Richard E. Davis

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205-868-6044 - Direct
205-868-6099 - Fax
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100 Brookwood Place
7th Floor
P.O. Box 598512
Birmingham, AL 35259

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Richard E. Davis


For over 27 years, Richard has represented clients in litigation in every federal district in Alabama, in state court, and in matters involving federal and state regulatory and law enforcement agencies in the Southeast as well as the District of Columbia, Manhattan, and Detroit.

Richard's cases primarily, but not exclusively, involve civil and white collar criminal defense trials, litigation, investigations, and contested administrative proceedings arising in environmental, health care, and business contexts.  In addition, he has had noteworthy success on behalf of corporate, university, and individual plaintiffs at trial and in obtaining substantial settlements.  Richard also develops corporate compliance and risk management plans for clients and is experienced in drafting legislation and public policy analysis.  

In a case The American Lawyer named "Most Inspiring Pro Bono Win of 2015," Richard and co-counsel obtained the release from federal prison of an individual incarcerated for 30 years on drug charges:  After a two-week trial consisting largely of  technical hydrogeological and quantitative expert testimony, Richard obtained an injunction to protect the Ebenezer Swamp Wetlands Preserve—the "scenic highlight" of the University of Montevallo (ranked by Thrillist as one of the "20 most beautiful college campuses in the country")—from proposed quarrying activity.

Richard was Chair of the Birmingham Bar Association's Federal Practice Section for 2015-2016.  He served as Chair of the Alabama State Bar Environmental Law Section for the 2010-2011 term.  Richard is active in a number of professional organizations including the American Health Lawyers Association, the Medical Group Management Association, Manufacture Alabama, the Federal Bar Association, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.


*  Healthcare:  Representing healthcare providers in DEA investigation

*  Environmental:  Defending Clean Water Act citizen suit against landowner/former mine operator for alleged unpermitted discharges into Black Warrior River from property released from bond decades ago after reclamation

*  Healthcare/False Claims Act:  Representing physician in conjunction with Justice Department Civil Investigative Demand

*  Healthcare/Governmental Investigation:  Advising major health care provider regarding policies and procedures for audits and other investigative inquiries 

*  Business Litigation:  Defending water and wastewater operations and management company against fraud and breach of contract claims related to a decentralized cluster wastewater management system

*  Governmental Investigation/White Collar:  Representing corporate officer in joint investigation of company accounting practices by the Department of Justice, Securities Exchange Commission, and Federal Bureau of Investigation

*  Healthcare/Governmental Investigation:  Advised physician practice in conjunction with Zone Program Integrity Contractor (ZPIC) audit regarding possible healthcare fraud and abuse

*  Environmental:  Represented surface-mining client in trial of water quality issues in state court

*  Environmental Crime:  Represented corporate client in conjunction with negotiated plea agreement for single-count misdemeanor Clean Water Act violation; obtained reinstatement for compliant client after mandatory debarment from federal programs

*  Environmental/Insurance/Bad Faith:  Obtained settlement valued in excess of $2,500,000 for plaintiff policyholder in federal lawsuit

*  Healthcare/Governmental Investigation:  Advised medical device manufacturer in conjunction with federal grand jury investigation (no charges against client)

*  Healthcare Investigation:  Investigated allegations of improper conduct by nursing home employee in making referrals to home health care providers

* Data Security/Banking:  Prosecuted claims for bad faith violation of federal Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA), for failure to maintain commercially reasonable security procedures, and for other related torts on behalf of victims of identity theft/account hacking and obtained full recovery of clients’ funds (six-figures +) along with attorneys’ fees

*  Environmental:  Obtained defense judgment for City of Lincoln in federal trial of Clean Water Act and inverse condemnation claims brought by adjacent property owner complaining of $1,840,000 in damage to 239-acre property, including wetlands, allegedly caused by discharges of storm water from 160-acre city property being developed as an industrial park; presented oral argument and obtained affirmance of defense judgment before 11th Circuit Court of Appeals

*  Environmental Crime:  Defended client charged with criminal violations of Clean Water Act and related charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy in federal jury trial

*  Natural Resources:  Represented two mining clients in an administrative action in which petitioner sought to have 40,400 acres, or 63 square miles, of land declared unsuitable for mining; petition was denied

*  Toxic Torts:  Obtained summary judgment for manufacturer on plaintiff’s claims for bodily injury allegedly caused by plant’s chemical and particulate air emissions

*  Toxic Torts:  Defended waste generator in suits for personal injuries that occurred in conjunction with a chemical explosion during unloading of a tractor-trailer rig

*  Environmental:  Numerous CERCLA matters including the LWD, Inc. (Calvert City, Kentucky), Anniston PCB and lead sites (Calhoun and Talladega Counties, Alabama), Alabama Plating (Vincent, Alabama), B&B Manufacturing (Mobile, Alabama), M & J Solvents (Fulton County, Georgia), and Interstate Lead (Leeds, Alabama) Superfund sites and the Reef Environmental (Sylacauga, Alabama), Shredders, Inc. (North Birmingham, Alabama), Alabama Wood Treating (Mobile, Alabama), and Allworth (Tarrant, Alabama) sites

