court Competition, and recipient of the Scholar of Merit for Environmental Issues in Real Estate.

Mr. Lee began his practice at a regional law firm in 2014. He resides in Homewood with his wife Elizabeth, and their three sons; Edward Pate, Robert Turner and John Ford, where they attend Dawson Memorial Baptist Church.

Biographical Information

Jack Russell has represented private equity companies, developers, and lenders through all phases of real estate development and lending. His practice focuses on the finance, acquisition, and dispositions of office, multi-family, hotels, restaurants, and subdivisions throughout the Sunbelt region.

He also has significant experience acting as outside general counsel, advising clients on transactional matters, business litigation, and all phases of corporate development and governance. In particular, he frequently advises general contractors, community banks, non-traditional lenders, and subcontractors.

Representative transactions include the purchase and sale of industrial manufacturing facilities; merger of a multiple unit franchisee entity; and the sale of a real estate development company to an outside equity group. In addition, he has recently represented commercial lenders, community banks, and loan servicing companies through various mixed-use developments, real estate syndications, the refinancing of commercial warehousing facilities, and hotel transactions.

Jack also has significant experience in the single family sector, having been lead counsel for Alabama and Georgia-based developers and national homebuilders through numerous subdivisions.

He has been a frequent speaker, having spoken or presented at the University of Alabama School of Law, Samford University, Birmingham Entrepreneur’s Organization (“EO”), ABICLE, Law Review CLE, and the National Business Institute.

Biographical Information

Rebecca Parks practices in the Firm’s Mobile office. She has a wide range of experience in civil litigation, including the areas of business litigation, automobile and trucking liability, personal injury, product liability, premises liability, professional liability and workers’ compensation. She has trial experience in both state and federal Alabama courts.

Rebecca graduated summa cum laude from the University of Alabama School of Law where she was Managing Editor of the Alabama Law Review, a member of Order of the Coif, a member of the John A. Campbell Moot Court Board, and a Hugo L. Black Scholar. She graduated magna cum laude from Loyola University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications.

Biographical Information

Kevin Hon is an associate in the Firm’s litigation section. He focuses his practice on automotive liability defense. He also practices in appellate advocacy and insurance litigation including the defense of insurers against first-party and third party insurance claims, extra-contractual claims, coverage disputes, bad faith claims, and punitive damage claims.

Prior to joining Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, Mr. Hon practiced as an attorney at a firm specializing in civil litigation. He gained invaluable experience there conducting trials and navigating complex litigation. He wrote and successfully presented briefs to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals, the Supreme Court of Alabama, and the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. In addition to the experience he has in civil litigation, he also served as the Chief Executive Officer and in-house counsel for a business specializing in healthcare communication services.

Mr. Hon obtained his Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law in 2011. While in law school he volunteered with criminal prosecutors’ offices in Alabama and Georgia where he assisted in preparing cases for trial, developing witnesses, conducting probable cause hearings, arguing evidentiary matters in court, and writing appellate briefs that were successful before the Georgia Court of Criminal Appeals. Upon law school graduation, he was honored with a Pro Bono Recognition for his outstanding service.

Mr. Hon earned his bachelor’s degree at Wake Forest University where he graduated in 2008 with a double major in Political Science and Religion. He was inducted into Theta Alpha Kappa Religion Honor Society, Pi Sigma Phi Political Science Honor Society, and on the Dean’s List while at Wake Forest University.

Mr. Hon was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. He currently resides in Birmingham, AL with his wife, Angie Hon. In addition to practicing law, he enjoys attending church, spending time with his wife, family and friends, reading, watching basketball, playing the piano, traveling, and outdoor activities.

Biographical Information

Sabrina Ruffin is a member in the Firm’s Business Section. She focuses her practice on representing owners, developers, lenders and borrowers, in both the public and private sectors, in real estate transactions, including acquisitions, dispositions, leasing, development and financing transactions. Sabrina has experience in negotiating, structuring, and documenting complex financing transactions involving all types of collateral, ranging from real estate to inventory and receivables, for both borrowers and lenders.

Biographical Information

Mr. Reardon is an associate in the Firm’s litigation section. He focuses his practice primarily in insurance claims and coverage litigation, commercial litigation and employment. Mr. Reardon also practices in the appellate advocacy group where he has experience with appeals in the Alabama appellate courts.

Mr. Reardon was born and raised in Nashville, TN. He is a 2015 graduate of Birmingham-Southern College where he received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration. While earning his degree, Mr. Reardon was a member of the tennis team where he served as team captain. Mr. Reardon received his law degree from Mississippi College School of Law in 2018.

Biographical Information

Emily Van Haneghan is an associate in the Firm’s litigation section. She maintains a diverse litigation practice with an emphasis on labor and employment law, as well as federal court litigation. Emily has a wide range of experience in a variety of areas of civil litigation, including employment litigation, life, health and disability, and automobile and trucking litigation.

Emily earned her law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Alabama School of Law, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif. While in law school, Emily served as a member of the Alabama Law Review, the John A. Campbell Moot Court Board, and Alabama’s Jessup International Law Moot Court Team.

Before joining the Firm, Emily gained valuable experience as a law clerk to the Honorable L. Scott Coogler, District Court Judge for the Northern District of Alabama.

Emily is a member of the Mobile Bar Association, the Alabama State Bar Association, and the Defense Research Institute.

Biographical Information

Originally from Australia, Yanya received her undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame Australia.  She then attended Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. and subsequently practiced in the Washington, D.C., New York and London, England offices of an international law firm.  After returning to Perth, Australia to serve as general counsel for a publicly traded corporation for several years, Yanya ultimately returned to the United States to pursue her career and family objectives.  The geographic breadth and scope of Yanya’s practice have allowed her to glean experience in a broad array of transactions across a variety of industries, ranging from intellectual property, real estate development and corporate governance to mergers and acquisitions.  Many of the transactions in which Yanya has been involved have addressed international law issues and often have spanned multiple states in the US. Commercial, mixed-use and residential real estate development, commercial leasing and asset/share acquisitions and dispositions are particular areas in which Yanya has significant experience and in which she has successfully advised clients in working through the myriad of applicable issues. Yanya’s diverse background and experience grant an enlightened perspective and make her uniquely suited to serve the needs of the Firm’s clients.

Biographical Information

Lisa Darnley Cooper is a member in the Firm’s Mobile, Alabama office and is a member of the Firm’s labor and employment and litigation groups.

Lisa’s pragmatic and thorough approach to her clients’ matters allows her to skillfully answer these common questions: How can we best minimize risks to our business and employees? Can or should we do “this”? We did “this,” now what? How can we do “this” better?

She focuses primarily on employment-related and business litigation, and her experience includes defending employers in discrimination, harassment, retaliation, FMLA, and FLSA proceedings at the administrative level and in state and federal courts. Lisa routinely advises clients on risk mitigation and compliance issues related to discrimination, harassment, terminations or reductions in force, and reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She has extensive experience drafting employee handbooks and workplace policies, contracts, and non-competition and non-solicitation agreements. She is frequently called upon to conduct a variety of workplace investigations or audits. Lisa also often assists the Firm’s transactional lawyers with employment related issues in mergers and acquisitions. Her work portfolio spans numerous industries and workplace settings including transportation and trucking, healthcare, manufacturing, construction, retail, utilities, automotive, education, tourism, and municipalities as well as state agencies.

Complementing her employment practice, Lisa assists businesses and municipalities with ADA accessibility and/or Fair Housing Act (FHA) compliance. She has handled numerous matters defending against private litigants and complaints or investigations originating with the DOJ or HUD.

Prior to joining the Firm, Lisa served as a law clerk to the Honorable Charles R. Butler, then Chief District Court Judge for the Southern District of Alabama.

Biographical Information

Stephen G. Crawford is a retired member of the Firm’s Business Section. He practices in the fields of general corporate, partnership, and commercial law; mergers and acquisitions; banking; executive compensation; and estate planning.

Steve was born in Asheville, North Carolina and was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1964. He graduated from Duke University, A.B. 1961, and Duke University School of Law, LL.B. 1964. He is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha and the Order of the Coif. Steve served as a member of the Board of Editors of the Duke Law Journal.

He is a member of the Mobile County Bar Association and the Alabama Bar Association. Steve has been recognized in the book The Best Lawyers in America in the fields of corporate law and banking law for more than twenty years.

Biographical Information

Blane H. Crutchfield represents clients in the fields of general litigation, admiralty and maritime law and has acted as a board member and counsel to a number of privately held corporations. Blane’s practice includes both commercial and personal injury litigation, insurance coverage disputes, products liability, international trade, transportation and cargo matters and environmental torts. He has practiced at the trial and appellate levels in both State and Federal courts and is admitted in the United States District Courts for the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Alabama, the Fifth and Eleventh Circuit United States Courts of Appeals, the United States Court of International Trade and the United States Supreme Court.

Blane graduated from Auburn University, B.S. 1981, and the Cumberland School of Law of Samford University, J.D. cum laude in 1984. He served on the Cumberland Law Review, 1983 -1984 and was selected for membership in Curia Honoris. Blane is a past Chairman of the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute and has been a frequent speaker on issues related to maritime law and insurance. He is also a member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States

Biographical Information

Douglas W. Fink is a Member in the Firm’s Mobile office. He is a member of the Firm’s Life, Health and Disability, Admiralty, Product Liability, Insurance, and Personal Injury Groups. His litigation practice and experience encompasses these and a wide variety of other litigation areas, including commercial litigation, premises liability, underground storage tank liability, and professional liability.

Mr. Fink has tried jury and non-jury cases in both State and Federal Courts and has tried cases in arbitration. He has represented a wide range of clients, including insurance companies, insurance brokers, pharmacists, pharmacies, manufacturers, oil companies, shipyards, shipping and transportation firms, vessel owners, and airlines.

Mr. Fink is a member of the Commercial Litigation, Drug and Medical Device and Professional Liability Committees of the Defense Research Institute. He is a member of the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association and has served on its editorial board. He is also a member of the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute and has been elected as a Port Director.

Biographical Information

Ginger P. Gaddy is a retired member of the firm, and practiced in the Public Finance and Economic Development Practice Group. She also lead the Firm’s Tax, Trust and Estate Planning Practice Area. Ms. Gaddy’s primary practice includes serving as bond counsel, disclosure counsel, special tax counsel and borrower’s counsel in public financings. Her clients include hospitals, utility systems, municipalities, counties and owners and developers of student housing.

Ginger’s practice also included general estate planning and probate work from simple wills and trusts to complex estate/gift tax minimization techniques.

During law school, Ginger served as Associate Editor of the American Journal of Trial Advocacy. She is a member of the Alabama Bar Association, the Mobile County Bar Association and the National Association of Bond Lawyers. Ginger has served on the steering committee and as a panelist for Bond Attorneys Workshop sponsored by the National Association of Bond Lawyers, and is the former President of the Alabama Federal Tax Clinic. She served on the board of trustees of the Alabama Law Foundation. She is a member of Leadership Mobile’s Class of 2010.

Biographical Information

Chris Gill serves as the head of Hand Arendall Harrison Sale’s Business Section. He practices primarily in the fields of real estate acquisition, development and financing and land use planning. He also has significant experience in the formation of business organizations, primarily for real estate acquisition and development purposes.

In his practice, Chris has represented the Firm’s clients in numerous real estate matters, primarily involving the acquisition, development and/or conveyance of real property. Chris’ land use planning practice involves representing developers who are seeking to obtain the various entitlements necessary to pursue a specific project.

Biographical Information

Neil C. Johnston (Sr.) has practiced law with Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC since 1978, is a Member in the Mobile, Alabama law offices, and the Real Estate, Land Use and Timber Practice Group Leader. Neil is a 1975 graduate of Southwestern at Memphis (Rhodes College) (B.A. in Economics and Urban Studies), attended University College in 1973 (Oxford, England), and the University of Alabama School of Law (1978). Neil works with clients regarding permitting and other legal and practical solutions regarding general real estate, development, surface and subsurface uses, and coastal, riparian and submerged land issues affecting ownership, use, development and redevelopment.

Water, wetlands, stormwater, oysters, endangered species, timber, turkeys, cultural resources, cane poles and crickets are constant companions . . . and now sUAVs.

Projects have included permitting and compliance for multi use residential/commercial/conservation projects along the Gulf Coast, Mobile Bay and many of the rivers, creeks, watersheds, and floodplains throughout Alabama, in addition to golf courses, pipelines and other linear projects, race track complexes, timberland, water use and supply, sand and gravel, and coal as well as oil and gas developments.

Neil holds certificates from Wetland Resources for Wetland Delineation and Identification, and Wetland Rapid Assessment Procedure workshops, and has held a Stormwater Qualified Credentialed Inspector Certificate 2007—2012 and 2013—2017, QCI # T0751; and is a 2017 certified Professional Logging Manager, Certificate # 109641.

Recent law adventures have involved Section 333 Exemptions and “new” Part 107 Certificates and Waivers from the FAA rules regulating national/navigable airspace and “manned” aircraft for the use and services involving the commercial operations of small UAVs (drones) by clients involved in land trust activities, forest management, mitigation services, photography and the development of new technologies, as well as defending rights of small and large landowners, preparing contracts, easements, permits and other documents addressing permitted and prohibited uses of sUAS. Other sUAV clients are involved in commercial and professional aerial videography, photography and data collections, and evolving and innovative activities.

Neil is a 2013 Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL), the 2014 Chairman of the Alabama Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and built (with his wife Ashley) the first certified LEED Silver waterfront, resilient and energy-efficient residence on Mobile Bay (presented the USGBC “Clover Award” 2012). He is also active in public service, a licensed participant of the Mobile Bay Oyster Gardening Program, sponsor of the Oyster Trail, and active with the annual Coastal Kids Quiz. Neil is also active with the American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy and Resources (Committees: Public Service, Forestry, Smart Growth, Wetlands, Water Resources) and the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section, and active with the Alabama Bar Association – Environmental Law Section (Chairman 1984 and 1991), Real Estate Law Section, and the Oil and Gas Law Section.

He has received numerous awards for his work in the fields of conservation, environmental law and education, including Named the Mobile Environmental Lawyer of the Year for 2011 and 2014 by Best Lawyers, the 2009 Community Partner Award from Partners for Environmental Progress, 2003 National Wetlands Award from the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, D.C., Gulf Guardian Award 2002 – First Place Conservation Education (Ribbit’s Big Splash), the 2003 Governor’s Conservation Achievement Award (“Conservation Educator of the Year” for The Project CATE Foundation) from the Alabama Wildlife Federation, the 2002 Best Environmental Education Award for development of Ribbit’s Big Splash from the Environment Education Association of Alabama, the Wetlands Merit Award from the Environmental Protection Agency in 2000, and the Governor’s Conservation Achievement Award (“Water Conservationist of the Year”) from the Alabama Wildlife Federation in 1987. At the 2011 Fall Meeting of the American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy and Resources, Neil was presented The Phoenix Award as the Chairman of the Forest Resources Committee for the Committee’s work during the 2010-2011 year. The Phoenix Award is a special recognition given to the Committee that has made an outstanding effort to improve the Committee’s performance over the past year.

He is a member of numerous professional and civic associations, including the Rotary Club of Mobile (President, 1996), the Nature Conservancy of Alabama (Board of Trustees, 1990-1996), The Project CATE Foundation, Inc. (President and General Counsel, 1997-present), Alabama Coastal Foundation (President, 2003-2004), Partners for Environmental Progress (Board Member), America’s Junior Miss, Inc. (Board of Directors, 1996-2002), Society of American Military Engineers (Member 1996 – present), Alabama Chapter, Soil and Water Conservation Society (Member), the International Right-of-Way Association (Member), Governor’s Wetland Mitigation Task Force (Member), Chair of the USGBC Alabama Chapter (2014); member of the USGBC – Gulf Coast Branch (Past Director of State Chapter) of the Alabama Chapter, and a member of the Environmental Law Institute.

Biographical Information

Douglas L. McCoy practices primarily in the area of commercial litigation, including cases involving intellectual property and non-compete agreement disputes, claims arising out of financing and leasing transactions, contract disputes, cyber security breach related claims, real estate litigation, securities litigation, corporate control litigation, commercial fraud and tort litigation, engineers and accountants professional liability claims and construction related litigation, as well as in the areas of estate litigation, products liability litigation and class action litigation. Doug serves as chair of Hand Arendall Harrison Sale’s class action litigation practice group.

Doug graduated from Duke University School of Law in 1982 and from the University of Tennessee, B.S., magna cum laude, in 1979. Doug is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and the Alabama Supreme Court, as well as before the United States Circuit Courts of Appeal for the Second, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits and the United States District Courts for the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Alabama.

Doug has argued before the United States Circuit Courts of Appeal for the Second, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits and before the Alabama Supreme Court. He has handled cases for clients in the United States District Courts for the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Alabama, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. Doug has also litigated cases in a significant number of the Circuit Courts of Alabama as well as in state courts in several Mississippi counties.

Doug’s litigation experience has involved a broad range of legal issues which have arisen out of widely varying factual situations. His undergraduate degree in accounting contributes to his acumen for understanding complex factual scenarios as well as detailed technical information and his belief in developing a full understanding of the operations of his clients, particularly as those operations pertain to the issues in a particular case, have given Doug a strategic advantage which he has used for the benefit of his clients in many cases.

Doug has lectured and written on various topics including non-competition and trade secret litigation, class action litigation as well as damages issues including the defense of claims for punitive damages. He is presently a member of Leadership for the ABA Section of Litigation. Doug is a past Co-Chair of the Business Torts Litigation Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation, a past Co-Chair of the Trial Practice Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation and a past Co-Chair of the Consumer and Civil Rights Litigation Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation. Doug is a past President of the American Counsel Association and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Doug is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi, the Alabama Bar Association, the Mobile Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

Doug has achieved Martindale Hubbell’s highest AV rating.

Biographical Information

Bruce McGowin has extensive experience in the fields of real estate, commercial finance, and environmental law. His clients include utilities, manufacturers, developers, investors, retailers, banks, finance companies, title insurers and management companies.

Bruce is a member of the Mobile County Bar Association, the Alabama State Bar (Chairman, Environmental Section, 1988-1989), and the American Bar Association. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Downtown Mobile Alliance. He is a member of Leadership Coastal Alabama. He was a contributing editor for the Environmental Practice Guide published by Matthew Bender & Co. in 1992. Bruce is a frequent lecturer on environmental and real estate matters and is recognized in the book The Best Lawyers in America, for real estate law and environmental law.

SAMPLE TRANSACTIONS

  • Acquisition of a 2.1 million square foot former railcar production facility in Colbert County, AL – Representing Buyer 
  • Sale of retail and commercial multi-use development at The Wharf, Orange Beach, AL – Representing Receiver/Seller 
  • Sale and financing of multiple beachfront properties for hotel development, Orange Beach, AL – Representing Seller and Lender 
  • Representation of European and Asian banks in $175,000,000 loan facility for development of chemical production facility in Decatur, AL – Representing Lenders
  • Land swap pertaining to various Mobile River properties between the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Alabama State Port Authority, Mobile, AL – Representing Port Authority 
  • Sale of Konica-Minolta office and production campus to Mobile County School Board, Mobile, AL – Representing Seller 
  • Acquisition of All Pipeline Right of Ways for LNG facility (Mobile, AL and Offshore State Lands) – Representing Buyer
  • Sale of former Kaiser Aluminum Wire Manufacturing Facility, Bay Minette, AL – Representing Seller 
  • Purchase of 114 acre International Paper Company Mill Site for the Alabama State Port Authority, Mobile, AL – Representing Buyer 
  • Purchase of Beach frontage for Condominium Development, Gulf Shores, AL – Representing Lender 
  • Purchase of 49 Hectares on the Rio Panuco, Tampico, Mexico for Shipyard Construction – Representing Buyer 
  • Sale of Former Navy Homeport to Exxon LNG, Mobile, AL – Representing Seller
  • Sale of FBI Building, Mobile, AL – Representing Buyer 
  • Acquisition of All Right of Ways Required in Alabama and Mississippi for Gulfstream TransGulf Pipeline (Gautier, MS and Mobile, AL to Tampa, FL) – Representing Buyer 
  • Purchase of Citgo Oil Terminal, Panama City, FL – Representing Buyer
  • Development of Historic Malbis (300 Lot New Urbanism Subdivision), Daphne, AL – Representing Developer 
  • Purchase of 14,000 acres of Timberland, Keith Springs, TN – Representing Buyer
  • Refinancing of Three Wood Chip Mills, Monroe County, AL – Representing Borrower
  • Sale of Oil Refinery and Associated Pipeline to Shell Oil Co., Chickasaw, AL – Representing Seller 
  • Sale of 5,000-acre resort community (including hotel, condominiums, undeveloped lots, golf course and single family residences), Still Waters, AL – Representing Seller 
  • Private Auction of 325 Commercial and Residential Properties for the Resolution Trust Corporation – Mobile, Montgomery, Birmingham and Huntsville, AL – Representing Seller 
  • Purchase of First National Bank Building, Mobile, AL – Representing Buyer 
  • Financing the Sale and Lease Back of 36 Auto Parts Stores in eleven states – Representing Lender
  • Development and creation of numerous condominiums at Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, AL – Representing Developers 
  • Purchase of Springdale Mall, Mobile, AL – Representing Buyer

Biographical Information

Brooks Milling devotes a significant portion of his practice to the representation of buyers and sellers of businesses. He has handled numerous bank mergers involving the public offering of registered common stock. He also frequently represents buyers and sellers of small to medium sized private businesses. Mr. Milling has advised public companies regarding compliance with the 1933 Act and the 1934 Act and assisted in the preparation of periodic reports required by the 1934 Act. Brooks represents several charitable foundations that have significant timberland holdings. Brooks previously served as the head of the Firm’s Business Section. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America for corporate law.

Other significant components of his practice include:

  • advising banks and bank holding companies in corporate and regulatory matters;
  • representing buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants in real estate transactions;
  • representing charitable private foundations;
  • the formation of corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships for clients engaged in all types of business; and
  • providing general corporate and transactional advice to businesses.

Biographical Information

Henry T. Morrissette is a strong and creative advocate for clients in state and federal courts throughout Alabama. He has more than 30 years of experience successfully representing corporate and individual clients in business and insurance disputes and defending businesses and insurance companies in life, health, and disability insurance; ERISA; employee benefits; fraud and bad faith; product liability; and class action cases. Henry serves as Chair of the Firm’s Personal Injury, Insurance and Employment Practice Group. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and was named Best Lawyers 2013 “Lawyer of the Year” for Insurance Law for Mobile, Alabama. Henry has also been selected for inclusion in Mid-South Super Lawyers.

Henry is very active in civil defense trial lawyer organizations. He is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC). Henry is past Chair of the IADC In House and Law Firm Management Committee. He served as Co-Editor of the Third Edition of the Defense Counsel Training Manual published by the IADC. Henry is also a past Chair of the IADC Trial Techniques and Tactics Committee. He served on the faculty of the 2012 IADC Trial Academy at Stanford Law School. Henry also served as 2010 General Convention Chair and as Program Chair for the 2011 IADC Annual meeting. Henry was President of the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association in 2001—2002 and served as Alabama State Representative for the Defense Research Institute from 2002—2005. He currently serves as Chair of the Federal Court Civil Practice Section of the Mobile Bar Association.

Henry is actively involved in the Mobile community. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce and served as Vice Chair for Economic Development. Henry served as the Co-Chair of the Mobile Connect Program for the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. Henry served as President of the Mobile Arts Council in 2012. He also volunteers his time with the South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program. Henry and his wife, Beth, live near Downtown Mobile.

Biographical Information

Caine O’Rear has been in private practice with the Firm of Hand Arendall Harrison Sale since 1975, where he serves as chairman of the Firm’s Litigation Section. He is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States and the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits and tries cases in all three federal districts and numerous circuit courts in Alabama, as well as in courts of other jurisdictions. Mr. O’Rear usually serves as lead counsel both at trial and on appeal.

Mr. O’Rear handles complex cases involving issues of fraud, the False Claims Act, business torts, breach of contract, constitutional claims, class action certification, and professional liability. He also conducts corporate internal investigations and advises companies regarding their compliance obligations. His clients span a wide variety of industries, including government contractors, health care providers, financial companies, nuclear energy, utilities, technology companies, state government, municipalities, and engineering firms.

Mr. O’Rear has prevailed at trial and on appeal for his clients in a number of significant cases throughout the years. Reported decisions include:

  • Baldwin County Elec. Membership Corp. v. City of Fairhope (2008 WL 2410213) (obtained defense verdict and affirmance on appeal in favor of municipality in territorial dispute between two electric utilities);
  • Radiation Therapy Oncology v. Providence Hospital (2005 WL 78756) (obtained summary judgment and affirmance on appeal for hospital in leading case on medical staff privileges);
  • Waddell & Reed, Inc. v. United Investors Life Ins. Co. (2003 WL 21512990) (obtained for financial services company a reversal on appeal of $50 million verdict and established new law on tortious interference with business relations claim); and
  • Louisiana Debating and Literary Ass’n v. City of New Orleans, 42 F.3d 1483 (1995 WL 8991) (obtained judgment and affirmance on appeal in Fifth Circuit for private clubs in leading First Amendment case regarding freedom of association).

More recently, Mr. O’Rear served as co-lead counsel with other members of his Firm in representing the State of Alabama and Alabama Medicaid against various pharmaceutical manufacturers where the State obtained a series of jury verdicts in excess of $400 million regarding claims of improper prescription drug price reporting by the defendant manufacturers. In 2013-14, Mr. O’Rear defended south Alabama’s largest health care provider against a multi-million dollar complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Justice under the False Claims Act.

Mr. O’Rear has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for the categories of Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, and Construction Litigation. He is also listed in Chambers USA for Commercial Litigation and in Alabama Super Lawyers for Business Litigation. He was named by The Best Lawyers in America as the Lawyer of the Year 2016 for Bet-the-Company Litigation in Mobile, Alabama.

Mr. O’Rear has been active in the Alabama State Bar and other professional organizations. He is a Fellow of the Alabama Law Foundation and served on the Board of Bar Commissioners from 1992 through 2001. He has served on the faculty of the IADC’s National Trial Academy and has written and lectured on topics involving trial techniques, trial strategy and ethics. He recently chaired the Federal Court Civil Practice Committee for the Southern District of Alabama.

Mr. O’Rear served in the United States Army and attained the rank of Captain.

Biographical Information

Buzzy Riis serves at the Managing Lawyer for the Mobile office of the firm. He is a lifetime resident of Mobile, Alabama, graduating from Washington & Lee University, B.A., cum laude, 1982, and receiving his law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law, J.D., 1985. He has been with the firm since 1991, and is a member of the Litigation Section of the law firm actively involved in the following Practice Groups: Personal Injury & Insurance; Construction; Employment and Labor, Worker’s Compensation, and Cybersecurity.

Buzzy practices in the field of general civil litigation with a concentration in personal injury, trucking defense and construction defense litigation. Buzzy has tried more than 50 jury trials. He also has more than 30 years experience in OSHA disputes on behalf of contractors, healthcare providers, shipyards, stevedores and manufacturing facilities in contesting citations from the Occupational Safety & Health Commission. Buzzy has tried cases both before juries and judges in Mobile County, Baldwin County, Montgomery County, Choctaw County, Escambia County and Conecuh County, Alabama. He has also tried cases in the federal courts for the Southern District of Alabama and has argued appeals before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Buzzy has been active in the pro bono lawyer program in the City of Mobile throughout his practice. He was recognized as the 2003 recipient of the Ben Kilborn Volunteer Lawyer of the Year.

While in law school, Buzzy served on the Editorial Board of the Alabama Law Review. He is currently a member of the Mobile Bar Association, the Alabama Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Alabama Self-Insurers Association, the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys (Executive Council), and TIDA. He was inducted into the Paul Brock Inn of Court in 1999. He serves on the Associate Board of Directors of the Mobile AGC (Associated General Contractors) and he is a Past-President of the Associate Board of the Mobile and state AGC.

Buzzy and his wife, Nicole, are members of Government Street Presbyterian Church. He has two children: a son, Burruss, and a daughter, Mickey. His son, Burruss, graduated from the University of Southern Miss and law school at the University of Alabama School of Law. Mickey attended Auburn University and now works in Opelika, Alabama. Buzzy also has two stepdaughters, Mollie and Callie. Mollie is a graduate of the University of Alabama and Callie graduated from Mississippi State and is now at the University of Alabama School of Law.

Biographical Information

Norman Stockman is chair of the Firm’s Litigation Section. Norman’s diverse practice includes commercial litigation, maritime litigation and transactions, construction litigation and contract negotiations, and bankruptcy litigation. Norman tries cases in state and federal courts in Alabama and Mississippi and is also admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida and the Fifth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals.

Norman’s clients include marine towing companies, terminal operators, shipyards, shipowners, marinas, domestic and international marine insurers, architects, engineers, contractors, suppliers, property owners, commercial insurance companies, financial institutions, and other businesses and commercial interests.

Norman is actively involved in numerous trade and business associations and has served in leadership positions as president of the Propeller Club of the United States, Port of Mobile, as chair of the Young Lawyers Committee and member of the board of directors of the Maritime Law Association of the United States, and as a member of the Alabama State Bar Young Lawyers Section Executive Committee. Norman is also the past president and member of the board of directors of the Dauphin Way United Methodist Church Foundation and is the vice-chair and member of the board of directors of the Mobile Museum of Art.

Biographical Information

George Walker is a member in the Firm’s Mobile office. His litigation practice and experience encompasses a wide variety of litigation areas, including product liability litigation; toxic tort litigation; banking practices and conduct litigation; commercial litigation; and employment discrimination litigation.

Mr. Walker has tried (and prosecuted/defended the appeals of) numerous jury and non-jury cases throughout Alabama and in Mississippi and Northwest Florida in both state and federal courts, representing banks, doctors, product manufacturers and distributors, insurance agents, employers, insurance companies, and airlines. The Representative and Reported Cases list reflects the variety of his litigation practice over the last 41 years. In addition, he has counseled clients in all of these areas on ways in which litigation might be avoided.

