Birmingham ALABAMA

ABOUT Richard E. Davis

Richard represents clients in environmental, commercial, healthcare fraud, and white collar criminal matters, including trials and appeals and investigations by regulatory and law enforcement agencies. He has decades of experience navigating parallel proceedings in which civil and criminal issues arise from the same set of facts. Richard also counsels clients regarding legislation and public policy pertaining to healthcare and environmental issues.

Although much of Richard’s work involves defending clients, he has also obtained millions of dollars in value for plaintiffs and counter-claimants, obtained an injunction protecting a rare wetlands area, and obtained the release from federal prison of an individual incarcerated for 30 years for a non-violent crime.

Professional Recognition

•AV-Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
•Senior fellow, Litigation Counsel of America Trial Lawyer Honorary
•Top Leading Litigator by Chambers USA
•Best Lawyers in America-Commercial Litigation, Environmental Law, Litigation-Environmental, and Natural Resources. In addition, Best Lawyers in America has named Richard Davis the “Birmingham Natural Resources Law Lawyer of the Year” for 2017 and 2019
•Mid-South Super Lawyers
•Chair, Birmingham Bar Association Federal Practice Section (2015-2016)
•Chair, Alabama State Bar Environmental Law Section (2010-2011)
•Editor-in-Chief, Cumberland Law Review (1988-1989)



•Environmental: Defending public water authority in multiple putative class action/mass tort cases regarding PFOA, PFOS, and related chemicals in the Tennessee River
•Environmental Crime: representing trucking company in investigation of alleged discharge of hazardous waste
•Environmental/Commercial: representing recycling and transport services company in civil enforcement proceeding and related commercial litigation after successful representation in criminal investigation of hazardous waste disposal practices (no charges filed)
•Healthcare: representing six different healthcare providers-corporate and individual-in False Claims, Stark, and Anti-Kickback investigations
•Environmental: Defending Clean Water Act citizen suit against landowner for alleged unpermitted discharges of pollutants into Black Warrior River from reclaimed mine site
•Healthcare/False Claims: Advising multiple physician practices in conjunction with audits, investigations, and overpayment recoupment actions involving claims totaling millions of dollars. Recently obtained on administrative appeal revision of 2,700,000.00 overpayment to 2,100.00 through the presentation of statistical, independent audit, and medical necessity evidence; obtained complete dismissal of state Medicaid overpayment claim; and obtained 75% reduction of an overpayment claim by a third-party administrator.
•White Collar Investigation/Securities and Accounting Fraud: Represented corporate officer in parallel securities and accounting fraud investigations of company by the Department of Justice (USAO SDNY) and the Securities Exchange Commission (New York) and as witness in SEC administrative proceeding
•Healthcare/False Claims: Represented physician in conjunction with Justice Department False Claims Act Civil Investigative Demand regarding over 750,000 in alleged false claims
•Commercial Litigation: Defended wastewater operations and management company against fraud and breach of contract claims totaling over 2,100,000 related to a decentralized cluster wastewater management system
•Healthcare/White Collar Crime: Represented healthcare providers in DEA drug diversion-prescribing investigation (Alabama, resolved without criminal charges); Advised medical device manufacturer in conjunction with federal grand jury investigation (Detroit, MI) (no charges against client); investigated allegations of illegal conduct by nursing home employee in making referrals to home health care providers (Alabama).
•Environmental: Birmingham Water Works Board v. Alabama Surface Mining Commission and Reed Minerals, Inc.: Represented client in trial of water quality issues in state court
•Criminal Defense: In a case The American Lawyer named “Most Inspiring Pro Bono Win of 2015” [United States v. Rivera] Richard and co-counsel obtained the release from federal prison of an individual incarcerated for 30 years on drug charges
•Environmental Crime: Represented corporate client in conjunction with negotiated plea agreement for single-count misdemeanor Clean Water Act violation; obtained reinstatement for compliant client after mandatory debarment from federal programs
•Commercial Litigation (for plaintiff): Obtained settlement valued in excess of 2,500,000 for plaintiff policyholder in federal lawsuit for bad faith claims denial on pollution policy
•Banking and Financial Services (for plaintiff): Prosecuted claims for bad faith violation of federal Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA), for failure to maintain commercially reasonable security procedures, and for other related torts on behalf of victims of identity theft/account hacking and obtained full recovery of clients’ funds (six-figures +) along with attorneys’ fees
•Environmental: Woods Knoll, LLC v. City of Lincoln: Obtained defense judgment for City of Lincoln in federal trial of Clean Water Act and inverse condemnation claims brought by adjacent property owner complaining of 1,840,000 in damage to 239-acre property, including wetlands, allegedly caused by discharges of storm water from 160-acre city property being developed as an industrial park; presented oral argument and obtained affirmance of defense judgment before 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
•Environmental Crime: Defended client charged with criminal violations of Clean Water Act and related charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy in federal jury trial
•Environmental/Toxic Torts: Obtained summary judgment for manufacturer on plaintiff’s claims for bodily injury allegedly caused by plant’s chemical and particulate air emissions
•Environmental: Represented clients in over a dozen CERCLA matters including the LWD, Inc. (Calvert City, Kentucky), Anniston PCB and lead sites (Calhoun and Talladega Counties, Alabama), Alabama Plating (Vincent, Alabama), B&B Manufacturing (Mobile, Alabama), M & J Solvents (Fulton County, Georgia), and Interstate Lead (Leeds, Alabama) Superfund sites and the Reef Environmental (Sylacauga, Alabama), Shredders, Inc. (North Birmingham, Alabama), Alabama Wood Treating (Mobile, Alabama), and Allworth (Tarrant, Alabama) sites
•Environmental: University of Montevallo, et al. v. Middle Tennessee Land Development Company, LLC: Obtained anticipatory injunction for plaintiffs, university and university foundation, after a two-week trial consisting largely of technical hydrogeological and quantitative expert testimony, to protect the Ebenezer Swamp Wetlands Preserve-the “scenic highlight” of the University of Montevallo (Ranked by Thrilllist as one of the “20 most beautiful college campuses in the country”)-from proposed quarrying activity.

