Starnes Davis Florie

Jeannie Bugg Walston

Partner

Jeannie Bugg Walston

Jeannie Bugg Walston

Partner

100 Brookwood Place
7th Floor
Birmingham, AL 35209

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 in 1989 and its School of Law in 1992.

Professional Recognition

  • Best Lawyers in America, 2010-2020, 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"
  • Super Lawyer in Alabama by Mid-South Super Lawyers® magazine
  • Listed in Birmingham’s B-Metro Magazine’s “Top Women Lawyers”
  • Listed in Birmingham’s B-Metro Magazine’s 2018 “Top Lawyers” List
  • 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

Community Involvement

o Jeannie is a Deacon at Independent Presbyterian Church.

o A Board Member of the Estelle and Charles Campbell Charitable Foundation which gives away over $1 Million per year to charities in Alabama and Pennsylvania.

o Certified therapy dog handler with her two children with Hand in Paw in an effort to achieve at least 100 hours of community service per year.

o Jeannie is a founding Board Member of the Hero Scholarship Fund for underprivileged youth at the IPC Day School.

Highlights

  • Taylor v. Drummond (12/03/2018) – Obtained favorable decision in a Federal Black Lung matter on appeal before Administrative Law Judge Lee Romero where the miner worked in underground mining for more than 15 years, never smoked, and was diagnosed with chronic asthma; but the Court held the evidence did not support a finding of pneumoconiosis or a totally disabling respiratory impairment from pneumoconiosis or otherwise.
  • Riddle v. Drummond (03/16/2018) – Obtained a favorable decision in a Federal Black Lung matter before Administrative Law Judge Scott R. Morris in a matter involving a request for modification where claimant worked in mining for 24.5 years but the evidence did not support a change of the miner’s condition since his previous claim was denied.
  • Salors v. Drummond (03/07/2018) – Obtained a favorable decision in a Federal Black Lung matter on a request for modification and appeal before Administrative Law Judge Larry W. Price where the miner had at least 15 years of qualifying coal mine employment, but the miner failed to prove a change in his condition of entitlement or establish the presence of pneumoconiosis.
  • Poe v. Drummond (05/30/2017) – Obtained a favorable decision in a Federal Black Lung matter on appeal before Administrative Law Judge Adel Odiguard in a subsequent claim matter and the miner had more than 15 years of qualifying coal mine employment, but the Court held that the evidence did not support or establish total respiratory disability.
  • 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.
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Presentations and Publications

  • Alabama 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).
  • Speaker on Panel, “Is There a Viable Alternative for Dealing with Workplace Injuries?,” August 2017 Alabama Self-Insurers Association (ASIA) (speech).
  • Speaker on Panel, “Is There a Viable Alternative for Dealing with Workplace Injuries?” Medical Benefits – Post Judgment Settlement, February 2017 ASIA Winter Conference (speech).
  • Ethical Considerations for Case Managers in Workers’ Compensation Claims, Alabama Self-Insurer’s Association’s (ASIA) Summer Conference, August 2016 (speech).
  • Speaker on Panel, “Is There a Viable Alternative for Dealing with Workplace Injuries?” Drug and Alcohol Testing, The Alabama Workers’ Compensation Conference, Birmingham, Alabama September 18, 2015 (speech).
  • Speaker on Panel, “Is There a Viable Alternative for Dealing with Workplace Injuries?” Dealing with Hearing Loss Claims, ASIA Summer Conference, August 2014 (speech).
  • Providing Panel Physicians in Workers’ Compensation Cases, presented at Birmingham Bar Association CLE, “Breakfast with the Judges,” Birmingham, Alabama, November 14, 2013 (speech).
  • Investigating and Fully Defending Workers’ Compensation Cases, June 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).
  • Medicare Compliance, HIPPA and Related Issues in Workers’ Compensation Cases, ASIA August 2010 (speech).

Fun Facts

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.

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