Mr. Walker has also frequently written and spoken extensively on litigation topics. He has written on topics as diverse as the award of attorneys’ fees, junk science, closing arguments, proximate cause, expert witnesses, and employment torts for such publications as the Alabama Lawyer, the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association Journal, DRI’s For the Defense, and the Newsletters of the DRI Committees. In addition, he has spoken at meetings of the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys, the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association, the DRI Trial Tactics Committee seminars, the Environmental Law Section of the Alabama State Bar, and the Mobile Bar Association Bench and Bar Conference.

Mr. Walker is a member of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association, as well as a member of and a former Director for the Defense Research Institute, as well as its Product Liability, Professional Liability, Medical Liability, Commercial Litigation, Trial Tactics, and Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committees. He is a member and Past President of the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys. He is recognized in the book The Best Lawyers in America, and is also recognized as an Alabama Super Lawyer. He was a sustaining member of the Product Liability Advisory Council from 1999 to 2015 and participated in its Amicus Curiae Program. Outside of his practice of law, Mr. Walker serves as a Director Emeritus and as a former President of the Alabama Golf Association. From 1993 until 2011, Mr. Walker served on the Board of Trustees at the University of Montevallo and as the Chair of the Board from 2006 until 2011.

Biographical Information

Roger Bates has served as the firm’s Managing Lawyer for more than 10 years, and guided the firm through its geographic expansion into Florida.  Mr. Bates has extensive experience in complex business and commercial litigation, including business and contract disputes, labor and employment and healthcare-related litigation. He also represents clients before state and federal regulatory agencies and assists them with governmental relations issues. Mr. Bates regularly represents postsecondary educational institutions in litigation, compliance and regulatory matters. He serves as a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the body for accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states.  Mr. Bates has served as a specially appointed Deputy Attorney General in Alabama since 1995 and has represented the State of Alabama and various agencies in state and federal courts. Mr. Bates was also appointed to serve a term as the City Attorney for the City of Hoover, Alabama and he currently serves as the County Attorney for Chilton County, Alabama. 

Mr. Bates has served on numerous committees of the Birmingham Bar Association and has lectured on a variety of topics for continuing legal education seminars. As General Counsel for the Alabama Pharmacy Association, Mr. Bates publishes a quarterly journal article on law and ethics. Mr. Bates is active in the Birmingham area community. Mr. Bates is a member of the American Bar Association, and of its State and Local Government Law and Litigation Sections. He is also a member of the American Health Lawyers Association and the Alabama Association of Municipal Attorneys. In 2015, he was named a Fellow of the Alabama Law Foundation in recognition of his service to the community.

Mr. Bates was born in Clanton, Alabama. After being admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1982, he was a law clerk to Senior U.S. District Judge C. W. Allgood until 1983. In 1979, Mr. Bates received a B.S. degree from Auburn University, and in 1982, he obtained his J.D. from Cumberland School of Law. While attending law school he was awarded the Donald E. Corley Best Advocate Award, served on the National Mock Trial Team, and was an associate member of the American Journal of Trial Advocacy.

Biographical Information

Shane Black practices in the field of general civil litigation. His litigation practice encompasses a variety of areas, including commercial litigation, property law, municipal law, education law, and complex litigation. The following list of Representative and Reported Cases reflects the variety of his practice.

Mr. Black was born in Ripley, Alabama and was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1997. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in 1994 from Birmingham-Southern College, cum laude. He obtained his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law, summa cum laude. Mr. Black is a member of the Order of the Coif, and served as the Editor in Chief of the Alabama Law Review.

Outside of his law practice, Mr. Black serves as the President of the Board of Directors for Athens Main Street.

Biographical Information

I. Ripon Britton, Jr. practices primarily in the area of probate proceedings, guardianships, conservatorships, elder law planning, real property litigation, commercial litigation, and municipal and local government representation.

Conservatorship & Probate: Mr. Britton has a wide probate practice including conservatorships, guardianships, and estate administration. In addition to his representative work, he also serves as Conservator, Guardian, Trustee, Special Needs Trustee or Payee appointed by the Probate Court, the Circuit Court, Social Security Administration, or private clients. In this role, he is responsible for marshaling assets, litigating real and personal property ownership issues, managing estate funds, overseeing nursing home placement, Medicaid eligibility, and overseeing payment of the beneficiaries’ day to day needs and expenses. He is involved in all areas of administration of simple and complex estates. He also counsels with family members regarding elder care planning, estate planning, and Medicaid eligibility.

Special Needs Trust: Mr. Britton is also privileged to serve as the trustee for numerous individuals who have special needs and to administer their Special Needs Trusts and to counsel with them and their families.

Litigation: Mr. Britton has extensive litigation experience representing clients in real estate litigation, commercial, property and insurance disputes, business tort cases, insurance fraud, bad faith cases, and insurance agent representation. 

Municipal & Local Government: Mr. Britton also has a broad municipal and local government practice. He is the former prosecutor for Hoover, Alabama, and Tarrant, Alabama. He previously served as Assistant County Attorney for Jefferson County, Alabama.

Mr. Britton was born and raised in Birmingham. He attended Auburn University where he received his degree in Industrial Management and was elected President of the Student Government Association. He attended Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham where he was an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Trial Advocacy, and a member of the Moot Court Board and the Trial Board.

 

Biographical Information

Tracy Davis is a member of Hand Arendall Harrison Sale’s employment, healthcare, and commercial litigation teams. During her tenure at the Firm, Tracy has concentrated in a variety of litigation areas. She has extensive trial experience in large complex litigation, contract cases, and all types of employment disputes. She regularly provides counsel to state entities, health centers, and community colleges on various topics.

Outside of the law practice, Mrs. Davis is a wife and mother. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, designing and completing home renovation projects, and reading novels.

She graduated from undergraduate studies from the University of Alabama. She attended Loyola University School of Law, served as a Managing Editor of the Law Review, and graduated magna cum laude.

Biographical Information

John S. Johnson is a member of the Firm’s Litigation Section. He practices in the field of general civil litigation but spends most of his time working on labor and employment law and life, health and disability insurance matters. He has pre-trial, trial and appellate experience in state and federal courts throughout the State of Alabama and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He enjoys assisting business clients with all types of employment matters, including crafting personnel policies, drafting and enforcing non-compete agreements, making personnel decisions, defending discrimination and harassment claims, and other employment-related issues. John also has extensive experience assisting life and disability insurers in ERISA and bad faith litigation.

John was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1997. He received his law degree from Washington & Lee University School of Law in 1997 and his Bachelor’s degree from Samford University, magna cum laude, in 1994. He was also admitted to the Mississippi State Bar in 2005. He remains admitted to practice in all state and federal district courts in Alabama and Mississippi, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He is a member of the Birmingham Bar Association and the Defense Research Institute. He is also active at Antioch Community Church and in the City of Vestavia Hills, where he enjoys spending time with his family, reading and being outside.

Biographical Information

Designations & Registrations

  • Alabama Super Lawyers©
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers©
  • Best Lawyers In America©, Insurance Law, 2012—2023 
  • Birmingham Business Journal – Best Alabama Attorneys
  • B Metro Magazine – Top Rated Attorneys in Birmingham
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent
  • Registered Mediator

Drew has tried cases in state and federal courts throughout Alabama for over 33 years. He is committed to understanding from the outset his client’s goal and objectives for the prosecution or defense of the litigation and achieving those goals. Drew is frequently involved in ADR, particularly arbitration and mediation. Drew has extensive experience representing owners and contractors in construction disputes and defending product liability claims involving a wide range of products from heavy equipment to construction products, commercial and consumer products, as well as chemicals. He also defends major carriers in bad faith litigation. Drew is dedicated to recognizing and developing opportunities to effect desirable business resolutions of claims at all phases, pre-suit through trial.

Biographical Information

Mark T. Waggoner is the Chair of the Firm’s Employment and Labor Practice Group. Mark argued the position of respondent, Dr. Steve Franks, before the United States Supreme Court in Lane v. Franks (134 S. Ct. 2369) on April 28, 2014. He has significant experience in most types of civil litigation, but his emphasis is in the fields of employment law (with an emphasis in constitutional law in public sector and higher education employment) and environmental law. He represents management in all aspects of workplace statutory compliance, employment discrimination charges and litigation, employment contracts, personnel policies and procedures, and workplace drug testing. He served as Hearing Officer for Jefferson County Personnel Board.

Mark is a frequent speaker to various groups regarding employment issues. He is a member of the Defense Research Institute and is on the steering committee of DRI’s Employment Law Committee. He has also been appointed to serve as an Administrative Law Judge in health care facility permitting matters before the Certificate of Need Review Board, State Health Planning and Development Agency. Mark has served as a First Amendment Free Speech subject matter expert for Colleges and other post-secondary institutions.

Mark’s environmental law experience includes administrative permitting proceedings and appeals before the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and litigation concerning Clean Water Act and Solid Waste Act compliance. Mark served as chair of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section of the Alabama State Bar, 2007-2008. He was appointed by Alabama Governor Bob Riley to serve on the board of the Red Mountain Greenway and Recreational Area Commission.

He has been appointed to serve as Deputy Attorney General to handle numerous litigation matters for the State of Alabama and its agencies for more than 20 years.

After graduation from law school, Mark served as Legislative Assistant to United States Senator Jeremiah Denton; in the Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Energy; and as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Legislative, Intergovernmental and Public Affairs, U. S. Department of Energy.

Biographical Information

James S. Witcher, III practices in the field of civil litigation. He represents clients in the areas of commercial law, business torts, maritime law, banking, insurance coverage law and environmental law.

James was born in Jacksonville, Florida. He graduated cum laude from Birmingham Southern College in 1990 with a B.S. in Business Administration. He was a member of Sigma Tau Delta.

James obtained his Juris Doctorate from the University of Alabama School of Law and was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1995. At the University of Alabama, James served as acting Editor-in-Chief of the Law and Psychology Review. He was a member of the Bench and Bar Honor Society and was elected Associate Justice to the Honor Court. He is a member of the Birmingham Bar Association, the Alabama State Bar, the American Bar Association, the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association, the Defense Research Institute, the Maritime Law Association of the United States, the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute and the Atlanta Claims Association.

James strives to serve the needs of his clients by understanding their goals. He has represented a variety of businesses with different needs and concerns. Representative clients range from large multi-state banks to locally held businesses. He has handled numerous cases in the state and federal court systems from the beginning of the litigation process through trial and appeal. He has also represented clients in various arbitration forums.

Biographical Information

Gregory L. Leatherbury, Jr. (Greg) obtained his Master of Law degree (LL.M) from New York University in taxation law, and has extensive experience in a broad range of practice areas, including real estate, corporate, tax, probate, and estate planning, including wills, trusts, durable powers of attorney and living wills..

REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT AND FINANCE:

Greg has extensive experience in the area of real estate transactions and development, including commercial and residential multi-family condominium developments. Greg’s office is located in South Baldwin County near the Gulf Coast, and represents developers throughout the development process, including formation of development entities, joint venture agreement, acquisition of properties, representations before the Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and Baldwin County political bodies for re-zonings and approvals of projects; preparation of condominium documents and filings with HUD in Washington under the Interstate Land Sales Fair Disclosure Act (if applicable). Greg also represents developers in the permitting process for various developments, including representation before the Army Corps of Engineers, Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) and U. S. Fish & Wildlife with respect to Alabama Beach Mouse and other endangered species. Greg is a member of the American College of Mortgage Counsel and has served on its National Board of Regents. Greg also handled the legal representation for developers that constructed the toll bridge and eight miles of roadway in South Baldwin County.

CORPORATE AND BUSINESS PRACTICE:

Greg has vast experience over the years in business and commercial law, business organizations, mergers and acquisitions. Many of Greg’s clients are families which own closely-held businesses, and Greg has handled all of the family matters, including the business, corporate, financing and business succession planning. Greg served on the Alabama Law Institute committees that prepared the Revised Alabama Business Corporation Act, the Limited Liability Company Act, and is currently serving on the Business Entities Committee. Greg also served as Chairman of the University of Alabama Federal Tax Clinic and the Alabama Tax Institute Federal Tax Seminar.

ESTATE PLANNING, PROBATE AND ESTATE ADMINISTRATION:

Greg’s tax background has afforded him extensive practice in family estate planning, including family LLCs and LLPs, wills, trusts, life insurance trusts, CRUTS, CRATS, and administration of probate estates. Greg is included in the book The Best Lawyers in America in the fields of tax law and trusts and estates and is a member of the Mobile Estate Planning Council.

GENERAL:

Greg was born in Mobile, Alabama and was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1973. He graduated from The University of Alabama, B.A. 1969, The University of Alabama School of Law, J.D. 1972, and New York University School of Law, LL.M. (Taxation) 1973. Greg now lives in Orange Beach, Alabama.

Biographical Information

David A. Ryan’s practice encompasses a broad array of transactions, ranging from developments involving real estate to securities offerings to mergers and acquisitions. His practice generally can be grouped into the following categories:

Real Estate: Purchases, developments and divestitures of all types, including commercial, residential, mixed-use, resort, special-purpose and others, comprise David’s real estate practice. Transactions often include assemblage of land parcels, complex entitlements issues, historic districts, tax credits, negotiation of joint development ventures and agreements, procurement and negotiation of debt and equity through institutional providers and private placements, procurement of all capital stack components, negotiation of hierarchical risks and returns to various transaction participants, provision of non-consolidation opinions and other opinions necessary to facilitate financing and otherwise consummate transactions.

Condominiums: As an integral component of David’s real estate development experience, he has been involved in a multitude of condominium developments, including mixed-use, residential, commercial, vertical, horizontal and land condominiums. Such projects have included procurement of air rights, subterranean rights, lighting rights and other issues associated with high-rise/high-density developments. These transactions have involved private parties, public entities and governmental institutions, and in some instances have involved private, public and governmental participation in a single development.

Ground Leases: Ground lease structures are a recurring theme in David’s practice, and he has negotiated such arrangements in connection with a variety of real estate transactions, some of which involve condominiums, others which involve private and public institutions, and many of which have involved both public and private universities. As a component of his ground lease experience, David has structured sub-ground leases as a derivative component of master ground lease structures and has negotiated ground lease conversions to fee ownership interests. The specific issues pertaining to title insurance represented by ground lease transactions are an area in which David has been heavily involved.

Public-Private Partnerships: As the public sector has become increasingly interested in sharing the financial burdens and risks associated with large scale developments, David’s practice has increasingly involved public-private partnerships.  These arrangements have involved municipalities, counties and state organizations across the United States, and have included ordinance, zoning district and overlay area creation, municipality expansion, land use planning, infrastructure projects, mixed-use developments, toll bridges, student-oriented housing, and hotels and related developments in resort areas.

Securities: Exempt from registration securities offerings have played a significant role in David’s practice, whether such offerings have been for a particular project or whether a fund is being created for various investment purposes, and whether related to real estate or otherwise. David’s securities practice has involved significant filings and appearance before local, state and federal agencies.

Mergers and Acquisitions: The purchase and sale of business interests and controlling interest purchases and sales in ongoing business ventures have been a component of David’s practice from its inception, and involves asset purchases, ongoing business concern purchases and sales, membership interest purchases and sales, negotiation of structured buyouts with post-closing participation in ongoing success of the venture, as well as wind-downs, spinoffs and other types of divestitures, including addressing the various tax implications associated therewith.

Professional Services Representation: Throughout David’s practice he has been active in the representation of physicians and physician groups with their various transactional needs, including professional services agreements, management services agreements, mergers, acquisitions, partial, complete and phased buyouts of professional service groups and other related transactions. He has been involved in multiple Certificates of Need procurements. Restructuring of professional service groups to facilitate growth, attraction of talent and succession planning has also been an area of focus in David’s professional services representation.

General: Throughout David’s practice he has been integrally involved in and consummated billions of dollars of transactions, and in doing so has represented owners, developers, borrowers, lenders, equity providers, municipalities and state agencies.

David is a member of the American, Birmingham and Mobile Bar Associations, and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of various charitable and civic organizations.

 

 

Biographical Information

Michael Niemeyer serves as chairman of the Commercial Litigation Practice Group for the firm. He has practiced in Alabama since 1990, representing national, state, and local clients in state and federal courts throughout Alabama. He is a lifelong resident of Baldwin County and enhances the Firm’s litigation and business practice in that jurisdiction.

Michael specializes in the representation of business, professional, insurance, retail and individual clients in commercial and property/casualty litigation, and he has successfully represented these clients in numerous arbitrations and civil trials in both state and federal courts in Alabama. The significant matters in which Michael has recently been involved include:

  • representation of developers, contractors, real estate firms and engineering firms in real estate and professional liability disputes and litigation
  • representation of contractors, subcontractors and product manufacturers in construction defect disputes, litigation and arbitration
  • representation of professional appraisers in litigation arising out of professional liability claims by lenders
  • representation of businesses to judicially enforce non-compete and confidentiality provisions of employment agreements
  • representation of a regional health care system in real estate and professional employment agreement disputes and litigation
  • representation of members and shareholders of closely held businesses in control and buy/sell disputes
  • representation of businesses in complex personal injury and wrongful death litigation
  • representation of product manufacturers in personal injury and wrongful death litigation
  • representation of policyholders and insurance companies in insurance coverage disputes and bad faith litigation
  • representation of insurance companies in claim investigations, coverage disputes and bad faith cases arising out of occupational accident/disability policies

Michael graduated from Louisiana State University (B.S. Bus. Adm. 1986), and obtained his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law (J.D. 1990). He is a member of the Baldwin County, Mobile County, Alabama State Bar Associations, as well as the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel.

Biographical Information

W. Bradley Smith practices in Hand Arendall Harrison Sale’s Litigation Section. Mr. Smith received his J.D., summa cum laude, in 2002 from the University of Tennessee College of Law, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif upon graduation. While attending the University of Tennessee, Mr. Smith was a member of the Tennessee Law Review. Mr. Smith received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from the University of North Carolina in 1998.

Mr. Smith is a member of the Bar of the State of New York, First Department, and is admitted to practice in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Biographical Information

J. Fred Kingren concentrates his legal practice in the general business, corporate, and securities law, mergers and acquisitions, and taxation areas. He has extensive experience representing purchasers and sellers of many types of businesses and start-up companies in their early stages of development and during their evolution into more mature businesses. Fred also represents businesses as they seek debt and equity financing and with various types of contractual negotiations. An integral part of Fred’s practice involves providing general legal and strategic business advice, while ensuring that the business planning strategies of the businesses he represents are consistent with their owners’ estate planning strategies. Consequently, he effectively serves as general counsel for many “Main Street” businesses and their owners.

Fred has worked as in-house counsel for a public company and its insurance company subsidiaries. He has the benefit of practicing law from the client’s side of the desk, so he knows the joys and frustrations of everyday business life — including working with lawyers. Fred also worked as a CPA for what was then the “Big Eight” national accounting firm of Price Waterhouse. He continues to keep current his Certificate of Public Accountancy.

An honors graduate of the Brock School of Business at Samford University, Fred received his J.D. and LL.M. in Taxation degrees from the University of Alabama School of Law. While in law school, Fred served as Editor-in-Chief of the Alabama Law Review.

Fred has written numerous articles and spoken extensively to professional groups on topics relating to mergers and acquisitions, choice of business entity, and tax strategies.

The Birmingham Business Alliance, his entrepreneurs’ roundtable, the Brock School of Business at Samford University, and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church are all important to Fred. He serves a Trustee of the Birmingham Business Alliance. He is a member of an entrepreneurs’ roundtable, comprised of local business owners and C-level executives, which meets monthly in Hand Arendall’s offices to discuss issues important to their businesses. He continues to be involved with his alma mater, Samford University, by serving as a member of the Advisory Board of the Brock School of Business. He is a member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.

Biographical Information

Kelly Thrasher Fox practices in the areas of real estate, mergers and acquisitions, contract negotiation, business and estate planning, finance, and general corporate, tax and contract law. Kelly represents numerous clients in the acquisition, disposition, and management of real estate ranging from distribution centers, shopping centers, governmental buildings, residential subdivisions, multi-family housing, and cell phone tower sites. She assists entrepreneurs in their evolution from starting their business, selling or expanding their business, and dissolving their business, including all of the steps along the way such as financing and contractual negotiations. Kelly also works with various municipalities in remediating blight and addressing other real estate issues.

Kelly serves on the board of directors of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce. Kelly was named as one of the Birmingham Business Journal’s Top 40 under 40 in 2015.

Biographical Information

Katie Hammett Hassell is a Member in Hand Arendall Harrison Sale’s Mobile office. She practices both in Alabama and Mississippi. Her litigation practice is wide and varied, including transportation and other trucking litigation; OSHA disputes; mass tort; construction litigation; medical malpractice; premises liability; non-compete issues; and commercial litigation; and other general litigation matters.. While at HAHS, Katie has tried several jury and non-jury cases and obtained a number of dismissals for clients. Katie has successfully counseled clients to resolution of cases throughout both Alabama and Mississippi.

Katie’s philosophy is to place her clients in the best position possible, whether that is a successful trial verdict or early resolution. The client’s best interest is always forefront of her analysis and strategy in any case.

Katie received her B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of South Alabama. While at South, Katie was elected SGA Vice President, as well as serving in several clubs and academic leadership positions. Katie received her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Alabama School of Law. While at Alabama, Katie served on the managing board of the Alabama Law Review and the John A. Campbell Moot Court Board. She authored School Shootings, Ceramic Tiles & Hazelwood: The Continuing Lessons of the Columbine Tragedy, 55 Ala. L. Rev. 393 (2004). She also received the Maynard, Cooper & Gale Best Junior Editor Award for her work on the law review. She was a Hugo Black Scholar, member of the Bench & Bar, and was selected for membership into the Order of the Coif.

Katie is married to her husband, Matt Hassell, who is an occupational therapist specializing in hand therapy. Her greatest joy is being a mom to her two young children, Anne Harlan (age 9) and Jennings (age 5), who attend St. Paul’s Episcopal School.

Biographical Information

Ben Goldman is a member in the Law Firm of Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC, a full-service civil firm with offices throughout Alabama and in the panhandle of Florida. He serves on the Firm’s Executive Committee, as Chair of the Firm’s State and Local Government Practice Group, and as Chair of the Firm’s Bankruptcy and Creditors Rights Practice Group. Since 2001, Goldman has practiced in Birmingham as a litigator, successfully defending clients through all stages of federal and state court litigation, including trial and appeal. He has represented over 50 Alabama municipalities, utilities, development boards, and other governmental entities. Furthermore, Goldman has served as corporate counsel to local, regional, and national businesses, representing them in a broad scope of matters.

In 2012, Goldman received the International Municipal Lawyer Association’s Daniel J. Curtin Young Public Lawyer of the Year Award as the top public lawyer under 40 in the U.S. and Canada. Among his recognitions, Goldman has been named a “Rising Star Lawyer” by the Birmingham Business Journal, a “Super Lawyer” and an “Alabama Rising Star” by Super Lawyers in multiple years, a 2012 “Top 40 Under 40” by the Birmingham Business Journal, as one of the inaugural “Rising Stars of the Bar” by B-Metro, and as a “Top Attorney” by Birmingham Magazine. He is a recipient of The Literacy Council’s Distinguished Partner Award and the National MS Society Leadership Award. He is a graduate of the IADC Trial Academy hosted by Stanford Law School in Palo Alto, California, and he is a graduate of the Alabama State Bar Leadership Forum Class 7.

Goldman graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from Spring Hill College. He obtained his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law where he was a member of the National Trial Advocacy Team, a member of the Bench and Bar Legal Honor Society, a Student Bar Association Senator, and an Honor Court Justice.

In service to his community, Goldman is currently Immediate Past President of the Alabama Association of Municipal Attorneys and a member of the Birmingham Bar Foundation Board of Directors. Goldman is a former member of the Birmingham Bar Association Executive Committee, a former member of the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama Board of Directors, former President of the Legal Aid Society of Birmingham Board of Directors, former President of the Tarrant-Pinson Valley Chamber of Commerce, and a former member of the Family Promise of Birmingham Board of Directors.

Biographical Information

Anne G. Burrows is a member in the Firm’s Athens office. She practices in the areas of real estate, probate, estate planning, municipal, education, and commercial law. She received her J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law where she was a member of the Law and Psychology Review. She obtained her B.A., cum laude, from the University of Richmond and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Mrs. Burrows previously held the position of Deputy District Attorney for Limestone County.

Mrs. Burrows is past President of the Limestone County Bar Association. She is also a member of Elkmont United Methodist Church.

Biographical Information

Rod Cate has an extensive trial and litigation practice. The majority of his trial practice relates to medical malpractice defense. Mr. Cate has tried numerous medical malpractice cases to verdict, representing obstetricians, neurologists, psychiatrists and emergency room physicians. His medical malpractice area runs the full gamut of medical issues and specialties.

Mr. Cate’s practice also includes representation of chemical companies in chemical exposure cases. He has considerable experience in class action and mass tort defense and has successfully consolidated competing class actions before the Judicial Panel Multidistrict Litigation. He has also tried cases involving consumer fraud issues and tractor-trailer collision.

Mr. Cate is a member of the Mobile County Bar Association, the Alabama State Bar Association, the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association, and Professional Liability Defense Federation. In addition, he writes and speaks on the topics of insurance, bad faith and medical related issues.

Mr. Cate is the author of “Get Back Up,” detailing his life journey from a wheelchair to getting back up on his feet literally and never looking back. He is also the host of the Rocket Motivation podcast.

Biographical Information

Craig Campbell is a member in the Litigation Section at Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC in Mobile, Alabama. Craig received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Georgetown College, and his J.D., cum laude from the Cumberland School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review.

Craig’s practice includes many areas of commercial litigation, including construction, product liability, personal injury, trucking, intellectual property (copyright and trademark), and insurance coverage litigation. He has practiced in state and federal courts throughout the State of Alabama, including jury and bench trials and appellate advocacy. Craig also assists clients with general advice, review and drafting of construction contracts and various other commercial agreements, and registration of trademarks. Craig has also been active in the pro bono lawyer program in the City of Mobile throughout his practice. He was recognized as the 2011 recipient of the Ben Kilborn Volunteer Lawyer of the Year.

Craig is currently a member of the Mobile County Bar Association, Alabama State Bar Association, Alabama Defense Lawyers Association, American Bar Association (Construction Law section), the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, and Trucking Lawyers Association.

Outside the practice of law, Craig and his wife, Kimberly, and their two daughters are active members of Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Mobile, Alabama. Craig has served as a “Big” in Big Brothers/Big Sisters since 2010, and has also served on the board of directors for the non-profit Save-A-Stray. Craig is also a member of the Senior Bowl Committee, as well as an active participant in USTA league tennis.

Biographical Information

Paul Beckmann is chair of the Firm’s Admiralty Practice Group. In addition to admiralty matters, Paul assists clients with various litigation issues, including transportation and trucking, construction, medical malpractice, commercial litigation, banking and financial services, intellectual property, and OSHA disputes. Paul has tried several jury and non-jury cases throughout Alabama and the Florida panhandle in both State and Federal Court.

Paul is a member of the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute and the Maritime Law Association. Paul actively participates in the Mobile Volunteer Lawyers Program and Big Brothers Big Sisters. He serves on the school advisory counsel at his children’s school.

Paul grew up in Mobile. He and his wife, Kelli, are active members of St. Ignatius Catholic Church and have three young children, Thomas, Grace, and James.

Biographical Information

John Rollins is a member of the Firm’s litigation section. His litigation practice covers numerous areas of law, but he primarily focuses on insurance defense and personal injury litigation; commercial litigation and collections; and real property litigation, including representation of the State of Alabama in condemnation proceedings.

John was born and raised in Birmingham. He received his bachelor’s degree from UAB, where he double majored in English and Philosophy. After several years in the banking industry, John began law school and graduated magna cum laude from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. While at Cumberland, John received numerous academic awards and was a member of the Cumberland Law Review.

Biographical Information

Nick Greenwood is a retired member of the Firm’s Public Finance and Economic Development Practice Group. His primary practice includes serving as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel, trustee’s counsel, counsel to providers of credit enhancement and counsel to bond purchasers in public financings. His clients include the State of Alabama, state universities, hospitals, airports, industrial development boards, utility systems, public schools, municipalities and counties.

Nick has written numerous constitutional amendments and state statutes relating to public finance.

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

  • $15,770,000 The Utilities Board of the City of Opelika Taxable Utility Revenue Bonds, Series 2020-B and $10.725,000 Utility Revenue Bonds, Series 2020-A, dated September 16, 2020
  • $24,160,000 Lee County Board of Education Capital Outlay Warrant, Series 2020, dated June 16, 2020
  • $30,000,000 The DCH Health Care Authority Revolving Note, Series 2020
  • $35,350,000 The DCH Health Care Authority Health Care Facilities Revenue Bond, Series 2019
  • $46,640,000 The Educational Building Authority of the City of Homewood Educational Facilities Revenue Bonds (Samford University, Series 2017-A)
  • $23,380,000 The Utilities Board of the City of Opelika Utility Bonds, Series 2017-B
  • $39,130,000 The Utilities Board of the city of Foley Utilities Revenue Bonds, Series 2017
  • $27,265,000 The Utilities Board of the City of Opelika Utility Revenue Bonds, Series 2017

Nick is a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers and a Regular Fellow of the American College of Bond Counsel. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America for Public Finance Law for over ten years and was the 2012 Best Lawyer’s Lawyer of the Year for Public Finance in Birmingham. He served as Chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama from 1994 to 1997, and served as Chairman of the Committee for the Nomination of the Bishop Suffragan in 2001. During Nick’s forty-five plus years of public finance practice he has conducted seminars, presentations and taught or participated in CLEs for numerous organizations, including the National Association of Bond Lawyers, Rebuilding America (Forbes Conference, New York), the Southern Trust School and the Alabama Association of School Boards.

Biographical Information

Bob Riccio is a member in Hand Arendall Harrison Sale’s business section. Bob’s practice focuses on complex tax and estate planning, business taxation, taxation of trusts and estates, and tax-exempt organizations. His practice also includes handling estate administrations and advising clients on asset protection issues. Bob also has experience in representing taxpayers in disputes with various federal, state and local taxing authorities, as well as representing both beneficiaries and trustees in fiduciary disputes and litigation.

