International Society of Primerus Law Firms
James L. Pattillo
Practice Areas:

Birmingham Attorney
James L. Pattillo

Phone: 800.223.6159


Languages: English

With over 15 years of litigation experience in both state and federal courts in Alabama and more than 70 trials to verdict, it goes without saying that Jim Pattillo is comfortable in the courtroom. He focuses his practice on matters involving insurance coverage and bad faith liability, business and commercial litigation, professional and product liability, class action, toxic torts, and transportation. He is a frequent speaker and writer in the areas of trial practice and technique, litigation management, and social media policy and practice, has been a monthly legal columnist for CLM Magazine, and was the 2012 Chair of the Defense Research Institute’s (DRI) national Young Lawyers Section.

Jim believes that bad faith exposure presents unique challenges that are separate and distinct from contractual liability, and that an initial approach to these matters should involve several core tactics: an immediate review of the claims file and policy, an interview with the primary adjuster, an analysis of applicable law and jury charges, and a preliminary assessment of extra-contractual damages. He understands that having a clear and organized strategy, establishing and maintaining firm discovery deadlines, and extensive preparation are key to gaining an advantage as litigation proceeds to trial.

Practice Areas:

  • Business and Commercial Litigation
  • Extra-Contractual & Bad Faith Liability
  • Insurance
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Transportation


  • Furman University, 1997, B.A. in Business Administration
  • University of Florida, 1999, M.A.M.C.
  • Samford University Cumberland School of Law, 2002, J.D.

Representative Experience:

  • Counsel for multiple insurers, including a major national personal lines insurer for bad faith, enterprise, and company litigation for claims involving significant breach of contract claims, bad faith, and extra-contractual litigation
  • More than 15 years of litigating a variety of insurance, commercial, and general liability matters
  • More than 70 trials to verdict in Alabama – including over 15 trials to verdict in direct actions against insurers
  • More than 100 summary judgment motions briefed and argued
  • More than 20 cases argued in Alabama federal courts

Professional and Community Involvement:

  • American Bar Association: Member
  • American Inns of Court: Member
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI): Member; Chair, Young Lawyers’ Section (2012)
  • Alabama State Bar: Member
  • Alabama Defense Lawyers Association (ADLA): Member
  • Birmingham Bar Association: Member
  • Alabama Policy Institute: Associate Board Member
  • Vestavia Hills City Schools Foundation: Member, Board of Directors
  • Vulcan Select Youth Sports: Chair, Board of Directors

Awards and Recognition:

  • Selected for inclusion by Mid-South Region Super Lawyers® in 2017 in the field of personal injury defense, general
  • Selected for inclusion by Alabama Super Lawyers® in 2011-2014 as a Rising Star in the field of personal injury defense, general
  • Listed by Birmingham Magazine among its 2012-2013 “Top Attorneys”

Publications and Presentations:

  • Author, Building an All-Star Lineup for Litigation, CLM Magazine (March 2015)
  • Author, Making New Year’s Resolutions That Stick, CLM Magazine (January 2016)
  • Author, How an Aggressive Global Litigation Strategy Combats Morning Sickness, CLM Magazine (October 2014)
  • Author, Can Your Kids Get You Sued?, CLM Magazine (August 2014)
  • Author, How to Cool Off a Hot Mess, CLM Magazine (June 2014)
  • Author, Navigating the False Advertising Claim, CLM Magazine (April 2014)
  • Author, What’s It Going to Cost? A Look at Major Drivers of Legal Expense, CLM Magazine (March 2014)
  • Author, Strategies to Attack Punitive Damages Claims, CLM Magazine (January 2014)
  • Author, Professional Conduct and Professionalism, CLM Magazine (December 2013)
  • Author, Paying Someone Else to Do Your Work, CLM Magazine (November 2013)
  • Author, Understanding the Generational Expectations of Claimants, CLM Magazine (October 2013)
  • Author, Looking to the Future: A Review of Tomorrow’s Lawyers, CLM Magazine (September 2013)
  • Author, Reaching the Decision Point in Litigation, CLM Magazine (August 2013)
  • Author, The Role of Battle-Tested Trial Skills in Case Evaluation, CLM Magazine (July 2013)
  • Author, Proper Use of Social Media Evidence in Litigation, CLM Magazine (June 2013)
  • Author, Top 10 Things to Do – and Not Do – While Waiting for a Jury Verdict, CLM Magazine (May 2013)
  • Author, Allocation of Fault Among Joint Tortfeasors: This Is Not Child’s Play, CLM Magazine (April 2013)
  • Author, Intangibles of Case Evaluation, Part Three: Witness Credibility, CLM Magazine (March 2013)
  • Author, Intangibles of Case Evaluation, Part Two: Evaluating Opposing Counsel, CLM Magazine (February 2013)
  • Author, The Intangibles of Case Evaluation, Part One: Venue, CLM Magazine (January 2013)
  • Author, A Roadmap for Guiding Your Insured Through Litigation, CLM Magazine (December 2012)
  • Author, Preparing for Your First Deposition, CLM Magazine (November 2012)
  • Author, For the Times, They Are a Changin’, CLM Magazine (October 2012)
  • Author, To Subro or Not to Subro, That Is the Question, CLM Magazine (September 2012)
  • Author, A Guide to Olympic Quality Mediation Results, CLM Magazine (August 2012)
  • Author, How to Deal with Difficult Plaintiff’s Counsel, CLM Magazine (July 2012)
  • Author, Defense Counsel as Representative of the Company, CLM Magazine (June 2012)
  • Author, Evaluating Claims of Economic Loss, CLM Magazine, CLM Magazine (May 2012)
  • Author, The Do’s and Don’ts of Case Reporting, CLM Magazine (April 2012)
  • Author, Legal Metrics that Matter with Defense Counsel, CLM Magazine (March 2012)
  • Author, Coverage Issues for Social Media Defamation in CGL and HO Policies, CLM Magazine (February 2012)
  • Author, A New Year’s Guide to Effective Partnerships with Defense Counsel, CLM Magazine (January 2012)


  • Alabama
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit

Contact This Firm

Christian & Small LLP

Suite 1800, Financial Center
505 North 20th Street
Birmingham, AL 35203
United States

Law Firm Contact: Michael A. Vercher

Tel: 800.223.6159

Fax: 205.328.7234



Member Since: 2003

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