*  Banking and Financial/Professional Liability:  Defended national (Top 20) accounting firm against negligence, fraud, and conspiracy claims brought by bank

*   Environmental:  Represented an oil company in conjunction with multi-agency review and permitting of new dock facility on a major multi-state river

*  Environmental:  Obtained affirmance by Court of Civil Appeals of client’s NPDES permit after having prevailed in hearings before a hearing officer, the Alabama Environmental Management Commission, and the Montgomery County circuit court

*  Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical:  Defended a client against a fee collection claim by a contract research organization (“CRO”) and uncovered evidence to support counterclaims for the CRO’s erroneous use of congenic mouse strain in vaccine development, resulting in a seven-figure recovery for client

*  Environmental/Governmental Investigation:  Represented client with regard to EPA investigation of a former tank wash facility (Mobile, Alabama)(no claims or charges filed)

*  Environmental:  Obtained injunction for plaintiffs, university and university foundation, based on anticipatory nuisance against proposed limestone quarry by proving imminent harm would result to university foundation-owned wetlands research preserve from quarry construction and operation

*  Antitrust:  Defended manufacturer of niacinamide (vitamin B3) in putative class action involving price-fixing claims

*  Environmental/Governmental Investigation:  Negotiated favorable civil settlement of client’s self-reported violation of state hazardous waste law by accidental disposal of nine tons of cadmium-affected baghouse dust in sanitary, rather than hazardous waste, landfill

*  False Claims Act/Qui Tam:  Represented defense contractor-manufacturer of diagnostic system for military vehicles in federal lawsuit by former employee-relator

*  Whistleblower:  Represented county government in conjunction with whistleblower-retaliatory termination lawsuit by former landfill employee alleging improper disposal of hazardous wastes

*  Environmental:  Obtained ADEM determination that no air permits required for two CO2 purification plants because no state or federal emissions standards would be exceeded

*  Banking and Financial Services:  Represented individual officers of savings and loan institution in conjunction with private party civil fraud litigation (settled) and federal government scrutiny of lending (no charges filed)

*  Antitrust/Governmental Investigation:  Defended trucking company in federal Department of Transportation Inspector General investigation of suspected price-fixing (no charges filed)

Honors And Awards

At Cumberland School of Law of Samford University, Richard was Editor-in-Chief of the Cumberland Law Review. After graduation, he was inducted into Curia Honoris and received the Dean’s Certificate of Appreciation.

Richard is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell; is a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America Trial Lawyer Honorary; has been listed in the 2008-2015 editions of Alabama Super Lawyers® for Environmental Litigation and in the 2016-2017 editions of Mid-South Super Lawyers® for Environmental Litigation; and was selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2011-2018 editions of Best Lawyers in America®—in 2011 for both Environmental Law and Natural Resources Law, in 2012-2015 for both Litigation-Environmental and Natural Resources Law, in 2016-2018 for Litigation-Environmental, Natural Resources Law, and Commercial Litigation—and in 2017 was also named Best Lawyers Birmingham "Lawyer of the Year" for Natural Resources Law.

Community Involvement

Birmingham Volunteer Lawyers Program

Speeches And Publications

* "Suprise! You May Be an Environmental Criminal:  Recognizing the Quagmire as a Prerequisite to Managing Risk, Manufacture Alabama Environmental Conference (November 16, 2016, Millbrook, Alabama)(presentation)

* "Working with Environmental Experts in Litigation, Regulation, and Transactions," 25th Annual Southern Environmental Law & Regulation Conference (June 10, 2016, Destin, Florida)(presentation)

* "Healthcare Audits and Investigations as Pathways to Criminal and Civil Liabilities for Providers," Etowah County Medical Group Management Association (October 20, 2015, Gadsden, Alabama)(presentation)

* "Strategic Legal Risk Management—Contingency Planning to Avoid or Mitigate Legal Crises,"  Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (August 13, 2015, Mobile, Alabama and August 31, 2015, Huntsville, Alabama) (presentations)

* "Accountant Liability: Civil and Criminal," Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (August 13, 2015, Mobile, Alabama and August 31, 2015, Huntsville, Alabama) (presentations)

* "Investigations—Internal and Governmental," Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (August 13, 2015, Mobile, Alabama and August 31, 2015, Huntsville, Alabama) (presentations)

* "What Accountants Should Know About White Collar Crime," Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (August 13, 2015, Mobile, Alabama and August 31, 2015, Huntsville, Alabama) (presentations)

* "Water Boundaries: What Are Your Client's Rights, Responsibilities, and Potential Liabilities?" November 8, 2012, National Business Institute Seminar, Boundary Disputes: Resolving Client Conflicts, Birmingham, Alabama (speech & publication)

