Walter William Bates

Contact Billy

205-868-6059 - Direct
205-868-6099 - Fax
Email Billy bbates@starneslaw.com

100 Brookwood Place
7th Floor
P.O. Box 598512
Birmingham, AL 35259

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Walter William Bates
Partner

Billy Bates has been a partner at Starnes Davis Florie for over 25 years and served as the firm's Managing Partner from 2006 - 2016.

Practice

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 130 complex civil cases to a jury verdict, including cases in defense of product manufacturers, physicians, hospitals and corporations.

Highlights

* Obtained a defense verdict on behalf of an urologist in a case alleging negligence in the performance of an adult circumcision.

* 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 in Calhoun County.

* Obtained a defense verdict for an obstetrician and his practice in a case alleging malpractice related to gynecological surgery in Chambers County.

* Obtained a defense verdict for two general surgeons after a six day trial in Shelby County, 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, in Mobile, Alabama, for an OB/GYN in a case alleging misrepresentation of colposcopy findings as cancer resulting in an unnecessary hysterectomy.

* 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.

* 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 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 in Jefferson County.

*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.

* Represented a professional liability insurer in a complex reinsurance dispute before a three-member arbitration panel. The case tried for four days and ultimately resulted in a substantial recovery for the client.

* Obtained a jury verdict in favor of two emergency medicine physicians in a case, pending in Jefferson County-Birmingham Division, 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 surgeon in a personal injury case involving complications arising from a retained sponge following hernia surgery.

* 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.

* Obtained a jury verdict in favor of a defendant surgeon in litigation stemming from a complication arising from surgery.

* Obtained a jury verdict in favor of defendant obstetrician for complications secondary to delivery of twins.

* 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.

Honors And Awards

Billy is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and is a past Chairman of the Outreach Committee.  He has been inducted as a Diplomate of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and is a past President of the Alabama Chapter of ABOTA.  He is a frequent speaker on litigation issues, including discovery and trial techniques.

Honored by his peers for his litigation skills, Billy was selected as a leading litigator by Chambers USA, he has been named one of the top attorneys in the state of Alabama by Mid-South Super Lawyers® magazine, has been named a "Litigation Star" for the state of Alabama in Benchmark Litigation, and was selected by his peers for inclusion 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.

Community Involvement

Billy is actively involved in his church where he serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Billy has served as a Board Member of the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation and as an Advisory Board Member for Cumberland School of Law.  He has been active in both coaching and leadership roles related to youth sports and has participated in a leadership role with high school students on mission trips to South America.

Speeches 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)

Reported Cases

Bassie v. Obstetrics & Gynecology Associates of Northwest Alabama, P.C., 828 So. 2d 280 (Ala. 2002).

Ex Parte Qureshi, 768 So. 2d 374 (Ala. 2000).

Johnson v. Price, 743 So. 2d 436 (Ala. 1999).

Ex Parte Pfizer, Inc., 746 So. 2d 960 (Ala. 1999).

Bennett v. Brewer, 682 So. 2d 448 (Ala. 1996).

Floyd v. Broughton, 664 So. 2d 897 (Ala. 1995).

Ex Parte Main, 658 So. 2d 384 (Ala. 1995).

Patterson v. Hays, 623 So. 2d 1142 (Ala. 1993).

Thomas v. Baptist Medical Center-DeKalb, 614 So. 2d 997 (Ala. 1993).

Smith v. Medical Center East, 585 So. 2d 1325 (Ala. 1991).

Martin v. Phillips, 581 So. 2d 838 (Ala. 1991).

Black v. Baptist Medical Center, 575 So. 2d 1087 (Ala. 1991).

Beverly v. Chandler, 564 So. 2d 922 (Ala. 1990).

Humber v. B. F. Goodrich Co., 561 So. 2d 511 (Ala. 1990).

Independent Fire Ins. Co., Inc. v. Mutual Assurance, 553 So. 2d 115 (Ala. 1989).

Wood v. Shell Oil Co., 495 So. 2d 1034 (Ala. 1986).

Gregory v. Western World Ins. Co., Inc., 481 So. 2d 878 (Ala. 1985).

Fomby v. City of Calera, 575 F. Supp. 221 (N.D. Ala. 1983).

Related News

11/7/2017 Twenty-Eight SDF Attorneys Named to the 2017 Edition of Mid-South Super Lawyers

8/29/2017 Twenty-Six SDF Lawyers Listed in the 2018 Edition of Best Lawyers in America

8/23/2017 Starnes Davis Florie Named a Highly Recommended Litigation Firm in the 2018 Edition of Benchmark Litigation

6/21/2017 Starnes Attorneys Scott Salter & Billy Bates Win Trial in Professional Liability Case

5/26/2017 Starnes Davis Florie Receives Top Tier Ranking in Chambers USA 2017

3/10/2017 SDF Attorneys Chris Eagan & Billy Bates Obtain Defense Verdict in Wrongful Death Trial

2/3/2017 Seven Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named "Leaders in their Field" in Chambers USA 2017

1/5/2017 SDF Attorneys Billy Bates & Scott Salter Obtain Favorable Judgment from the Supreme Court of Alabama