Presentations and Publications

•“Surprise! You May Be an Environmental Criminal: Recognizing the Quagmire as a Prerequisite to Managing Risk, Manufacture Alabama Environmental Conference (November 16, 2016, Millbrook, Alabama)(presentation)
•“Working with Environmental Experts in Litigation, Regulation, and Transactions,” 25th Annual Southern Environmental Law & Regulation Conference (June 10, 2016, Destin, Florida)(presentation)
•“Healthcare Audits and Investigations as Pathways to Criminal and Civil Liabilities for Providers,” Etowah County Medical Group Management Association (October 20, 2015, Gadsden, Alabama)(presentation)
•“Strategic Legal Risk Management-Contingency Planning to Avoid or Mitigate Legal Crises,” Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (August 13, 2015, Mobile, Alabama and August 31, 2015, Huntsville, Alabama) (presentations)
•“Investigations-Internal and Governmental,” Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (August 13, 2015, Mobile, Alabama and August 31, 2015, Huntsville, Alabama) (presentations)
•“What Accountants Should Know About White Collar Crime,” Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (August 13, 2015, Mobile, Alabama and August 31, 2015, Huntsville, Alabama) (presentations)

News & Insights

DOJ’s National Nursing Home Initiative Targets “Grossly Substandard Care”
•Executive Order Provides Immunity
•Don’t Step into the PPP Loan Minefield Without a Map
•Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Business Interruption, Property Damage, and Other Insurance Coverage Issues
•Thirty SDF Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers 2020
•Starnes Davis Florie Ranked A Top Firm By Chambers USA 2019
•SDF’s Richard Davis Moderates at the 3rd Annual BEPA and NEPA Environmental Professionals’ Conference
•Eight Starnes Attorneys Named Leaders in their Field in Chambers USA 2019
•Twenty-Seven SDF Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers in America 2019
•Trey Wells & Richard Davis Named Best Lawyers “2019 Lawyer of the Year”
•SDF Ranked A Top Firm by Chambers USA 2018
•SDF Attorney Richard Davis Named “Top Attorneys” in the 2018 April Issue of Birmingham Magazine
•8 SDF Partners Named “Leaders in their Field” in Chambers USA 2018
•Richard E. Davis Appointed to the Alabama State Bar’s new Task Force on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar for 2017-2018
•Twenty-Eight SDF Attorneys Named to the 2017 Edition of Mid-South Super Lawyers
•Richard E. Davis has been Named Vice Chair of the International Institute of Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law
•Twenty-Six SDF Lawyers Listed in the 2018 Edition of Best Lawyers in America

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Areas of LAW

  • Securities
  • Toxic Torts

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