Billy Bates has been a partner at Starnes Davis Florie for over 35 years and served as the firm’s Managing Partner from 2006 – 2016. His practice has been devoted to civil litigation to include professional medical liability, healthcare litigation, pharmaceutical liability and medical device litigation. He has tried in excess of 140 complex civil cases to a jury verdict, including cases in defense of product manufacturers, physicians, hospitals and corporations.
- Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and past Chairman of the Outreach Committee
- Diplomate with the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and past President of the Alabama Chapter of ABOTA
- Top Leading Litigator by Chambers USA
- Super Lawyer in Alabama by Mid-South Super Lawyers® magazine
- "Litigation Star" in Benchmark Litigation
- Listed 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 and 2020
- Billy is actively involved in his church where he is Past-Chairman of the Board of Deacons.
- 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 youth sports and has participated in a leadership role with high school students on mission trips to South America.
- After an eight-day trial, secured a defense verdict in a medical malpractice wrongful death case in favor of a radiology practice group, involving allegations of negligently failing to detect a DVT on a doppler ultrasound.
- After a nine-day trial, obtained a Judgment as a Matter of Law on behalf of a board certified general surgeon in a wrongful death case alleging the surgeon failed to recognize signs of an abdominal complication after colon surgery.
- Obtained a jury verdict in favor of a general surgeon charged with medical negligence and wrongful death in the performance of a colonoscopy.
- Obtained a defense verdict for a family practice physician in a case involving paralysis and wrongful death.
- Obtained a defense verdict in favor of an urologist in a suit alleging negligence in the performance of an adult circumcision.
- Obtained a jury verdict in favor of a general surgeon charged with medical negligence in the performance of a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (minimally invasive surgery to remove the gallbladder).
- 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.
Presentations 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)
News & Insights
- Starnes Davis Florie Ranked as a “Highly Recommended Litigation Firm” in the 2024 Edition of Benchmark Litigation
- 30 Starnes Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers in America 2024
- Starnes Davis Florie Ranked a Top Law Firm by Chambers USA 2023
- Bennett White & Billy Bates Secure a Defense Verdict in an 8-Day Wrongful Death Trial
- 16 Starnes Attorneys Listed in the 2022 Edition of Mid-South Super Lawyers
- Starnes Davis Florie Highly Ranked in Benchmark Litigation 2023
- Salter & Bates Obtain a Judgment as a Matter of Law After a Nine-Day Wrongful Death Trial
- 30 SDF ATTORNEYS LISTED IN BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA 2023
- STARNES DAVIS FLORIE RANKED A TOP FIRM BY CHAMBERS USA 2022
- TWENTY-TWO ATTORNEYS NAMED TO THE 2021 EDITION OF MID-SOUTH SUPER LAWYERS
- STARNES RANKED AS A “HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FIRM” IN THE 2022 EDITION OF BENCHMARK LITIGATION
- Starnes Attorneys Adams & Bates Obtain Jury Verdict in Wrongful Death Case
- 29 SDF ATTORNEYS LISTED IN BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA 2022
- STARNES DAVIS FLORIE RANKED A TOP FIRM BY CHAMBERS USA 2021
- Starnes Ranked as a “Highly Recommended Firm” in the 2021 Edition of Benchmark Litigation
- White, Newton & Bates Secure Favorable Ruling in Supreme Court Opinion
- Twenty-Six Attorneys Named to the 2020 Edition of Mid-South Super Lawyers
- Twenty-Six SDF Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers in America 2021
- Executive Order Provides Immunity
- STARNES DAVIS FLORIE RANKED A TOP FIRM BY CHAMBERS USA 2020