Gibson Vance practices in Beasley Allen Law Firm’s Personal Injury and Consumer Fraud sections, concentrating in actions against those who negligently or intentionally harm others. His clients include individuals and small businesses. He has participated in dozens of jury trials in his legal career, many of which have resulted in large verdicts for his clients.
Gibson has been appointed to serve on the Plaintiffs Steering Committee (PSC) for multidistrict litigation (MDL) surrounding a massive data breach affecting customers of Community Health Systems Inc. The litigation is consolidated under Judge Karon Owen Bowdre in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama. In January, Community Health Systems Inc. (CHS) admitted data from its affiliated physician practices and clinics was breached. Data taken included patients’ names, addresses, birth dates, social security numbers and, in some cases, telephone numbers and the names of employers or guarantors. An estimated 4.5 million individuals who obtained services from CHS-affiliated physicians in the last five years may have been affected.
In 2005, Gibson received a $2.9 million verdict in a securities fraud case in Henry County, Alabama.
Gibson is heavily involved in the American Association for Justice, and is past president of the organization. As president, he was one of six national officers representing AAJ’s 60,000 members. He has served on several key committees in AAJ, including the National Finance Committee, Public Affairs Committee, Budget Committee and Membership Oversight Committee. He served as chairman of the PAC from 2015-2016, and as a member of the AAJ Executive Committee 2015-2016. He also has served as president of the Alabama Association for Justice and Southern Trial Lawyers Association, which aims to promote fellowship, learning and networking among trial lawyers throughout the 13 southern states it represents.
Gibson also has been active in the Montgomery County Bar Association. He served as president of its Young Lawyer’s Section, was a member of the Board of Directors for several years, and served as president of the organization in 2005. He also has served as president of the Montgomery Trial Lawyers Association and as president of the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation.
Additionally, Gibson is Vice President of the Alabama State Bar, and is the Bar Commissioner representing the 15th Judicial Circuit. He also serves on the Alabama State Bar Elections, Ethics, and Government Relations Committee and the Alabama Legislative Business Litigation and Complex Litigation Study Committee.
In January 2017, Gibson joined the Fellows of the Alabama Law Foundation, established to honor lawyers who have been members of the bar at least 10 years and who have demonstrated outstanding dedication to their profession and to their community.
In November 2015, Gibson was inducted into membership for the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). ABOTA is a national association of experienced trial lawyers and judges dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the civil jury trial right provided by the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Membership into the American Board of Trial Advocates is by invitation only following a rigorous nomination and voting process. There are approximately 7,300 members of ABOTA in the United States; only 109 attorneys in Alabama are members. To be considered for participation in the Alabama Chapter, one must have tried to conclusion a minimum of 10 civil jury trials, be nominated by an existing member and be approved by 75 percent of those members voting on membership. Criteria evaluated include exceptional jury trial skills, civility, professionalism and integrity.
The Alabama Association for Justice presented Gibson with the ALAJ Spirit Sword / President’s Award in 2009. Each outgoing president of ALAJ recognizes a member who during his or her years as an officer and particularly as president provided special spirit to him/her. However, Gibson was selected by the organization as the first recipient, because he “embodies the spirit of a trial lawyer and our association.”
Additionally, Gibson was presented the Joe Tonahill Award by AAJ’s New Lawyers Division for his outstanding service to the civil justice system. He also was the 2016 recipient of the AAJ Wiedemann & Wysocki Award. This is an award given to AAJ members who have made outstanding efforts to advance AAJ’s political outreach projects and priorities, and support AAJ’s Political Action Committee (PAC). The award is named in honor of Fritz Wiedemann and James Anthony Wysocki, two New Orleans-based attorneys and active American Association for Justice members who were traveling on an AAJ assignment when they died in a tragic plane crash. This award recognizes members who have carried on their legacy of commitment to the principles of the civil justice system and AAJ’s mission.
Gibson was selected to the National Trial Lawyers: Top 100. This is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process, which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research. Membership is extended only to the select few of the most qualified attorneys from each state or region who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile measured by objective and uniformly applied standards in compliance with state bar and national Rule 4-7.
In 2014, Gibson was selected as the recipient of the Firm’s first Chad Stewart Award. This honor was created in memory of Beasley Allen lawyer Chad Stewart, who passed away unexpectedly in April at the very young age of 41. In addition to being a dedicated lawyer who worked hard for his clients, Chad truly modeled Christ in his daily walk. The Chad Stewart Award was created to recognize an attorney who best exemplified Chad’s spirit of service to God, his family and the practice of law in the service of “helping those who need it most.”
In December 2010, Gibson was named one of two Beasley Allen Litigators of the Year. He has also been selected for the Best Lawyers in America list and Super Lawyers list for consecutive years.
Most recently, the Alabama State Bar selected Gibson as a recipient of its 2020 Presidents Award.
As an officer for AAJ, Gibson traveled the country speaking on behalf of the organization. He spoke to the Kentucky Trial Lawyers Association, the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, the Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association, the Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers, the Consumer Attorneys of California, the Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association, the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association, the Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association, the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and several others. He was also a featured speaker at the “First Annual Judicial Symposium on Civil Justice Issues,” an event sponsored by the Brookings Institute and held at Georgetown University.
Although born in Troy, Alabama, Gibson Vance grew up in Fort Valley, Georgia.
Gibson was eager to contribute and started working at age 12 on a peach farm, where he worked in the peach sheds. At age 15, he worked at Dairy Queen. Gibson still jokes that he learned his “people skills” at these early jobs—by battling the gnats and mosquitoes in the peach fields and dealing with customers at the DQ!
He worked to pay his way through undergraduate school at Troy State University, working two or three part-time jobs at any given time, supplemented by student loans and a Pell grant. He graduated in 1987. For as long as he could remember, he knew he wanted to pursue a career as a lawyer, and he began attending night classes at Faulkner University’s Thomas Goode Jones School of Law in Montgomery. One of the reasons he chose Jones was that it allowed him to work as a law clerk for a local law firm during the day and attend classes at night.
In his third year of law school, Gibson obtained a special license that would allow him to try cases, and began his active law practice even before graduation. In fact, Gibson tried three jury trials while still in law school.
During his years at Jones, Gibson was elected president of the Student Bar Association and received the Advocacy Award as the outstanding graduate of his class. After graduating, he helped form the Jones School of Law Future Trial Lawyers Association.
In August 2019, Gibson was elected by the Troy University Board of Trustees to serve as its President Pro Temp. He was first appointed to the Board of Trustees in February 2012, by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and approved by the Alabama Senate. Trustees are appointed to 12-year terms.
Gibson has also been appointed to the Alabama Judicial Compensation Committee by the state’s lieutenant governor. This four-year appointment allows Gibson to serve on a five-person commission responsible for recommending to the Alabama Legislature the amount of compensation judges shall receive.
He is married to Kate Vance, and they have two children, Carter and Andrew. They attend First Baptist Church of Montgomery. Gibson is a member of the Board of Directors for Wynlakes Golf and Country Club.