11/9/2016 Twenty-Six SDF Attorneys Named to the 2016 Edition of Mid-South Super Lawyers

8/15/2016 Twenty Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named to the 2017 Edition of Best Lawyers®

8/2/2016 Bates, Huntley & Starnes Publish Article in the American Journal of Trial Advocacy

6/22/2016 Global Law Experts Names Starnes Davis Florie LLP Professional Medical Liability Law Firm of the Year in Alabama 2016

5/29/2016 Starnes Davis Florie Receives Top Tier Ranking in Chambers USA 2016

3/3/2016 Seven Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named "Leaders in their Field" in Chambers USA 2016

10/2/2015 Benchmark Litigation 2016 Named Starnes Davis Florie a Highly Recommended Litigation Firm

9/9/2015 Chambers County Jury Returns Defense Verdict in Case Defended by Salter and Bates

8/20/2015 Twenty Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named to the 2016 Edition of Best Lawyers®

8/5/2015 Adams & Bates Secure Defense Verdict for Two General Surgeons in Med Mal Trial

5/13/2015 Scott Salter and Billy Bates Obtain Defense Verdict for Anesthesiologist in a Medical Malpractice Trial

5/1/2015 Twenty-Six SDF Attorneys Named to 2015 Alabama Super Lawyers

3/20/2015 Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Secure Defense Verdict for OB/GYN After Eight Days of Trial

2/25/2015 Seven Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named "Leaders in their Field" in Chambers USA 2015

9/5/2014 Starnes Davis Florie Named a Highly Recommended Litigation Firm in the 2015 Edition of Benchmark Litigation

8/20/2014 Seventeen Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named to the 2015 Edition of Best Lawyers®

8/20/2014 Starnes Davis Florie Attorney Billy Bates Named Best Lawyers "Lawyer of the Year" for 2015

5/30/2014 Starnes Davis Florie Receives Top Tier Ranking in Chambers USA 2014

5/12/2014 Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Adams and Bates Obtain Defense Verdict for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

4/29/2014 Thirty SDF Attorneys Named to Alabama Super Lawyers 2014

3/1/2014 SDF Attorneys Allison Adams and Billy Bates Co-Authored an Article in IADC Committee Newsletter

2/16/2014 SDF Attorney Billy Bates Presents at 2014 IADC Mid-Year Meeting

2/10/2014 Seven Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named "Leaders in their Field" in Chambers USA 2014

12/13/2013 Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Salter & Bates Obtain Defense Verdict in Federal Court

8/30/2013 Sixteen Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named to the 2014 Edition of Best Lawyers®

5/29/2013 Starnes Davis Florie Receives Top Tier Ranking in Chambers USA 2013

5/20/2013 Starnes Attorney Billy Bates Co-Presents for IADC Webinar

5/2/2013 Twenty-Six Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Listed in Alabama Super Lawyers 2013

4/15/2013 Starnes Attorney Billy Bates speaks at DRI Medical Liability and Health Care Law Seminar

2/6/2013 Five Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named to Chambers USA 2013

9/28/2012 Starnes Davis Florie Highly Ranked in 2013 Benchmark Litigation & Benchmark Appellate

9/19/2012 Seventeen Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named to the 2013 Edition of Best Lawyers®

6/13/2012 Starnes Davis Florie Received Top Tier Ranking in Chambers USA 2012

5/21/2012 Starnes Attorneys Secure Defense Verdict in an Eight Day Trial

5/1/2012 Twenty-Two Starnes Attorneys Listed in Alabama Super Lawyers

3/19/2012 Five Starnes Attorneys Named to Chambers USA 2012

1/27/2012 White and Bates Prevail in Obstetrical Medical Malpractice Trial

10/14/2011 Benchmark Litigation Names SDF one of Alabama's Highly Recommended Litigation Firms

9/2/2011 Nine Starnes Attorneys Listed in 2011 Super Lawyers Business Edition

9/1/2011 Sixteen Starnes Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers 2012

7/8/2011 Starnes Davis Florie Received Top Tier Ranking in Chambers USA 2011

6/28/2011 Bates & Huntley Obtain Defense Verdict for Two Surgeons

6/6/2011 Bates Obtains Favorable Result For Professional Liability Insurer in Reinsurance Arbitration

4/29/2011 Twenty Starnes Attorneys Listed in Alabama Super Lawyers

3/14/2011 Five Starnes Attorneys Named to Chambers USA 2011

2/2/2011 Huntley and Bates Obtain Jury Verdict in Favor of Emergency Physicians

10/6/2010 Benchmark Litigation Names SDF one of Alabama's Highly Recommended Firms

8/7/2010 Sixteen Starnes Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers 2011

6/16/2010 Starnes Davis Florie Obtains Top Tier Listing in Chambers USA 2010

Practices

Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical
Business Litigation
Collegiate Sports
Intellectual Property
Long Term Care & Nursing Home Litigation
Medical Malpractice Defense
Product Liability & Consumer Litigation
Professional Licensing Defense

Education

J.D., Cumberland School of Law (1981)
B.S., University of Alabama (1978)

Bar Admissions

Alabama

Courts

U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama
U.S. Supreme Court