Dispute resolution
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings

Bradley is a long-time leader in the southeast of the country, with roughly half of its force dedicated to litigation. The firm’s headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama has the largest concentration of its litigators, trailed by its Jackson, Mississippi and Nashville, Tennessee offices. Bradley’s acclaimed product liability practice garnered it national recognition, and is still a prized practice, along with commercial and appellate litigation, which have risen to prominence as well.

     The firm has several lawyers who have mastered the art of handling mass torts and multidistrict litigation. Product liability expert David Hymer has been the co-lead counsel defending CVS Health in a series of opioid-epidemic lawsuits nationwide.  He has been leading the team on five bellwether cases related to the MDL proceeding pending in the Northern District of Ohio. Hymer's team is responsible for overseeing document production efforts across all cases. Lindsey Boney has recently been leading clients in the life sciences industry through multidistrict litigation. Boney and fellow expert in product liability cases Kim Martin were lead counsel to Wyeth (whose parent company is Pfizer) in a case alleging that it engaged in off-label promotion of its prescription medicine amiodarone. Boney led oral argument before the First District of the California Court of Appeal, which published an opinion of its affirmed dismissal.

     Martin, partner in the Huntsville office, and Birmingham partner Leigh Anne Hodge are both nationally recognized as product liability authorities. Along with Jackson, Mississippi partners Will Manuel and Margaret Cupples, they lead the teams in the high-profile 3M multidistrict litigation regarding its allegedly defective earplugs. Manuel and Cupples are leading teams in the MDL consolidated in the Northern District of Florida, where they have been handling depositions and discovery. Cupples serves as national writing counsel for the team. Martin and Hodge have been leading the Case Specific Expert Team, which has been supervising a team of more than 20 of the firm’s lawyers to handle expert reports and depositions, including coordinating with ENT experts for plaintiffs across the 121 cases the team is responsible for handling in Waves 1 and 2. Martin, Hodge, and Manuel specialize in other areas in addition to product liability. Martin’s practice also includes white-collar crime and False Claims Act litigation, in which she recently obtained a dismissal in a case. Hodge serves as the firm’s co-chair of the litigation group and has developed expertise in handling matters on behalf of the healthcare industry. She recently handled a number of cases on behalf of Fresenius, litigating an array of matters from product liability mass tort to medical malpractice lawsuits. She is additionally lead on ERISA [DJ1] cases, currently handling a case on behalf of MetLife. Manuel represents an accounting firm, Horne, in a bankruptcy-related case alleging professional liability claims after farmers sold grain to the now-insolvent grain dealer Express Grain Terminals (EGT). Owing to EGT’s bankruptcy, declared after the sale, the farmers were not paid or were drastically underpaid and have since filed lawsuits against the client and the company’s bank.

     Birmingham partner Anne Marie Seibel has maintained a nationwide practice that involves class actions and multi-plaintiff commercial disputes. As of late, she has been defending Priceline against lawsuits challenging the tax services provided by online travel companies like Priceline. After the pandemic, two cases were filed, framed as False Claims Act lawsuits. Seibel removed one to federal court, and one remains in state court, involving issues of first impression for the Nevada False Claims Act. Seibel secured a summary judgment ruling in the federal court case.


Polsinelli has grown beyond its Kansas City roots to inhabit various strategic locations throughout the country. The firm’s aggressive expansion over the years has equipped it with breadth and depth in many areas of litigation, while still maintaining its premier reputation as a go-to litigation firm for the healthcare industry.

      Chicago’s Mary Clare Bonaccorsi previously served as Polsinelli’s Cross-Department Litigation Chair, while keeping an active practice mainly focusing on the healthcare industry, routinely leading high-stakes corporate internal investigations for clients in healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry. Additionally, her casework often involves false claims act litigation in both state and federal courts throughout the country. Thomas Gemmell and Daniel Reinberg join Bonaccorsi in the Chicago office. Gemmell’s practice mixes IP and business litigation. He leads several industry-specific practices, serving as lead of the unmanned systems and advanced robotics practice and co-lead of both the aviation practice and the transportation and logistics practice. Reinberg like Bonaccorsi concentrates his practice on the healthcare industry.

      John Peterson bridges a geographic and practice divide, practicing in Nashville and Chattanooga as well as Los Angeles, Peterson is a commercial litigator with vast experience in securities as well as real estate, and he is yet another Polsinelli partner devoted to healthcare litigation, an industry essential to Tennessee's economy. New addition to this year’s Litigation Star ranking is Atlanta-based partner Kurt Erskine. His practice’s focus is white collar crime, both investigating and litigating cases against state and federal entities. He is leading a healthcare company through a civil rights investigation conducted by the Department of Justice. Beyond the healthcare industry, Erskine is handling securities and insider trading fraud investigations by the SEC and DOJ, as well as a fraud case filed by the FBI and DOJ. Farah Nicol operates out of the firm’s Raleigh and Los Angeles offices and serves chair of the firm’s litigation department -- the first leader to not be based in Kansas City, the firm’s mainstay. Nicol’s primary focus is on product liability and toxic tort litigation.

     Rounding out the South, Dallas partner Adrienne Frazior debuts this year as a Litigation Star. She leads government investigations with an added expertise in employee benefits. Currently, Frazior defends companies that managed and administered self-funded health benefit plans in a Department of Labor investigation and subsequent litigation. She also defends a company in a matter alleging violations of Missouri Sunshine Laws, initiated by the state’s Attorney General.

     Polsinelli has maintained a commitment to upholding its labor and employment practice. Denise Drake, chair of the labor and employment practice, is among the firm’s leading, Missouri-based litigators. Drake is a leader through and through – leading the practice, the expansion into growing markets, and clients in their disputes. She has been consistently distinguished as a Labor & Employment Star since its inception, maintaining the status with a roster of notable class action disputes. Los Angeles litigator September Rea serves as the firm’s arbitration and dispute resolution vice chair, with Colorado-based Donald Samuels serving alongside her as chair. . Rea leads the California-based lawsuits arising from an investigation into allegations of C-suite misconduct that included abuse, harassment, retaliation and unfair competition. The case has spanned Italy, California, and Texas. Dallas’ Angelo Spinola specializes in handling labor and employment disputes on behalf of clients in the home health industry, particularly hospice and homecare companies. He recently resolved a lawsuit alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) challenging the company’s alleged practice of not including certain nondiscretionary bonuses in the regular rate when calculating overtime pay.