About Rhon

Rhon heads up the firm’s Toxic Torts Section and oversees nursing home abuse and neglect cases. He is one of the top environmental attorneys for plaintiffs in the country. Verdicts and settlements that he has participated in directly while at Beasley Allen are estimated at $3 billion, and total recovery for all cases he has worked on exceeds $30 billion. He is on the cutting edge for representing governments and water systems for various forms of environmental harm and has handled environmental or toxic exposure cases in at least 15 different states. Most recently, Rhon has taken on the issue of seeking justice for those harmed by the nation’s opioid epidemic.

Notable Cases

He is currently representing the State of Alabama and the State of Georgia in opioid litigation. Previously, he served on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) for the BP Deepwater Horizon MDL, as well as class counsel in the economic and property class settlement against BP. He helped negotiate the method by which all business claims have been paid in the economic class settlement, which has paid out more than $10 billion to date.

Rhon was also involved in the $18.5 billion agreement to settle federal, state and local government claims against BP, which resulted in more than $2 billion for Alabama. He represented the State of Alabama as private counsel in the BP litigation and was appointed a deputy attorney general for the state of Alabama in that case.

His experience is much more than Opioid and BP litigation, as historic and groundbreaking as that has been. Rhon has:

  • Represented plaintiffs damaged by a massive coal ash spill that decimated the area around the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston, Tennessee, Fossil Plant, resulting in a 2014 settlement agreement to pay $27.8 million to victims.
  • Obtained a $700 million settlement for thousands of Alabama victims of PCB contamination, the largest environmental settlement in the country at the time.
  • Resolved a class action involving groundwater contamination against a large industrial company in Alabama.
  • Secured a $20 million-plus verdict and other settlements over carbon black pollution in Alabama and Oklahoma.
  • Successfully resolved a class action regarding contaminated drinking water in New Jersey.
  • Led plaintiff’s trial counsel in jury verdict of more than $11 million.
  • Helped secure a $2 million jury verdict as trial counsel.
  • Led plaintiff’s counsel in arbitration award of $1.9 million.
  • Helped secure a $1.7 million verdict as trial counsel.

Awards

Holding an AV Rating from Martindale Hubbell, Rhon has been named to the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers, and consistently selected to Alabama Super Lawyers since 2008. He has regularly been selected for inclusion on the Best Lawyers in America list, including the most recent edition, and has received Beasley Allen’s 2011 and 2016 Litigator of the Year Award. In the most recent Alabama listing of “Super Lawyers” for environmental practice, Rhon was the only lawyer listed that exclusively represents plaintiffs.

Professional Associations

Rhon is the former past president of the Montgomery County Bar Association. He has also received a Certificate of Recognition from the Alabama State Bar in tribute to his nomination for the Alabama State Bar Pro Bono Award. He remains active in the American Association for Justice, where he has chaired or co-chaired multiple litigation groups and is currently an officer of the Section on Toxic, Environmental and Pharmaceutical Torts. He is also a member of the National Trial Lawyers Association, the Southern Trial Lawyers Association and the Federal Bar Association.

Additionally, he has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Alabama School of Law and the Faulkner University’s Thomas Goode Jones School of Law.

Background

After obtaining his B.A. from Auburn University and his J.D. from the University of Alabama, Rhon served as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Robert Varner and later began trial practice in Birmingham, Alabama, with the law firm of Starnes & Atchison. Rhon joined Beasley Allen in 1994 and now manages the Toxic Torts Section.

Community Involvement

Rhon is passionate about the arts and helping those vulnerable and in need.  He serves on the Board of the Directors for Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, and on the Board of the Montgomery Area Business Committee for the Arts. He is also an Advisory Board Member and strong supporter of the Family Sunshine Center, whose mission is to prevent domestic abuse. He is also a former member of the Board of Directors of the Janice Capilouto Center for the Deaf, which fills needs for the hearing impaired. His wife is a Board member of Faith Radio in Montgomery and he actively supports that ministry and many others in the Montgomery area.

He is a deacon at First Baptist Church of Montgomery, where he teaches Sunday school, facilitates a men’s bible study and has made multiple mission trips to India.

Publicity

In addition, he is a regular speaker at national, regional and state seminars on various subjects for both plaintiff and defense counsel and has authored more than 30 articles and papers for publication.

