Beasley Allen Law Firm announces the creation of an Executive Board, which will lead the firm into the next generation. The members of this Board will be responsible for helping run the firm, identifying new areas of the law which the firm will become involved, and make recommendations for the smooth operation and growth of the firm. The following lawyers have practiced at the firm for many years and have been instrumental in its success. We are honored that they have agreed to serve our clients and the firm in this capacity.
LaBarron Boone – LaBarron joined the firm in 1995 and has been instrumental in presenting cases involving product liability, consumer fraud and personal injury. He secured the largest predatory lending verdict in the U.S. in the case of Merriweather v. Whirlpool for $581 million. LaBarron’s most recent notable verdict was a $4 million verdict in the case of Carolyne Thorne v. Wal-Mart Stores, which received coverage in the Wall Street Journal and other national media outlets. LaBarron also participated on the trial team in Aultman v. GM and an electrical shock case that resulted in $114.5 million verdict. In another recent trial LaBarron handled, a Montgomery County Circuit Judge ruled during trial that the safety device installed on a tractor trailer known as a “cab guard” was defective as a matter of law and granted summary judgment. LaBarron is a crusader for consumers’ rights, working as an advocate on their behalf to remove defective products from the marketplace to help keep people from being injured or killed. In particular, he is dedicated to improving the safety of smoke detectors and automobiles.
Rhon Jones – Rhon is the head of the firm’s Toxic Torts section. Verdicts and settlements that he has participated in while at Beasley Allen are estimated at a remarkable $30 billion. Among these, he secured a $700 million settlement against Monsanto for thousands of Alabama victims of PCB contamination, the largest environmental settlement in the country at that time, and still the largest private individual environmental settlement. Rhon served several roles in the BP Oil Spill litigation, including the negotiation of the method by which all business claims have been paid in the settlement. He was also heavily involved in the $18.5 billion agreement to settle Federal, State and local government claims against BP, which will result in more than $2 billion for Alabama. The BP settlement is the largest environmental settlement in U.S. history.
P. Leigh O’Dell – Leigh practices in our firm’s Mass Torts section, and is instrumental in helping to run the section alongside Andy Birchfield. Leigh is currently working on cases involving transvaginal mesh and Gardasil. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation granted motions to create consolidated multidistrict litigation (MDLs) against seven transvaginal mesh manufacturers under Chief Judge Joseph R. Goodwin in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. Judge Goodwin appointed Leigh as a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for all of these MDLs. Prior to her involvement with Gardasil and transvaginal mesh litigation, Leigh devoted more than six years to the Vioxx litigation. She was a member of the trial team for five of the 17 bellwether trials that took place throughout the country. Leigh also served on various MDL committees, including the law and briefing, trial package and settlement liaison committees.
Andy Birchfield – Andy is head of the firm’s Mass Torts section. After joining Beasley Allen in 1996, Andy handled cases involving consumer fraud and commercial litigation. He later proved to be instrumental in developing the Mass Torts Litigation Section in 2000 and was named Section Head for Mass Torts. This section now employs 27 lawyers and 67 support staff. To date, Andy has been involved in cases resulting in settlements and verdicts totaling in excess of $7.5 billion. Andy’s efforts were indispensable in heading the firm’s Vioxx litigation. He was chosen to co-lead the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee for the federal Vioxx Litigation MDL and was lead counsel or co-lead counsel in five Vioxx trials, including one that resulted in a $51 million verdict against Merck.
Gibson Vance – Gibson practices in the 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 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. Gibson is a leader in a number of legal organizations, including the American Association for Justice (AAJ). He is Past President of the organization. As president, he was one of six national officers representing AAJ’s 60,000 members. He is still very active with AAJ and 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 Executive Board will work in conjunction with Principal Thomas J. Methvin, who is the firm’s Managing Attorney and President of the Board of Directors.
“We are very thankful that these talented lawyers are on our team, and that they are willing to serve additionally in this new capacity,” Methvin says. “They will be sacrificing their time in order to do this, while still handling their normal responsibilities here. We are looking forward to their new role.”
“I feel very honored to have been asked to serve as part of our new Executive Board,” said O’Dell. “I hope that we can help Beasley Allen continue to grow and that we can explore and implement even more effective ways to represent those who give us the privilege of fighting for justice on their behalf. Also, I am looking forward to furthering the firm’s commitment to empowering women in the legal profession. Half of law school students are female today. It’s an exciting time to be a woman pursuing a career in the law.”
“Beasley Allen has been recognized nationally for our stance on diversity, and I’m looking forward to continuing to develop that as a focus,” Boone said. Beasley Allen was recognized by Law360 as one of the Top 10 Law Firms for Black Attorneys in the U.S., and also for having the highest percentage of African-American partners among the top 10 firms. “It’s important to have an environment where everyone who works hard can be successful, and it benefits our clients that we have a diverse perspective. I pray that God will guide us in our duties to help this Firm continue practicing law in a way that is pleasing to God and obvious to all that this Firm’s steps are ordered by Christ our Lord,” he says.
For additional information, contact Helen Taylor, Public Relations Coordinator, at 334-495-1169 or firstname.lastname@example.org.