Jeannie is a Partner whose practice is devoted to civil defense litigation, including defending Federal Black Lung claims, workers’ compensation litigation and defending mass toxic torts and general civil matters at both trial and appellate levels. She has wide experience in representing mining and mineral companies with various issues, including mineral rights, contractual issues and environmental and toxic tort issues. Jeannie also has significant experience in handling Federal Black Lung claims at all levels. She graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1992.
- Best Lawyers in America, 2010-2018, including 2017 Lawyer of the Year for Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers
- Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent Peer Rating
- Martindale-Hubbell’s 2012 and 2013 “Women Leaders in the Law"
- Birmingham’s B-Metro Magazine’s “Top Women Lawyers”
- 2015 Vice President and 2016 President of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Birmingham Bar Association
- 2017 Secretary/Treasurer for the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Defense Lawyers Association (AWCDLA)
- Appointed by 2017-2018 Alabama State Bar President to serve on a Special Task Force to address issues with Alabama’s Worker’s Compensation Act
- Jeannie is a Deacon at Independent Presbyterian Church
- A Board Member of the Estelle and Charles Campbell Charitable Foundation which give away over $1 Million per year to charities in Alabama and Pennsylvania
- Active/certified therapy dog handler with her two children with Hand In Paw in an effort to achieve at least 100 hours of community service a year
- Jeannie is a founding Board Member of the Hero Scholarship Fund for underprivileged youth at the IPC Day School.
- Burton v. Drummond (12/6/2016) – Obtained a favorable decision in a federal black lung matter on appeal before the Benefits Review Board which remanded the case to the ALJ with instructions to reconsider 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).
- Vickery v. Drummond (11/25/2016) – Obtained a favorable decision 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.
- Franks v. Drummond (11/18/2016) – Obtained a favorable decision 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.
- Cooper v. Drummond 11/15/2016 – Obtained a favorable decision 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 condition of entitlement and prove that he was now totally disabled or totally disabled due to pneumoconiosis.
- Thomas v. Drummond (9/13/16) – Obtained a favorable decision in a federal black lung trial with Administrative Law Judge Lystra Harris where the miner had 23 years of qualifying coal mine employment. Claimant was unable to prove total disability or the existence of pneumoconiosis.
Presentations and Publications
- 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, Georgia), Birmingham, Alabama, 2017 (speech).
- 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, Alabama, 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, Alabama, November 14, 2013 (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).
News & Insights
- Twenty-Six SDF Lawyers Listed in the 2018 Edition of Best Lawyers in America
- SDF ALERT: Alabama’s Workers Comp Law Unconstitutional?
- Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Jeannie Walston and Richard Davis Named Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year” for 2017
- Twenty Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named to the 2017 Edition of Best Lawyers®
- Jeannie Walston Named to Birmingham’s B-Metro Magazine’s “Top Women Lawyers” for 2016
- Federal Black Lung Litigation Practice Group -Blog Post
- Jeannie Walston Speaks at the Alabama Workers’ Comp Conference
- Twenty Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named to the 2016 Edition of Best Lawyers®
- Jeannie Walston Named to Birmingham’s B-Metro Magazine’s “Women Leaders of the Birmingham Bar” for 2015
- Seventeen Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named to the 2015 Edition of Best Lawyers®
- Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Obtain Summary Judgment for 4 Supervisory Co-Employees in Coke Plant Accident
- Sixteen Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named to the 2014 Edition of Best Lawyers®
- Seventeen Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named to the 2013 Edition of Best Lawyers®
- Sixteen Starnes Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers 2012
When Jeannie isn’t practicing law, she enjoys spending time, volunteering and traveling with her two teenagers, Banks and Lauren, and her husband, David. They volunteer together as a family through their church and with their dogs, and they all love visiting cold locations for snow skiing or tropical spots for scuba diving. Jeannie especially enjoys studying and learning about worthy charitable organizations and projects every year in Alabama and Pennsylvania in helping her and her fellow board distribute over $1 million in charitable funds.