Jeannie Bugg Walston

Contact Jeannie

205-868-6037 - Direct
205-868-6099 - Fax
Email Jeannie jwalston@starneslaw.com

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

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Jeannie Bugg Walston
Partner

Jeannie Bugg Walston (“Jeannie”) is a partner at Starnes Davis Florie.

Practice

Jeannie's practice is devoted to civil defense litigation, including defending federal black lung claims, workers' compensation litigation, defending mass toxic torts, mining matters, and personal injury defense at both trial and appellate levels. She is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Alabama as well as the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

Jeannie has wide experience in representing mining and mineral companies with various issues, including mineral rights, contractual issues, environmental and toxic tort issues, employment and worker’s compensation matters. Jeannie also has significant experience in handling Federal Black Lung claims.

Highlights

* On 12/6/2016, prevailed in a federal black lung matter on appeal before the Benefits Review Board which remanded the case to the ALJ with instructions to re-consider the evidence regarding total disability because the BRB agreed with the Operator that the substantial evidence did not support a finding for total disability pursuant to 20 C.F.R. §718.204(b)(2)(iv). Burton v. Drummond

* On 11/25/2016, prevailed in a federal black lung trial before Administrative Law Judge Scott Morris where the miner worked in underground mining for at least thirty years and was diagnosed with pneumoconiosis, but the Court held the evidence did not support a finding of total disability. Vickery v. Drummond

* On 11/18/2016, prevailed in a federal black lung trial with Administrative Law Judge Scott Morris where the Miner was diagnosed with “legal” pneumoconiosis, was employed more than ten years as a truck driver after leaving the mines and failed to prove that his pulmonary/respiratory impairment, standing alone, prevented him from performing his usual coal mine employment. Franks v. Drummond

* On 11/15/2016, prevailed in a federal black lung trial with Administrative Law Judge Scott Morris in which the Miner had 17 years of total coal mine employment, was diagnosed with pneumoconiosis, but did not establish a change in a condition of entitlement and prove that he was now totally disabled or totally disabled due to pneumoconiosis.

* On 8/2/2016, prevailed in a federal black lung trial before Administrative Law Judge Lystra Harris who denied benefits for a Miner who worked in underground mining for at least 25 years, was diagnosed with “legal” pneumoconiosis and was a non-smoker.

* On 8/4/2016, prevailed in a federal black lung trial before ALJ Scott Morris who initially determined through Summary Decision Motions that Claimant only worked in mining for 2.11 years but could not, through newly-generated evidence, establish total disability or a change in conditions based on another element of entitlement.

* On 7/27/2016, prevailed in a federal black lung trial before Administrative Law Judge Scott Morris who denied benefits for a Survivor-Child/Dependent even though the Operator stipulated that the deceased miner worked in its underground mines for fifteen years or more, had a totally disabling respiratory/pulmonary impairment prior to his death and properly invoked the “15-year presumption” because there was no evidence of complicated pneumoconiosis, and the Operator rebutted the presumption at §718.305(d)(1)(i).

* Currently representing Drummond Company, Inc., a national and international coal mining company.

* Currently the designated speaker/trainer on workers' compensation law in Alabama through HR Training and gives four two-three day seminars a year in various cities in Alabama.

* Speaks at various workers' compensation seminars, meetings and related round table discussions.

* Currently serves as an officer for the Workers' Compensation Section of the Birmingham Bar Association.

Honors And Awards

Jeannie was selected by her peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America®, 2010 - 2017, where she was listed in the 2017 edition as of Lawyer of the Year for Workers' Compensation Law - Employers. She is also listed in the Martindale-Hubbell's 2012 and 2013 "Women Leaders in the Law" and was named to Birmingham's B-Metro Magazine's "Women Leaders of the Birmingham Bar" for 2015 and 2016.

She is currently a member of the Birmingham and American Bar Associations; Alabama State Bar’s Workers’ Compensation section; the Workers' Compensation Section of the Birmingham Bar Association; the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association; and serves as Secretary/Treasurer for the Alabama Workers Compensation Defense Lawyers Association (AWCDLA). Jeannie also served as Secretary for the Workers' Compensation Section of the Birmingham Bar Association for 2014.  Jeannie has also served as a speaker at seminars and various CLE’s on defending workers’ compensation claims.

While in law school, Jeannie was a member of the John A. Campbell Moot Court Board and participated in other school organizations.

Community Involvement

Jeannie is an active member at Independent Presbyterian Church, where she serves as a Deacon. She is also a Board Member of the Estelle S. Campbell & Charles T. Campbell Charitable Foundations based in Pittsburgh, PA. She is a Board Member and active/certified therapy dog handler with her two kids and their therapy dog "Lucky" with Hand In Paw.

