Starnes Davis Florie

Richard E. Davis

Partner

Richard E. Davis

Richard E. Davis

Partner

100 Brookwood Place
7th Floor
Birmingham, AL 35209

Richard is a trial and appellate lawyer who also represents clients in law enforcement investigations and regulatory agency administrative proceedings.

He has defended clients in matters presenting substantial financial and reputational risks to their institutional and professional viability and, for some individuals, risks to their liberty interests.

Richard has also –

  • recovered millions of dollars for plaintiffs and counterclaimants in commercial and environmental cases
  • defeated alleged Medicare “overpayment” claims totaling millions of dollars
  • obtained an injunction protecting a rare wetlands ecosystem for a university
  • secured, pro bono publico, the release from federal prison of an individual incarcerated for 30 years for a non-violent drug crime.

His practice is primarily devoted to environmental, natural resources, False Claims Act, and commercial law as well as emerging issues in agriculture, climate accountability and mitigation (including carbon sequestration), anticompetitive practices, import/export violations, privacy, and artificial intelligence liability.  Richard also defends clients under investigation for or charged with environmental, financial, and healthcare crimes.

In addition to his work in Alabama, he has litigated in Mississippi, Oklahoma, and South Carolina; addressed regulatory matters in Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, and Washington, D.C.; and represented clients in investigations originating in Washington, D.C., New York, and Detroit, Michigan.

Professional Recognition

  • AV-Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Senior Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America Trial Lawyer Honorary
  • Top Leading Litigator by Chambers USA
  • Best Lawyers in America®—Litigation-Environmental, Commercial Litigation, Environmental Law, and Natural Resources. In addition, Best Lawyers in America® has named Richard Davis the “Birmingham Natural Resources Law Lawyer of the Year” for 2017, 2019, 2021, and 2024.
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers
  • Chair, Birmingham Bar Association Federal Practice Section (2015-2016)
  • Chair, Alabama State Bar Environmental Law Section (2010-2011)
  • Editor-in-Chief, Cumberland Law Review (1988-1989)

Community Involvement

  • Pending pro bono representations in cases of wrongful conviction or “over-sentencing”
  • Member, Friends of Rickwood Field (America’s Oldest Baseball Park, 1910)

Highlights

  • False Claims Act: Representing asphalt and construction companies against allegations of fraud and whistleblower retaliation pertaining to paving of a highway and an airfield; already obtained dismissal of 4 individual defendants.
  • Environmental/Natural Resources/Land Use: Representing county commission as plaintiff in effort to protect free-flowing Halawakee Creek (National Rivers Inventory: “outstanding remarkable values”), its watershed, local water supply, and ecological habitat from potential catastrophic impacts by a proposed granite quarry.
  • Environmental: Defending a city waterworks and sewer board and individual board members in a putative class action regarding PFAS and related chemicals released into the Tennessee River by upstream manufacturers.
  • Environmental: Defending two water works and sewer boards in two state enforcement cases and one CWA citizen suit regarding sanitary sewer overflows (“SSOs”) and permit non-compliance.
  • Commercial Fraud/RICO: Defending corporation, CEO, and CFO in federal lawsuit by customer alleging breach of contract, fraud, and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act violations and damages of $370,836,753.
  • Environmental/Commercial: representing recycling and transport service companies in federal-lead and state civil enforcement proceeding after successful representation in federal criminal investigation of hazardous waste disposal practices (no charges filed); represented same companies in fraud and contract litigation against disposal site owner and obtained judgment of $929,478.
  • False Claims Act: represented or currently representing numerous healthcare providers—including medical doctors, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, nursing homes, physician practices, pharmacies, therapy and rehabilitation providers, and a hospice—in False Claims, Anti-Kickback, and other investigations with claims totaling over $10,000,000.
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Presentations and Publications

  • “Surprise! You May Be an Environmental Criminal: Recognizing the Quagmire as a Prerequisite to Managing Risk, Manufacture Alabama Environmental Conference (November 16, 2016) (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) (presentation)
  • “Strategic Legal Risk Management—Contingency Planning to Avoid or Mitigate Legal Crises,” “Investigations—Internal and Governmental,” and “What Accountants Should Know About White Collar Crime,” Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants (August 13, 2015; August 31, 2015) (presentations)

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