Starnes Davis Florie

Sybil Vogtle Newton


Sybil Vogtle Newton

Sybil Vogtle Newton


100 Brookwood Place
7th Floor
Birmingham, AL 35209

Sybil Newton is a partner at Starnes Davis Florie and has practiced with the firm for over twenty-five years. She currently heads the firm’s Appellate Law and Written Advocacy Group. Prior to her position with the firm’s Appellate Group, Sybil had an active trial practice, participating in over twenty jury trials, defending primarily medical malpractice actions across the state. She has handled a variety of appeals on behalf of litigants and has been retained by non-litigants to intervene as amicus curiae as well. Sybil previously served as the Firm’s Administrative Partner for six years.

Professional Recognition

  • Appointed by the Alabama Supreme Court in 2018 to serve a fourth term as a member of the Standing Committee on Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure until October 2021
  • Recognized as a leading Appellate practitioner in the Eleventh Circuit Benchmark: Appellate
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America®for Appellate Law
  • AV Peer Rating by Martindale Hubbell for over 20 years
  • Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers® magazine as one of the top attorneys in the state of Alabama
  • Member of The American Society of Legal Advocates, which selects less than 1.5% of lawyers nationwide for membership

Community Involvement

  • Sybil volunteers as a CASA (court appointed special advocate for children), advocating for the best interests of abused or neglected children who have been removed from their homes.
  • Sybil is a member of the Cathedral Church of the Advent, which she attends with her husband and their five children.
  • She serves as a reader and radio reader at the Church of the Advent.


  • Obtained a favorable ruling from the Supreme Court of Alabama affirming the trial court’s granting of summary judgment in favor of their clients in a case involving allegations of harm caused by the long-term use of a medication.
  • Obtained a favorable ruling from the Alabama Supreme Court on behalf of their clients, a national little league baseball program and its local director, after a spectator was hit by a baseball and sustained a serious brain injury/bleed.
  • Obtained a favorable opinion from the Supreme Court of Alabama reversing and remanding a trial court’s denial of a client’s request to compel arbitration of claims filed against his business in Baldwin County, Alabama.
  • In June 2015, Sybil Newton, along with Jay Ezelle and Randy Sellers, obtained favorable ruling from the Alabama Supreme Court on behalf of a university provost in a suit involving an on-campus shooting of six faculty members. The Alabama Supreme Court affirmed all of the decisions of the trial court and rejected plaintiffs’ request for a rehearing.
  • In February of 2015, Sybil Newton, along with Gray Stiff, and Scott Stevens, obtained a favorable ruling from the 11th Circuit in a holding which affirmed the District Court’s (Southern District of Alabama) grant of summary judgment to insurance carrier in a case brought by an Alabama bank seeking payment under a financial institution bond. The bank alleged breach of contract and bad faith and sought over $1,000,000 from the carrier after a customer of the Bank defaulted on loans secured, in part, by a stock certificate which he had obtained fraudulently.  The primary issue on appeal was whether the fraudulently obtained stock certificate met the definition of a “counterfeit” under the terms of the bond.  The trial court held, and the 11th Circuit agreed, that the stock certificate at issue was an authentic document, even if procured under false pretenses, and does not meet the definition of “counterfeit” or trigger coverage under the bond.  The Bank’s application for rehearing en banc was denied by the 11th Circuit on April 20, 2015. The opinion issued by the 11th Circuit was the subject of several articles in Appellate Law 360.
  • In August of 2014, obtained favorable ruling from the 11th Circuit Court in favor of a national grocery store chain, affirming the district court’s grant of summary judgment in this premises liability/slip and fall case.  Warren Butler and Scott Stevens successfully obtained summary judgment for our Defendant, and Sybil Newton handled the briefing before the 11th Circuit following the Plaintiff’s appeal.  The case contains helpful language regarding the Plaintiff’s burden on causation, the need for expert testimony on issues outside of a layperson’s understanding, and the impropriety of basing a theory upon speculation.
  • In August of 2014, obtained ruling from The Alabama Supreme Court overruling Boudreaux v. Pettaway, 108 So.3d 486 (Ala. 2012), and expressly rejecting  the  prior holding in Boudreaux  that a potential bad faith claim against a defendant  physician ’s insurer should be considered as a  present  asset in determining whether a judgment should be remitted.
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Fun Facts

Sybil is the mother of five children. Her eldest, Adair is married and resides in Mobile, Alabama with her husband. Her second, Richard, is an architect in Atlanta, Georgia. Her twin boys, Ross and William are students at Auburn University. Her son Lucas is a student at Altamont high school.

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