H. Thomas Wells, III

Contact Trey

205-868-6083 - Direct
205-868-6099 - Fax
Email Trey twells@starneslaw.com

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

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H. Thomas Wells, III
Partner

Trey is a partner at Starnes Davis Florie.

Practice

Trey’s practice is devoted to civil litigation with a primary focus on complex business litigation, professional liability, mass torts, and appellate advocacy.  He routinely advises his business clients prior to disputes arising, to reduce the likelihood of litigation and craft creative solutions to problems.  When litigation does arise, however, Trey is committed to aggressively representing his clients’ interests to achieve the best possible results.  He has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of business disputes.  For example, Trey has successfully prosecuted and defended claims involving minority shareholder oppression and breach of contract.  He has also successfully defended mass tort claims arising under the Alien Tort Statute and Torture Victims Protection Act.  Trey is experienced in obtaining evidence internationally for use in U.S. litigation, and has appeared in several courts across the country, including Alabama state and federal courts, the Northern District of California, the Southern District of Florida, and the Southern District of Texas.

Highlights

* Obtained complete summary judgment in favor of accounting firm and two of its accountants on claims brought by a property developer arising out of the alleged mishandling of a multi-million dollar tax deduction for the donation of interests in mountain property.

* Recently won a jury trial in favor of an investment consulting firm and its affiliated companies, in a case involving claims of violation of the Alabama Trade Secrets Act, conspiracy, and breach of fiduciary duty.  Plaintiff, a competitor company, was seeking $7 million in compensatory damages in addition to punitive damages for alleged violations of the Alabama Trade Secrets Act and conspiracy to breach fiduciary duties arising out of the hiring of a group of investment advisors away from the plaintiff.  After eight days of trial, the judge granted judgment as a matter of law in favor of the defendants.  Prior to trial, defendants obtained summary judgment dismissing additional claims based on an alleged non-solicit / non-compete agreement.

* Represented four limited liability companies as the plaintiffs in a breach of contract action arising out of the sale of three industrial facilities in Mississippi.  Due to a contractual jury waiver clause, the case was tried to a bench verdict granting specific performance and consequential damages in favor of the plaintiffs for a total judgment worth more than $2.5 million.

* Obtained complete summary judgment in favor of a multinational corporation and its executives on claims arising under the Alien Tort Statute, the Torture Victims Protection Act, and Colombian wrongful death law premised on the deaths of three Colombian labor union leaders.

* Obtained complete summary judgment in favor of a multinational corporation and its executives in a mass tort action involving claims of more than 600 Colombian citizens arising under the Alien Tort Statute, the Torture Victims Protection Act, and Colombian wrongful death law.

* Obtained complete summary judgment on a breach of contract counterclaim brought against an Alabama-based coal company wherein over one hundred million dollars in damages were sought.

* Obtained full summary judgment and affirmance by the Alabama Supreme Court in favor of a municipality in a suit by private businesses alleging several million dollars in flood losses arising out of the flooding of a natural creek allegedly due to the municipality’s improper maintenance of the creek.

* Has represented and is currently representing several accounting firms in defense of claims of professional liability.

Honors And Awards

Trey was selected to participate in the Alabama Bar's Leadership Forum program as a member of the 2012 class.  He is listed in the 2016 and 2017 editions of Best Lawyers in America®,  has been named a Super Lawyer for the state of Alabama in the 2014 - 2015 editions of Alabama Super Lawyers® magazine and was named a Rising Star for the state of Alabama by the 2011 - 2013 editions of Alabama Super Lawyers® magazine. Trey was named a "Future Litigation Star" for the state of Alabama in the 2017 edition of  Benchmark Litigation. 

Trey was appointed to serve as Editor-In-Chief of the American Bar Association's Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section Law Journal for the 2012-2013 and the 2013-2014 fiscal years.  In addition, Trey has been appointed to the following positions in the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association: Vice-Chair of the Products, Consumer and General Liability Committee; Vice-Chair of the Public Relations Committee; and Vice-Chair of the Technology Committee.

As a student at the University of Alabama School of Law, Trey was selected and served as an Editor for the Alabama Law Review.

Community Involvement

Trey serves as a member of the Alabama - Mississippi Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and was named to the Birmingham MS Leadership Class for 2012.  He, his wife, and two children are members of St. Luke's Episcopal Church.

Speeches And Publications

* H. Thomas Wells, III, Patricia A. Sexton, Alison P. Lungstrum, and Ashley Hawkinson, "Recent Developments in Products, General Liability, and Consumer Law," Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal, Vol. 45:2, Pages 517-542 (Winter 2010).

* H. Thomas Wells, III, "Wyeth v. Levine, A Summary: Foreshadowing an End to the Doctrine of Implied Pre-Emption?" ,  ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section Committee News: Products, General Liability, and Consumer Law Committee (Spring 2009).

* Patricia A. Sexton, Kimela R. West, Lynn G. Trevino-Legler, H. Thomas Wells III, and Franklin H. Turner III, "Recent Developments in Products, General, and Consumer Liability Law," Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal, Vol. 44:2, Pages 653-678 (Winter 2009).

* Whose Ditch is it Anyway? An Analysis of Municipal Flood Liability, CLE Speech at the Alabama Association of Municipal Attorneys Midyear Law Conference, October 13, 2007.

* H. Thomas Wells III, "I Saw the Light! Electronic Billboards and Sign Regulation", Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin, Vol. 28, Issue 2 (Summer 2007).

Reported Cases

Drummond Co. v. Terrance P. Collingsworth, Conrad & Scherer, LLP, 816 F.3d 1319, 1321 (11th Cir. 2016)

Baloco v. Drummond Co., No. 12-15268, 2014 WL 4699481 (11th Cir. Sept. 23, 2014)

Drummond Company, Inc. v. Collingsworth, 2013 WL 6074157 (N.D. Cal. 2013)

Giraldo v. Drummond Co., Inc., 2013 WL 3873960 (N.D. Ala. 2013)

Baloco v. Drummond Co., Inc., 2012 WL 4009432 (N.D. Ala. 2012)

St. Clair County Home Builders Ass'n v. City of Pell City, 61 So. 3d 992 (Ala. 2010)

Jiann Min Chang v. Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, 355 F. App’x 250 (11th Cir. 2009)

 

Related News

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

1/22/2016 Starnes Attorneys Featured in Forbes

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

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

8/12/2014 Starnes Attorneys Davis and Wells Win Jury Trial in Favor of Investment Consulting Firm

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

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

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

5/25/2012 Starnes Attorney, Trey Wells, Named to the the Birmingham MS Leadership Class of 2012

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

3/23/2012 Starnes Attorney, Trey Wells Appointed Editor-In-Chief of the ABA TIPS Law Journal

1/19/2012 Starnes Announces Five New Partners

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

Practices

Business Litigation
Energy, Natural Resources & Land Use
Government & Public Litigation
Mining & Mineral Law
Product Liability & Consumer Litigation
Workers’ Compensation Defense

Education

J.D., University of Alabama School of Law (2005)
B.A., Wake Forest University (2001)

Bar Admissions

Alabama, 2005

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