When Rebecca Gilliland enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, she knew she was taking on the challenging physical endurance requirements the Corps is known for and a male-dominated environment. Women make up less than seven percent of the Corps and even fewer women are among the ranks within Rebecca’s particular classification as a Celestial Navigator. In fact, Rebecca was only the fifth female to graduate from the Marine Aerial Navigation School and, although she was enlisted, she was able to navigate C-130s alongside commissioned officer pilots.
Growing up, Rebecca thought she would follow in her father’s steps and become a physician. Yet, after leaving the military and while completing college, she felt a calling to enter the law enforcement field. This soon led to law school and the practice of law. Rebecca found law to be a perfect fit because of the mind-challenging issues that arise and the opportunities lawyers have each day to empathize with clients and to help them solve problems.
As a second-year law student, Rebecca was a Beasley Allen law clerk and one of her first assignments was no walk in the park. She joined the Average Wholesale Price (AWP) litigation team, which was representing several states against major pharmaceutical manufacturers. The companies provided inflated prices for pharmaceutical reimbursement and defrauded the states and taxpayers. The companies’ fraudulent action was costing the states millions of taxpayer dollars. One of Rebecca’s first assignments was to draft a brief opposing the pharmaceutical giants’ Motion to Dismiss. She credits her effective completion of this challenging assignment as her springboard for success in the firm.
Her passion and expertise in research and writing has also benefited the firm and especially her team in the fraud section. The section continues to work with various states to recover state funds, but one of Rebecca’s major cases right now is one of, if not the, largest antitrust cases she will ever face. The case involves mega insurance provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama and other Blue Cross Blue Shield entities.
Through agreements not to compete with affiliates in other states, this heavy-hitter, the Jere Beasley Report recently explained, is able to block competition and set prices for both reimbursement to medical service providers like physicians and hospitals and premiums paid by consumers at any price they choose. It is a practice that not only hurts physicians like Rebecca’s dad, but also hurts consumers held captive by strong-arm, fraudulent business practices. The case is part of an anti-trust multidistrict litigation (MDL).
Fraud-based MDL cases are less common than other types of MDLs, but do provide leadership opportunities for lawyers. As Beasley Allen recently reported, few women have access to these leadership opportunities, but the firm breaks with industry standard because of its inclusive environment. Rebecca plans to take advantage of these leadership opportunities as they come available – she plans to be part of a steering committee in the future, guiding the work on future MDLs.
She is still motivated most by helping clients find justice. She believes she is “helping those who need it most” even more than if she had opted to become a doctor.
“The Beasley Allen Law Firm’s culture far exceeds the expectations people have of lawyers. Cases aren’t just about making a profit – they are truly about the people and how we can help them,” Rebecca said.
It is this kind of environment, Rebecca feels, that sets Beasley Allen apart from other firms and allows female attorneys to show their strengths and flourish.
To contact Rebecca about the cases mentioned or other claims involving issues of Consumer Fraud, email Rebecca.Gilliland@beasleyallen.com or call 800-898-2034.
Jere Beasley Report (2017, March) – Employee Spotlights: Rebecca Gilliland, page 35.