Bob currently serves as a member of the Standing Committee on Trusts at the Alabama Law Institute, and serves on the board of directors for the Alabama Federal Tax Clinic. Bob is also active in the community and is a member of the Leadership Mobile Class of 2016. As recognition of pro bono service to clients, Bob received the 2015 Volunteer of the Year Award from the South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program.

Bob received his LL.M. (Master of Laws)  degree in taxation from NYU School of Law and his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from the University of Alabama School of Law. Bob is also a Certified Public Accountant and received his bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Biographical Information

Patrick J. R. Ward is a member in the Firm’s litigation and admiralty law sections. He handles various litigation matters including personal injury defense, Jones Act defense, workers’ compensation defense (both Alabama and Longshore and Harbor Workers) and contractual/business disputes.

After growing up in Mobile, Patrick attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. While at the Academy, Patrick was appointed to several leadership positions and served aboard numerous cargo ships which delivered goods to countries all over the world. Upon graduation, Patrick received a commission in the United States Navy and retired from the Navy Reserve in 2012 as a Lieutenant Commander. Patrick also has a Third Mate’s Unlimited License from the United States Coast Guard.

Patrick received his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2008. While in law school, Patrick was a Senior Editor on the Journal of the Legal Profession and was active in the Parham H. Williams Trial Competition. He is a member of the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute, The Mobile Propeller Club, the Maritime Law Association and is active in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Mobile. Patrick has also been named an Alabama Super Lawyers Rising Star. He was admitted to the Alabama Bar in 2008 and lives in Mobile with his wife Jennifer, son Jackson and daughters Sophie and Avery.

Biographical Information

Wes Hunter is a member in Hand Arendall Harrison Sale’s business section. Wes’s practice focuses on representing developers, owners, sellers, builders and lenders in a wide variety of commercial, industrial and residential real estate transactions. His real estate practice includes extensive experience in representing clients in the acquisition, development and conveyance of real property, as well as land use planning. In addition, Wes frequently assists clients in connection with commercial loan transactions and foreclosure matters. He also has significant experience in the formation of business organizations.

Wes received his J.D., cum laude, from Cumberland School of Law in 2009. While at Cumberland, he was a Senior Associate Editor of the American Journal of Trial Advocacy, an executive member of the Moot Court Board and a Caruthers Fellow teaching assistant. Wes received his B.B.A. in Economics from the University of Georgia in 2004.

Wes is a member of the Mobile County Bar Association, the South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program and the Alabama State Bar. Wes is also active in his community, including service as a member of the board of directors of the Augusta Evans School Foundation.

Biographical Information

Mark Hart specializes in insurance coverage claims and litigation. He has developed a set of strategies for fair and prompt resolution of insurance coverage disputes for policyholders and carriers. His practice includes advising clients on converge matters, preparation of written opinion letters, filing interventions and declaratory judgment actions. Mark’s practice spans a broad area of tort and insurance suits, including property and casualty, life and health, directors and officers, and professional responsibility. His client base includes major insurance carriers throughout the United States and local businesses and corporations. He also has an active appellate practice and has participated in close to one hundred appeals.

Mark has published two novels: “Fielder’s Choice” and “The Timepiece Protocols.” For more information see www.markhartnovels.com.

Mark has served as an adult leader in Scouts BSA for nineteen years holding positions of Cub Scout den leader, assistant scoutmaster, patrol mentor, Eagle Coach, merit badge teacher, and Chairman of Troop 63’s Eagle Board for the Greater Alabama Council.

Biographical Information

Joe Cowan is an insurance coverage and business litigator. Joe’s practice focuses on advising clients on insurance coverage issues and defending claims involving breach of contract, bad faith, and fraud. Joe has extensive experience advising insurers and policyholders on claims arising from catastrophic losses and natural disasters, with a particular emphasis on business interruption and cyber risk claims. Joe regularly consults with contractors and sureties on insurance coverage and risk transfer issues. Joe’s experience also includes trials and appeals in the areas of business torts, products liability, construction, fidelity and surety, and other complex civil litigation.

Joe has published and lectured on a number of topics involving insurance litigation, including institutional bad faith, defending business interruption claims, preparing the insurance claim representative for testimony, and using social media to combat insurance fraud.

Biographical Information

Christopher Williams is a member in the Firm’s commercial litigation section. Chris has a diverse litigation practice that includes construction, business and toxic tort, cybersecurity, privacy, environmental, and real property litigation. Chris has defended businesses in premises liability, transportation, personal injury, fraud, and other torts. Finally, Chris has experience defending municipalities and other governmental entities, as well as complex and class action litigation. He is licensed to practice law in Alabama and Florida and serves as outside counsel for litigation, planning and zoning matters for the City of Fairhope.

Chris has developed a specialty practice in the area of cybersecurity and privacy. Chris has worked with clients that have fallen victim to spear-phishing attacks, ransomware, man-in-the-middle email schemes, wire instruction fraud, and other computer security breaches. He has advised clients on policies and procedures to minimize cybersecurity vulnerability, has served as breach counsel for multiple clients following a breach, and has assisted clients in crafting notices for compromised personal information in accordance with state and federal laws. He has also been involved in litigation involving data breach.

Chris has achieved the following for clients of the Firm in litigation:

  • Obtained full dismissal for a governmental entity on a class action claim for seventy-five million dollars;
  • Obtained summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, for a municipality in defense of a personal injury case pursuant to the Alabama Recreational Use Statute;
  • Obtained a favorable judgment in a bench trial for a million-dollar real property dispute which was affirmed on appeal;
  • Obtained final summary judgment for property owners in a dispute regarding rights to a pier;
  • Obtained full dismissal of all claims in an arbitration on behalf of an automobile dealership in a dispute with a customer;
  • And attained multiple favorable settlements in residential and commercial construction defect cases on behalf of residential home builder, general contractor, and subcontractor clients.

He grew up in Mobile, attending McGill-Toolen Catholic High School and Spring Hill College. Chris was the SGA Senior Class President at Spring Hill and graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English. He received his J.D., magna cum laude from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, where he was on Law Review and competed in two national trial advocacy competitions. He is a member of the Order of Barristers and was named a Crowe Scholar upon graduation from Loyola. He is currently a member of the Paul W. Brock American Inn of Court.

Chris lives on the Eastern Shore with his wife and two sons. He is an active youth sports coach (baseball, football, and basketball), is a member of the Fairhope Kiwanis Club, a participant in the South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program, and is a member of St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Fairhope.

Biographical Information

Ms. Miller’s practice is devoted to defending employers and individuals in accident-related litigation and employment law matters. Ms. Miller also represents insurers in matters where an insured has claimed breach of contract and “bad faith.” Ms. Miller has considerable experience drafting and ensuring compliance with contracts, non-compete agreements, and employee handbooks. She is able to provide competent legal advice in a cost-effective manner, and produces quick turn-around on the legal needs of her clients.

Biographical Information

Mark Hess has a state-wide practice that focuses on insurance litigation, including the defense of insurers against extra-contractual claims, first-party and third-party insurance claims, coverage disputes and professional malpractice defense. He has tried to verdicts cases too numerous to count in the state and federal courts throughout Alabama, and he also maintains an extensive state and federal appellate practice.

Mr. Hess has substantial government and public law experience. From 1987—1988 he was a Law Clerk to Senior United States District Judge Robert E. Varner, Middle District of Alabama, and was invited to join the legal staff of the Governor of Alabama, where he served in various capacities from 1989—1992, culminating in his appointment as Legal Advisor/General Counsel and Interim Chief of Staff to the Governor. In those roles, he specialized in education and education finance, voter registration and redistricting, and was involved in state and federal constitutional litigation. He recently served for 8 years as an Administrative Law Judge/Fair Hearing Officer for the Alabama State Health Planning and Development Agency.

Mr. Hess is an active lecturer on civil litigation matters, including discovery, evidentiary and procedural issues in insurance fraud and bad faith defense, introductory and intermediate level courses in handing and litigating UM/UIM claims and trial strategy. He is a long-time member (and past Chair) of the Amicus Curiae Brief Committee of the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association, and is also active in civic affairs. Mr. Hess has been recognized for insurance and appellate law in the Birmingham Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar” and in The Best Lawyers in America.

Biographical Information

Jennifer Gutai Comella is an Associate in the Destin Office. Her practice areas include community association law, real estate litigation, landlord-tenant, collections, construction litigation, local government law, workers compensation, and business/commercial litigation.

Jennifer earned her law degree from Florida State University College of Law. During her time at FSU she served as a legal writing teaching assistant, a mentor for the Summer for Undergraduates Program, and was active on the Moot Court team and Moot Court Board. She participated in multiple moot court competitions during law school including arguing before the Florida Supreme Court after finishing in the Final Four of the Intramural competition and taking first place with her teammates at the Gabrielli National Family Law Competition. She also received book awards for receiving the highest grade in the class for Advanced Legal Research and Insurance Law.

After law school, Jennifer spent a year practicing Family law in the Jacksonville area and then four years practicing insurance defense in Panama City before beginning to practice law in Destin. Jennifer has experience handling many different kinds of cases over the years, and has practiced in thirteen different counties across North Florida. She has drafted appellate briefs for appeals in the 1st and 5th District Courts of Appeal and served as second chair in two multi-day civil trials. Jennifer has been practicing law on the Emerald Coast since 2011 and is active in her community.

Biographical Information

Cole Davis is a member in the Firm’s Panama City Beach office. He currently serves as Assistant City Attorney for the City of Panama City Beach, Assistant District Attorney for the Bay County-Panama City Airport and Industrial District, and represents many other local governments in a wide range of matters.

In addition to his local government practice, Mr. Davis handles a wide variety of civil litigation and business transactions with an emphasis on  labor and employment disputes, business purchase and sale agreements, real property transactions, land use disputes, wage and hour disputes, commercial business litigation, and workers’ compensation defense.

Mr. Davis enjoys counseling clients and using common sense to solve tough issues but enthusiastically litigates for them when necessary. He has successfully represented clients in the Florida Supreme Court, Florida First District Court of Appeals, Florida’s federal district courts, state courts, and before numerous government agencies – including the DOL, EEOC, and FCHR. Additionally, he has represented employers in Divisional of Financial Services audits.

Mr. Davis is a Past-Chair of the Florida Bar Grievance Committee for the 14th Judicial Circuit. He has served on multiple community boards and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Beach Care Services.

Mr. Davis is a native of Panama City Beach where he and his family reside. Prior to entering the legal field, Mr. Davis taught third-grade at a local elementary school.

Biographical Information

Hayward Dykes, Jr. is a Member in the Hand Arendall Harrison Sale Destin Office. His primary areas of practice are Local Government Law, Civil Litigation, Contracts, Construction Law, Business Law and Criminal Law. Mr. Dykes earned his J.D. from the University of Mississippi where he served on the moot court board, was a member of the Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity and was a member of the environmental law association. He earned his B.S. from Florida State University in Criminology.

Mr. Dykes is admitted to practice in Florida, the U.S. Middle District of Florida, the U.S. Northern District of Florida, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Dykes served as an Assistant State Attorney in the 6th Judicial Circuit for three years (2002—2005) handling both misdemeanor and felony cases, before moving back to the Florida Panhandle in 2006 with his wife.

Mr. Dykes has handled over 25 jury and non-jury trials and several appeals in both state and federal courts. Mr. Dykes has represented and counseled government organizations, elected officials, business owners, and property owners in a wide-range of legal matters in State and Federal courts. Mr. Dykes was voted to Florida Trends, Florida Legal Elite Up & Comers for 2010. One of 111 attorneys in the State of Florida voted by their peers in the Legal Elite balloting.

Biographical Information

Franklin R. Harrison was a Founding Partner of the Firm of Harrison Sale McCloy Attorneys at Law and now serves as the Managing Lawyer of Hand Arendall Harrison Sale’s Florida offices. His primary areas of practice are real estate, business and education law. Mr. Harrison heads the Firm’s Florida real estate section and is Board Certified by The Florida Bar as an Education Law attorney.

Mr. Harrison earned both his J.D. and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Florida, where he was elected President of Florida Blue Key and the University of Florida Hall of Fame.

Mr. Harrison has served as Chairman of the Bay County Economic Development Alliance, Chairman of the Bay County Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee, President of the Florida School Board Attorneys Association, President of the Bay County Bar Association, and as a member of the 14th Judicial Circuit Nominating Commission.

Mr. Harrison is a member of the Council of School Attorneys of the National School Boards Association; the Education Law Section of the Florida Bar; and the Education Law Association. In addition to his real estate work Mr. Harrison serves as the Board Attorney for the School Board of Bay County, a position he has held since 1979. Mr. Harrison received the Florida School Boards Association’s Richard “Spike” Fitzpatrick Award in 2010, was voted one of Florida’s Legal Elite by Florida Trend in 2010, was awarded the Lauren Merriam Memorial Award by the Bay County Chamber of Commerce in 2011, and received the C. Graham Carothers Award of Excellence from the Florida School Board Attorneys Association in 2013.

Biographical Information

Heather Kennedy Hudson takes the time to listen to her clients and understand what is important to them so she can offer personally-tailored advice aimed at helping clients reach their goals. Whether she’s advising an institutional client in a packed board room, privately consulting with an individual who has recently lost a loved one, or creating a client’s customized estate plan, Heather’s focus is on meeting each client’s individual needs in a professional and caring manner.

Heather’s practice is primarily focused on public education, probate, and estate law. She is a Florida Bar Board Certified Specialist in Education Law, a distinction held by less than 60 Florida attorneys, and an officer on the Board of Directors for the Florida School Board Attorneys Association. Heather is knowledgeable and experienced in her fields, allowing her to provide practical advice and help clients navigate difficult situations while avoiding unnecessary costs or delays.

Heather earned her Juris Doctorate from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University, where she graduated Cum Laude, received the Faculty Legal Writing Award, and served on law review. She earned her B.A. from the University of West Florida, where she was an active student organization leader, graduated Magna Cum Laude, and received the faculty award for Excellence in Legal Studies in 2006 and Outstanding Legal Studies Graduate in 2007.

Heather enjoys serving the community through her involvement with the Junior League of Panama City, the Parent Teacher Organization at her daughter’s school, and her service as a mentor with Bay District Schools’ Elevate Bay initiative. When not practicing law, Heather enjoys crafting, cooking, and traveling with her husband and their young daughter.

Biographical Information

Robert C. Jackson is a member with the Firm. His primary areas of practice are employment, health, local government and business & commercial law. Mr. Jackson heads the Firm’s Florida employment law and health law departments.

Mr. Jackson earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from Florida State University, where he was an editor of the Law Review and Order of the Coif. He earned his B.S. from the United States Naval Academy. Mr. Jackson served 17 years as a Naval Officer and Aviator in the active and reserve forces. He flew combat helicopters in Operation Desert Storm and was recalled to active duty immediately after September 11, 2001, to assist in aviation strikes and target planning for operations in the war on terror.

Mr. Jackson served on and was elected Chair of the 14th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission. He is a two-term Chairman of the Bay County Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee and its Junior Leadership Bay Program. He is also a graduate of the Bay County Chamber’s Leadership Bay Program.

Mr. Jackson is admitted to practice in Florida, the U.S. District Courts of the Northern & Southern Districts of Florida, and the U.S. Circuit Courts for the Eleventh and Federal Circuits. He has been accredited by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to represent veterans in cases involving veterans and veteran benefits. He is a member of the Bay County Bar Association and St. Andrews Bay American Inn of Court. Mr. Jackson currently serves as General Counsel for the Bay Health Foundation, a health care special district of the State of Florida. Mr. Jackson served as general counsel for Bay Medical Center, a 323-bed regional hospital, from 2000 through 2012. He led Bay Medical Center’s legal team through its lease and asset sale to a joint venture between Sacred Heart Health System and LHP Hospital Group. The $158 million dollar transaction is believed to be the largest health care transaction in Bay County history. He also served as the City Attorney for the City of Lynn Haven, Bay County’s second most populous city, for over 15 years.

Biographical Information

After beginning her legal career in downtown Chicago, Jane Kerrigan relocated to Northwest Florida, with her husband Mike, to be closer to her family. Now a resident of Grayton Beach, Jane has firmly established herself in the community and has expanded her family to include three young children.

Jane has experience in many facets of the law, but she found her calling when she began assisting individuals and families in planning for their futures and the futures of their children and loved ones. In order to better serve her clients, Jane went back to school to obtain her masters of law in taxation from the University Of Alabama School Of Law. Jane focuses her practice on Estate Planning, Elder Law, Long Term Care, Medicaid, Health Care Directives, Financial Directives, and Asset Protection.

Jane is a member of the American Bar Association, Estate Planning Counsel of the Emerald Coast (Destin), Walton County Bar Association, and Wealth Counsel.

Jane is available for speaking engagements for client seminars, community groups, and professional organizations.

Biographical Information

Julia K. Maddalena is an Associate in the Panama City office. Her practice is focused on Civil Litigation, including life, health, and disability insurance defense, ERISA, automobile insurance defense, real property, employment law and commercial business litigation. She also represents a number of Homeowner and Condominium Community Associations as general counsel and assists City Attorneys in the Firm with municipal law.

Mrs. Maddalena earned her Juris Doctorate from the Florida State University College of Law in Tallahassee, Florida, where she graduated Cum Laude. She specialized in International Law, achieving the highest possible honors. She also received Book Awards in International & Foreign Legal Research, Asylum and Refugee Law, Immigration Law, Law of the Sea, and Professional Responsibility. She served as Article Selection Editor for the FSU Journal of Transnational Law and Policy, received the International Bar Association Certificate for International Human Rights, and was a competitor in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Competition in Vienna, Austria. In her second year, she clerked for the Honorable Ronald W. Flurry of the Second Judicial Circuit of Florida.

After graduating, Mrs. Maddalena was hired as a Staff Attorney for the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit of Florida, where she assisted the circuit judges with legal research and writing. She worked for the judiciary for three years, focusing primarily on civil litigation. She left the court in 2017 to pursue a career in private practice with Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, LLC.

Biographical Information

Mr. McCloy is a Founding Partner at the Firm whose primary areas of practice are general civil litigation and mediation. As such, Mr. McCloy has handled a wide range of cases, including commercial business litigation, education litigation, contract disputes, construction litigation, employment litigation, professional negligence claims, personal injury and wrongful death claims. His litigation experience includes both state and federal court proceedings and claims.

Mr. McCloy has over 43 years of trial experience. He is Board Certified by the Florida Bar as a specialist in both Civil Trial and Business Litigation designations since 1990 and 1997 respectively. He was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2010 and has been a Florida Certified Civil Circuit Court Mediator since 1992.

After earning an undergraduate degree from Davidson College, Mr. McCloy went on to graduate from law school at the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University where he was a Board member of the Law Review. He has since served as a member and Chairman of the 14th Circuit Judicial Nomination Commission, as a member of the Board of Governors for the Florida Bar and as a member of the Florida Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases.

Biographical Information

Dion J. Moniz is a Member at the Firm and manages the Destin and the Santa Rosa Beach Offices. He represents numerous businesses and individuals throughout Northwest Florida with issues involving business/corporate law, real estate transactions, and commercial litigation.

Mr. Moniz earned his Juris Doctor from the Florida State University College of Law, Cum Laude. He earned his B.S. degree from Florida State University, Cum Laude. Mr. Moniz is admitted to practice in Florida, Alabama, the U.S. District Courts of the Northern District of Florida, and the Middle and Southern Districts of Alabama.

Mr. Moniz is active in the local bar and community. He serves as Chairman of the Florida Bar’s 1st Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee “B” and is a member of the Bar Associations for Okaloosa and Walton County. He is also Past-Chairman of the Destin Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation, Vice President of Aletha’s Legacy, Past-President of the Rotary Club of Destin, board member of the Ellison McCraney Ingram Foundation, and a member of All Sports Association and 100 Men Who Care. He previously served as Chair and board member for the Bay, Franklin, Gulf Healthy Start Coalition, as Treasurer and Foundation Chair for the Panama City Rotary Club, Chair and steering committee member for the Bay County Chamber of Commerce Junior Leadership Bay Program, and as Co-Chair of the 14th Judicial Circuit First Saturday Legal Clinic. He also served for seven years as a student mentor at Rosenwald Middle School, and volunteered for four years as a Rotary Reader for the Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida’s Rotary Read Aloud project. He received the Destin Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year Award in 2020, the Destin Chamber’s Ann Gibson Community Service Award in 2017, and the Pro Bono Public Service Award in 2007. He was also named to Florida Trend’s Legal Elite in 2022, and has maintained an “AV Preeminent” Rating from Martindale-Hubbell since 2018.

Biographical Information

Amy E. Myers is a Member with the Firm. Her practice is focused on local government and land use law. She represents various governmental clients in code enforcement issues, property acquisition and development, and infrastructure construction projects.

Ms. Myers earned her Juris Doctorate from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University and her B.A. from the University of Florida.

Ms. Myers is a member of The Florida Bar (Local Government, Land Use and Administrative Law sections), Federal Bars of the Northern and Southern Districts of Florida. She is Past President of the Bay Arts Alliance, Past Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Woodlawn United Methodist Church, and Past President of the Junior League of Panama City. She currently serves as City Attorney for the City of Panama City Beach and as Board Attorney for the Beach Mosquito Control District and South Walton Mosquito Control District.

Biographical Information

Kevin D. Obos is a Member with the Firm. He serves as City Attorney for the City of Callaway, the City of Springfield and the City of Lynn Haven. In addition to his extensive local government law practice, he also practices in the areas of Real Estate Law, Business and Corporate Law, Association Law, Construction Law and Civil Litigation.

Mr. Obos is a former Assistant State Attorney and handled civil forfeitures for several local law enforcement agencies. Mr. Obos also represents the Bay County School Board in truancy proceedings. He regularly serves as a presenter for the Central Panhandle Association of Realtors.

Biographical Information

William Q. Platt IV (Will) is an Associate at the Firm. His practice is focused in Insurance Defense, Civil Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Business Formation and General Representation of Businesses, Contract Formation and Disputes, and Real Estate Closings.

Will earned his Juris Doctorate from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University where he graduated magna cum laude. During law school, Will was a member of the Law Review and Mock Trial team, served as an “Academic Success” mentor, earned Dean’s List honors every semester, and received “CALI” Awards for receiving the highest grade in Evidence, Business Associations, and Secured Transactions. In his third year, Will served as the local chapter President of the International Legal Honor Society of Phi Delta Phi and was also inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Upon graduation, Will was inducted into Mercer Law’s honor society, the Brainerd Currie Honor Society, which is limited to the students in the top 10% of the graduating class, upon faculty approval, who have made substantial contributions to the law school and legal community.

Prior to law school, Will spent several years working at Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC assisting staff in many areas. Joining the Firm where he has history and growing his practice serving his home community is something he has been looking forward to doing.

When not at the office, Will enjoys spending time around Bay County with his wife, Daniela, and their son, William Q. Platt V.

Biographical Information

Douglas J. Sale is a Founding Partner with the Firm. His primary areas of practice are local government, public finance, and land use law. In addition, he heads the Florida section of the Firm’s local government and public finance departments. He also maintains an active United States Coast Guard 100 Ton Masters License.

Mr. Sale served as the City Attorney for the City of Panama City Beach from 1981 until 2017 when Amy Myers with the Firm succeeded him in that position. He serves as General Counsel for the Bay County Tourist Development Council and the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, Inc., and is the former General Counsel for First Florida Governmental Financing Commission and former General Counsel and Public Finance Counsel for Bay Medical Center, a special district. In addition, he serves as General Counsel for the Panama City Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, and was the City’s lead representative in the financing and development of the Pier Park redevelopment project on Panama City Beach. From 2017 to 2020 he served as Special Counsel to the Panama City Community Redevelopment Agency regarding the City Marina and mixed use redevelopment project.

Mr. Sale earned his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Florida, where he served on the Law Review and as a Member of the Order of the Coif. He earned his B.A., magna cum laude, from Vanderbilt University, majoring in Political Science with additional emphasis on Economics, and was chosen to be a Member of the Tennessee Alpha Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

Biographical Information

Ms. Sheekley is a Member in the Destin office. Her primary areas of practice are commercial/business litigation, contract negotiation and community association law and litigation. Ms. Sheekely is the Chair of the Firm’s Community Association Practice Group. She has more than 30 years of jury and bench trial experience in a significant number and variety of cases, including the successful defense of multi-million dollar damage claims. She has represented clients in shareholder binding arbitration proceedings and in actions for declaratory and injunctive relief. She also represents clients in appellate proceedings. Clients have included national and local businesses, 501(c)(3) organizations, shareholders, developers, municipalities, condominium associations and homeowners associations. Ms. Sheekley’s representation of community associations concerns all facets of operations, management, and governance, as well as dispute resolution and enforcement and collections actions.

Ms. Sheekley is Board Certified in Business Litigation by the Florida Bar, which is the highest level of recognition of an attorney’s competency and expertise in that area of law. She is also is also AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 rated (the highest level attainable) by Martindale-Hubbell, based upon the endorsement of her colleagues in the areas of professional conduct, ethics and ability.

Biographical Information

Mr. Townsend is a Member in the Firm’s Destin office. His primary areas of practice are community association law and civil litigation. He has more than 35 years of jury and bench trial experience and appellate court practice, as well as representation of clients in mediation and arbitration proceedings. He has represented clients in cases including a multi-million dollar jury trial verdict for a condominium association client, a landmark Florida Supreme Court ruling, and numerous other significant trial and appellate court rulings.

Mr. Townsend routinely teaches community association board member education classes and community association manager continuing education courses. He has also been a presenter at the Community Associations Institute-College of Community Association Lawyers annual law conference.

Mr. Townsend is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Condominium and Planned Development Law, which is the highest level of recognition of an attorney’s competency and expertise in that area of law. He holds the AV® Preeminent™ highest rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which rates attorneys in the areas of professional conduct, ethics and ability based on evaluations by other attorneys. Mr. Townsend was also recognized as one of Florida’s top rated lawyers (less than one percent of all lawyers in Florida) by Florida Trend magazine’s 2019 Legal Elite, which is determined by evaluations and recommendations from other Florida attorneys.

Biographical Information

Before joining the Firm, Mr. Weddle built his legal background performing both criminal defense work and civil litigation. As an undergraduate at the University of Florida, Mr. Weddle majored in Construction Management and interned on large-scale, multimillion dollar infrastructure projects, which gives him insight into the land use and construction litigation issues that many businesses may face.

Mr. Weddle went on to graduate from Stetson University’s College of Law before moving home to the Panama City area. He has served as President of the Bay County Bar Association and is a member of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association, the St. Andrews Bay American Inn of Court, the Florida Bar, the Maritime Law Association, and the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute.

Mr. Weddle practices in the area of general litigation, focusing specifically on business and contract disputes, construction litigation, insurance defense and property litigation. Since his employment with the Firm, he has tried several jury trials to verdict and understands the complex scenarios litigation creates. From those experiences, Mr. Weddle is able to carefully and efficiently guide his clients to successful outcomes.

Biographical Information

J. Hodge Alves, III, practices in the fields of general litigation, maritime law and environmental law (with an emphasis on litigation). He was born in Alexandria, Louisiana, and grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Falls Church, Virginia. Hodge was admitted to the Virginia State Bar in 1969, the Washington State Bar in 1973, and the Alabama State Bar in 1974. He graduated from The University of the South, B.A. cum laude 1966, and the University of Virginia School of Law, J.D. 1969. He served with the United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps from 1969 to 1973 and as a law clerk to The Honorable Daniel H. Thomas, United States District Court, Southern District of Alabama from 1974 to 1975. Hodge is a member of the Mobile County Bar Association, the Maritime Law Association of the United States and the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers In America for maritime law each year since 1995. Hodge has previously served as the Firm’s representative to the CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution. Hodge has received CPR’s training for mediators, but his practice in the area of mediation has been primarily as advocate for parties. Hodge follows the practice of early case evaluation and consideration of alternative dispute resolution options with clients from the outset. He was the 2000—2001 President of the Mobile Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and was Chairman of the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute for 2004.

Biographical Information

Windy Cockrell Bitzer is a member of the Firm’s Litigation Section and has substantial pre-trial, trial, and appellate experience in courts throughout the State of Alabama, the Eleventh Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. Windy regularly represents and counsels businesses and educational institutions in commercial disputes and employment matters. She is experienced in matters ranging from fraud, False Claims Act, breach of contract, tortious interference, non-compete agreements, and other business torts to Title VII, Title IX, FMLA, FLSA, ADA, ADEA, and other employment-related issues. Windy also conducts internal investigations and provides training on EEO best practices.

Windy has a particular interest in appellate work and serves as leader of the Firm’s Appellate Litigation Team. She often counsels and assists other attorneys with ensuring issues are properly preserved for appellate review and assists throughout the appellate process, including preparation of appellate briefs and for oral argument.

Windy has been recognized by Best Lawyers in employment litigation and appellate practice and by Alabama Super Lawyers in business litigation and employment law. She is a graduate of the IADC Trial Academy. Windy is a member and former subcommittee chair of the ABA Section of Litigation Corporate Counsel and Woman Advocate Committees and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Windy received her J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law where she was a member of the Managing Board of the Alabama Law Review, the John A. Campbell Moot Court Board, and the Bench & Bar Legal Honor Society.

Windy has volunteered as a “Big Sister” in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Mobile. She is an active member of the Mobile Bar Association, having chaired the Federal Civil Practice, Bench & Bar, and Law Day Committees. Windy serves on the Board of Directors of the Mobile Bar Foundation, is a Leadership Mobile graduate, and served on the planning committee for the 2016 Eleventh Circuit Judicial Conference.

Biographical Information

R. Preston Bolt, Jr. serves as the chair of Hand Arendall Harrison Sale’s public finance practice group. He practices in the fields of public finance, securities, and commercial and lending transactions. He was born in Anniston, Alabama, practiced in Georgia from 1979 until 1982, and was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1983. He graduated from The University of Alabama, B.A. 1976, and from Vanderbilt University School of Law, J.D. 1979. Preston was selected for membership in Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, Jasons, and was the recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. At Vanderbilt Law School, he was a Patrick Wilson Scholar and was inducted into the Order of the Coif. He served on the staff of the Vanderbilt Law Review, 1977—1979.