Jeannie has served as a founding Board Member of the Hero Scholarship Fund for underprivileged youth at the IPC Day School and is chairman of committees in the Junior Women’s Committee of 100 and was selected as the 2006-2007 Member of the Year due to her solicitation efforts. She has been involved with Children’s Arts Guild; the Robert Reed Gastrointestinal Oncology Research Foundation – Corporate Fundraising; The Pre-School and Day-School Sub-Committees for Independent Presbyterian Church; various PTA committees; The Board for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama; and the Step Forward Walking Group.

Speeches And Publications

* Ethical Considerations for Case Managers in Workers' Compensation Claims, Alabama Self-Insurer's Association’s (ASIA) Summer Conference, August 2016 (speech).

* Drug And Alcohol Testing, The Alabama Workers' Comp Conference, Birmingham, AL, September 18, 2015 (speech).

* Dealing with Hearing Loss Claims, Alabama Self-Insurer's Association’s (ASIA) Summer Conference, August 2014 (speech).

* Providing Panel Physicians in Workers' Compensation Cases, presented at a Birmingham Bar Association CLE, "Breakfast with the Judges," Birmingham, AL, November 14, 2013 (speech).

* Alabama's Workers' Compensation Act - All You Need to Know From Start to Finish, Local Representative for Workers' Compensation Training Seminar and Workshop on Alabama Law (hosted by a Human Resources group in Atlanta, GA), Birmingham, AL , 2012 (speech).

* Handling and Litigating Various Coal Mining Claims including: Defending Federal Black Lung Claims with the 3/23/10 Passage of §1556 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA); Defending State Workers’ Compensation Claims in Any State; Medicare Compliance; and Handling MSHA Claims, National Business Institute, July 2010 (speech).

* Changes in Federal Black Lung Claims under Section 1556 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Round Table Discussion, West Virginia, 2010 (speech).

* Medicare Compliance in light of U.S.A. v Strickler, et al., CV-09-PT-2423-E, including Mandatory Reporting Requirements, Medicare Secondary Payer provisions, Options to Consider in Resolving a Case with a Medicare Claimant, Settlement Options, Future Medicals and Trial Options, and HITECH Compliance, Alabama Self-Insured Association’s (ASIA) Semi-Annual Meeting, August 2010 (speech).

* Co-authored publication, “Medicare Reporting Requirements and the Medicare Secondary Payer Statute – Where Do We Go From Here?”, Alabama Self-Insured Association’s Semi-Annual Newsletter, 2010.

Reported Cases

Vickery v. Drummond Company, Inc., 2014-BLA-05340

Franks v. Drummond Company, Inc., 2014-BLA-05279

Cooper v. Drummond Company, Inc., 2014-BLA-5365

Hembrick v. Drummond Company, Inc., 2014-BLA-5805

Allen v. Mine Services, Inc., 2014-BLA-05352

Satterfield/Meadows v. Drummond Company, Inc., 2015-BLA-05106, 2014-BLA-05339

Drummond Co., Inc. v. Harris, 824 So. 2d 775 (Ala. Civ. App. 2001).

Ex parte Warrior Lighthouse, Inc., 789 So. 2d 858 (Ala. 2001).

McCuller v. Drummond Co., Inc., 714 So. 2d 298 (Ala. Civ. App. 1997).

Drummond Co., Inc. v. Bonner, 848 So. 2d 987 (Ala. Civ. App. 2002).

Crown Central Petroleum Corporation v. Patricia Williams, as guardian and next friend of R. W., a minor, et al., 679 So. 2d 651 (Ala. 1996).

Upton v. Drummond Co., Inc., 762 So. 2d 373 (Ala. Civ. App. 2000).

Atkins v. Drummond Co., Inc., 628 So. 2d 591 (Ala. 1993).

Related News

5/17/2017 SDF ALERT: Alabama's Workers Comp Law Unconstitutional?

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

8/15/2016 Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Jeannie Walston and Richard Davis Named Best Lawyers "Lawyer of the Year" for 2017

6/30/2016 Jeannie Walston Named to Birmingham's B-Metro Magazine's "Top Women Lawyers" for 2016

4/13/2016 Federal Black Lung Litigation Practice Group -Blog Post

9/20/2015 Jeannie Walston Speaks at the Alabama Workers' Comp Conference

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

4/17/2015 Jeannie Walston Named to Birmingham's B-Metro Magazine's "Women Leaders of the Birmingham Bar" for 2015

12/18/2014 Workers' Compensation Bulletin - 2014 Case Law Update

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

12/10/2013 Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Obtain Summary Judgment for 4 Supervisory Co-Employees in Coke Plant Accident

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

7/29/2013 Starnes Davis Florie's Workers' Compensation Defense Bulletin (Summer 2013)

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

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

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

Practices

Energy, Natural Resources & Land Use
Federal Black Lung Litigation
General Civil Litigation
Mining & Mineral Law
Workers’ Compensation Defense

Education

J.D., University of Alabama School of Law (1992)
B.A., University of Alabama (1989)

Bar Admissions

Alabama

Courts

U. S. Supreme Court
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
Alabama Supreme Court

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