Birmingham ALABAMA

ABOUT Walter William Bates

Billy Bates has been a partner at Starnes Davis Florie for over 30 years and served as the firm’s Managing Partner from 2006 - 2016. Billy’s practice has been devoted to civil litigation to include healthcare litigation, professional medical liability, pharmaceutical liability and medical device litigation. He has tried in excess of 135 complex civil cases to a jury verdict, including cases in defense of product manufacturers, physicians, hospitals and corporations.

Professional Recognition

•fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and past Chairman of the Outreach Committee
•Diplomate of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and past President of the Alabama Chapter of ABOTA
•Top Leading Litigator by Chambers USA
•Super Lawyer in Alabama by Mid-South Super Lawyers magazine
• Litigation Star in Benchmark Litigation
•Listed in Best Lawyers in America. In addition, Best Lawyers in America has named Billy Bates the “Birmingham Best Lawyers Medical Malpractice Defense Lawyer of the Year” for 2015 and 2020

Experience

Highlights

•Obtained a defense verdict for a family practice physician in a case involving paralysis and wrongful death.
•Obtained a defense verdict in favor of an urologist in a suit alleging negligence in the performance of an adult circumcision.
•Obtained a jury verdict in favor of a general surgeon charged with medical negligence in the performance of a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (minimally invasive surgery to remove the gallbladder).
•Obtained a defense verdict for a general surgeon and surgical group in a wrongful death case involving an intra-abdominal abscess resulting in septic shock.
•Obtained a defense verdict for two general surgeons after a six day trial in a wrongful death case involving the readmission of a patient to the hospital following recent hernia repair surgery.
•Obtained a defense verdict for an anesthesiologist in a wrongful death case alleging improper use of running the CODE resulting in the patient’s death.
•Obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist following a four day trial in Tennessee stemming from the ordering of post anesthesia care unit pain medication that resulted in blindness.
•Obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a radiologist in an eight day wrongful death trial arising from allegations of failure to diagnose a patient’s brain aneurysm.
•Successfully defended an obstetrician against charges of medical malpractice in cases involving the deaths of an obstetrical patient and her 34 week old fetus for wrongful death.
•Successfully defended a psychiatrist in a wrongful death case before a Federal Court jury involving allegations of informed consent and failure to consult a specialist related to electroconvulsive therapy.
•Obtained a defense verdict for an obstetrician and his practice in a case alleging malpractice related to gynecological surgery.
•Obtained a defense verdict for an OB/GYN in a case alleging misrepresentation of colposcopy findings as cancer resulting in an unnecessary hysterectomy.
•Obtained a jury verdict for two surgeons arising out of allegations that a patient’s death was the result of the first surgeon failing to timely place a thoracoscopy tube in a patient with a pneumothorax and the second surgeon failing to timely perform a thoracotomy to address a hemothorax.
•Obtained a jury verdict in favor of two emergency medicine physicians in a case arising out of allegations by the plaintiff that the defendants failed to diagnose him with a myocardial infarction or impending infarction during their emergency room evaluation.
•Obtained declaratory judgment for General Motors allowing it to close car dealership under the Alabama Motor Vehicle Franchise Act and ruling that GM was not obligated to pay the dealer 1.2 million in alleged debt forgiveness and sales tax revenue relief offered by the City of Birmingham.
•Successfully defended an emergency physician in a wrongful death trial alleging failure to diagnosis a basilar artery stroke in the emergency department, and inappropriate discharge from the emergency department.
•Successfully defended two internal medicine specialists in a wrongful death case alleging inappropriate management of a patient’s anticoagulation therapy subsequent to his diagnosis with deep vein thrombosis.
•Obtained a defense verdict in Federal Court in favor of a neurosurgeon in a spinal cord injury case arising from complications secondary to a foraminotomy.
•Obtained a defense verdict in favor of a family practitioner and his professional corporation in a wrongful death case involving complications arising from an exercise stress test.
•Obtained a jury verdict in favor of a hospital in a wrongful death case involving complications arising from conscious sedation during a shoulder reduction procedure.
•Successfully defended product liability claims against a construction hoist manufacturer.
•Obtained a jury verdict in favor of defendant in combination medical malpractice/product liability case secondary to complication from use of laser machine during plastic surgery.

Presentations and Publications

•Walter W. Bates, R. Todd Huntley, William S. Starnes, Jr., “Ten Tips for Direct Examination and Cross-Examination,” 39:2 Am. J. Trial Advoc. 339 (2015).
Overcoming Tensions Between Drug/Device Defendants and Treating Physicians, International Association of Defense Counsel Webinar (June 18, 2014)
•“Overcoming Tensions Between Drug/Device Defendants and Treating Physicians,” International Association of Defense Counsel 2014 Mid-Year Meeting, Carlsbad, California (February 11, 2014).
Warning! Slippery Experts Ahead: Tips for Dealing with the Professional (and Less Than Forthcoming) Expert Witness, International Association of Defense Counsel Webinar (May 13, 2013)
Ethics and Professionalism for Litigators at the Defense Research Institute, DRI Medical Liability and Health Care Law Seminar in Miami Beach, Florida (March 22, 2013)

News & Insights

Executive Order Provides Immunity
•STARNES DAVIS FLORIE RANKED A TOP FIRM BY CHAMBERS USA 2020
•SDF Appellate Win - AL Supreme Court Grants Reversal & Remand
•THIRTY-ONE SDF ATTORNEYS NAMED TO THE 2019 EDITION OF MID-SOUTH SUPER LAWYERS
•Billy Bates Named Best Lawyers “2020 Lawyer of the Year”
•Thirty SDF Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers 2020
•Starnes Davis Florie Ranked A Top Firm By Chambers USA 2019
•Eight Starnes Attorneys Named Leaders in their Field in Chambers USA 2019
•Starnes Davis Florie Ranked in the 2019 Edition of Benchmark Litigation
•THIRTY-ONE SDF ATTORNEYS NAMED TO THE 2018 EDITION OF MID-SOUTH SUPER LAWYERS
•SDF Attorneys Bennett White & Billy Bates Obtain Defense Verdict in Personal Injury/Wrongful Death Case
•Twenty-Seven SDF Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers in America 2019
•SDF Ranked A Top Firm by Chambers USA 2018
•SDF Attorneys Joseph Reese & Billy Bates Win Trial in Professional Liability Case
•8 SDF Partners Named “Leaders in their Field” in Chambers USA 2018
•Twenty-Eight SDF Attorneys Named to the 2017 Edition of Mid-South Super Lawyers
•Twenty-Six SDF Lawyers Listed in the 2018 Edition of Best Lawyers in America
•Starnes Davis Florie Named a Highly Recommended Litigation Firm in the 2018 Edition of Benchmark Litigation
•Starnes Attorneys Scott Salter & Billy Bates Win Trial in Professional Liability Case
•Starnes Davis Florie Receives Top Tier Ranking in Chambers USA 2017

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Areas of LAW

  • Medical Malpractice

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