Preston has extensive experience in representing cities, counties, utilities and other public bodies issuing bonds and other tax-exempt debt. He also has acted as bond counsel for bonds issued to finance projects for 501(c)(3) organizations and manufacturing and other facilities eligible for industrial development and financing.

With the increased use of incentives and public/private partnerships to encourage investment, Preston has also had extensive experience in advising both public and private participants in public/private transactions. He regularly advises clients with respect to tax exemptions and abatements, infrastructure assistance, direct financial assistance and other types of assistance available to encourage economic development. For a complete listing of representative tax-exempt financings in which Preston or other members of the Public Finance and Economic Development Practice Group have participated, see List of Representative Tax-Exempt Financings.

Preston is a member of the Mobile County Bar Association, the National Association of Bond Lawyers and numerous civic and charitable boards. He is a Fellow of the American College of Bond Counsel.

Utilities

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale represents public and private utility companies in all aspects of regulatory compliance and in transactional and litigation matters. We have know-how in all segments of the industry, and our lawyers offer insightful guidance and strategic representation for matters ranging from entity formation and licensing to environmental and insurance coverage litigation.

Utility companies make the modern world go around. But, despite their essential nature, utility companies face enormous legal burdens. Utility companies’ regulatory compliance obligations are extraordinarily complex, and virtually all aspects of utility companies’ operations present risks for litigation and liability. In order to protect themselves, their employees and their customers, public and private utilities must ensure that they are doing everything necessary to mitigate their risk and maintain statutory and regulatory compliance.  Our team also has the skills to help your utility grow.

Compliance, Transactional and Defense Counsel for Utilities

At HAHS, we simplify the complex, and we diligently pursue positive outcomes when issues arise. We offer our services to utility companies involved in:

  • Alternative Energies
  • Broadband and Wi-Fi
  • Electricity
  • Natural gas
  • Propane
  • Sewer
  • Telecommunications
  • Water

With dozens of highly-experienced attorneys spread across multiple Practice Groups, we offer our clients efficient, strategic, and all-encompassing legal representation that we custom-tailor to their specific risks, needs and objectives. The primary practice areas in which we serve utility companies include:

  • Economic Development & Public-Private Partnerships
  • Land Use and Environmental
  • Employment Matters and Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights
  • Insurance Coverage Disputes
  • COVID-19 Legal Issues
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Compliance and Litigation
  • Personal Injury Defense
  • State and Local Government Matters
  • Workers’ Compensation

We Represent Public and Private Utilities as General Counsel 

We represent many public and private utilities as general counsel, and we serve many of our clients on an as-needed basis as well. Whether you are looking for a law firm to provide comprehensive and proactive legal guidance, or you need compliance, transactional or litigation counsel for a discrete set of circumstances, we are more than prepared to meet your utility’s needs.

Speak with a Utilities Lawyer at HAHS

If you would like more information about our firm’s experience representing utility companies, we encourage you to get in touch. Call us or contact us online to discuss your company’s legal needs with one of our experienced utilities lawyers today.

Timber

Content coming soon!

Trucking & Transportation

The trucking and transportation industries play a vital role in our economy, particularly in states with coastal access like Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi. With major seaports located along their coasts, significant agricultural industries, and growing populations demanding higher and higher volumes of commercial and consumer products, companies in these states’ trucking and transportation industries – and others throughout the United States – are poised to experience major growth in the years to come.

Of course, these companies face significant liability risks as well, and their insurers are facing increasingly high demands. 

We Serve as Litigation Defense Counsel for Casualty Carriers and Trucking and Transportation Companies

At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, we have extensive experience representing trucking companies and their insurers in personal injury and wrongful death insurance claims and litigation. With our Rapid Response Team, we have attorneys and reconstruction experts available 24 hours a day to respond to serious accidents. We are also experienced in handling coverage issues and defending bad faith claims against casualty carriers, and a significant portion of our practice is devoted to meeting the needs of our insurance industry clients.

A Broad-Based Practice Focused on the Legal Needs of the Trucking and Transportation Industries

In addition to representing insurers and trucking companies in litigation and other coverage-related matters, we also provide compliance and transactional representation in areas that are essential to casualty carriers and commercial transportation companies. This includes (but is not limited to) areas such as:

  • Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights
  • Commercial Litigation
  • COVID-19 Legal Issues
  • Employment Litigation
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Compliance and Litigation
  • State and Local Government Matters
  • Workers’ Compensation

Our lawyers are available to serve as outside general counsel to casualty carriers and trucking and transportation companies without in-house legal teams, and we offer ad hoc representation as well. Whether you need to engage litigation counsel; you need outside counsel with in-depth knowledge in one of our other practice areas; or you are looking for a law firm that can take full responsibility for your company’s compliance, contracting and litigation needs, the lawyers on our Transportation Practice Team are available to help as and when needed.

Our broad-based practice encompasses all aspects of compliance, contracting and litigation, and we have extensive experience representing casualty carriers and companies in the trucking and transportation industries. Our lawyers understand the unique legal demands these companies face on a day-to-day basis, and we have been at the forefront of many of the major legal developments affecting the trucking and transportation industries in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and throughout the United States over the past several decades.

Speak with a HAHS Trucking and Transportation Lawyer

If you would like more information about our firm’s services for casualty carriers and companies in the trucking and transportation industries, we encourage you to get in touch. Call or contact us online to speak with one of the lawyers on our Transportation Practice Team today.

Student Housing Development & Operations

The lawyers on our Student Housing Development & Operations Team represent developers and 501(c)(3) financing entities in all aspects of on-campus and off-campus student housing construction, development, leasing and management. We also have experience serving as bond counsel for student housing development projects. While developing student housing may be largely similar to developing any other large-scale multi-unit residential property, there are various unique legal issues involved, and developers and others need to be able to rely on the advice of lawyers who have significant relevant experience.

Our lawyers have assisted with the development and operation of on-campus and off-campus student facilities from coast to coast. We have experience advising our clients at all stages of the student housing development process, from site selection to securing tax incentives, and from investigating title to drafting student leases for off-campus housing. We take a proactive, all-encompassing approach that allows our clients to make informed decisions, and we provide clear, practical legal advice that allows our clients to move forward with confidence.

Legal Counsel for Off-Campus Housing Development & Operations

For off-campus housing projects, we represent developers from the earliest stages of exploring development opportunities through the sale of fully-completed and leased student housing facilities. Our services include providing advice and representation with respect to:

  • Site selection and due diligence
  • Land acquisition
  • Construction
  • Entitlements
  • Financing and equity placement
  • Lease drafting
  • Sale of developed properties

Our Student Housing Development & Operations Team includes lawyers from our Banking & Financial Services, Land Use & Environmental, and Real Estate Law Practice Groups, among others. We assess the legal risks inherent in each stage of the development process from all angles, and we offer strategic, practical solutions that are designed to facilitate the achievement of our clients’ goals.

Legal Counsel for On-Campus Housing Development & Operations

In addition to off-campus housing development projects, we have significant experience guiding clients through the process of developing on-campus housing as well.  We have represented both developers and 501(c)(3) financing entities in connection with our on-campus housing practice.  For on-campus projects, we assist with everything from negotiating ground leases and development agreements with universities to negotiating construction contracts to securing tax-exempt bond financing. Here, too, we guide our clients through all stages of the process, and we provide guidance for the ongoing operation and maintenance of on-campus student housing facilities as well.

Speak with a Member of our Student Housing Development & Operations Team

If you would like more information about our firm’s experience with the development and operation of off-campus or on-campus student housing facilities, we encourage you to contact us. Call or contact us online to speak with a member of our Student Housing Development & Operations Team in confidence.

Non-Profit

The lawyers in our Non-Profit Practice Group represent established non-profit organizations as well as new organizations that are seeking to secure tax-exempt status. We provide full-service representation for all formation, governance, tax and contract matters; and, when necessary, we serve as litigation counsel to our non-profit clients as well.

Serving non-profit entities has been an important part of our practice since the beginning. From public charities to family foundations, and from social welfare organizations to political action committees, we serve a broad array of clients, offering strategic, insightful and custom-tailored legal representation. We work closely with our clients’ key stakeholders to align their priorities and legal objectives, and we provide comprehensive advice and representation with each client’s specific philanthropic, tax and operational goals in mind.

Full-Service Legal Counsel for New and Existing Non-Profit Entities and Organizations

Non-profit entities face the same legal issues as other entities, but their tax-exempt status raises additional tax and legal issues as well. At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, we help our clients overcome these issues efficiently and cost-effectively, and we provide strategic advice focused on minimizing the burdens of legal and tax compliance. Our services for non-profit entities and organizations include providing representation in the areas of:

  • Entity Formation
  • Securing Tax-Exempt Status
  • Tax-Exempt Bond Issuance
  • Nonprofit Governance & Ethics Matters
  • Nonprofit Structures, Relationships and Affiliations (including Fiscal Sponsorships)
  • Tax Treatment of Lobbying & Political Activities
  • Unrelated Business Taxable Income
  • Local, State and Federal Tax Proceedings
  • Planning of Charitable Gifts, Grants and Social Investments

Our non-profit clients include public charities, private foundations, social welfare organizations, supporting organizations, political committees, business leagues, nonprofit associations, social clubs, and other institutions and organizations. 

We Have Been Serving Tax-Exempt Entities for Decades

The lawyers in our Non-Profit Practice Group have been representing tax-exempt entities for decades. Regardless of your company’s or organization’s needs and goals, we can assist you in pursuing a strategic path forward. We provide legal representation in numerous other practice areas as well, and we serve as outside general counsel to many non-profit entities that rely our lawyers’ advice and counsel on a daily basis.  

Speak with a Lawyer in Our Non-Profit Practice Group Today

If you would like to speak with a lawyer in our Non-Profit Practice Group, we encourage you to get in touch. Please call or contact us online to schedule a confidential initial consultation.

Manufacturing

From aerospace to automotive, technology to timber, the lawyers at Hand Arendall Harrison Sale work hard every day to promote and protect the interests of our clients in the manufacturing industries. Our lawyers have authored tort legislation, been instrumental in securing sites for new large-scale manufacturing facilities, helped protect key intellectual property rights, and secured critical financing for major infrastructure investments.

At HAHS, we understand the unique legal demands that arise out of our clients’ commitment to innovation and their determination to serve their employees, shareholders and customers. We have worked to help develop training programs for the next generation of workers in high-tech manufacturing and engineering, and we continue to work tirelessly on behalf of our clients on a daily basis.

Full-Service, 360-Degree Legal Representation for Companies in the Manufacturing and Industrial Sectors

The lawyers on our Manufacturing Practice Team bring decades of industry experience to helping our clients make informed and strategic decisions while also protecting them against undue liability in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and litigation proceedings. Our lawyers have represented clients in all major manufacturing sectors—not just in the South, but throughout the United States and around the world. The lawyers on our Manufacturing Practice Team serve on various Practice Groups within the firm as well, and this allows us to provide full-service, 360-degree representation for all of our manufacturing clients’ legal needs. We also pull in lawyers from other Practice Teams when necessary in order to ensure that our manufacturing clients benefit from the full scope and depth of our firm’s capabilities.

Our Services for Manufacturing and Industrial Companies

We serve as compliance, transactional and dispute resolution counsel for manufacturing and industrial companies ranging from startup enterprises to large multi-jurisdictional corporate organizations. Our legal services include:

  • Site selection and due diligence for manufacturing and industrial properties
  • Lease negotiation and dispute resolution
  • Site acquisition
  • Resolution of union and non-union labor issues
  • Investigation and resolution of employee workers’ compensation claims
  • Product liability litigation defense
  • Securing regulatory discharge permits and resolving other regulatory compliance matters
  • Securing tax incentives when states are in competition to secure manufacturing and industrial facilities

Speak with a Member of our Manufacturing Practice Team

If you would like more information about our firm’s services for companies in the manufacturing industries, we encourage you to get in touch. Call or contact us online to speak with a member of our Manufacturing Practice Team in confidence.

Admiralty & Maritime

With offices in Alabama and Florida, Hand Arendall Harrison Sale has played an important role in the Gulf Coast’s maritime industries for many decades. The lawyers in our Admiralty & Maritime Practice Group represent a broad range of clients in all types of maritime regulatory, transactional and litigation matters, and we have developed a reputation for providing strategic, forward-thinking and cost-effective legal representation in the admiralty and maritime law areas.

We Offer Deep Experience in the Areas of Admiralty & Maritime Law

Companies involved in the maritime industries face unique legal challenges. At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, we help our clients overcome these challenges so that they can pursue their business objectives with confidence. We represent individuals, foreign and domestic companies, financial institutions, insurance companies and insureds, and state and local government entities, and our experience includes providing advice and representation for clients such as:

  • Cargo owners
  • Fishing industry companies
  • Hull underwriters and other marine insurance companies
  • Inland, harbor and offshore towing companies
  • Marinas
  • Maritime lenders
  • Maritime suppliers
  • Offshore oil field companies
  • Pilots
  • Protection and indemnity mutual insurance associations (P&I clubs)
  • Shipbuilders and vessel repairers
  • Stevedores and terminal operators
  • Vessel owners, operators and charterers

Clients in the maritime industries can encounter a multitude of legal issues in their day-to-day operations. The lawyers in our Admiralty & Maritime Practice Group help our clients make informed decisions focused on mitigating their risk and advancing their strategic business priorities without undue burdens or unexpected hurdles. This includes, but is not limited to, providing advice and representation for matters including:

  • Administrative hearings and other regulatory matters
  • Cargo claims
  • Charter party disputes
  • Collision claims
  • Commercial contract drafting and negotiations
  • Commercial litigation
  • Customs and immigration matters
  • Environmental compliance, response, and litigation
  • Financing and maritime lien matters
  • Maritime and international transactions involving bills of lading and letters of credit
  • Marine insurance disputes
  • Offshore oil field disputes
  • Jones Act and Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act disputes
  • Personal injury and wrongful death claim defense
  • Recreational boating accidents and disputes
  • Salvage disputes
  • Shipbuilding and vessel repair disputes

Speak with a Lawyer in Our Admiralty & Maritime Practice Group

If you would like more information about the admiralty and maritime law practice at Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, please contact Practice Group Chair Paul Beckmann or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Real Estate

Our firm’s deep commitment to serving clients in the real estate industry is apparent in almost everything we do. Our practice is rooted in serving developers, contractors, property owners, banks, investors, professionals, and other clients in the real estate industry, and all of our practice areas are pertinent to real estate companies and professionals in some shape or form. We are proud to share responsibility for shaping cities across the South and throughout the United States, and we are equally proud of our work protecting the interests of our real estate industry clients in litigation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings.

Real estate and the law go hand in hand. From acquisition to development, and from leasing to disposition, all aspects of the commercialization of real estate involve legal issues at the local and state levels. In many cases, there can be federal implications as well, and our clients rely on our lawyers to help them make informed and strategic decisions while protecting them against unnecessary liability risks. Lending transactions also involve a multitude of legal issues, and lenders need to be able to rely on experienced legal counsel to protect their interests in financed properties. We have significant experience serving as lender’s counsel for real estate transactions, and we currently represent numerous banks in Alabama and Florida.

How We Serve Our Clients in the Real Estate Industry

The breadth of our firm’s practice allows us to provide full-service legal representation to clients involved in all facets of the real estate industry. Our lawyers offer deep knowledge in their areas of practice; and, when representing clients in regulatory matters, transactions and litigation, we pull in lawyers from our various Practice Groups as necessary in order to effectively and efficiently meet our clients’ needs. With our firm’s client-centric approach, we are able to serve as a strategic partner for matters including:

  • Land acquisition and disposition
  • Loan documentation
  • Title work and lien perfection 
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) loan closings 
  • Real estate financing
  • Development and construction
  • Commercial contract drafting and negotiation
  • Statutory and regulatory compliance
  • Strategic tax planning and securing tax incentives
  • Entitlements, easements and rights of way
  • Licensing, permitting and other requirements
  • Commercial and residential lease drafting and negotiation
  • Community association matters
  • Insurance coverage matters
  • Real estate mediation, arbitration and litigation

Whether you are an architect, engineer, broker or other real estate industry professional, whether you are an investor or you own a large development or construction company, and whether you need help complying with the law or protecting your company’s financial interests, our lawyers are here to help. We look forward to assisting in any way we can, and we invite you to contact us to learn more.

Speak with a Real Estate Lawyer at Hand Arendall Harrison Sale

If you would like more information about our firm’s services for companies in the real estate industry, we encourage you to get in touch. Call or contact us online to speak with a member of our Real Estate Practice Team in confidence.

Home Building

The lawyers on our Home Building Team represent builders in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and other states throughout the country. Our representation encompasses all aspects of the home building process, from land acquisition though homeowners’ association (HOA) management and post-construction homeowner litigation. We work closely with our clients to facilitate smooth transactions, address legal and regulatory requirements, and control risks, and we offer practical, strategic advice focused on helping our clients achieve their goals while protecting their bottom lines.

From custom luxury homes to planned communities with thousands of houses, we have experience representing builders in connection with all types of home building projects. The breadth of our experience is matched by the depth of our lawyers’ understanding of the legalities and practicalities of building in today’s environment. At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, we know what it takes to complete home building projects successfully, on time and on budget. We also know the perils that can arise when things do not go according to plan, and we are intimately familiar with the liability risks that are inherent in building homes on any scale.

Our Lawyers Serve as Regulatory, Transactional and Litigation Counsel for Home Builders Nationwide

Our legal representation for home builders covers the entire lifecycle of the home building process. We provide ongoing representation for HOA, homeowner litigation and other matters as well. The lawyers on our Home Building Team routinely assist clients with matters in the areas of:

  • Raw land acquisition
  • Acquisition of finished lots from developers
  • Debt and equity financing
  • Commercial contracting drafting and negotiation
  • Entitlements, permitting and other regulatory compliance matters
  • Lien claims and disputes
  • Restrictive covenants
  • Homeowners’ association formation and management
  • Construction defect claims
  • Storm water claims
  • Other types of homeowner claims and litigation

During the land acquisition and construction processes, we work with our clients to help them avoid issues that have the potential to lead to losses or litigation. When disputes arise, we aggressively target favorable outcomes that protect our clients’ business and financial interests while also mitigating the risk of similar claims from other homeowners. We are unwavering in our advocacy for our home builder clients, and we are committed to ensuring that legal issues do not get in their way.  

Contact the Home Building Team at HAHS

If you would like more information about our full-service legal representation for home builders, we encourage you to get in touch. Call or contact us online to speak with a member of our Home Building Team in confidence.

Health Care

The lawyers in the firm’s Health Care Practice Group have extensive experience in the medical, dental, and healthcare industries. We “speak” healthcare and know the difficulties facing practitioners and professionals in this unique and highly regulated industry. We represent and advise physicians, nurses, office managers, private practices, hospitals, institutional health care providers, clinics, testing laboratories, medical device and technology companies, and many other health care businesses. We can help your business too.

Comprehensive Legal Representation for Medical, Dental, and Healthcare Clients

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale provides our clients with the confidence to operate and practice their profession and serve their patients in the highly regulated health care market. We provide business and transaction advice for growing medical and dental practices, as well as representation for enforcement and litigation matters. 

Some examples of the services our Health Care Practice Group provides include advice or representation on: 

  • Personal tax, estate planning, and asset protection for busy practitioners 
  • Litigation in state and federal courts throughout the Southeast in medical liability and regulatory litigation
  • Development and processing of certificate of need applications before the Alabama State Health Planning and Development Agency, the Florida Department of Health, and other state agencies
  • Navigating the complex and often byzantine federal and state regulations affecting healthcare including: Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Professional licensure issues, including impaired practitioners and board discipline 
  • Healthcare certification requirements, including developing and implementing legally-compliant privacy, patient safety, and compliance programs.
  • Practice employment and physician, dental, or practitioner contracts
  • Non-competition agreements
  • Credentialing and hospital discipline matters  
  • Payment and reimbursement matters
  • Entity creation for liability and asset protection
  • Professional malpractice insurance and claim defense   

Speak with a Lawyer in Our Health Care Practice Group

For more information regarding the services offered by the lawyers in our Health Care Practice Group, contact Practice Group Chairman Robert C. Jackson or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Governmental

Content coming soon!

Education

The versatile members of the Education Practice Group at Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC are passionate about assisting in the growth and development of educational institutions at all levels and helping other organizations and individuals achieve their education-related goals. 

The lawyers on our team are adept in navigating the ever-increasing legal and regulatory challenges faced by educators and their institutions. The members of our Education Practice Group have spent decades working with educators and their institutions in Florida and Alabama, providing practical advice and efficient solutions that allow them to focus on what matters most — meeting the needs of their students and academic programs.  

About Our Education Practice

Our Education Practice Group provides representation for the myriad legal issues that educational institutions and other education stakeholders face on a daily basis. The lawyers in our Education Practice Group serve as compliance, transactional, and litigation counsel to a variety of clients, including:

  • K-12 and postsecondary institutions throughout Florida and Alabama
  • Foundations and organizations that support education
  • Vendors providing educational services and products

In serving as special or general counsel to many of our education clients, our lawyers routinely handle matters common to such bodies. This includes advising on regulatory audits and appeals, drafting and implementing policies that protect the institutions’ interests and best serve their students and employees, providing counsel on human resources and employment law matters,  drafting and negotiating contracts, navigating compliance with open government and state ethics laws, overseeing competitive bidding procurement procedures, advising on taxation and public finance, and resolving and litigating disputes when they arise.

The lawyers in our Education Practice Group also work on public financings when our clients are ready for growth. With experience acting as bond counsel, borrower’s counsel, disclosure counsel, underwriter’s counsel, and lender’s counsel, our lawyers are ready and able to assist in any capacity needed.

Speak with a Lawyer in Our Education Practice Group

Our lawyers know that a quality education can open doors to the greatest opportunities, and we are dedicated to assisting our clients in furthering their missions. For more information regarding the Education Practice Group at HAHS, please contact Practice Group Chairperson Heather K. Hudson or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Disaster Recovery

Recovery from natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, and floods often involves complex legal issues spanning multiple areas of practice, including governmental, regulatory, insurance, construction and maritime law.  The lawyers in our interdisciplinary Disaster Recovery Practice Group help individuals, businesses, and governmental clients with all aspects of disaster response and recovery.  After disaster strikes, a prompt, efficient and knowledgeable response is critical, and our Disaster Recovery Practice Group’s experience affords us the ability to help our clients develop effective response strategies and make informed decisions so that they can begin recovery efforts as quickly and safely as possible.

We Help Our Clients Move Forward with Confidence When Disaster Strikes

Recovering from a major disaster presents significant challenges. Protecting the health and safety of affected community members is always the first priority, but legal issues also require prompt attention to provide the needed relief, support and services. The lawyers in our Disaster Recovery Practice Group work with clients to plan for disasters before they happen and to develop and implement strategies after the inevitable occurs to best serve the needs of their customers and constituents efficiently and cost-effectively.

Notable Experience in Disaster Recovery

The following are some recent examples of our firm’s engagements to assist with disaster recovery efforts:

  • Represented municipal client that became the first governmental entity approved for debris removal following tornado outbreak.
  • Assisted county government with storm damage recovery and debris removal following an outbreak of severe storms.
  • Representing numerous local government entities in Alabama and Florida in the wake of Hurricane Michael in 2018, to include working with FEMA, contractors, insurers and insureds with respect to all aspects of disaster recovery operations and reconstruction.

Speak with a Lawyer in Our Disaster Recovery Practice Group

If you have questions about the services offered by our Disaster Recovery Practice Group, we encourage you to get in touch.  For more information about how we help companies and government entities overcome legal hurdles in times of crisis, please contact Disaster Recovery Practice Group Chairperson Norman M. Stockman or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Technology

The lawyers in our Cybersecurity, Privacy & Technology Practice Group counsel businesses regarding the protection and preservation of digital information including trade secrets, proprietary business information, personally identifiable information (PII), personal healthcare information (PHI) and other sensitive or private information. We also provide representation in data breach litigation.

Our lawyers are available to consult with any business or individual that maintains digital information that must be protected. We work closely with our clients to help them establish appropriate cybersecurity policies, procedures, and best practices to minimize cybersecurity risks, respond to data security breaches, and defend against cyber-liability claims.

Comprehensive Cybersecurity & Technology Risk Mitigation and Dispute Resolution Services

The Cybersecurity, Privacy & Technology Practice Group at Hand Arendall Harrison Sale provides consultation and representation in the following areas:

Risk Assessments

The starting point for an effective cybersecurity program is effective risk assessment. What digital information do you have, who is interested in it, what might they do to get it, and what rules or regulations apply to your protection and preservation of that information? Our lawyers work with our clients, engaging the services of technical consultants as necessary, to assess the risks associated with our clients’ maintenance of digital information systems.

Cybersecurity Compliance Programs

We work with clients to develop and implement effective cybersecurity compliance programs that are tailored to their specific needs and requirements. We focus on systems and structures that minimize the risk of data breaches, on education of personnel authorized to control or handle the client’s digital information, and on compliance with applicable statutory or regulatory requirements.

Cybersecurity Incident Investigations

Data breaches and other security lapses are a significant threat to a company’s viability and business sustainability. When these events occur, our lawyers conduct internal investigations with technical experts to assess the source of an intrusion and quickly determine our clients’ next steps. In those cases in which data breaches or security lapses result in a government-initiated investigation, our lawyers represent our clients in responding to governmental inquiries as well.

Data Breach Response

Data breach incidents are becoming more prevalent. Cyber-attacks can cause significant, and potentially irreparable, harm, and an immediate response can be critical to mitigating potential losses. Our lawyers counsel cyber-attack victims on their consumer and regulatory notice obligations under state and federal laws, on minimizing and protecting against litigation risks, and on developing and implementing incident response plans.

Cyber Risk Insurance Coverage

Our coverage lawyers advise clients regarding the availability and acquisition of cyber risk-related insurance coverage. Every business has unique risks, and we are able to help our clients understand the types of coverage available and evaluate the coverage that is suited to the particular risks associated with their business operations.

Cybersecurity Litigation

Our lawyers defend companies against consumer and employee claims arising out of the unauthorized release of PII and other private information. We also serve as plaintiff’s counsel for pursuing claims for theft of digital information and trade secrets against individuals and other businesses.  Finally, our lawyers represent businesses involved in litigation regarding social engineering or wire instruction fraud where cyber criminals steal money intended for a different party.

Speak with a Lawyer in Our Cybersecurity, Privacy & Technology Practice Group

For more information regarding our firm’s cybersecurity, privacy and technology practice, call or contact us online.

Construction

The lawyers in our Construction Litigation Practice Group represent members of the construction and design industries including property owners, developers, home builders, contractors, subcontractors, professionals and insurers in all types of construction-related litigation. Our lawyers provide representation that is tailored to our clients’ specialized needs, and they advocate forcefully on behalf of clients in courtroom litigation, administrative hearings, and arbitration proceedings.

Our Construction Litigation Practice Group has experience helping clients favorably resolve disputes arising out of development, construction and renovation projects of all types, including heavy infrastructure, vertical building construction, industrial equipment installation, and manufacturing facility expansion—in addition to small and large-scale residential and commercial developments. Several of our lawyers also have specific experience handling disputes involving federal government projects governed by the Federal Acquisition Regulation. From shipbuilding facilities to aircraft manufacturing facilities, and from office buildings to planned residential development, our construction litigation experience truly runs the gamut, and this allows us to offer insightful advice and strategic representation that addresses the specific business, financial and legal concerns raised by our clients’ disputes.

Litigation Counsel for All Types of Construction-Related Disputes

Whether a dispute arises before, during or after construction, achieving an efficient resolution will often be in the best interests of all parties involved. When we are engaged to provide representation for construction-related disputes, we work closely with our clients to understand their priorities and develop a strategic plan for moving forward. By evaluating and reevaluating the opportunities that are available, and by leveraging the pertinent facts and law to our clients’ advantage, our lawyers have had significant success achieving cost-effective resolutions to disputes involving issues such as:

  • Construction contract disputes
  • Construction defect claims
  • Construction financing disputes
  • Indemnity and insurance claims
  • Lien and bond claims
  • Professional liability claims
  • Representation and warranty claims

Many of the lawyers in our Construction Litigation Practice Group are prominent members of professional and industry organizations focused on the construction industry and construction law practice. Our Construction Litigation Practice Group lawyers also frequently speak and write on subjects of interest to construction lawyers and industry members.

Speak with an Attorney in Our Construction Litigation Practice Group

For more information regarding the construction litigation practice at Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, or to discuss your dispute in confidence, please contact Construction Litigation Practice Group Chairman Norman M. Stockman or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Community Associations

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale’s Community Association Law Practice Group is one of the largest in the Florida Panhandle with offices in Panama City, Panama City Beach, Destin, and 30A and throughout the state of Alabama. Our team includes attorneys who have been Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Condominium and Planned Development Law and in Business Litigation, possessing more than 25 years of combined experience in representing and defending community associations.  Under the supervision of these attorneys, the operations of the Practice Group are managed by a Florida Licensed Community Association Manager. 

About Our Community Association Law Practice

Our team of attorneys represent condominium and homeowner associations, guiding them through day-to-day governance of their respective communities, including assisting the board and management in meetings, elections, document drafting and amendments, contract negotiation and enforcing covenants and restrictions, collections and providing legal advice about governing documents and Florida law and employment matters. Our experienced litigators are able to effectively and efficiently navigate our clients through the litigation or alternative dispute resolution process to achieve a positive resolution for the community. Our attorneys regularly serve in leadership positions throughout the community, engage in public service and provide educational services to community associations and management companies through Board Certification Training Courses, continuing education programs approved by the Florida Department of  Business and Professional Regulation and partnership events with the Community Associations Institute (“CAI”). 

Speak with a Lawyer in the HAHS Community Associations Practice Group

For more information regarding our firm’s representation of community associations, please contact Community Association Practice Group Leader Leslie D. Sheekley or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Aviation & Aerospace

Content coming soon!

