We pride ourselves on our deep, talented roster of experienced trial attorneys from each of our 12 offices. Through our years of experience handling cases across the country, we have developed a deep understanding of high-stakes, multi-state, multi-party and multi-billion-dollar trial litigation. Regardless of the industry, locale, opposing attorneys or complexity of issues, our attorneys have the experience and foresight to know which legal strategies are apt to result in a favorable trial result.
Trial and Litigation Experience
FBT attorneys have taken cases to verdict in state and federal court, including trials in 21 states. These trials have involved serial product liability, single-incident loss, professional malpractice, securities and RICO violations, trade secrets, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duties, just to name a few.
We take great pride in our tradition of providing reliable, responsive, and results-oriented trial counsel. Our trial clients range from sophisticated Fortune 500 conglomerates to “mom and pop” companies that are involved in “bet the company” litigation. No matter the level of sophistication, when representing clients, we boldly pursue their interests, protect their assets and save them millions of dollars by deflecting claims and forestalling future liability. For this reason, our attorneys serve as national trial counsel for multiple clients.
Connected to the Industries We Serve
To stay current on issues affecting our clients, we are active members of local, regional and national industry and bar associations including:
Litigation Highlights by Sector
Automotive Litigation Highlights
- Defend numerous international automobile and motorcycle manufacturers in product liability and personal injury claims.
- Serve as national counsel for manufacturers of safety restraint systems in product liability actions.
- Serve as national coordinating trial counsel for major automotive manufacturer in fatality and rollover cases.
- Served as the Defense Liaison for all defendants in the Ford-Firestone multidistrict litigation based in Indianapolis, IN.
- Appointed by a Fortune 500 client to a team of settlement specialists attempting to resolve major nationwide claims involving a high-profile recalled product.
Business Litigation Highlights
- Successfully defended of National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing – NASCAR in an antitrust case filed by Kentucky Speedway LLC, relating to NASCAR’s refusal to award Kentucky Speedway an event in NASCAR’s most popular series, the NEXTEL Cup Series. NASCAR obtained summary judgment on all claims.
- Obtained a gross judgment in excess of $128 million on behalf of eight members of the Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association (BTGCA). We successfully argued that the court should establish a common fund for the benefit of approximately 198,000 BTGCA members and that our clients who filed the suit should receive incentive payments for their active and extensive participation in the litigation.
- Obtained a summary judgment for several large healthcare entities and individuals defending federal and state antitrust claims of monopolization, attempted monopolization, refusal to deal and exclusive dealing as well as state law claims for tortious interference with contracts and tortious interference with business relations.
- Secured dismissal of a purported class action brought by a large pension fund shareholder of a public utility seeking to block the company’s proposed merger with another large utility company headquartered in the southeast, which allowed the merger to proceed on schedule.
- Obtained summary judgment in a federal court in Miami, Fla. on claims arising out of our client’s purchase of substantially all of the assets and air routes of a Miami-based air cargo and transportation company. Affirmed on appeal.
- Defended multiple companies in an American Arbitration Association arbitration arising out of the sale of those businesses to a St. Louis-based publicly traded business outsourcing company. The three-member arbitration panel issued a lengthy decision, finding in favor of our clients, and ordered the claimant to pay our clients’ attorney’s fees and arbitration expenses.
Drug and Medical Device Litigation Highlights
- Defend manufacturers in numerous drug and medical device serial litigation matters, including diet drugs and other pharmaceuticals, hip implants, insulin infusion pumps, latex gloves, bone screws, mechanical heart valves, cardiac stents and catheters.
- Serve as lead trial and national counsel representing a manufacturer of orthopedic products and instruments in multidistrict litigation.
- Defend pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in federal court product liability litigation, including requests for class certification.
Fire and Explosion Litigation Highlights
- Currently serve as national counsel for fire litigation for CNH America LLC, a global manufacturer of construction and agricultural equipment.
- Defended numerous underground mine fire and explosion cases, including most recently the Sago Mine in West Virginia.
- Defended numerous manufacturers of appliances and electronic devices against product-related claims for fire losses, property damage, and personal injuries.
- Defended manufacturers and distributors of propane delivery systems, MAPP gas cylinders, smoke detectors, boilers, furnaces, fans and electronic air cleaners.
- Defended manufacturers in major catastrophic loss cases including the Rhode Island Station Nightclub fire, Oklahoma City bombing, Ivel Natural Gas Pipeline explosion, Rexnord Industrial Plant explosion, Johnny Cash residential fire, San Juan Dupont Plaza Hotel fire and Happy Land Social Club fire.