* “Wading Through the Clean Water Act:  How to Keep Corporations and Officers Out of the Deep End,” July 13, 2011, International Association of Defense Counsel 2011 Annual Meeting, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada (presentation)

* "Update on Certain Major Environmental Laws," July 30, 2009, National Business Institute, Environmental Law from A to Z, Birmingham, Alabama (speech and publication)

Reported Cases

Ex parte Water Works Board of the City of Birmingham, 156 So.3d 412 (Ala. Civ. App. 2014)(surface mining permit appeal)

Solutia, Inc. v. McWane, Inc., 672 F. 3d 1230 (11th Cir. 2012)(CERCLA)

Carr v. International Refining & Manufacturing Co., 13 So.3d 947 (Ala. 2009)(mass tort:chemical exposure - toxic torts and products liability)

Griffin v. Unocal Corp., 990 So.2d 291 (Ala. 2008)(chemical exposure - toxic torts and products liability)

Ex parte International Refining & Mfg. Co., 972 So.2d 784 (Ala. 2007)(mass tort - chemical exposure - toxic torts and products liability)

Hammond v. Reynolds Metals Co., 219 Fed.Appx. 910 (11th Cir. 2007)(ERISA putative class action:  affirming summary judgment for client)

Southdown v. Allen, 119 F.Supp.2d 1223 (N.D. Ala. 2000)(CERCLA)

Peters v. Amoco Oil Co., 57 F.Supp.2d 1268 (M.D. Ala. 1999)(mass tort - leaking underground storage tanks)

Peters v. Brants Grocery, 990 F.Supp. 1337 (M.D. Ala. 1998)(mass tort - leaking underground storage tanks)

Adair v. Troy State University of Montgomery, 892 F.Supp. 1401, (M.D. Ala. 1995)(Clean Air Act)

Williams v. Delta Intern. Machinery Corp., 619 So.2d 1330 (Ala. 1993)(product liability amicus)

USX Corp. v. Mabry, 607 So.2d 249 (Ala. Civ. App. 1992)(worker’s compensation)

Towns Real Estate & Appraisal Services, Inc. v. Resolution Trust Corp., 753 F.Supp. 914 (N.D.Ala. 1991)(superseded by statute)(defense of fraud claims against a financial institution and officers)

Related News

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

10/2/2017 Richard E. Davis has been Named Vice Chair of the International Institute of Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law

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

7/25/2017 Starnes Davis Florie and Attorney John Scott Featured in BBJ's Table of Experts Series on Banking Deregulation

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

10/7/2016 Richard Davis to Speak at the Annual Manufacture Alabama Conference

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

8/1/2016 False Claims Act/Qui Tam Litigation - "Implied Certification"

1/5/2016 The American Lawyer Names Richard Davis's Case "Most Inspiring Pro Bono Win of 2015"

9/28/2015 Richard Davis’s Pro Bono Work Leads to Release of Man Incarcerated for 30 Years

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

5/1/2015 Environmental & Toxic Tort Law Bulletin - Spring 2015

12/5/2014 Environmental & Toxic Tort Law Bulletin - December 2014

11/19/2014 Starnes Davis Florie's Banking & Financial Services Newsletter - Fall 2014

10/16/2014 Environmental & Toxic Tort Law Bulletin - September 2014

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

7/11/2014 Environmental & Toxic Tort Law Bulletin - June 2014

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

4/2/2014 SDF Attorney Richard Davis Completes NACDL White Collar Criminal Defense College

3/28/2014 Environmental & Toxic Tort Law Bulletin - March 2014

2/14/2014 Three Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Invited to Join the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance

12/29/2013 Starnes Davis Florie's Environmental Law Bulletin (December 2013)

12/6/2013 Starnes Attorneys Davis and Whillock Obtain Affirmance by Eleventh Circuit of Defense Verdict in Clean Water Act and Inverse Condemnation Case

9/30/2013 Starnes Davis Florie's Environmental Law Bulletin (September 2013)

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

6/3/2013 Starnes Davis Florie's Environmental Law Bulletin (June 2013)

5/13/2013 Starnes Attorneys R. Davis & Whillock Assist Client in Obtaining No Further Action Determination from EPA

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

3/29/2013 Starnes Davis Florie Obtains Fourth Consecutive Affirmance of Surface Mining Client’s NPDES Permit

3/2/2013 Starnes Davis Florie's Environmental Law Bulletin (March 2013)

1/5/2013 Starnes Davis Florie's Environmental Law Bulletin (December 2012)


Banking & Financial Services
Environmental Litigation
Environmental Regulation
False Claims Act / Qui Tam Litigation
Governmental Investigations & White Collar Defense
Healthcare Audit and Fraud Claim Defense
Toxic Torts


J.D., cum laude, Cumberland School of Law of Samford University (1989)

M.A., The University of Alabama at Birmingham (1986)

B.A., Auburn University (1983)

Bar Admissions



U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama

U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama

United States Tax Court


Litigation Counsel of America Fellow

Best Lawyers Award Badge