Intellectual Property & Technology

Intellectual property (IP) is a key driver of economic growth, and trademarks, trade secrets, patents and copyrights are often among corporate organizations’ most important assets. As technological advances accelerate the pace of innovation, companies are increasingly finding it necessary to utilize intellectual property laws to protect their investments and maintain their competitive advantages. At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, the lawyers in our IP Litigation Practice Group represent clients throughout Alabama, Florida and Mississippi in protecting their IP assets, and we regularly defend companies and individuals against claims of IP infringement and misappropriation as well.

If your company’s intellectual property assets are at risk, taking prompt and decisive action could be crucial to protecting your company’s exclusive rights. In today’s world, IP infringement and misappropriation can have immediate and widespread consequences, and it is incumbent upon IP owners to utilize the legal protections that are available. At HAHS, we are well aware of the stakes involved, and our lawyers have the skill and experience that are required to protect our clients’ investments in their intangible assets.

Skilled Litigation Counsel for All Types of Intellectual Property Disputes

Within our firm’s IP litigation practice, we represent IP owners and other clients in all types of disputes in state and federal court. We also represent our clients in mediation and arbitration proceedings, as well as in the defense and prosecution of opposition proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) and other authorities. The lawyers in our IP Litigation Practice Group regularly handle matters including:

  • Cybersquatting and other online trademark infringement claims
  • Copyright infringement litigation involving music, film, photography, software code, online content and other digital media assets
  • Enforcement of intellectual property rights worldwide against infringers, counterfeiters and dealers in grey market goods
  • Inventorship claims and work-for-hire litigation
  • Licensing and franchising disputes
  • Patent litigation involving design, utility and plant patents  
  • Publicity rights and defamation claims
  • Trade secret, non-competition and non-solicitation litigation
  • TTAB opposition proceedings and other administrative proceedings

We protect the intellectual property rights of our clients ranging from startup ventures to enterprise corporations, and we defend both businesses and individuals accused of infringement and misappropriation. 

Representation in IP Transactional Matters, Trademark Registration

Our Intellectual Property group draws on their business judgment and legal insight to represent clients in the creation, use, licensing and transfer of intellectual property. HAHS handles every aspect of intellectual property programs as well as provides ongoing support as intellectual properties evolve. Our IP transactional practice includes:

  • Preparing, filing, and prosecuting patent applications in the U.S. Patent Office to protect inventions and discoveries
  • Registration of trademarks, service marks, trade names, and other intellectual properties at the federal and state level
  • Conducting due diligence
  • Initiating and maintaining extensive trademark and copyright registration programs
  • Negotiation and preparation of franchising agreements, licensing and assignment agreements, joint ventures, and supply and manufacturing agreements
  • Development and formation of various types of business entities and commercial vehicles designed to provide for the utilization of intellectual properties

Our skilled legal team has a particular focus on trademark registration at the federal and state level and on obtaining and enforcing U.S. patents. We work directly with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to ensure the protection of inventions, discoveries, business names, symbols, logos, and slogans. If you need experienced intellectual property counsel, we can help, and we encourage you to speak with a member of our IP Litigation Practice Group promptly.

Speak with a Lawyer in Our IP Litigation Practice Group

For more information regarding our IP litigation services at HAHS, please contact any of the members of the Practice Group.

Local Government

The lawyers in our Local Government Practice Group have deep experience representing elected officials, cities, counties, state agencies, other public entities and private companies. We routinely handle legal matters such as the drafting and implementation of local ordinances and state legislation, contract negotiations, zoning and land use disputes, compliance with open meetings and open records laws, compliance with state ethics laws, competitive bidding procurement procedures, taxation, public finance and the regulation of public utilities.

Special Counsel and General Counsel for Local Government Entities

Through our representation of cities, special districts, community redevelopment agencies, industrial development boards, land banks, and other public offices and agencies, the lawyers in our Local Government Practice Group have acquired a deep knowledge of the wide variety of laws and constitutional principles that apply to governmental bodies. Among other matters, we represent our governmental clients in matters involving contracting, ethics laws, gift laws, public records laws, public meeting laws, due process rights of public employees, the immunity of public bodies and their officers and employees, and police powers on a daily basis.

State and Local Government Affairs for Private Entities

In addition to representing government entities, Hand Arendall Harrison Sale represents private clients in state and local government matters. Our services in this area include procurement and contract negotiations, economic development agreements, zoning and land use compliance, and governmental relations. We also have particular experience assisting clients with securing governmental approvals and funding, pursuing clients’ interests in connection with pending local and state legislation, securing local permits and favorable interpretations of local regulations, and resolving local real estate and license tax disputes.

Speak with an Attorney in Our Local Government Practice Group

For more information regarding our Local Government Practice Group, contact Practice Group Chairman Benjamin S. Goldman or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Closings & Title Insurance

Content coming soon!

Real Estate Law

The lawyers in our Real Estate Practice Group are experienced in all areas of real estate law and routinely represent banks, real estate developers, investors, and other clients in the financing, acquisition and disposal of interests in improved and unimproved real estate. Our lawyers also have extensive experience guiding the development of shopping centers, residential and commercial condominiums, mixed-use subdivisions, office buildings, commercial parks, and other properties. We represent landlords and tenants in the negotiation of commercial leases for office, industrial and retail spaces as well, and we serve as litigation counsel for commercial lease disputes when they arise.

Transactional and Litigation Counsel for Large-Scale Real Estate Acquisitions, Dispositions and Development Projects

Real estate transactions and development projects entail a host of legal issues. From negotiating contract terms and securing title insurance to dealing with regulatory issues and resolving disputes before and after closing, virtually all aspects of large-scale real estate acquisitions, dispositions, and development projects require the advice and insights of experienced real estate counsel. At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, our lawyers serve as strategic partners to our clients, helping them make informed decisions that protect their legal and financial interests while also maintaining their timelines and preserving critical business relationships.

Our Real Estate Practice Group provides full-service transactional and litigation representation to property owners, investors, financial institutions, developers, and other clients. We regularly provide representation for matters including:

  • Formation of joint ventures, partnerships and limited liability companies specifically organized for real estate development or investment
  • Land use planning, including zoning and use variance applications for planned unit developments (PUDs)
  • Representing lenders in the preparation of loan documents and handling title work to ensure proper perfection of liens on encumbered real estate assets
  • Representing lenders in Small Business Administration (SBA) loan closings 
  • Negotiating and closing interim and long-term credit facilities for existing and proposed commercial real estate developments
  • Disposal and acquisition of investment properties for Section 1031 tax-deferred treatment, including reverse like-kind exchanges
  • Condemnation proceedings
  • Determining riparian rights and property boundaries for properties adjacent to navigable and non-navigable waterways
  • Use and disposal of surface and subsurface water
  • Acquisition of title insurance and resolution of title insurance claims and disputes on behalf of insurers and policyholders
  • Commercial real estate closings
  • Litigation and dispute resolution (ADR) involving real estate development contracts, commercial leases, financing and investment contracts, and other agreements

Contact the Real Estate Practice Group at Hand Arendall Harrison Sale

For more information about our firm’s real estate practice, please contact any of the lawyers in the Practice Group.

Lee AGC Summit Dec 2022

Estate Planning & Wealth Preservation

The lawyers in our Estate Planning & Wealth Preservation Practice Group represent clients with regard to all aspects of estate and asset protection planning. When it comes to estate planning and wealth preservation, tax planning is a crucial component of the process as well, and we routinely advise our clients regarding federal, state and local tax matters, including those involving corporate, partnership, trust, and individual income, estate, gift, excise, sales, gross receipts and ad valorem taxes.

Estate and Asset Protection Planning

We provide comprehensive estate planning and asset protection services for business owners, licensed professionals, investors and other high-net-worth individuals. As estate planning and asset protection counsel, our lawyers work closely with our clients and their financial advisors to understand their specific needs and offer targeted and custom-tailored planning solutions. We routinely assist our clients with matters including:

  • Drafting wills, including “pour over” wills to be used in conjunction with trusts
  • Preparing revocable and irrevocable trusts
  • Establishing conservatorships and guardianships
  • Drafting prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
  • Business succession planning
  • Multi-generational estate planning, including the use of generation-skipping dynasty trusts to minimize tax liability
  • Elder law planning, including Medicaid planning and powers of attorneys and health care directives

Wealth Preservation Through Strategic Tax Planning

In many respects, estate planning and tax planning go hand-in-hand. If not carefully addressed, tax liability can result in the loss of substantial wealth for future generations. The lawyers in our Estate Planning & Wealth Preservation Practice Group help our clients preserve as much of their wealth as possible through the development and implementation of comprehensive tax avoidance strategies.

For example, we regularly assist clients with:

  • Minimizing estate taxes by securing valuation discounts and creating family limited partnerships, family limited liability companies and other special-purpose entities
  • Planning purchases, sales, and business mergers in order to minimize taxes
  • Maximizing the tax efficiency of retirement assets
  • Incorporating charitable giving strategies
  • Contesting claims by the government for additional taxes related to gifts and other transactions

At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, we have also formed and now represent a number of private and public tax-exempt foundations. If you are interested in establishing a foundation, or if your foundation needs outside counsel, we can assist you in establishing and maintaining tax-exempt status while also addressing all other pertinent tax planning and asset protection matters.

Speak with an Estate Planning Lawyer Today

For more information regarding our firm’s estate planning and wealth preservation practice, please contact Practice Group Leader Ginger P. Gaddy or any of the other estate planning lawyers in the Practice Group.

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale Attorneys Included in Mid-South Super Lawyers and Rising Stars 2022

December 1, 2022 News

Four Hand Arendall Harrison Sale attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2022 edition of Mid-South Super Lawyers® magazine.  Only five percent of the lawyers in each state are named to the Super Lawyers list. The four attorneys named by the publication include: Benjamin Goldman, Caine O’Rear, Drew Sinor, and Norman Stockman.

Eleven Hand Arendall Harrison Sale attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2022 Rising Stars edition of Mid-South Super Lawyers® magazine.  The Rising Star category is for attorneys who are under 40 years old or who have fewer than ten years of legal experience. The attorneys named as a Rising Star include:  Alan Duke, Christopher Hamer, Kevin Hon, Jason Lee, Jack, O’Dowd, Ben Reardon, Edward Rowe, Sabrina Ruffin, Dorissa Smith, Emily Van Haneghan, and Christopher Williams.

Covering more than 70 practice areas, Super Lawyers is a directory of lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Only five percent of attorneys are selected to the Super Lawyers list and two and a half percent are selected to the Rising Stars list in each state. The annual selection process includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent research of candidates and peer reviews by practice area.

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC, is the result of a merger of two law firms in January 2018.  The two firms, Hand Arendall LLC and Harrison Sale McCloy Attorneys at Law, merged which resulted in one of the largest regional law practices with offices along the coast of Northwest Florida and throughout the state of Alabama.  Since the start, HAHS LLC has maintained a fundamental commitment to providing quality legal services.  Cases and projects are staffed with the goal of achieving success for the client with maximum efficiency.  With offices in Athens, Birmingham, Mobile, and Fairhope, Alabama and Florida offices in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Panama City, and Panama City Beach, the firm is uniquely situated among the Southeast’s major law firms to provide legal direction to clients throughout Alabama, Northwest Florida and Mississippi. Learn more at www.handfirm.com.

 

Economic Development & Public-Private Partnerships

The lawyers in our Economic Development & Public-Private Partnerships Practice Group represent private companies as well as state and local government entities with respect to the structuring and closing of financing transactions for new economic development projects. We also assist our private clients with evaluating the incentives that are available from various government agencies, and we provide representation with respect to all aspects of real estate acquisition, development and construction in connection with our clients’ public-private partnership endeavors.

Public Finance and Incentives for Economic Development Projects

At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, we have extensive experience in the area of public finance, and the lawyers in our Economic Development & Public-Private Partnerships Practice Group routinely work with the lawyers in our Public Finance Practice Group to help our clients navigate the unique complexities of public finance transactions. Our economic development lawyers also regularly represent private clients with respect to evaluating, comparing and pursuing opportunities such as:

  • Tax abatements
  • Tax credits
  • Tax exceptions
  • Direct payments from government agencies
  • Training and other soft services

By providing assistance with these types of incentives, we have helped our clients achieve substantial savings while also securing opportunities to pursue economic development opportunities that create jobs and provide lasting infrastructure and improvements for their local communities.

Public-Private Partnerships

When state and local government agencies want to pursue projects that they cannot afford with tax revenue alone, they rely on public-private partnerships to get the job done. Public-private partnerships are essential to the successful completion of many different types of economic development projects, and at HAHS we have been at the forefront of “P3” development in Alabama and Florida for decades.

From toll roads and bridges to courthouses and other government buildings, public-private partnerships afford the opportunity to undertake projects that are prohibitively expensive for government agencies to pursue on their own. Public-private partnerships also allow for the allocation of risk, leveraging of resources and apportionment of accountability so that all parties have a vested interest in seeing the project come together for the public good as efficiently as possible.

Speak with a Lawyer in Our Economic Development & Public-Private Partnerships Practice Group

For more information about our firm’s experience with economic development projects and public-private partnerships, please contact Economic Development & Public-Private Partnerships Practice Group Chairperson Preston Bolt or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Construction Litigation

The lawyers in our Construction Litigation Practice Group represent members of the construction and design industries, including property owners, developers, home builders, contractors, subcontractors, professionals and insurers in all types of construction-related litigation. Our lawyers provide representation that is tailored to our clients’ specialized needs, and they advocate forcefully on behalf of clients in courtroom litigation, administrative hearings, and arbitration proceedings.

Our Construction Litigation Practice Group has experience helping clients favorably resolve disputes arising out of development, construction and renovation projects of all types, including heavy infrastructure, vertical building construction, industrial equipment installation, and manufacturing facility expansion—in addition to small and large-scale residential and commercial developments. Several of our lawyers also have specific experience handling disputes involving federal government projects governed by the Federal Acquisition Regulation. From shipbuilding facilities to aircraft manufacturing facilities, and from office buildings to planned residential development, our construction litigation experience truly runs the gamut, and this allows us to offer insightful advice and strategic representation that addresses the specific business, financial and legal concerns raised by our clients’ disputes.

Litigation Counsel for All Types of Construction-Related Disputes

Whether a dispute arises before, during or after construction, achieving an efficient resolution will often be in the best interests of all parties involved. When we are engaged to provide representation for construction-related disputes, we work closely with our clients to understand their priorities and develop a strategic plan for moving forward. By evaluating and reevaluating the opportunities that are available, and by leveraging the pertinent facts and law to our clients’ advantage, our lawyers have had significant success achieving cost-effective resolutions to disputes involving issues such as:

  • Construction contract disputes
  • Construction defect claims
  • Construction financing disputes
  • Indemnity and insurance claims
  • Lien and bond claims
  • Professional liability claims
  • Representation and warranty claims

Many of the lawyers in our Construction Litigation Practice Group are prominent members of professional and industry organizations focused on the construction industry and construction law practice. Our Construction Litigation Practice Group lawyers also frequently speak and write on subjects of interest to construction lawyers and industry members.

Public Finance

The lawyers in our Public Finance Practice Group assist state and local government entities with financing projects and other funding needs through the issuance of municipal bonds and other funding mechanisms. Our public finance lawyers also represent developers, manufacturers, 501(c)(3) organizations and other private clients in obtaining funds for projects through tax-exempt and taxable financing transactions.

Our firm’s public finance practice focuses on representing public and private clients in Alabama and Florida. However, we also currently provide representation for a 501(c)(3) organization that pursues financing arrangements and tax benefits for student housing projects for the benefit of public and charitable colleges throughout the country. Having represented both government and private-sector clients in public finance matters for decades, our lawyers’ experience sets Hand Arendall Harrison Sale apart from other regional law firms practicing in this area.

Broad Experience in a Diverse Range of Public Finance Matters

The lawyers in our Public Finance Practice Group have served in all of the traditional roles associated with public and private securities and other public finance matters. This includes serving as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel, disclosure counsel, issuers counsel, borrower’s counsel, 501(c)(3) counsel and bank counsel. In addition to our work in the public and private education sectors, our recent projects in the area of public finance have involved new industrial operations and expansions in the aerospace, shipbuilding, retail development and heavy manufacturing industries.

Public finance transactions are unique not only as a result of the nature of the transactions themselves, but also as a result of the extraordinary breadth and volume of rules that apply. Public finance transactions present a host of complex legal and regulatory challenges, and overcoming these challenges requires the advice and representation of counsel with specific experience not only in the type of transaction at hand, but also serving in the specific capacity in which representation is needed. With our lawyers’ extensive experience in public finance matters, we are able to efficiently and adeptly assist government entities and private companies (both for-profit and not-for-profit) in all aspects of all types of public finance transactions.

Speak with a Lawyer in Our Public Finance Practice Group

For more information about our firm’s experience representing government or private-sector clients in public finance transactions, please contact Public Finance Practice Group Chairman Preston Bolt or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Jason E. Lee

Jason Lee is a member in the litigation section. He works with clients in the areas of construction and public contracts, OSHA, land use and environmental, professional liability, transportation, insurance coverage and bad faith. 

He is a 2002 graduate of Auburn University, Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.  Mr. Lee specialized in Construction Management and completed his senior thesis in Concrete Design. While earning his Engineering degree from Auburn, Mr. Lee was awarded the State of Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors Scholarship and successfully completed the professional requirements for the Cooperative Education Program. While pursuing his Engineering degree, Mr. Lee worked with an Engineering News-Record top 25 General Contractor constructing commercial projects in Atlanta, Georgia. Furthermore, Mr. Lee gained additional design and technical experience working with the National Center for Asphalt Technology at Auburn University as well as managing preconstruction services for a large Water and WasteWater General Contractor in Georgia.

After graduating from Auburn University, Mr. Lee accepted a management position with an Engineering News-Record top 40 General Contractor in Atlanta, Georgia where he completed the construction of the Flint RiverQuarium and the I-Works Imagination Theater – a project designed by architect Antoine Predock. Afterward, Mr. Lee managed large Civil Construction projects for owners such as Alabama Power, Georgia Power, and The United States General Services Administration.

In 2008, Mr. Lee received his Master of Business Administration from Samford University, Brock School of Business. After which, Mr. Lee managed studio and design operations for healthcare and institutional projects for one of the largest, most discipline-diverse design firms in the United States based in Nashville, Tennessee.

In 2014, Mr. Lee received his Juris Doctorate from The Cumberland School of Law. While in law school, Mr. Lee was a Judge Abraham Caruthers Teaching Fellow, member of the 2012 and 2013 Career Advisory Board, member of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, 2012 Semi-Finalist in the Henry Upson Sims Moot Court Competition, and recipient of the Scholar of Merit for Environmental Issues in Real Estate.

Mr. Lee began his practice at a regional law firm in 2014. He resides in Homewood with his wife Elizabeth, and their three sons; Edward Pate, Robert Turner and John Ford, where they attend Dawson Memorial Baptist Church.

Land Use and Environmental

The lawyers in our Land Use and Environmental Practice Group regularly represent individuals, families, executors, trustees, corporate entities, charitable foundations, land trusts, and government entities in land management, regulatory, transactional and litigation matters. From approval procedures to mass toxic tort litigation and eminent domain proceedings, our lawyers are highly experienced in all aspects of land use, development, management and environmental law practice.  We offer our clients deep insights, on the ground experience and practical solutions that are custom-tailored to their specific needs and unique circumstances.  

Our Land Use and Environmental lawyers are admitted to practice in federal and state courts across the country. In addition to representing clients in courtroom litigation, our lawyers also regularly handle proceedings involving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and other federal, state and local agencies.

Experienced Counsel for Complex Land Use and Environmental Law Matters

Our Land Use and Environmental Practice Group serves public and private clients in matters involving planning, zoning, permitting, land acquisitions, residential and commercial land development, land and natural resources management and funding, toxic torts, eminent domain, and all types of dispute resolution proceedings arising under federal, state and local land use and environmental laws and regulations. At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, we have particular experience in the areas of:

  • Coastal lands and resources
  • Development and redevelopment (including Brownfields redevelopment)
  • Energy and Linear projects
  • Erosion control and flood hazards
  • Stormwater
  • Hazardous and solid waste
  • Natural resources and conservation (oil and gas, sand and gravel, timber, water, beaches, fisheries and wildlife)
  • Utility and linear projects
  • Wetlands delineation/permitting/functional assessments/mitigation
  • Zoning and planning

The lawyers in our Land Use and Environmental Practice Group routinely advise clients regarding the implications and compliance issues of the constantly evolving laws including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA), and the Endangered Species Act. They also regularly advise clients on issues related to insurance coverage, environmental audits and disclosures, underground storage tanks (USTs) and the handling of asbestos and other regulated substances, liquids and wastes.

Speak with a Lawyer in Our Land Use and Environmental Practice Group

For more information about our firm’s land use and environmental law practice, please contact Land Use and Environmental Practice Group Chairman Neil C. Johnston or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Lee AIG Seminar December 2022

Employment Consulting

The lawyers in our Employment Consulting Practice Group assist companies of all sizes with all aspects of employment law compliance and workforce liability risk management. By fully integrating with our clients yet remaining as outside counsel, we are uniquely positioned to provide representation for sensitive employment law situations. We assist our clients with all aspects of the employment relationship, from developing company-wide policies and procedures to providing counsel to management, and our lawyers make themselves available to our clients’ in-house attorneys, senior managers and human resources personnel on an as-needed basis.

Regardless of the size of a company’s workforce, ensuring compliance with all pertinent employment laws and regulations needs to be a priority. At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, we assist our clients with all aspects of state and federal employment law compliance, and we provide our clients with the information, documentation and other resources they need to effectively mitigate their risk of employment practices liability. We provide strategic counseling for matters related to insurance coverage, benefit offerings, and other employment-related matters as well, working closely with our clients to offer practical solutions that are custom-tailored to their specific needs.

We Serve as Employment Counsel for Companies of All Sizes in a Broad Spectrum of Industries

We serve as employment counsel to companies ranging from startup enterprises to large corporations that have employees in multiple facilities located throughout the United States. Our clients operate in a broad spectrum of industries from construction to health care, and from ground transportation to aviation and high technology. The scope of our employment consulting practice is similarly broad, with our attorneys routinely advising companies on matters such as:

  • Anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policy drafting and implementation
  • Employee discipline and discharge
  • Employment contract negotiations (as well as severance negotiations)
  • Employee training
  • Hiring and onboarding practices
  • Union and other organized labor issues
  • Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) compliance
  • Protection of employees’ personally identifiable information (PII) and health information
  • Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) compliance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance coverage and claim management
  • Workplace investigations

Learn More about the Services Provided by Our Employment Consulting Practice Group

For more information regarding the Employment Consulting Practice Group at Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, please contact Practice Group Leader Mark Waggoner or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Moniz Ameris Nov 2022

Community Associations

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale’s Community Association Law Practice Group is one of the largest in the Florida Panhandle with offices in Panama City, Panama City Beach, Destin, and 30A and throughout the state of Alabama. Our team includes attorneys who have been Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Condominium and Planned Development Law and in Business Litigation, possessing more than 25 years of combined experience in representing and defending community associations.  Under the supervision of these attorneys, the operations of the Practice Group are managed by a Florida Licensed Community Association Manager. 

About Our Community Association Law Practice

Our team of attorneys represent condominium and homeowner associations, guiding them through day-to-day governance of their respective communities, including assisting the board and management in meetings, elections, document drafting and amendments, contract negotiation and enforcing covenants and restrictions, collections and providing legal advice about governing documents and Florida law and employment matters. Our experienced litigators are able to effectively and efficiently navigate our clients through the litigation or alternative dispute resolution process to achieve a positive resolution for the community. Our attorneys regularly serve in leadership positions throughout the community, engage in public service and provide educational services to community associations and management companies through Board Certification Training Courses, continuing education programs approved by the Florida Department of  Business and Professional Regulation and partnership events with the Community Associations Institute (“CAI”). 

Speak with a Lawyer in the HAHS Community Associations Practice Group

For more information regarding our firm’s representation of community associations, please contact Community Association Practice Group Leader Leslie D. Sheekley or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Banking & Financial Services

The lawyers in our Banking & Financial Services Practice Group represent a broad range of clients in an equally broad range of transactions. From advising banks and bank holding companies with regard to corporate and regulatory matters to assisting lenders and borrowers with commercial and real estate loan transactions, we offer full-service legal representation based on deep experience in the banking and financial services industries.

At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, we partner with our clients, working closely with their in-house counsel and senior leaders to identify challenges, assess risks, and leverage opportunities. Whether we are representing a bank, an investment firm or a company that is seeking financing, we take the same approach, and we offer the same level of commitment, client service and strategic advice—all of which are informed by decades of real-world experience.

About Our Banking & Financial Services Practice

Within our Banking & Financial Services Practice Group, we assist our clients in all of their areas of need. Among other matters, our lawyers offer particular experience in the areas of:

  • Acquisition and construction credit facilities
  • Bridge loans
  • Construction loans
  • Debt restructurings and spin offs
  • Equity injections
  • Joint ventures
  • Mezzanine debt financing
  • Permanent credit facilities
  • Real estate development and redevelopment
  • Securing financing with the requisite “owner equity” for new development projects
  • Securities offerings and other equity-raising strategies
  • Securitizations
  • Financings backed by public and private contributions

Our clients include participants in all aspects and all phases of complex and large-scale commercial transactions. We represent lenders, borrowers, borrower affiliates, guarantors, equity providers and numerous other types of entities, and we serve clients in the aviation, transportation, real estate, health care, manufacturing, non-profit, student housing and telecommunications industries, among others. In addition to providing representation in the area of banking and financial services, we offer our services in other areas as well, and this allows us to efficiently and effectively meet all of our clients’ regulatory and transactional legal needs.

The banking and financial services industries are constantly changing, and the laws and regulations that govern these industries also consistently remain in a state of evolution. At HAHS, we are on the leading edge, and we are proud to serve as both partners and trusted advocates for or clients

Speak with a Lawyer in Our Banking and Financial Services Practice Group

If you would like to speak with a lawyer about our banking and financial services we encourage you to get in touch. Call or contact us online to speak with a member of our Banking and Financial Services Practice Group today.

Banking & Financial Services

The lawyers in our Banking & Financial Services Practice Group represent a broad range of clients in an equally broad range of transactions. From advising banks and bank holding companies with regard to corporate and regulatory matters to assisting lenders and borrowers with commercial and real estate loan transactions, we offer full-service legal representation based on deep experience in the banking and financial services industries.

At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, we partner with our clients, working closely with their in-house counsel and senior leaders to identify challenges, assess risks, and leverage opportunities. Whether we are representing a bank, an investment firm or a company that is seeking financing, we take the same approach, and we offer the same level of commitment, client service and strategic advice—all of which are informed by decades of real-world experience.

About Our Banking & Financial Services Practice

Within our Banking & Financial Services Practice Group, we assist our clients in all of their areas of need. Among other matters, our lawyers offer particular experience in the areas of:

  • Acquisition and construction credit facilities
  • Bridge loans
  • Construction loans
  • Debt restructurings and spin offs
  • Equity injections
  • Joint ventures
  • Mezzanine debt financing
  • Permanent credit facilities
  • Real estate development and redevelopment
  • Securing financing with the requisite “owner equity” for new development projects
  • Securities offerings and other equity-raising strategies
  • Securitizations
  • Financings backed by public and private contributions

Our clients include participants in all aspects and all phases of complex and large-scale commercial transactions. We represent lenders, borrowers, borrower affiliates, guarantors, equity providers and numerous other types of entities, and we serve clients in the aviation, transportation, real estate, health care, manufacturing, non-profit, student housing and telecommunications industries, among others. In addition to providing representation in the area of banking and financial services, we offer our services in other areas as well, and this allows us to efficiently and effectively meet all of our clients’ regulatory and transactional legal needs.

The banking and financial services industries are constantly changing, and the laws and regulations that govern these industries also consistently remain in a state of evolution. At HAHS, we are on the leading edge, and we are proud to serve as both partners and trusted advocates for or clients

Speak with a Lawyer in Our Banking and Financial Services Practice Group

If you would like to speak with a lawyer about our banking and financial services we encourage you to get in touch. Call or contact us online to speak with a member of our Banking and Financial Services Practice Group today.

Birmingham Business Journal’s NextGen Law 2022: Chris Hamer

December 1, 2022 Articles

Member Chris Hamer was recently featured in the Birmingham Business Journal NextGen Law list.  To read the feature article, click here.

 

Business & Commercial Law

The lawyers in our Business & Commercial Law Practice Group represent established companies as well as emerging businesses. We serve as primary outside counsel to a number of companies in addition to supplementing the legal staffs of several large corporations. At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, we take a strategic approach to supporting our clients at all phases of their growth and evolution, and we help our clients define and achieve their business objectives through proactive legal planning.

With respect to emerging business and entrepreneurial business planning, our lawyers work in partnership with our clients’ leaders, providing counsel in the areas of business planning, protection of proprietary assets, accessing capital, organizational management, strategic partnerships, and government financing through economic development and government grants and contracts. We serve our emerging clients at all stages of the business lifecycle, from formation through sale.

About our Business & Commercial Law Services

With respect to transactional and regulatory matters, we provide advice and counsel on all aspects of business formation, financing, management and disposition. For example, the lawyers in our Business & Commercial Law Practice Group routinely advise clients with regard to issues such as:

  • Business entity selection and formation
  • Review and negotiation of financing agreements
  • Review and negotiation of franchise agreements
  • Drafting and negotiation of stockholder agreements, partnership agreements and other business contracts
  • Drafting and negotiation of non-competition agreements, leases, distribution and supply contracts, license and royalty agreements, and other commercial contracts
  • Intellectual property protection and licensing
  • Acquisition and leasing of commercial real estate
  • Employment law compliance drafting of employment policies and procedures
  • Business tax planning
  • Business mergers, acquisitions and sales

On the dispute resolution side, our lawyers provide representation for matters including contract litigation, trade secret and non-competition litigation, fraud claims and other commercial tort claims, corporate and business control litigation, financing litigation, and leasing and lending litigation. We handle all other types of “routine” and complex commercial disputes as well, including those between business entities, between business entities and their equity owners, and between business entities and their employees. In addition to informal dispute resolution efforts and litigation, we maintain a robust alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practice as well.