Labor and Employment Litigation Highlights
- Obtained a jury trial verdict on behalf of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in a multimillion-dollar case filed by a critical care physician against the Hospital.
- Obtained jury trial verdict on behalf of Shelter Concepts in a sexual harassment and retaliation case filed by two former managers seeking more than $4 million in damages.
- Obtained a $4.4 million jury verdict against the Steelworkers for lockout-related damage.
Personal Injury Litigation Highlights
- Engaged at the appellate level and successfully obtained a reversal at the Court of Appeals of a $2.6 million judgment against a Kentucky county on immunity and other issues stemming from a personal injury on a county-owned and operated golf course.
- Obtained defense verdicts on behalf of multi-national elevator manufacturer in multiple trials involving catastrophic injuries and deaths.
- Represented a Kentucky school district in a personal injury action arising out of the collapse of bleachers during a football game.
- Obtained defense verdict in death and leg amputation matter in Owsley County, Kentucky where Plaintiff sought $61 million in damages.
Technology in the Courtroom
FBT has upward of 125 state-of-the-art technology products currently in use. These products tend to serve three primary functions. One, they facilitate interoffice communication and therefore curtail unnecessary travel for attorneys and clients. Two, they expedite document sharing and document delivery through secure channels. Three, by transforming our attorneys' exhibits into multi-modal presentations (infographics, videos, simulations), they enhance their performance in the courtroom and at the negotiating table.
Software used in the courtroom
Trial Director - This software, adopted by FBT in [year], allows attorneys to easily organize, annotate and customize exhibits in the courtroom. With Trial Director, attorneys can:
- Isolate/magnify parts of a document for emphasis
- Retrieve multiple documents at once for split-screen comparison
- View related exhibits by scrolling over the hyperlink
- Edit down or extract clips from longer videos
- Activate or deactivate the scrolling transcript during witness testimony.
- Superimpose one exhibit over another for the sake of comparison/contrast (e.g. forgeries).
Sanction - Similar to Trial Director, Sanction improves the quality and persuasiveness of courtroom presentations, allowing attorneys to readily retrieve exhibits, PDF documents, video and other media. Of the two programs, Sanction has an easier, slightly more intuitive interface.
The size of electronic document collections has ballooned in recent years, and because these collections figure prominently into modern litigation cases, E-discovery has been the site of rapid growth in the legal technology arena. FBT began digitizing its large file collections several years ago, making it easier to secure, process, analyze, and ultimately present these materials at trial. To ensure this technology stays current, and that sensitive materials are sufficiently safeguarded, FBT has developed strategic partnerships with outside service providers who augment and update our system on a regular basis. Ultimately, this combination of services allows the firm to respond to multi-state and multi-party cases of any size.
Successful litigation is about planning, details and execution. Today's technology has greatly aided lawyers with discovery and data/document handling to make even the most complex cases simple to manage and present.
We offer a dedicated litigation support staff with the tools to research, document, manage and present a case both compellingly and accurately. Using the most powerful litigation software available, our support staff can provide clients and co-counsel with secure remote access to these resources. Our litigation support staff is the reason our attorneys prevail in the courtroom, securing favorable outcomes for our clients.
To ensure the continuity of our trial practice, we make sure talented newcomers have supportive mentors and opportunities to hone and further develop their trial skills. We invest in their long-term success, and by creating an environment in which talent incubates into exceptionalism, we ensure that our clients receive exceptional legal services. The "Trial Academy"—along with more substantive programs designed to increase an attorney's trial exposure—are a few ways we invest in our employees.
Each year, we send attorneys to IADC's (International Association of Defense Counsel) Trial Academy at Stanford University. This seven-day intensive programs blends faculty instruction and demonstration with individual student participation. IADC Trial Academy is one of the oldest and most respected programs for developing defense trial advocacy skills. While emphasizing technology in the courtroom, the faculty uses proven methods of instruction for a full learning experience.
In addition to IADC's Trial Academy, our attorneys also participate in NITA's (National Institute for Trial Advocacy) Deposition Skills program. This program gives attorneys a solid base of knowledge and familiarity with deposition practice. The art of taking a deposition is a critical factor in building the components necessary to take a case to trial. Participants in the Deposition Skills program also learn how to defend our clients’ depositions and prep witnesses for the deposition experience.
Unique Real-World Opportunities
In addition to training programs to develop trial and deposition skills, our attorneys receive real-world experience by participating in mock trials, observing ongoing trials, and learning through invaluable second-chair experience. We also empower our younger attorneys by providing first-chair opportunities while a seasoned trial attorney works alongside in the second-chair role.