  • AAJ Annual Convention 2017 – Rhon spoke to the Mediation for Mass Torts group regarding Mediation of Mass Torts Cases from the Plaintiffs’ Perspective and to the Mass Torts Round Table regarding benzene exposure and e-cigarette explosions on July 23-24, 2017, in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • AAJ Annual Convention 2015– Rhon provided a BP Oil Spill Updateand served as an event faculty member; Montreal, July 2015.
  • Rhon spoke at the 2014 Trial Skills seminar for CLE Alabama on Dec. 19, 2014, on the topic of Closing Arguments.
  • Rhon was a featured speaker at the AAJ Education’s Plaintiff-Only Hot Topics and Trends in Litigation Seminar, held in Charleston, South Carolina, Dec. 2-3, 2014. He spoke on the topic Lessons Learned from the BP Oil Spill.
  • Rhon was a featured speaker at the 2014 Business Law seminar presented by CLEalabama on Oct. 10, 2014, at the Harbert Center in Birmingham, Alabama, where he presented an update on the BP Oil Spill litigation.
  • Participated as a speaker in a webinar titled The BP Settlement Program – A Legal, Economic and Environmental Perspective of the Disaster and Resulting Landmark Agreement that took place Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014.
  • Rhon was invited to speak at the CLE Alabama Damages Seminar, Birmingham, Alabama, September 21, 2012.
  • Rhon spoke at the BP Economic & Property Damages Settlement Class Seminar, Montgomery County Bar Association, Montgomery, Alabama, August 30, 2012. (view the powerpoint presentation)
  • Rhon was invited to speak at the Alabama Travel Council Annual Meeting at the Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism regarding the BP Oil Spill settlement. The meeting was in Point Clear, Alabama, August 19, 2012.
  • State Bar of Georgia, Toxic Torts Seminar– Atlanta, September 30, 2011; Rhon spoke on the BP Oil Spill Litigation.
  • Rhon participated in a panel discussion on “Deepwater Horizon Disaster – One Year Later,” at the Alabama State Bar Annual Meeting, Point Clear, Alabama, July 15, 2011.
  • American Association for Justice Annual Meeting– New York City, July 10, 2011; Rhon spoke to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Litigation Group on environmental impacts of the BP oil spill disaster.
  • Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi Environmental Law Program– June 17, 2011, Sandestin, Florida. Rhon spoke on the topic “BP Oil Spill Update.”
  • Rhon was invited to speak on the topic “Causation Issues under the Oil Protection Act” at the 2011 ABA Section of Litigation and Criminal Justice Joint Annual Conference held April 15, 2011, at Miami Beach, Florida.
  • American Association for Justice 2011 Winter Meeting– Rhon presented remarks on the topic “Update on State/Government Claims” related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. The meeting was held Feb. 5-9, 2011, in Miami.
  • 15th Annual CLE by the Hour– Rhon spoke on “BP MDL Litigation.” Samford University, Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama, December 29, 2010.
  • The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Disaster– Rhon spoke on “The Oil Spill MDL Process – An Update.” Mobile Bar Association, Mobile, Alabama, November 12, 2010.
  • Oil in the Gulf – Litigation and Insurance Coverage– Rhon was invited to participate in a panel discussion on “The Oil Spill and Related Health Impacts on the General Population and Workers.” HB Litigation Conference, Miami, November 4, 2010.
  • Chemical Products and Toxic Torts: From Crisis to Mass Litigation; Starting Smart and Finishing Strong– Rhon was invited to participate on a panel discussion on “Jury Themes and Effective Communication,” American Bar Association, Houston, October 8, 2010.
  • Deepwater Horizon: Legal Challenges & Environmental Consequences– Rhon addressed the topic “Private Recovery Litigation.” Environmental Law Section of the Alabama State Bar, Environmental Law Section of the Louisiana State Bar Association, and the Section on Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law of the Mississippi State Bar. Biloxi, Mississippi, July 30, 2010.
  • Gulf Coast Oil Spill Litigation Group– Rhon addressed “Governmental Claims from AGs to Parish Presidents,” American Association for Justice, Vancouver, British Columbia, July 14, 2010.
  • Oil in the Gulf-Litigation and Insurance Coverage– He addressed the topic “Filing Claims Against BP vs. Filing a Claim with the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.” HB Litigation conference, Atlanta, Georgia, June 24, 2010.
  • The Gulf Coast Disaster: Representing the Plaintiffs – Individuals to Institutions- Rhon spoke on Forecasting the Damage from the Gulf Oil Spill, 360 Advocacy Group, Orlando, Florida, May 21, 2010.




Education

  • University of Alabama (J.D., 1990)
  • Auburn University (B.A., 1986)

Recognitions & Awards

  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers
  • AV Rated
  • Best Lawyers
  • Beasley Allen Litigator of the Year Award (2011 and 2016)

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit (2018)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit (2010)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit (2009)
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida (2008)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit (2008)
  • U.S. Supreme Court (1997)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit (1993)
  • U.S. District Court, Middle, Northern and Southern Districts of Alabama (1991)
  • Alabama (1990)

Memberships

  • American Association for Justice, National Finance Committee; Public Affairs Committee; Co-Chair, eCig Litigation; Co-Chair, Gulf Coast Oil Spill Litigation Group; Class Action Litigation Group; Section of Toxic Environmental & Pharmaceutical (STEP); Benzene Litigation Group; Nursing Home Litigation Group; Pesticide/Herbicide Litigation Group; PFC Litigation Group; PAC Member; Opioid Litigation Group
  • Alabama Association for Justice, Executive Committee
  • Montgomery County Association for Justice
  • Alabama Bar Association, Executive Committee; Judicial Liaison Committee
  • Montgomery County Bar Association, President; Board Member
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Montgomery Area Business Committee for the Arts
  • Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Board of Directors

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