Speak with a Lawyer in Our Business & Commercial Law Practice Group

For more information regarding our firm’s business and commercial law services, please contact any of the lawyers in the Practice Group.

Local Attorney Elected President of the Florida School Board Attorneys Association

December 1, 2022 News

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale attorney Heather K. Hudson was elected President of the Florida School Board Attorneys Association, FSBAA, this weekend at the FSBAA conference in Tampa, Florida.

“The FSBAA is a unique association of public school board attorneys from school districts throughout the state of Florida. She will serve as president for the next year.  I am very proud of this recognition given Heather. She is respected by her peers and has become a respected colleague among lawyers throughout Florida on matters of school law,” states Franklin Harrison, managing lawyer of Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC Florida.

Heather Hudson is a Board Certified Education Law Attorney whose primary practice areas include Education, Estate Planning, Probate Litigation, and Local Government. 

About Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale provides its clients with legal services in all areas of traditional civil practice.

The Alabama firm, Hand Arendall, was organized in 1941, and the Florida firm, Harrison Sale McCloy, was organized in 1984. After merging the two firms in 2018 to become Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, the firm is one of the largest law firms in the region with more than 90 attorneys. The firm has a fundamental commitment to creating long-lasting relationships. Cases and projects are staffed with the goal of achieving success for the client with maximum efficiency. With offices in Mobile, Birmingham, Fairhope and Athens, Alabama; and Destin, Panama City, Panama City Beach, and Santa Rosa, Florida, Hand Arendall Harrison Sale is uniquely situated among the Southeast’s major law firms to provide legal direction to clients throughout Alabama, Northwest Florida and Mississippi.  HANDFIRM.com

Admiralty & Maritime

With offices in Alabama and Florida, Hand Arendall Harrison Sale has played an important role in the Gulf Coast’s maritime industries for many decades. The lawyers in our Admiralty & Maritime Practice Group represent a broad range of clients in all types of maritime regulatory, transactional and litigation matters, and we have developed a reputation for providing strategic, forward-thinking and cost-effective legal representation in the admiralty and maritime law areas.

We Offer Deep Experience in the Areas of Admiralty & Maritime Law

Companies involved in the maritime industries face unique legal challenges. At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, we help our clients overcome these challenges so that they can pursue their business objectives with confidence. We represent individuals, foreign and domestic companies, financial institutions, insurance companies and insureds, and state and local government entities, and our experience includes providing advice and representation for clients such as:

  • Cargo owners
  • Fishing industry companies
  • Hull underwriters and other marine insurance companies
  • Inland, harbor and offshore towing companies
  • Marinas
  • Maritime lenders
  • Maritime suppliers
  • Offshore oil field companies
  • Pilots
  • Protection and indemnity mutual insurance associations (P&I clubs)
  • Shipbuilders and vessel repairers
  • Stevedores and terminal operators
  • Vessel owners, operators and charterers

Clients in the maritime industries can encounter a multitude of legal issues in their day-to-day operations. The lawyers in our Admiralty & Maritime Practice Group help our clients make informed decisions focused on mitigating their risk and advancing their strategic business priorities without undue burdens or unexpected hurdles. This includes, but is not limited to, providing advice and representation for matters including:

  • Administrative hearings and other regulatory matters
  • Cargo claims
  • Charter party disputes
  • Collision claims
  • Commercial contract drafting and negotiations
  • Commercial litigation
  • Customs and immigration matters
  • Environmental compliance, response, and litigation
  • Financing and maritime lien matters
  • Maritime and international transactions involving bills of lading and letters of credit
  • Marine insurance disputes
  • Offshore oil field disputes
  • Jones Act and Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act disputes
  • Personal injury and wrongful death claim defense
  • Recreational boating accidents and disputes
  • Salvage disputes
  • Shipbuilding and vessel repair disputes

Speak with a Lawyer in Our Admiralty & Maritime Practice Group

If you would like more information about the admiralty and maritime law practice at Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, please contact Practice Group Chair Paul Beckmann or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale Earns Top Rankings in U.S. News “Best Law Firms”

December 1, 2022 News

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers collaboratively for the 13th consecutive year announced the 2023 “Best Law Firms” rankings. Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC is proud to announce it was distinguished as a National Top Tier firm in Timber Law and Public Finance Law, along with 18-city specific first-tier rankings.

Achieving a National tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and depth of legal expertise that reflects the highest level of respect a firm can earn among clients and other leading lawyers.

The following practice areas were ranked as first-tier for the firm’s Birmingham office:

  • Insurance Law
  • Public Finance Law

The following practice areas were ranked as first-tier for the firm’s Mobile office:

  • Admiralty & Maritime Law
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Corporate Law
  • Employment Law – Individuals
  • Employment Law – Management
  • Energy Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Insurance Law
  • Litigation – Construction
  • Litigation – Environmental
  • Litigation – Labor & Employment
  • Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
  • Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
  • Real Estate Law
  • Tax Law
  • Transportation Law

The U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in the field and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. To be eligible for a 2023 ranking, a law firm must have at least one lawyer recognized in the 29th edition of The Best Lawyers in America® list for that particular location and specialty.

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC is the result of a merger of two law firms in January 2018.  The two firms, Hand Arendall LLC and Harrison Sale McCloy Attorneys at Law, merged which resulted in one of the largest regional law practices with offices along the coast of Northwest Florida and throughout the state of Alabama.  Since the start, the firm has maintained a fundamental commitment to providing quality legal services.  Cases and projects are staffed with the goal of achieving success for the client with maximum efficiency.  With offices in Athens, Birmingham, Mobile, and Fairhope Alabama and Florida offices in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Panama City, and Panama City Beach, the firm is uniquely situated among the Southeast’s major law firms to provide legal direction to clients throughout Alabama, Northwest Florida and Mississippi. Learn more at www.handfirm.com.

Welcome Nicole Bracey

December 1, 2022 News

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC is happy to announce Nicole Bracey has joined the firm as an Associate in the Birmingham office. She focuses her practice on probate and estate matters, estate administration, guardianships, and conservatorships.

A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, Nicole graduated magna cum laude from the University of Alabama with degrees in Finance and Political Science. While at Alabama, she served as an Ambassador for the Culverhouse College of Business, was the Director of Alumni and Campus Relations for UA Dance Marathon, and a member of Alpha Chi Omega. In May 2022, Nicole graduated cum laude with a Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi School of Law. During law school, she served as Vice President of the Student Bar Association, Executive Editor for Vol. 11 of the Mississippi Sports Law Review, and was a student-attorney in the Transactional Law Clinic.

When she is not at work, she enjoys watching SEC Football, spending time with her dog, reading fictional books, and exploring downtown Birmingham.

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC is the result of a merger of two law firms in January 2018.The two firms, Hand Arendall LLC and Harrison Sale McCloy Attorneys at Law, merged which resulted in one of the largest regional law practices with offices along the coast of Northwest Florida and throughout the state of Alabama.  Since the start, HAHS LLC has maintained a fundamental commitment to providing quality legal services.  Cases and projects are staffed with the goal of achieving success for the client with maximum efficiency.  With offices in Athens, Birmingham, Mobile, and Fairhope Alabama and Florida offices in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach and Panama City, the firm is uniquely situated among the Southeast’s major law firms to provide legal direction to clients throughout Alabama, Northwest Florida and Mississippi. Learn more at www.handfirm.com.

Worker’s Compensation

The lawyers in our Worker’s Compensation Practice Group represent insured and self-insured employers in the investigation and defense of worker’s compensation claims. Our lawyers provide a wide range of services to employers in these matters, including pre-litigation claims handling advice, assistance with navigating the overlapping requirements of worker’s compensation laws and other federal and state employment laws and regulations, representation in workers’ compensation claims and appeals, and representation in litigation involving allegations of retaliation and wrongful termination.

While a significant portion of our firm’s worker’s compensation practice is devoted to representing employers in claims filed under state worker’s compensation statutes, the lawyers in our Workers’ Compensation Practice Group are also experienced in representing maritime employers in Longshore & Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act and Jones Act claims. These federal laws provide special protections to onshore, nearshore and offshore workers, and they present unique challenges for employers faced with employees’ claims for benefits.

Experienced Defense Counsel for State and Federal Worker’s Compensation Claims

With decades of experience representing employers across a broad spectrum of industries, our Workers’ Compensation Practice Group has successfully defended companies of all sizes against virtually all types of workers’ compensation claims. Our practice encompasses the investigation and defense of claims arising out of:

  • Construction accidents
  • Dumping and backfill accidents
  • Electrocution injuries
  • Equipment and heavy machinery accidents
  • Exposure to infectious diseases
  • Exposure to toxic fumes, chemicals and particulates
  • Fires and explosions
  • Ladder and scaffolding accidents
  • Maritime accidents
  • Repetitive stress and repetitive strain injuries
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Vehicle collisions

In addition to providing workers’ compensation claim defense, we routinely represent companies in personal injury and wrongful death litigation arising out of work-related accidents as well. If your company is facing potential exposure beyond the scope of its workers’ compensation coverage, our lawyers will work to ensure that any liability your company may ultimately face is no greater than absolutely necessary.

The lawyers in our Worker’s Compensation Practice Group are members of the Alabama Defense Lawyer’s Association, the Alabama Worker’s Compensation Organization, the Alabama Self-Insurer’s Association, the Associated General Contractors, the Associated Builders and Contractors, the Alabama and Mobile Homebuilder’s Associations, and numerous other legal and industry organizations. Many of our lawyers also frequently write and speak on topics related to workers’ compensation and other work injury claims.

Speak with a Lawyer in Our Worker’s Compensation Practice Group

For more information about the Worker’s Compensation Practice Group at Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, please contact Practice Group Leader Patrick J. R. Ward or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Birmingham Business Journal’s NextGen Law 2022: Dorissa Smith

December 1, 2022 Articles

Dorissa Smith was recently featured in the Birmingham Business Journal NextGen Law list.  To read the feature article, click here.

Securities Litigation

The lawyers in our Securities and Broker/Customer Litigation Practice Group handle cases involving claims against issuers, brokers, brokerage firms and clearing firms related to the issuance, sale and purchase of securities. Our lawyers have extensive experience defending companies and firms in state and federal courts, as well as before the various arbitration tribunals before which these cases are frequently resolved.

Defense Counsel for Securities Litigation and Arbitration Involving Customer Claims

Issuers, brokers, brokerage firms and clearing firms can face a variety of different types of allegations in customer-initiated litigation and arbitration. At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, we are intimately familiar with the types of claims plaintiffs’ lawyers typically assert on behalf of their investor clients, and we have had significant success helping our clients avoid liability in state and federal court litigation as well as arbitration before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and other entities. We regularly defend companies and firms against allegations such as:

  • Sale and promotion of unregistered securities offerings
  • Unlawful practices in connection with initial public offerings (IPOs), initial coin offerings (ICOs) and initial exchange offerings (IEOs)
  • Disclosure violations and other forms of securities law noncompliance
  • Misrepresentation and omission of material information
  • Insider trading
  • ERISA and other statutory violations
  • Account churning, unsuitable investment advice and other broker claims
  • Violations of Regulation Best Interests (Reg BI)

We represent issuers ranging from publicly-traded blue chip companies to early-stage ventures offering private placements, and we represent brokers, brokerage firms and clearing firms across the country. Our lawyers routinely defend clients against individual plaintiffs’ lawsuits, and our Securities and Broker/Customer Litigation Practice Group has the firepower and resources required to effectively manage and defend against class action litigation on a nationwide scale.

Strategic and Effective Defense for Securities Arbitration, Litigation and Class Action Claims

Allegations of fraud and other unlawful practices can harm companies’ and firms’ public reputations, and they can prove extraordinarily costly if they are not handled effectively. At HAHS, we work diligently and strategically to ensure that the consequences our clients face as the result of investors’ and customers’ complaints are no greater than necessary.

Speak with a Lawyer in Our Securities and Broker/Customer Litigation Practice Group

For more information about our firm’s securities and broker/customer litigation practice, please contact Practice Group Leader Douglas L. McCoy or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Dion Moniz Presents Quick Tips for Small Business Owners

December 1, 2022 Presentations

The program offered key considerations for new business owners and a good review for those who have previously entered the market.

“One of the best presentations – great base level advice many ignore – to their own detriment. Thanks Dion,” commented one attendee.

“This was really helpful. Thank you,” stated another young professional structuring an LLC this month. To view the presentation, click here.

“It is an exciting time in Northwest Florida. Our region has continued to grow with startups emerging out of an incubator environment or simply an entrepreneur with an idea taking their first steps. Also, we see established out of state businesses opening a second location in Florida or moving their complete operation here. It’s important to start with the basic checklist for new businesses and also, inquire of existing businesses if their structure is the best working structure for them,“ states Moniz.

For more information regarding the presentation, contact Dion or any one of our business law practice attorneys. The Hand Arendall Harrison Sale attorneys in our Business and Commercial Law Practice Group represent established companies as well as emerging businesses. 

Professional Liability

The lawyers in our Professional Liability Practice Group represent doctors, stockbrokers, realtors, lawyers, insurance agents, architects, and other professionals in defense of claims of professional negligence. We handle litigation, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings and state licensing board disciplinary matters.

As a licensed professional, facing allegations of professional negligence can have multiple severe consequences. In addition to the risk of liability, your professional license and reputation could also be in jeopardy. With this in mind, as defense counsel for professional liability matters, we take a swift and all-encompassing approach to protecting our clients—seeking to favorably resolve their clients’ and customers’ claims as efficiently and discretely as possible.

Defense Lawyers for Professional Liability Lawsuits and Related Proceedings

Our Professional Liability Practice Group provides defense representation for all types of licensed professionals. With decades of experience representing licensed professionals in multiple states, we are able to effectively represent clients in matters involving allegations of:

  • Architectural and engineering malpractice
  • Insurance agent negligence
  • Legal malpractice
  • Medical malpractice
  • Realtor negligence
  • Stockbroker negligence and fraud

Several of the members of our Professional Liability Practice Group are frequent speakers and authors on professional liability issues, and many are active participants in the Defense Research Institute’s Professional Liability Committee. Unlike many other firms, professional liability defense is a core aspect of our litigation practice. With robust practices in the areas of construction litigation, real estate litigation, insurance coverage litigation, intellectual property litigation and securities litigation as well, we offer deep insights and develop comprehensive strategies that are designed to protect our clients to the fullest extent possible.

We Defend Professionals Against Negligence and Malpractice Claims in Litigation, Arbitration and Administrative Hearings

While many professional liability claims lead to litigation, arbitration is also a possibility (and, in many cases, will be contractually mandated), and allegations of professional malpractice can lead to administrative proceedings as well. The lawyers in our Professional Liability Practice Group represent clients in all types of proceedings, with an awareness of how the outcome of one proceeding may impact the outcome of another. Civil litigation and administrative proceedings are often governed by different standards and subject to different burdens of proof; and, as a result, it is imperative to ensure that a stance taken in one proceeding does not inadvertently compromise the defense of a parallel or subsequent proceeding.

Speak with a Professional Liability Defense Lawyer at HAHS

For more information about our firm’s professional liability defense practice, please contact Practice Group Leader George M. Walker or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Hamer and Smith Named to Birmingham Business Journal’s 2022 #NextGenBHM Law list

December 1, 2022 Articles
Congratulations to Chris Hamer and Dorissa Smith for being named in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2022 #NextGenBHM Law list. Honorees were selected based on contributions to their firms, tangible results in their practice areas, involvement in the community, and their potential to shape the Magic City’s legal world, moving forward.
 
We are proud to celebrate our Birmingham colleagues’ achievement! To read more, see https://bit.ly/3Dy4nwq.
 

Product Liability

The lawyers in our Product Liability Practice Group represent designers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers in product liability arbitration and litigation nationwide. Our firm has been involved in several recent cutting-edge product liability cases, and we have been successful in establishing favorable precedent to help mitigate our clients’ liability exposure in several jurisdictions around the country.

Our product liability practice focuses exclusively on defense. We vigorously represent our clients in arbitration and litigation, and we engage in strategic settlement negotiations when appropriate. As product liability defense counsel, we work closely with our clients to build tailored defense strategies, and we engage engineers and other subject matter experts as necessary to overcome plaintiffs’ claims for damages.

Product Liability Defense Counsel for Arbitration and Litigation Nationwide

Our Product Liability Practice Group handles product liability matters involving all types of products, from consumer goods and medical devices to industrial and farming equipment. Our lawyers have extensive experience in arbitration and in state and federal court jurisdictions throughout the United States, and have successfully represented clients in cases involving:

  • Aircraft
  • Asbestos
  • Chemical Exposure
  • Construction Equipment
  • Construction Products
  • Drugs
  • Farm Equipment
  • Forestry
  • Medical Devices
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Tires
  • Watercraft

Several of the lawyers in our Product Liability Practice Group are active participants in the Defense Research Institute’s Product Liability and Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committees and are frequent speakers and authors on matters relating to the product liability litigation. Our firm is well-known for its product liability defense practice, and we have served as many of our clients’ product liability defense counsel for decades.

Strategic Defense for Individual Plaintiff Lawsuits and Class Action Product Liability Claims

While the lawyers in our Product Liability Practice Group routinely represent companies in product liability matters involving individual plaintiffs, we also have significant experience in class action and multi-district product liability litigation. At HAHS, we have the resources and capabilities required to handle large-scale litigation efficiently and effectively, and our product liability litigators are well-versed in all aspects of multi-district and class action practice. Whether it is possible to prevent class certification or we need to develop and execute a comprehensive trial strategy, we do what it takes to protect our clients’ legal and financial interests to the fullest extent possible.

Speak with an Attorney in Our Product Liability Practice Group

For more information about our firm’s product liability defense practice, please contact Practice Group Leader George M. Walker or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Sheekley Appointed to Serve on the Board for CareerSource Okaloosa Walton

December 1, 2022 News

Leslie Sheekley has been appointed by the Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners to serve on the Board for CareerSource Okaloosa Walton — one of 24 local workforce development boards within the network of the state’s CareerSource Florida, working with Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

“I’m excited to have been appointed to be part of the important work being done by CareerSource, particularly in these challenging times. Supporting workforce needs is critical for not only economic growth and development, as well as for the sustainability and success of our existing businesses,” states Sheekley.

The mission of CareerSource Okaloosa Walton is to ensure that every citizen has the opportunity and skills necessary to engage in meaningful employment throughout Okaloosa and Walton counties, and that every business has access to educated, and prepared employees who meet their needs.

Sheekley is a Member in the Destin office. Her primary areas of practice are commercial/business litigation, contract negotiation and community association law and litigation.  She is Board Certified in Business Litigation by the Florida Bar, which is the highest level of recognition of an attorney’s competency and expertise in that area of law. She was also recognized this year as one of the Florida Legal Elite.

 

Probate Litigation

The lawyers in our Probate Litigation Practice Group represent heirs, beneficiaries, family members, personal representatives, trustees, creditors, and other interested parties in all types of probate-related disputes. These disputes frequently involve unique legal and family dynamics and present unique legal and practical challenges. And while we forcefully advocate for our clients’ interests, we try to do so in a way, if possible, that does not lead to lingering hostility or feelings of ill-will among family members.  

Probate Litigation Counsel for Will Contests, Creditor Claims and Other Disputes

Our lawyers represent clients in probate litigation in state and federal courts throughout Alabama, Florida and the rest of the United States. In addition to handling disputes arising in the court that is administering probate, we also regularly represent clients in disputes involving real estate and other assets that are located across state lines. When serving as counsel for personal representatives or trustees, we work closely with our clients to ensure that they have a clear understanding of their legal duties and the options they have available. When representing beneficiaries, we walk with them through the process to make sure that their rights and interests are protected.  And, when representing estate creditors, we utilize the applicable law to ensure that our clients are able to collect as much of their outstanding debts as possible.

Within our probate litigation practice, we handle all types of probate-related disputes. This includes, but is by no means limited to:

  • Conservatorships and Guardianships
  • Creditor claims
  • Disputes involving the distribution of estate assets
  • Disputes between heirs and beneficiaries
  • Efforts to replace personal representatives
  • Incapacity claims
  • Intestate estate litigation
  • Personal representative and trustee breach of fiduciary duty claims
  • Undue influence and duress claims
  • Will contests

In addition to representing clients in probate litigation, we provide legal representation for disputes arising out of the administration of revocable and revocable trusts as well. Probate and trust litigation often (though not always) go hand-in-hand; and, in many cases, resolving probate and trust-related disputes requires a coordinated and all-encompassing approach. As litigation counsel, we work to resolve our clients’ disputes as efficiently as possible (and as amicably as possible when possible); and, while our lawyers are skilled courtroom advocates who do not shy away from taking cases to trial, we focus on negotiating out-of-court settlements whenever it is in our clients’ best interests to do so.

Speak with a Lawyer in Our Probate Litigation Practice Group

To learn more about the probate litigation practice at Hand Arendall Harrison Sale or to discuss your legal needs in confidence, please contact Probate Litigation Practice Group Chairperson I. Ripon Britton, Jr. or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

You are Never Too Old or Too Young to Plan for Your Estate

December 1, 2022 News

Author: Heather K. Hudson, Member 
850-769-3434, hhudson@handfirm.com 

Now is the time to plan for your future and the future of those who are important to you.

I personally fall into the category of young professionals with young children.  I find it is common among my peers that we are not yet focused on an estate plan.  We may take out a life insurance policy and faithfully contribute to our 401Ks, but there is a great deal more than life insurance and retirement savings that needs our attention. 

Young professionals often ask when the right time is to do their estate planning. Without fail, at any age, my answer is always “now”.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, it may be time to talk about your estate plan:

  • Do you have assets and liabilities? Let’s chat about how liabilities are satisfied and how your assets transfer to your beneficiaries.
  • Do you have children? Do you know who you prefer to care for them if you are unable to do so?  Do you know who will manage their inheritance on their behalf?
  • Do you own a business?  Do you have business partners?  Whether you wish for your business to continue on without you or wind down after your passing, you need a plan to make that happen. This is especially true if you have business partners.
  • Are you married? Have you been married? Are you in a blended family? Let’s chat about how you want to provide for your spouse, children, and stepchildren after your passing.
  • Do you have a pet for which you would like to provide?
  • Do you have other family members who you would also like to receive some type of benefit?
  • Would you like to leave anything to a charity or organization that is important to you?
  • Do you own a home?  Do you own other real estate? Do you own real estate in more than one state?
  • Do you want to help your family avoid probate at the time of your death?

Of course, there are plenty more reasons one should work out their estate plan, but if you answered “yes” to any of these questions and you have not made a plan or updated your plan after a change in circumstances, consider giving me a call at 850-769-3434 so we can discuss considerations for your next steps.  

Probate and estates are a primary focus of my practice, and I enjoy helping individuals plan for their future while making things as seamless as possible for their family, their heirs, and those who are most important to them.  

You are not too young or too old to do your estate planning.  Please reach out if I can be of any assistance with you or your family’s estate planning or probate needs.

 

 

Personal Injury Defense

The lawyers in our Personal Injury Defense Practice Group defend insurers and other companies against all types of accident-related and exposure-related liability claims. The lawyers in this Practice Group have particular experience in the commercial trucking and aviation industries, and our aviation litigation attorneys are private pilots who have substantial experience in aviation liability cases. However, our personal injury defense practice is by no means limited to these areas, and we routinely represent clients in a broad range of industries in defense of all types of personal injury claims.

Experienced Personal Injury Defense Litigators for Liability Insurers and Other Companies

While most of our Personal Injury Defense Practice Group’s practice is devoted to representing liability insurers, we provide direct representation for companies facing personal injury lawsuits as well. Our experience runs the gamut of personal injury cases, and our lawyers have successfully represented numerous insurers and other companies in defense of claims involving:

  • Automobile accidents
  • Aviation accidents
  • Commercial truck accidents
  • Complex medical malpractice claims
  • Construction defect claims
  • Premises liability claims
  • Product defect claims
  • Toxic exposure claims
  • Workplace accidents

At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, our personal injury defense lawyers are accustomed to working with insurance adjusters, and they understand the special requirements of the insurance industry. Our lawyers also understand the unique risks companies face in personal injury cases, including the risk of reputational harm and the risk of facing multi-district or class action litigation in relevant cases. As defense counsel, we work on behalf of our clients to mitigate these risks to the fullest extent possible, and we rely on our experience to anticipate issues before they lead to significant losses.  

In our experience, it is essential for both insurers and insureds to assess potential coverage issues at the earliest possible stage of a personal injury claim. This not only ensures an accurate understanding of the coverage at hand, but also allows for the proactive resolution of coverage disputes and questions regarding waivers and other similar types of issues. As personal injury defense counsel, we prioritize these considerations in order to ensure that our clients understand what coverage is available, and that they are able to move forward with a clear understanding of their legal rights and financial risks.

Discuss Your Company’s Personal Injury Defense Needs in Confidence

For more information regarding our Personal Injury Defense Practice Group, please contact Practice Group Chairman Buzzy Riis or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Biographical Information

Nicole Bracey is an associate attorney focusing on probate and estate matters, estate administration, guardianships, and conservatorships.

Nicole, a native of Greensboro, North Carolina, graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alabama with degrees in Finance and Political Science. While at Alabama, Nicole served as an Ambassador for the Culverhouse College of Business, was the Director of Alumni and Campus Relations for UA Dance Marathon, and a member of Alpha Chi Omega. In May 2022, Nicole graduated Cum Laude with a Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi School of Law. During law school, she served as Vice President of the Student Bar Association, Executive Editor for Vol. 11 of the Mississippi Sports Law Review, and was a student-attorney in the Transactional Law Clinic. When Nicole is not at work, she enjoys watching SEC Football, spending time with her dog, reading fictional books, and exploring downtown Birmingham.

Admissions

  • Alabama State Bar

Education

  • J.D., University of Mississippi School of Law, 2022
  • B.S., University of Alabama, 2019

Additional Information

 Awards

  • Outstanding Student in Criminal Law, Spring 2020

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

The lawyers in our Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Practice Group advise employers regarding compliance with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act and represent employers in OSHA-related litigation throughout the country. Our OSHA Practice Group lawyers have decades of experience assisting clients in OSHA-related matters, and Practice Group Chairman Buzzy Riis has personally provided OSHA representation to the firm’s clients for more than 30 years.

Comprehensive OSHA Compliance Representation

At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, we represent employers with respect to all aspects of OSHA compliance. We advise employers of all sizes and in all industries, and we have particular experience working with companies in high-risk industries such as healthcare and construction. From developing and implementing OSHA compliance programs to helping our clients understand the implications of the latest OSHA regulations, we provide full-service compliance representation focused on helping our clients avoid unnecessary liability risks. We assist with developing inspection procedures and protocols as well, and our lawyers remain in close contact with our clients to ensure that they have the answers they need when they need them.

Representation for Employers in OSHA Disputes and Litigation

In addition to representing employers with regard to OSHA compliance, we also represent employers in all types of OSHA-related litigation. This includes litigation with employees as well as administrative enforcement proceedings. Regardless of the specific issues involved, OSHA litigation can present significant risks for employers of all sizes, and our lawyers rely on their extensive experience to protect our clients by all means available.

Within our OSHA dispute resolution and litigation practice, we represent employers in matters involving:

  • Employee claims
  • Inspections
  • Investigations
  • Informal hearings
  • Citations
  • Administrative hearings
  • Administrative appeals

In many cases, issues arising under OSHA will present other legal risks as well. With our firm’s broad-based practice, we are able to effectively and efficiently advise employers with respect to all concerns arising in connection with alleged OSHA violations. The lawyers in our OSHA Practice Group routinely work with the lawyers in our other Practice Groups to identify and address other potential concerns before they lead to additional liability exposure.

Contact the OSHA Practice Group at HAHS Today

For more information regarding our firm’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Practice Group, contact Practice Group Chairman Buzzy Riis or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Lisa Darnley Cooper

Lisa Darnley Cooper is a member in the Firm’s Mobile, Alabama office and is a member of the Firm’s labor and employment and litigation groups.

Lisa’s pragmatic and thorough approach to her clients’ matters allows her to skillfully answer these common questions: How can we best minimize risks to our business and employees? Can or should we do “this”? We did “this,” now what? How can we do “this” better?

She focuses primarily on employment-related and business litigation, and her experience includes defending employers in discrimination, harassment, retaliation, FMLA, and FLSA proceedings at the administrative level and in state and federal courts. Lisa routinely advises clients on risk mitigation and compliance issues related to discrimination, harassment, terminations or reductions in force, and reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She has extensive experience drafting employee handbooks and workplace policies, contracts, and non-competition and non-solicitation agreements. She is frequently called upon to conduct a variety of workplace investigations or audits. Lisa also often assists the Firm’s transactional lawyers with employment related issues in mergers and acquisitions. Her work portfolio spans numerous industries and workplace settings including transportation and trucking, healthcare, manufacturing, construction, retail, utilities, automotive, education, tourism, and municipalities as well as state agencies.

Complementing her employment practice, Lisa assists businesses and municipalities with ADA accessibility and/or Fair Housing Act (FHA) compliance. She has handled numerous matters defending against private litigants and complaints or investigations originating with the DOJ or HUD.

Prior to joining the Firm, Lisa served as a law clerk to the Honorable Charles R. Butler, then Chief District Court Judge for the Southern District of Alabama.

Medical Malpractice Defense

The lawyers in our Medical Malpractice Practice Group represent doctors, dentists, and other medical professionals and entities in medical malpractice litigation, credentialing matters, board complaints, and other types of dispute resolution proceedings. We have extensive experience defending medical professionals and entities against all types of malpractice claims, and we routinely secure favorable results for our clients in pre-trial proceedings, at trial and on appeal.

Medical malpractice allegations can have substantial implications beyond potential liability for the damages claimed in the plaintiff’s complaint. When we represent doctors and other medical professionals, we focus not only on avoiding or mitigating any potential liability, but on protecting our clients’ licenses, careers and reputations as well. When we represent clinics, and other facilities and entities, we do so with an eye toward establishing favorable precedent that will help to protect against similar types of claims for years to come.

Medical Malpractice Defense Counsel for Licensed Professionals and Healthcare Entities

At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, we represent all types of medical professionals in medical malpractice claims and litigation. We also represent all types of medical facilities and other healthcare entities. Our experience as medical malpractice defense counsel for licensed professionals includes successfully defending:

  • Anesthesiologists
  • Dentists
  • Emergency medicine doctors
  • General practitioners
  • Obstetricians
  • Oral surgeons
  • Orthopedic surgeons
  • Pathologists
  • Pediatric hematologists/oncologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Other specialists

Medical facilities and other healthcare entities can face malpractice claims arising out of physicians’ and other licensed medical professionals’ mistakes as well as the alleged negligence of medical directors, administrators and other staff members. Our Medical Malpractice Practice Group provides defense representation for all types of claims asserted against:

  • Addiction and mental health treatment facilities
  • Ambulatory surgical centers
  • Birth centers
  • Clinics and medical offices
  • Healthcare centers
  • Medical nursing homes
  • Pharmacies
  • Urgent care centers
  • Chiropractors

Our firm has represented physicians insured by the Medical Protective Company, The Doctors’ Company, NCMIC Insurance, Professional Risk Management Services, Inc. and OMS National Insurance Company (OMSNIC), among other insurers. In addition to defending against claims involving all types of alleged medical malpractice, we routinely represent medical professionals and entities in insurance coverage disputes as well.

Speak with a Medical Malpractice Defense Lawyer at HAHS

For more information about our firm’s medical malpractice defense representation for healthcare professionals, hospitals and other medical entities, please contact Practice Group Leader Rodney R. Cate or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

Henry T. Morrissette

Henry T. Morrissette is a strong and creative advocate for clients in state and federal courts throughout Alabama. He has more than 30 years of experience successfully representing corporate and individual clients in business and insurance disputes and defending businesses and insurance companies in life, health, and disability insurance; ERISA; employee benefits; fraud and bad faith; product liability; and class action cases. Henry serves as Chair of the Firm’s Personal Injury, Insurance and Employment Practice Group. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and was named Best Lawyers 2013 “Lawyer of the Year” for Insurance Law for Mobile, Alabama. Henry has also been selected for inclusion in Mid-South Super Lawyers.

Henry is very active in civil defense trial lawyer organizations. He is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC). Henry is past Chair of the IADC In House and Law Firm Management Committee. He served as Co-Editor of the Third Edition of the Defense Counsel Training Manual published by the IADC. Henry is also a past Chair of the IADC Trial Techniques and Tactics Committee. He served on the faculty of the 2012 IADC Trial Academy at Stanford Law School. Henry also served as 2010 General Convention Chair and as Program Chair for the 2011 IADC Annual meeting. Henry was President of the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association in 2001—2002 and served as Alabama State Representative for the Defense Research Institute from 2002—2005. He currently serves as Chair of the Federal Court Civil Practice Section of the Mobile Bar Association.

Henry is actively involved in the Mobile community. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce and served as Vice Chair for Economic Development. Henry served as the Co-Chair of the Mobile Connect Program for the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. Henry served as President of the Mobile Arts Council in 2012. He also volunteers his time with the South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program. Henry and his wife, Beth, live near Downtown Mobile.

Mediation & Arbitration

Not all disputes can be or should be resolved in court. In many cases mediation or arbitration will offer a better solution. At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale the lawyers in our Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group provide representation for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings involving all types of disputes. We have attorneys who are available to serve as mediators and arbitrators as well.

In many cases the use of mediation or arbitration will be mandated by contract. While mandatory ADR clauses are generally enforceable, there are exceptions—particularly in the consumer context. In addition to representing clients in mediation and arbitration, we provide representation for disputes involving the enforceability of mandatory ADR clauses as well.

Counsel for Mediation and Arbitration Involving All Types of Disputes

The lawyers in our Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group represent businesses in mediation and arbitration involving all types of disputes. We provide representation for individuals in certain types of ADR matters as well. Our practice encompasses matters in the areas of:

  • Admiralty & Maritime Litigation
  • Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Construction Litigation
  • Employment Litigation
  • Family Law Matters
  • Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith Litigation
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Medical Malpractice Defense
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Litigation
  • Personal Injury Defense  
  • Probate Litigation
  • Product Liability Defense
  • Professional Liability Defense
  • Securities Litigation
  • Workers Compensation Litigation

If you are facing a dispute that is subject to a mandatory ADR provision our lawyers can assess the provision’s enforceability and develop a strategic path forward. If you are facing a dispute and are interested in pursuing mediation or arbitration as an alternative to litigation, our lawyers can help you make an informed decision and provide representation in the forum that is best-suited to provide a resolution to the issue (or issues) at hand.

Mediators and Arbitrators with Extensive Litigation and ADR Experience

In addition to serving as advocates in mediation and arbitration, members of our Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group are available to serve as third-party neutrals as well. Please contact us for more information.

Speak with a Lawyer in Our Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group

If you would like to speak with a lawyer about representation for mediation or arbitration, or if you would like more information about our lawyers’ services as mediators or arbitrators, we encourage you to get in touch. Call or contact us online to speak with a member of our Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group today.

Chase Pritchard

Chase Pritchard is an associate in the Firm’s business section.  He assists clients in a wide variety of transactional matters, including real estate, mergers & acquisitions, contract negotiation, and entity formation.

Before joining the Firm, Chase served as vice president and in-house counsel for an international construction company that specialized in industrial and port construction.

Chase and his wife, Sara, live in Mobile with their two young children, Mary Helen and Cuen.  Chase is also active in his community, including serving as vice president of St. Mary’s Knights of Columbus and on the board of directors for Rapahope.

Sean P. Dudley

Sean Dudley serves as counsel in the Firm’s business section, with a broad transactional practice covering mergers & acquisitions, commercial lending, real estate, entity formation, private equity, local opinion practice, and bank regulatory compliance.

Out of law school, Sean worked in the Chicago office of a national firm. He moved to his wife’s hometown of Mobile in 2012, and after making partner at his new firm, Sean left the private practice of law to start a company with his father. While serving as in-house counsel, he continued to manage a solo legal practice for some of his best M&A and real estate clients.

A father of five and proud Notre Dame alum, Sean is committed to youth ministry, men’s ministry, and ministry to married couples. He is also a musician, singer and songwriter who can regularly be found on stage, whether in a local theater production, church choir, or playing with his band.

Jack O’Dowd

Jack O’Dowd is an associate in the Firm’s business section and he assists clients with all types of transactional matters, including mergers and acquisitions, real estate, and general corporate issues. Jack also works with families on their estate planning needs and guides them through the probate court process. He routinely assists business clients and their principals with entity formation and contract negotiation, buying and selling businesses, business succession, and legal concerns that arise in the course of operating a business.

Raised in Mobile, Jack received his undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of South Alabama and his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law. Jack began his career in the tax section of a Big 4 accounting firm in Atlanta and is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Jack and his wife, Anna, live in Mobile with their four children, where the O’Dowds are active parishioners of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Jack serves on the board of directors of the soccer based charity Soccer4Life, and he also enjoys playing and coaching the “beautiful game.”

Dudley M&A Info October 2022

Florida Ancillary Estate Administration

December 1, 2022 News

Author: Heather K. Hudson, Member 
850-769-3434, hhudson@handfirm.com 

It is very common for residents of other states, often Georgia, Tennessee or Alabama, to own a vacation home in Florida while still keeping a permanent residence in their home state (also known as their “domicile”).  When an individual passes away owning real estate in more than one state, this can result in the family having to probate the estate twice.  First, in the domiciliary state, and second, in the ancillary state. 

If you are the administrator, executor, or personal representative of an estate in another state, or the estate attorney handling an estate outside of Florida for a non-resident of Florida, and you need assistance with opening an ancillary estate in Florida, our team of Florida probate and estate planning lawyers can help you through the process.

What is Ancillary Probate?

If you find yourself in the position of probating an estate outside of Florida for a decedent who owned real estate in Florida, you may also need to carry out an ancillary probate. This is because the domiciliary state’s probate court does not have the power to issue an order affecting Florida real estate. For the most part, Florida’s process for an ancillary probate mirrors the process of probating a Florida resident’s estate. 

What does an Ancillary Probate involve?

There are a few routes we can take when administering the estate of a non-Florida resident.  If the decedent passed testate (meaning they executed a valid will before their death) and the will is admitted to probate in the domiciliary state, we may be able to use the relatively simple process of petitioning to admit the foreign will to record.  That method is very efficient, in both cost and time.  If there is not a will admitted to probate in another state, a more involved proceeding will be required. That could be a summary administration or formal estate administration, depending upon the assets and circumstances.

How can I avoid Ancillary Probate in Florida?

If you currently own real property within the state of Florida and wish to avoid the burden on your family of probating your estate in multiple states, there are cost-efficient strategies to accomplish that goal. These typically involve setting up your ownership in a way that will allow your beneficiaries to take title to the property upon your death without the need for a court order. 

An efficient method is the use of an Enhanced Life Estate Deed, often called a “Lady Bird Deed,” which allows you to retain full ownership and control of the property during your lifetime and leaves the property to your chosen beneficiaries upon your death, without the need for probate.  Another option is to put your property into a revocable or irrevocable trust, which can be very efficient in the event that you already have an established trust, as part of your estate plan. 

Our team of Florida probate and estate planning lawyers is ready and willing to assist in both working through the ancillary probate process when needed, and implementing strategies to avoid ancillary probate in a way that complements your existing estate plan and individual needs.

 

 

Laurel Thorpe Joins Hand Arendall Harrison Sale

December 1, 2022 News

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC is proud to announce Laurel H. Thorpe has joined the firm’s litigation section.

Thorpe serves as of counsel in the Firm’s litigation section. She maintains a diverse practice with an emphasis on employment law, worker’s compensation, and health care regulatory compliance. Laurel brings her comprehensive human resources experience to provide practical solutions for employers in their compensation, leave, wellness, and benefits programs. She works thoughtfully and strategically to assist clients in the development and administration of workplace safety, privacy, discrimination, discipline, and termination policies.

With a background in health care administration, public health services, and medical ethics, Thorpe has assisted health care organizations, providers, and employers in complex regulatory compliance issues. This includes the identification and remediation of issues related to federal and state fraud and abuse, research ethics, health care privacy, and the negotiation of compensation and operational agreements.

Thorpe received her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Houston Law Center. While at UHLC, she served as the Managing Editor of the inaugural board of the Houston Journal of Health Law and Policy, and she served on the editorial board of the Houston Journal of International Law. She refined her research and writing skills as an assistant to employment and health care law professors in the Health Law and Policy Institute. There she worked extensively on issues related to ethical decision making, health care and employment regulations, and disability related claims. 

After law school, Thorpe began her practice in the Houston office of a national firm. She returned home to the Gulf Coast where she and her husband proudly raise four children. In addition to her family and her law practice, Laurel devotes her time to both community and church. She enjoys teaching and speaking at women’s ministry events and professional development programs.

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC is the result of a merger of two law firms in January 2018.The two firms, Hand Arendall LLC and Harrison Sale McCloy Attorneys at Law, merged which resulted in one of the largest regional law practices with offices along the coast of Northwest Florida and throughout the state of Alabama.  Since the start, HAHS LLC has maintained a fundamental commitment to providing quality legal services.  Cases and projects are staffed with the goal of achieving success for the client with maximum efficiency.  With offices in Athens, Birmingham, Mobile, and Fairhope, Alabama and Florida offices in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Panama City and Panama City Beach, the firm is uniquely situated among the Southeast’s major law firms to provide legal direction to clients throughout Alabama, Northwest Florida and Mississippi. Learn more at www.handfirm.com.

Welcome Sean Dudley and Chase Pritchard

December 1, 2022 News

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC is proud to announce Sean Dudley and Chase Pritchard have joined the firm’s business section.

Dudley serves as counsel in the Firm’s business section, with a broad transactional practice covering mergers & acquisitions, commercial lending, real estate, entity formation, private equity, local opinion practice, and bank regulatory compliance.

Out of law school, Dudley worked in the Chicago office of a national firm. He moved to his wife’s hometown of Mobile in 2012, and after making partner at his new firm, he left the private practice of law to start a company with his father. While serving as in-house counsel, he continued to manage a solo legal practice for some of his best M&A and real estate clients.

A father of five and proud Notre Dame alum, Dudley is committed to youth ministry, men’s ministry, and ministry to married couples. He is also a musician, singer and songwriter who can regularly be found on stage, whether in a local theater production, church choir, or playing with his band.

Pritchard is an associate in the Firm’s business section.  He assists clients in a wide variety of transactional matters, including real estate, mergers & acquisitions, contract negotiation, and entity formation.

Before joining the Firm, Pritchard served as vice president and in-house counsel for an international construction company that specialized in industrial and port construction.

Pritchard and his wife live in Mobile with their two young children.  Pritchard is also active in his community, including serving as vice president of St. Mary’s Knights of Columbus and on the board of directors for Rapahope.

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC is the result of a merger of two law firms in January 2018.The two firms, Hand Arendall LLC and Harrison Sale McCloy Attorneys at Law, merged which resulted in one of the largest regional law practices with offices along the coast of Northwest Florida and throughout the state of Alabama.  Since the start, HAHS LLC has maintained a fundamental commitment to providing quality legal services.  Cases and projects are staffed with the goal of achieving success for the client with maximum efficiency.  With offices in Athens, Birmingham, Mobile, and Fairhope, Alabama and Florida offices in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Panama City and Panama City Beach, the firm is uniquely situated among the Southeast’s major law firms to provide legal direction to clients throughout Alabama, Northwest Florida and Mississippi. Learn more at www.handfirm.com.

 

Estate Planning & Probate Administration – Florida Lawyers

Estate Planning & Probate Administration – Florida Lawyers

Florida Estate Planning Services

At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, our Florida estate planning attorneys offer a variety of customized estate planning services based on the specific needs of each client.

Sometimes our clients just want a simple will and estate plan. For these clients, we offer basic estate plans that include a last will and testament, durable power of attorney (POA), and advanced directives, including a living will, and designation of healthcare surrogate. We understand the desire to keep the process as simple as possible and agree that sometimes a basic estate plan is all that is needed.

For our clients with young children, we understand that hiring a Florida estate planning lawyer is often their first experience with hiring an attorney and we take time to answer questions and explain options. We are familiar with common issues like naming a guardian or creating a trust for minor children. Our attorneys are experienced at addressing these common scenarios and providing clients with sound advice and peace of mind during the estate planning process. 

Speak With A Florida Attorney At Our Firm About Probate, Estate Planning, Trusts and Litigation Today.

If you need assistance with an issue related to estate planning, probate, trusts, or guardianships, contact our firm and speak with an experienced Florida lawyer. You can rest assured that your concerns will be addressed in confidence.

To schedule a consultation with a lawyer in Destin or Santa Rosa Beach, call us at 850-650-0010.

To schedule a consultation with a lawyer in our Panama City Beach or Panama City, call us at 850-769-3434.

Florida Estate Planning & Asset Protection

For our clients with more complex needs, a Florida estate planning lawyer from our firm can provide comprehensive estate planning and asset protection services to meet particular objectives. We can help with matters including special needs trust planning, irrevocable trust planning, life insurance planning, elder law planning, probate avoidance planning, business succession planning, and strategic tax planning. We often work closely with accountants and financial advisors to understand our client’s specific needs and offer targeted and custom-tailored planning solutions. We regularly assist with succession planning strategies for business owners and licensed professionals, as well as provide complex planning for investors and other high-net-worth individuals.

Florida Estate Planning & Tax Implications

A thorough estate plan is not complete unless it includes consideration of any tax implications your estate may face. There are ways an estate planning lawyer in Florida can help prevent the loss of your money by working with your accountant and financial adviser and utilizing tax avoidance strategies. These approaches have the goal of keeping your money with you, to support you and future generations.

Whatever estate planning goals you have in mind, we are here to help. By meeting with a Florida estate planning lawyer at Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, you are taking the first step in ensuring that you, and the ones you love most, will be cared for in the years to come.

Probate Services

Our attorneys assist executors and personal representatives with the entire probate process, from beginning to end. Often, our clients don’t know where to begin, and we ensure they check all the boxes to properly probate the deceased’s assets and debts. After all, it is a time when emotions are running high and those in charge of the probate process are often overwhelmed and still learning to live without their loved one.

A Florida probate lawyer from our firm can help do the following:

  • Transfer ownership of the decedent’s home
  • Determine debts owed by the estate
  • Determine assets owned by the estate
  • Complete and file appropriate paperwork
  • Maintain a detailed accounting
  • Transfer decedent’s bank accounts
  • Assist with Florida ancillary estate administration

We are also able to provide our services to estates located in Alabama.

Probate Litigation

Losing a loved one is never easy. Having to litigate against other family members after losing someone close to you makes everything that much more difficult. At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, we step up to the plate for you to represent your interests and ensure your rights are protected. A Florida estate and probate lawyer from our firm will meet with you and explain the law and the probate process to you and will attempt to resolve your legal issues without damaging family relationships any more than necessary.

Trust Administration

There are specific rules which apply to trust administration, and our attorney’s often assist trustee clients with the process to ensure they are compliant. Our services include:

  • Identifying trust assets
  • Locating and notifying beneficiaries of the trust
  • Managing trust assets
  • Keeping an accounting of trust activities
  • Distributing trust assets

We are there for our clients no matter the type of trust and make certain our clients stay informed through an open line of communication.

Trust Litigation

Disputes sometimes arise and our Florida attorneys are here to help beneficiaries and trustees that are involved in disputes over the administration of revocable and irrevocable trusts. While our first choice is to resolve these disputes as amicably as possible, our lawyers do not back down from litigating cases in the courtroom when it is necessary to protect the interests of our clients.

Creditor Services

A Florida lawyer from our firm can provide probate assistance to creditors attempting to collect on outstanding debts from an estate when a deceased person owes money. We understand the applicable law in Florida and can help our estate creditor clients collect the money they are owed after a debtor’s death.

 

Hand Arendall Founder Inducted into Alabama Lawyers’ Hall of Fame

December 1, 2022 News

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC is proud to announce that Charles Baker Arendall, Jr., a founding Member of the firm and longtime Managing Member, was recently inducted to the Alabama Lawyers’ Hall of Fame by the Alabama State Bar Association.

Inductees to the Alabama Lawyers’ Hall of Fame are recognized for their distinguished career in the law, which can be demonstrated through many different forms of achievement, leadership, service, mentorship, political courage, or professional success. A 12-member selection committee annually selects inductees from nominations received from members of the Alabama bar and the general public. Each inductee must have been deceased at least two years at the time of their selection.

“We are so pleased Charlie Arendall has been awarded this honor. Known as a true “lawyer’s lawyer” by those who knew him, he gave 100 percent to each of his clients and partners, as well as his family and friends. We work each day at the firm to carry on his legacy,” Managing Lawyer Roger Bates said.

Born in 1915 in Portsmouth, Virginia, Arendall became a resident of Mobile in 1924. His father, C.B. Arendall, served as the pastor of Dauphin Way Baptist Church for many years.  

Arendall had an exceptional career as an attorney and distinguished himself as a civic and community leader. He graduated from the University of Richmond with a bachelor’s degree, and cum laude from Harvard School of Law.

Arendall was admitted to the Alabama State Bar and joined the Mobile Bar Association in 1938. He began his legal career as an associate with the law firm of Smith & Johnston from 1938 to 1941. He went on to form Hand Arendall in Mobile, which is now Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC.  Arendall led Hand Arendall for several decades. He served his clients as both an accomplished trial lawyer and able transactional lawyer.

Arendall served as President of the Mobile Bar Association in 1976, and as National Vice-President of the Harvard Law School Association and President of the Alabama Unit. He served on the Advisory Board of the Cumberland School of Law. He was a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and the American Bar Association.  Arendall was also a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a member of the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, the International Association of Insurance Counsel, the International Bar Association, the InterAmerican Bar Association, the American Counsel Association, and the American Law Institute.

Arendall was extremely active in church and civic affairs. He was a founding member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Mobile and in 1991 a residential hall was named in his honor. A devoted husband and father, his two primary loves were his family and his profession. He was married to Nan Eager Boone Arendall and they had four daughters. He served as a Sunday school teacher and deacon in his church.

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC is the result of a merger of two law firms in January 2018.  The two firms, Hand Arendall LLC and Harrison Sale McCloy Attorneys at Law, merged which resulted in one of the largest regional law practices with offices along the coast of Northwest Florida and throughout the state of Alabama.  Since the start, HAHS has maintained a fundamental commitment to providing quality legal services.  Cases and projects are staffed with the goal of achieving success for the client with maximum efficiency.  With offices in Athens, Birmingham, Mobile, and Fairhope, Alabama; and Florida offices in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach and Panama City, and Panama City Beach, the firm is uniquely situated among the Southeast’s major law firms to provide legal direction to clients throughout Alabama, Northwest Florida and Mississippi. Learn more at www.handfirm.com.

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale Welcomes Two New Attorneys

December 1, 2022 News

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC (HAHS), a full-service corporate law firm with offices throughout Alabama and Northwest Florida announced that two new attorneys have joined the practice.

“Our firm continues to grow.  Lauren Applegate and Sarah Konwinski have joined our firm. They both bring experience to the firm and are very busy in their practice and active in the community.  Lauren was born, raised in Panama City and has returned home to practice law.  Sarah fell in love with this area years ago while visiting and she moved here to be a part of our continuing growth,” said Franklin Harrison, managing lawyer of Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC Florida.

Applegate’s primary practice areas include Education, Business Law, Commercial Litigation, Employment Litigation and Real Estate.  Konwinski’s primary practice areas include Construction Litigation, Insurance Defense, Community Associations, Construction, Real Estate, and Employment Law.

About Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale provides its clients with legal services in all areas of traditional civil practice. The Alabama firm, Hand Arendall, was organized in 1941, and the Florida firm, Harrison Sale McCloy, was organized in 1984. After merging the two firms in 2018 to become Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, the firm is one of the largest law firms in the region with more than 90 attorneys. The firm has a fundamental commitment to creating long-lasting relationships. Cases and projects are staffed with the goal of achieving success for the client with maximum efficiency. With offices in Mobile, Birmingham, Fairhope and Athens, Alabama; and Destin, Panama City, Panama City Beach, and Santa Rosa, Florida, HAHS is uniquely situated among the Southeast’s major law firms to provide legal direction to clients throughout Alabama, Northwest Florida and Mississippi.  HANDFIRM.com

Medical Malpractice Defense

At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, you’re known by name. For more than 75 years, we’ve based our firm leadership on a fundamental commitment to creating long-lasting relationships. We’re not just an outside firm; your success is our business. We litigate, counsel, negotiate and advise to solve the most important legal matters for you and your business. Your success is our legacy.

The lawyers in our Medical Malpractice Practice Group represent doctors, dentists, and other medical professionals and entities in medical malpractice litigation, credentialing matters, board complaints, and other types of dispute resolution proceedings. We have extensive experience defending medical professionals and entities against all types of malpractice claims, and we routinely secure favorable results for our clients in pre-trial proceedings, at trial and on appeal.

Medical malpractice allegations can have substantial implications beyond potential liability for the damages claimed in the plaintiff’s complaint. When we represent doctors and other medical professionals, we focus not only on avoiding or mitigating any potential liability, but on protecting our clients’ licenses, careers and reputations as well. When we represent clinics, and other facilities and entities, we do so with an eye toward establishing favorable precedent that will help to protect against similar types of claims for years to come.

Cate MedPro September 2002

Employment Litigation

The lawyers in our Employment Litigation Practice Group represent both employers and employees in contract disputes and in litigation involving allegations of discrimination, harassment and other employment law claims. Our lawyers also have significant experience in administrative proceedings and civil service hearings involving claims for unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation and civil rights violations.

Our employment litigation lawyers also represent management personnel in affirmative action compliance reviews, wage and hour investigations, Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) complaints, veterans’ rights claims, and other investigations and proceedings conducted by the U. S. Department of Labor. Regardless of the scope of the issue and the circumstances involved, if you or your company is facing an employment-related legal dispute, our lawyers can use their extensive experience to protect you.

Employment Litigation Counsel for All Types of Employment-Related Claims

Our firm’s employment litigation practice encompasses all types of employment-related claims under state and federal law. This includes state-level claims as well as claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Sections 1981 and 1983, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act).

Our lawyers routinely represent employers, management personnel and employees in mediation, arbitration, litigation, and administrative and civil service hearings involving:

  • Data security breach claims
  • Employment-related tort actions
  • Fiduciary duty claims
  • Harassment and discrimination claims
  • Non-competition and non-solicitation covenant breach claims
  • Retaliation claims
  • Trade secret misappropriation
  • Wage, hour and labor disputes
  • Workers’ compensation claims
  • Wrongful discharge actions

Employment litigation often presents unique dynamics; and, for employers, the risks of facing employment-related allegations can extend beyond the potential liability arising out of the dispute itself. We help our clients make informed and strategic decisions that take into account both their immediate and long-term interests, and we aggressively target favorable results that protect our clients to the fullest extent possible.

Speak with a Lawyer in Our Employment Litigation Practice Group

For more information regarding the Employment Litigation Practice Group at Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, please contact Practice Group Leader Mark T. Waggoner or any of the other lawyers in the Practice Group.

EPL

Worker’s Compensation

The lawyers in our Worker’s Compensation Practice Group represent insured and self-insured employers in the investigation and defense of worker’s compensation claims. Our lawyers provide a wide range of services to employers in these matters, including pre-litigation claims handling advice, assistance with navigating the overlapping requirements of worker’s compensation laws and other federal and state employment laws and regulations, representation in workers’ compensation claims and appeals, and representation in litigation involving allegations of retaliation and wrongful termination.

While a significant portion of our firm’s worker’s compensation practice is devoted to representing employers in claims filed under state worker’s compensation statutes, the lawyers in our Workers’ Compensation Practice Group are also experienced in representing maritime employers in Longshore & Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act and Jones Act claims. These federal laws provide special protections to onshore, nearshore and offshore workers, and they present unique challenges for employers faced with employees’ claims for benefits.

Experienced Defense Counsel for State and Federal Worker’s Compensation Claims

With decades of experience representing employers across a broad spectrum of industries, our Workers’ Compensation Practice Group has successfully defended companies of all sizes against virtually all types of workers’ compensation claims. Our practice encompasses the investigation and defense of claims arising out of:

  • Construction accidents
  • Dumping and backfill accidents
  • Electrocution injuries
  • Equipment and heavy machinery accidents
  • Exposure to infectious diseases
  • Exposure to toxic fumes, chemicals and particulates
  • Fires and explosions
  • Ladder and scaffolding accidents
  • Maritime accidents
  • Repetitive stress and repetitive strain injuries
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Vehicle collisions

In addition to providing workers’ compensation claim defense, we routinely represent companies in personal injury and wrongful death litigation arising out of work-related accidents as well. If your company is facing potential exposure beyond the scope of its workers’ compensation coverage, our lawyers will work to ensure that any liability your company may ultimately face is no greater than absolutely necessary.

The lawyers in our Worker’s Compensation Practice Group are members of the Alabama Defense Lawyer’s Association, the Alabama Worker’s Compensation Organization, the Alabama Self-Insurer’s Association, the Associated General Contractors, the Associated Builders and Contractors, the Alabama and Mobile Homebuilder’s Associations, and numerous other legal and industry organizations. Many of our lawyers also frequently write and speak on topics related to workers’ compensation and other work injury claims.

Representative Starr Adjustment Services, Inc. Matters 

  • Shirley Smith v. Air Evac, et al.
  • Farmco Builders, Inc.
  • P & M Mechanical
  • Education Corporation of America – Chisholm
  • Education Corporation of America – Birmingham

Ward Starr September 2022

Patrick J. R. Ward

Patrick J. R. Ward is a member in the Firm’s litigation and admiralty law sections. He handles various litigation matters including personal injury defense, Jones Act defense, workers’ compensation defense (both Alabama and Longshore and Harbor Workers) and contractual/business disputes.

After growing up in Mobile, Patrick attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. While at the Academy, Patrick was appointed to several leadership positions and served aboard numerous cargo ships which delivered goods to countries all over the world. Upon graduation, Patrick received a commission in the United States Navy and retired from the Navy Reserve in 2012 as a Lieutenant Commander. Patrick also has a Third Mate’s Unlimited License from the United States Coast Guard.

Patrick received his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2008. While in law school, Patrick was a Senior Editor on the Journal of the Legal Profession and was active in the Parham H. Williams Trial Competition. He is a member of the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute, The Mobile Propeller Club, the Maritime Law Association and is active in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Mobile. Patrick has also been named an Alabama Super Lawyers Rising Star. He was admitted to the Alabama Bar in 2008 and lives in Mobile with his wife Jennifer, son Jackson and daughters Sophie and Avery.

Billing Rate: $225

Biographical Information

Sarah Konwinski is an associate at the Panama City office. Her practice is primarily focused on litigation, specifically, Construction Litigation but her other practice areas are Insurance Defense, Community Associations, and Construction.

Ms. Konwinski is licensed to practice law in Florida.  A native of Savannah Georgia, she relocated to Panama City in 2007 after visiting Panama City during breaks while in law school.

She is a graduate of The Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida.  From 2009-2022 she served as the Region 1 Circuit Director-Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel in Panama City, Florida and this included supervising attorney and staff personnel in the 14th Circuit of Florida. In addition to those supervising responsibilities, she served as a Litigation Attorney representing clients in all aspects of misdemeanor, felony, delinquency, dependency and guardianship proceedings.  Prior, Konwinski served as a Florida Department of Revenue (FDR) Child Support Attorney and represented the FDR in child support proceedings.  She has also served as a criminal defense attorney for the Office of the Public Defender and early in her career as a law clerk and attorney with a firm in Jacksonville that practiced community association law and family law.

Sarah enjoys camping with her fiancée and dog, discovering new restaurants and enjoying local cuisine, supporting local animal rescues, painting and art.

Addmissions

  • Florida State Bar

Education

  • J.D., Coastal School of Law, 2006
  • B.A., Psychology, Armstrong Atlantic State University, 2003

Additional Information

Civic and Professional Affiliations

  • Bay County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, past member
  • Andrews Bay Inn of Court, past member
  • Leadership Bay Class, 2022-2023

Awards

  • Best Appellate Brief Award, Florida Coastal School of Law
  • Public Service Award, Criminal and Civil Regional Counsel

Riis Presents at Alabama Governor’s Safety & Health Conference

December 1, 2022 Presentations

Riis Alabama Governor's Safety and Health ConferenceBuzzy Riis, Chairman of the firm’s OSHA practice, and Jose Gonzalez, OSHA Area Director for Mobile, Alabama presented on “OSHA Inspections and Employer Rights” during the Alabama Governor’s Safety & Health Conference held at Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, Alabama. To learn more about the firm’s OSHA practice, see http://ow.ly/QUBe50KJ4OM

Firm Members Present Mock Trial

December 1, 2022 Presentations

Alabama Trucking Association Mock TrialFirm members Buzzy Riis, Craig Campbell and Douglas Fink presented a mock trial for members of the Alabama Trucking Association Safety & Maintenance Management Council during a legal seminar in Montgomery. Participants gained insight on how to think quickly to construct persuasive arguments and examinations under pressure. Thank you to the Alabama Trucking Association for the opportunity to visit with familiar faces and network with others in the industry. For more information on the firm’s Trucking & Transportation practice, see http://ow.ly/nQxT50KECox

37 Hand Arendall Harrison Sale Attorneys Listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2023

December 1, 2022 News

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC is pleased to announce 37 attorneys have been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 edition.

The Best Lawyers in America® is regarded as one of the oldest and most respected ranking publications in the legal industry. Recognized attorneys undergo a rigorous peer-reviewed selection process that assesses and evaluates the attorney’s professional abilities and expertise. 

Three attorneys were recognized as a “Lawyer of the Year,” an honor given to attorneys with the highest peer-feedback in each specific practice area and geographic region. Only one lawyer is recognized as the “Lawyer of the Year” for each practice area and location. Congratulations to:

Lisa Darnley Cooper, Litigation – Labor and Employment, Employment Law Management
Christopher M. Gill, Real Estate Law
Brooks P. Milling, Corporate Law

Five attorneys were also selected as Best Lawyers: “Ones to Watch,” a recognition honoring associates and other lawyers, 5-9 years into their careers, for outstanding professional excellence in private practice. Those selected for this honor are divided by geographic region and practice areas and reviewed by their peers on the basis of professional expertise.

Congratulations to the following recognized attorneys as “Ones to Watch”: 

Christine Harding Hart, Civil Rights Law, Labor and Employment Law – Management, Litigation – Labor and Employment
Wesley Hunter, Business Organizations (Including LLCs and Partnerships), Real Estate Law
Edward T. Rowe, Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation
Dorissa S. Smith, Insurance Law, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
Christopher S. Williams, Commercial Litigation

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale attorneys listed in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® are listed by below by office.

Athens, Alabama

Shane Black, Commercial Litigation

Birmingham, Alabama

Roger L. Bates, Commercial Litigation
I. Ripon Britton, Jr., Trusts and Estates
Joseph L. Cowan, II, Insurance Law
Tracy R. Davis, Health Care Law
J. Mark Hart, Insurance Law
Gregory H. Hawley, Commercial Litigation, Litigation — Environmental
Mark D. Hess, Insurance Law
C. Dennis Hughes, Insurance Law
J. Fred Kingren, Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law
John E. Rollins, Litigation – Real Estate
Drew Sinor, Insurance Law

 Fairhope, Alabama

Gregory L. Leatherbury, Jr., Tax Law, Trusts and Estates
Michael C. Niemeyer, Litigation – Construction

Mobile, Alabama

Paul T. Beckmann, Admiralty and Maritime Law
Windy Cockrell Bitzer, Appellate Practice, Litigation – Labor and Employment
R. Preston Bolt, Jr., Public Finance Law
Rodney R. Cate, Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
Lisa Darnley Cooper, Employment Law – Management, Litigation – Labor and Employment
Blane H. Crutchfield, Admiralty and Maritime Law
Ginger P. Gaddy, Public Finance Law
Christopher M. Gill, Real Estate Law
Neil C. Johnston, Energy Law, Environmental Law, Litigation – Environmental, Natural Resources Law, Real Estate Law, Timber Law, Water Law
Douglas L. McCoy, Banking and Finance, Litigation – Intellectual Property, Litigation, Trusts and Estates
T. Bruce McGowin, Corporate Law, Environmental Law, Real Estate Law
Brooks P. Milling, Corporate Law
Henry T. Morrissette, Insurance Law
Caine O’Rear III, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Construction
David R. Quittmeyer, Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Patent
J. Burruss Riis, Litigation – Construction, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, Transportation Law
Norman M. Stockman, Admiralty and Maritime Law
George M. Walker, Banking and Finance Law, Commercial Litigation, Employment Law – Individuals, Employment Law – Management, Insurance Law, Labor Law – Management, Litigation – Banking and Finance, Litigation – Labor and Employment, Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC is the result of a merger of two law firms in January 2018.  The two firms, Hand Arendall LLC and Harrison Sale McCloy Attorneys at Law, merged which resulted in one of the largest regional law practices with offices along the coast of Northwest Florida and throughout the state of Alabama.  Since the start, HAHS has maintained a fundamental commitment to providing quality legal services.  Cases and projects are staffed with the goal of achieving success for the client with maximum efficiency.  With offices in Athens, Birmingham, Mobile, and Fairhope, Alabama; and Florida offices in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach and Panama City, and Panama City Beach, the firm is uniquely situated among the Southeast’s major law firms to provide legal direction to clients throughout Alabama, Northwest Florida and Mississippi. Learn more at www.handfirm.com.

Biographical Information

Laurel Thorpe serves as of counsel in the Firm’s litigation section. She maintains a diverse practice with an emphasis on employment law, worker’s compensation, and health care regulatory compliance. Laurel brings her comprehensive human resources experience to provide practical solutions for employers in their compensation, leave, wellness, and benefits programs. She works thoughtfully and strategically to assist clients in the development and administration of workplace safety, privacy, discrimination, discipline, and termination policies.

With a background in health care administration, public health services, and medical ethics, Laurel has assisted health care organizations, providers, and employers in complex regulatory compliance issues. This includes the identification and remediation of issues related to federal and state fraud and abuse, research ethics, health care privacy, and the negotiation of compensation and operational agreements.

Laurel received her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Houston Law Center. While at UHLC, she served as the Managing Editor of the inaugural board of the Houston Journal of Health Law and Policy, and she served on the editorial board of the Houston Journal of International Law. Laurel refined her research and writing skills as an assistant to employment and health care law professors in the Health Law and Policy Institute. There she worked extensively on issues related to ethical decision making, health care and employment regulations, and disability related claims. 

After law school, Laurel began her practice in the Houston office of a national firm. She returned home to the Gulf Coast where she and her husband proudly raise four children. In addition to her family and her law practice, Laurel devotes her time to both community and church. She enjoys teaching and speaking at women’s ministry events and professional development programs.

Admissions

  • Alabama State Bar, 2008
  • Texas State Bar, 2002

Education

  • J.D., University of Houston Law Center, cum laude
  • B.A., University of Alabama at Birmingham

 

Additional Information

Civic and Professional Affiliations

  • Mobile County Bar Association
  • Baldwin County Bar Association
  • Heart for Athletes, Board of Directors

 

Biographical Information

Lauren Applegate is an associate at the Panama City office. Her practice is primarily focused on transactional and institutional law, including estate planning, business and commercial transactions, and education law. Mrs. Applegate also assists the civil litigation team. Mrs. Applegate is licensed to practice law in both Florida and Illinois.

Mrs. Applegate is a graduate of the Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago, IL. During this time, she was a member of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity and the Society for Women in Law. She was on the Dean’s Honors List and also received a CALI award for the highest grade in International Law. During her last semester, Mrs. Applegate was a legal extern for the Honorable Richard D. Cudahy of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Prior to law school, Mrs. Applegate attended the University of Florida, where she graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Political Science. There, she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.

After obtaining her juris doctor, Mrs. Applegate worked as a judicial staff attorney for both the 14th Judicial Circuit in Bay County and the 4th Judicial Circuit in Duval County for a combined 12 years. During her time as a staff attorney, Mrs. Applegate assisted the judges with a variety of cases, from criminal death penalty cases to complex civil litigation. Mrs. Applegate was also a member of the Florida Trial Court Staff Attorneys Association.

Mrs. Applegate was born and raised in Panama City, FL, where she now resides with her husband and children. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering at her children’s school, spending time with her family, and playing piano.

Admissions

  • Florida State Bar
  • Illinois State Bar

Education

  • J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, 2009
  • B.S., University of Florida, cum laude, 2004

Additional Information

Civic and Professional Affiliations

  • Bay County Bar Association

Biographical Information

Chase Pritchard is an associate in the Firm’s business section.  He assists clients in a wide variety of transactional matters, including real estate, mergers & acquisitions, contract negotiation, and entity formation.

Before joining the Firm, Chase served as vice president and in-house counsel for an international construction company that specialized in industrial and port construction.

Chase and his wife, Sara, live in Mobile with their two young children, Mary Helen and Cuen.  Chase is also active in his community, including serving as vice president of St. Mary’s Knights of Columbus and on the board of directors for Rapahope.

Admissions

  • Alabama State Bar, 2016

Education

  • J.D., University of Mississippi School of Law, 2016
  • B.A. University of South Alabama, 2013  

Biographical Information

Sean Dudley serves as counsel in the Firm’s business section, with a broad transactional practice covering mergers & acquisitions, commercial lending, real estate, entity formation, private equity, local opinion practice, and bank regulatory compliance.

Out of law school, Sean worked in the Chicago office of a national firm. He moved to his wife’s hometown of Mobile in 2012, and after making partner at his new firm, Sean left the private practice of law to start a company with his father. While serving as in-house counsel, he continued to manage a solo legal practice for some of his best M&A and real estate clients.

A father of five and proud Notre Dame alum, Sean is committed to youth ministry, men’s ministry, and ministry to married couples. He is also a musician, singer and songwriter who can regularly be found on stage, whether in a local theater production, church choir, or playing with his band.

Admissions

Alabama State Bar

Education

  • J.D., Notre Dame Law School, magna cum laude, 2008
  • B.A., University of Notre Dame, magna cum laude, 2005

 

Additional Information

Civic and Professional Affiliations

  • Chickasaw Civic Theatre (board member)
  • St. Mary’s Knights of Columbus (president)
  • Men of St. Joseph “Outback” retreat (emcee)
  • Fraternus youth group (officer & emcee)
  • Leadership Mobile (class of 2017)
  • Exploreum Science Center (past member of Junior Advisory Board)
  • Jesuit Volunteer Corps (past local support team)
  • St. Mary’s Parish (past president of parish council)
  • Notre Dame Club of Mobile (past local admissions coordinator)

Three Hand Arendall Harrison Sale Attorneys Honored as Legal Elite

December 1, 2022 News

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC, one of the southeastern region’s largest law firms, announces three Destin, Florida attorneys have been named in the recent honoree list of Florida Trend’s Legal Elite for 2022.

Attorneys Dion J. Moniz, Leslie D. Sheekley and Hayward Dykes, Jr. have been recognized in the top 1.4% of Florida Attorneys selected this year.  In its 19th year, Florida Legal Elite represents the state’s top licensed and practicing attorneys selected by their peers. The recipients were, also, examined using Florida Bar membership status and their histories.

“We are proud to have three of our attorneys make the list of honorees this year,” said Franklin Harrison, managing lawyer of Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC Florida.  “Dion, Leslie, and Hayward were selected by other attorneys who they have either worked with or possibly against on complex legal matters for clients throughout Northwest Florida. That makes this type of honor extra special as it shows they have earned the respect of their peers.”

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale provides clients with legal services in all areas of traditional civil practice. The Alabama firm, Hand Arendall, was organized in 1941, and the Florida firm, Harrison Sale McCloy, was organized in 1984. After merging the two firms in 2018 to become Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, the firm is one of the largest law firms in the region with more than 90 attorneys. The firm has a fundamental commitment to creating long-lasting relationships. Cases and projects are staffed with the goal of achieving success for the client with maximum efficiency. With offices in Mobile, Birmingham, Fairhope and Athens, Alabama; and Destin, Panama City, Panama City Beach, and Santa Rosa, Florida, the firm is uniquely situated among the Southeast’s major law firms to provide legal direction to clients throughout Alabama, Northwest Florida and Mississippi. Learn more at www.handfirm.com.

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale Ranked in Chambers USA 2022

December 1, 2022 News

The Chambers USA 2022 rankings have been released. The Firm was recognized as a top firm in Banking & Finance and Litigation: General Commercial by the publication. Six attorneys were also included in this year’s list:

London-based Chambers and Partners annually ranks the leading U.S. firms and attorneys based on in-depth research and interviews with clients and peers. Chambers assesses attorneys on attributes most valued by clients, including technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, and commitment. For more information, visit https://www.chambersandpartners.com.

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC is the result of a merger of two law firms in January 2018.The two firms, Hand Arendall LLC and Harrison Sale McCloy Attorneys at Law, merged which resulted in one of the largest regional law practices with offices along the coast of Northwest Florida and throughout the state of Alabama.  Since the start, HAHS LLC has maintained a fundamental commitment to providing quality legal services.  Cases and projects are staffed with the goal of achieving success for the client with maximum efficiency.  With offices in Athens, Birmingham, Mobile, and Fairhope Alabama and Florida offices in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach and Panama City, the firm is uniquely situated among the Southeast’s major law firms to provide legal direction to clients throughout Alabama, Florida and Mississippi. Learn more at www.handfirm.com.

The Florida Association for Women Lawyers Announces Local Attorney as Treasurer

December 1, 2022 News

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale Attorneys at Law congratulates Jennifer Gutai Comella in her recently elected position as treasurer for the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.

“Jennifer is not only active in our northwest Florida region but has been involved for quite some time on projects throughout our state.  This nomination and election are evidence of her commitment to her peers and the law.  She will serve this state group very well, ” states Florida Managing Attorney for HAHS, Franklin Harrison.

“I am proud to be elected to serve as FAWL Treasurer for this 2022-2023 term.  FWAL is very active throughout the State of Florida striving to propel women lawyers into economic, social and leadership spheres of power and promoting gender equality in the legal profession, judiciary, and community at large. I have been active in FAWL as the Okaloosa chapter representative for several years and am so excited to get even more involved on the state level.  If anyone in our community is interested in learning more about this association on the state or local level or needs information on how to become involved, I’m available.  We do have several events upcoming in Orlando in June in conjunction with the Florida Bar Convention and it would be a great time for interested parties to participate with us,” said Jennifer Gutai Comella.

Comella is an associate attorney in Destin Florida and is the only serving officer in the group from the panhandle.  Her practice areas include community association law, real estate law, construction litigation, local government, workers compensation and business/commercial litigation. 

About Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale provides its clients with legal services in all areas of traditional civil practice. The Alabama firm, Hand Arendall, was organized in 1941, and the Florida firm, Harrison Sale McCloy, was organized in 1984. After merging the two firms in 2018 to become Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, the firm is one of the largest law firms in the region with more than 90 attorneys.

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Jennifer L. Roselius

Jennifer Roselius rejoined Hand Arendall Harrison Sale as Of Counsel following her tenure as in house counsel for a national homebuilder. She practices in the firm’s Business Section. She has extensive experience in corporate transactions, real estate, and commercial finance. Her clients span a broad range of industries, including real estate developers, health care providers, banks, and builders. Thanks to her years spent as in house counsel, Jennifer has a unique understanding of the needs of her corporate clients.

Jennifer received her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and was awarded the school’s C.V. Starr Scholarship. While at Fordham, Jennifer served in the Fordham Child & Family Litigation Clinic and attended the Cornell-Paris Summer Institute of International and Comparative Law. Jennifer received her B.S., magna cum laude, from the University of Alabama. Prior to joining Hand Arendall for the first time, Jennifer practiced at a firm in New York.

PaperStreet Test 5-19-22

Roselius The First 2022

Banking and Financial Services Litigation

In today’s challenging environment, the lawyers in our firm’s Banking and Financial Services Litigation Practice Group serve a critical role in helping banks, financial institutions and other clients navigate complex litigation while making informed decisions that simultaneously address their short-term needs and their long-term best interests. Our lawyers provide efficient, strategic and effective representation for disputes involving all banking and financial services-related issues as well as the multitude of other issues that frequently lead to litigation for banks and other entities.

Litigation Counsel for All Types of Disputes in the Banking and Financial Services Sectors

The lawyers in Hand Arendall Harrison Sale’s Banking and Financial Services Litigation Practice Group represent the firm’s clients in a broad spectrum of banking and financial services litigation. Our experience includes achieving favorable results for financial institutions and other clients in matters involving:

  • Class actions
  • Consumer protection
  • Customer contracts
  • Fiduciary duty and related claims
  • Fraud
  • Lender liability
  • Loan recovery
  • Trust litigation

Our clients in the banking and financial services industry include banks, finance companies, mortgage bankers and brokers, asset management and financial services companies, servicers, trusts and trustees, and lease and finance companies. We rely on the insights gained from decades of representing some of the country’s leading banking and financial services entities to help our clients make informed and strategic decisions during discovery and pre-trial practice, during settlement negotiations, at trial, and on appeal.

Representative Matters

With decades of experience in banking and financial services litigation, our lawyers have won many notable cases at the trial and appellate levels. Some examples of our recent successes include:

  • Successfully defended a national financial services company against claims of improper marketing practices in the sale of variable annuities. Our representation included the defense of regulatory reviews and investigations conducted by multiple state attorneys general and state securities and insurance commissions.
  • Secured a directed verdict in favor of a bank in a lawsuit seeking $13 million in damages for our client’s alleged breach of a commitment letter.
  • Successfully defended against and negotiated a favorable settlement in a nationwide class action attacking bankruptcy proof of claim fees.
  • Successfully defended a national bank in three class action lawsuits alleging fraudulent bankruptcy affidavit practices.

 

Brooks P. Milling

Brooks Milling devotes a significant portion of his practice to the representation of buyers and sellers of businesses. He has handled numerous bank mergers involving the public offering of registered common stock. He also frequently represents buyers and sellers of small to medium sized private businesses. Mr. Milling has advised public companies regarding compliance with the 1933 Act and the 1934 Act and assisted in the preparation of periodic reports required by the 1934 Act. Brooks represents several charitable foundations that have significant timberland holdings. Brooks previously served as the head of the Firm’s Business Section. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America for corporate law.

Other significant components of his practice include:

  • advising banks and bank holding companies in corporate and regulatory matters;
  • representing buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants in real estate transactions;
  • representing charitable private foundations;
  • the formation of corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships for clients engaged in all types of business; and
  • providing general corporate and transactional advice to businesses.

Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Technology

The lawyers in our Cybersecurity, Privacy & Technology Practice Group counsel businesses regarding the protection and preservation of digital information including trade secrets, proprietary business information, personally identifiable information (PII), personal healthcare information (PHI) and other sensitive or private information. We also provide representation in data breach litigation.

Our lawyers are available to consult with any business or individual that maintains digital information that must be protected. We work closely with our clients to help them establish appropriate cybersecurity policies, procedures, and best practices to minimize cybersecurity risks, respond to data security breaches, and defend against cyber-liability claims.

Comprehensive Cybersecurity & Technology Risk Mitigation and Dispute Resolution Services

The Cybersecurity, Privacy & Technology Practice Group at Hand Arendall Harrison Sale provides consultation and representation in the following areas:

Risk Assessments

The starting point for an effective cybersecurity program is effective risk assessment. What digital information do you have, who is interested in it, what might they do to get it, and what rules or regulations apply to your protection and preservation of that information? Our lawyers work with our clients, engaging the services of technical consultants as necessary, to assess the risks associated with our clients’ maintenance of digital information systems.

Cybersecurity Compliance Programs

We work with clients to develop and implement effective cybersecurity compliance programs that are tailored to their specific needs and requirements. We focus on systems and structures that minimize the risk of data breaches, on education of personnel authorized to control or handle the client’s digital information, and on compliance with applicable statutory or regulatory requirements.

Cybersecurity Incident Investigations

Data breaches and other security lapses are a significant threat to a company’s viability and business sustainability. When these events occur, our lawyers conduct internal investigations with technical experts to assess the source of an intrusion and quickly determine our clients’ next steps. In those cases in which data breaches or security lapses result in a government-initiated investigation, our lawyers represent our clients in responding to governmental inquiries as well.

Data Breach Response

Data breach incidents are becoming more prevalent. Cyber-attacks can cause significant, and potentially irreparable, harm, and an immediate response can be critical to mitigating potential losses. Our lawyers counsel cyber-attack victims on their consumer and regulatory notice obligations under state and federal laws, on minimizing and protecting against litigation risks, and on developing and implementing incident response plans.

Cyber Risk Insurance Coverage

Our coverage lawyers advise clients regarding the availability and acquisition of cyber risk-related insurance coverage. Every business has unique risks, and we are able to help our clients understand the types of coverage available and evaluate the coverage that is suited to the particular risks associated with their business operations.

Cybersecurity Litigation

Our lawyers defend companies against consumer and employee claims arising out of the unauthorized release of PII and other private information. We also serve as plaintiff’s counsel for pursuing claims for theft of digital information and trade secrets against individuals and other businesses.  Finally, our lawyers represent businesses involved in litigation regarding social engineering or wire instruction fraud where cyber criminals steal money intended for a different party.

Banking & Financial Services

The lawyers in our Banking & Financial Services Practice Group represent a broad range of clients in an equally broad range of transactions. From advising banks and bank holding companies with regard to corporate and regulatory matters to assisting lenders and borrowers with commercial and real estate loan transactions, we offer full-service legal representation based on deep experience in the banking and financial services industries.

At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, we partner with our clients, working closely with their in-house counsel and senior leaders to identify challenges, assess risks, and leverage opportunities. Whether we are representing a bank, an investment firm or a company that is seeking financing, we take the same approach, and we offer the same level of commitment, client service and strategic advice—all of which are informed by decades of real-world experience.

About Our Banking & Financial Services Practice

Within our Banking & Financial Services Practice Group, we assist our clients in all of their areas of need. Among other matters, our lawyers offer particular experience in the areas of:

  • Acquisition and construction credit facilities
  • Bridge loans
  • Construction loans
  • Debt restructurings and spin offs
  • Equity injections
  • Joint ventures
  • Mezzanine debt financing
  • Permanent credit facilities
  • Real estate development and redevelopment
  • Securing financing with the requisite “owner equity” for new development projects
  • Securities offerings and other equity-raising strategies
  • Securitizations
  • Financings backed by public and private contributions

Our clients include participants in all aspects and all phases of complex and large-scale commercial transactions. We represent lenders, borrowers, borrower affiliates, guarantors, equity providers and numerous other types of entities, and we serve clients in the aviation, transportation, real estate, health care, manufacturing, non-profit, student housing and telecommunications industries, among others. In addition to providing representation in the area of banking and financial services, we offer our services in other areas as well, and this allows us to efficiently and effectively meet all of our clients’ regulatory and transactional legal needs.

The banking and financial services industries are constantly changing, and the laws and regulations that govern these industries also consistently remain in a state of evolution. At HAHS, we are on the leading edge, and we are proud to serve as both partners and trusted advocates for or clients

Business & Commercial Law

The lawyers in our Business & Commercial Law Practice Group represent established companies as well as emerging businesses. We serve as primary outside counsel to a number of companies in addition to supplementing the legal staffs of several large corporations. At Hand Arendall Harrison Sale, we take a strategic approach to supporting our clients at all phases of their growth and evolution, and we help our clients define and achieve their business objectives through proactive legal planning.

With respect to emerging business and entrepreneurial business planning, our lawyers work in partnership with our clients’ leaders, providing counsel in the areas of business planning, protection of proprietary assets, accessing capital, organizational management, strategic partnerships, and government financing through economic development and government grants and contracts. We serve our emerging clients at all stages of the business lifecycle, from formation through sale.

About our Business & Commercial Law Services

With respect to transactional and regulatory matters, we provide advice and counsel on all aspects of business formation, financing, management and disposition. For example, the lawyers in our Business & Commercial Law Practice Group routinely advise clients with regard to issues such as:

  • Business entity selection and formation
  • Review and negotiation of financing agreements
  • Review and negotiation of franchise agreements
  • Drafting and negotiation of stockholder agreements, partnership agreements and other business contracts
  • Drafting and negotiation of non-competition agreements, leases, distribution and supply contracts, license and royalty agreements, and other commercial contracts
  • Intellectual property protection and licensing
  • Acquisition and leasing of commercial real estate
  • Employment law compliance drafting of employment policies and procedures
  • Business tax planning
  • Business mergers, acquisitions and sales

On the dispute resolution side, our lawyers provide representation for matters including contract litigation, trade secret and non-competition litigation, fraud claims and other commercial tort claims, corporate and business control litigation, financing litigation, and leasing and lending litigation. We handle all other types of “routine” and complex commercial disputes as well, including those between business entities, between business entities and their equity owners, and between business entities and their employees. In addition to informal dispute resolution efforts and litigation, we maintain a robust alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practice as well.

Welcome Heather Houston

December 1, 2022 News

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC is happy to announce Heather Houston has joined the firm as Of Counsel in its Fairhope office.

Houston focuses her practice on professional liability, construction and complex liability. She is experienced in representing design professionals and contractors in matters ranging from the design and construction of single-family residences to high rise condominiums to industrial facilities. Heather also defends professionals such as attorneys and pharmacists against allegations of breach of standard of care.  Houston represents her clients’ interests in pre-suit negotiations, litigation, and alternative dispute forums.

Houston serves the legal community through her involvement in numerous local, state, and national professional organizations.  She is admitted to practice in all state courts in Alabama and Mississippi as well as numerous Federal District Courts throughout Alabama and Mississippi.

Houston balances active involvement in the legal community with leadership positions in various philanthropic endeavors. She proudly serves on the Board of Directors for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mobile and previously served as its President.  She was also a long-time member of the Junior League of Mobile and held several leadership positions throughout her tenure. Houston is a graduate of Leadership Mobile and was previously selected as one of Mobile Bay Monthly’s 40 Under 40.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Spring Hill College and her Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law. 

Houston and her family live in Fairhope where they spend their free time enjoying all of the activities Mobile Bay has to offer. 

Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC is the result of a merger of two law firms in January 2018.The two firms, Hand Arendall LLC and Harrison Sale McCloy Attorneys at Law, merged which resulted in one of the largest regional law practices with offices along the coast of Northwest Florida and throughout the state of Alabama.  Since the start, HAHS LLC has maintained a fundamental commitment to providing quality legal services.  Cases and projects are staffed with the goal of achieving success for the client with maximum efficiency.  With offices in Athens, Birmingham, Mobile, and Fairhope, Alabama; and Florida offices in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Panama City, and Panama City Beach, the firm is uniquely situated among the Southeast’s major law firms to provide legal direction to clients throughout Alabama, Florida and Mississippi. Learn more at www.handfirm.com.

Biographical Information

Heather Houston is Of Counsel in the firm’s Fairhope office where her practice focuses on professional liability, construction and complex liability. She is experienced in representing design professionals and contractors in matters ranging from the design and construction of single-family residences to high rise condominiums to industrial facilities. Heather also defends professionals such as attorneys and pharmacists against allegations of breach of standard of care.  Heather represents her clients’ interests in pre-suit negotiations, litigation, and alternative dispute forums.

Heather serves the legal community through her involvement in numerous local, state, and national professional organizations.  She is admitted to practice in all state courts in Alabama and Mississippi as well as numerous Federal District Courts throughout Alabama and Mississippi.

Heather balances active involvement in the legal community with leadership positions in various philanthropic endeavors. She proudly serves on the Board of Directors for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mobile and previously served as its President.  She was also a long-time member of the Junior League of Mobile and held several leadership positions throughout her tenure. Heather is a graduate of Leadership Mobile and was previously selected as one of Mobile Bay Monthly’s 40 Under 40.

Heather earned her B.A. from Spring Hill College and her J.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Law. 

Heather and her family live in Fairhope where they spend their free time enjoying all of the activities Mobile Bay has to offer. 

David A. Ryan

David A. Ryan’s practice encompasses a broad array of transactions, ranging from developments involving real estate to securities offerings to mergers and acquisitions. His practice generally can be grouped into the following categories:

Real Estate: Purchases, developments and divestitures of all types, including commercial, residential, mixed-use, resort, special-purpose and others, comprise David’s real estate practice. Transactions often include assemblage of land parcels, complex entitlements issues, historic districts, tax credits, negotiation of joint development ventures and agreements, procurement and negotiation of debt and equity through institutional providers and private placements, procurement of all capital stack components, negotiation of hierarchical risks and returns to various transaction participants, provision of non-consolidation opinions and other opinions necessary to facilitate financing and otherwise consummate transactions.

Condominiums: As an integral component of David’s real estate development experience, he has been involved in a multitude of condominium developments, including mixed-use, residential, commercial, vertical, horizontal and land condominiums. Such projects have included procurement of air rights, subterranean rights, lighting rights and other issues associated with high-rise/high-density developments. These transactions have involved private parties, public entities and governmental institutions, and in some instances have involved private, public and governmental participation in a single development.

Ground Leases: Ground lease structures are a recurring theme in David’s practice, and he has negotiated such arrangements in connection with a variety of real estate transactions, some of which involve condominiums, others which involve private and public institutions, and many of which have involved both public and private universities. As a component of his ground lease experience, David has structured sub-ground leases as a derivative component of master ground lease structures and has negotiated ground lease conversions to fee ownership interests. The specific issues pertaining to title insurance represented by ground lease transactions are an area in which David has been heavily involved.

Public-Private Partnerships: As the public sector has become interested in sharing the financial burdens and risks associated with large scale developments, David’s practice has increasingly involved public-private partnerships. These arrangements have involved municipalities, counties and state organizations across the United States, and have included infrastructure projects, mixed-use developments, toll bridges, student housing, and hotels and related developments in resort areas.

Securities: Exempt from registration securities offerings have played a significant role in David’s practice, whether such offerings have been for a particular project or whether a fund is being created for various investment purposes, and whether related to real estate or otherwise. David’s securities practice has involved significant filings and appearance before local, state and federal agencies.

Mergers and Acquisitions