Michael F. Walker

Counsel
Legal Assistant
Carla Batchelor
P: 205.521.8214 cbatchelor@bradley.com

Michael Walker is an experienced litigator who has handled a wide variety of complex civil litigation matters arising out of a number of industries. Much of his current practice involves the defense of product liability and toxic tort claims against businesses that design and make things or operate industrial facilities. He handles product liability litigation for a Fortune 300 manufacturer throughout the Southeast and for a foreign-based, global market leader manufacturer throughout the United States. Michael is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), is recognized by The Best Lawyers in America®, and is Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent Rated.

In his product liability practice, Michael has defended the design and manufacture of all manner of products. Examples include medical devices such as hip and knee replacement devices, cosmetic facial implants, and femoral plates; mineral spirits; electronic vaping devices; clothes dryers; respirators; tires; and smoke detectors. He counsels manufacturers regarding applicable regulations and advises them on product warranties, warnings, instructions, packaging, and similar materials. He has managed and resolved disputes at all stages, from pre-suit through appeal. For matters that cannot be disposed of at an early stage, he has significant experience in working with and challenging expert witnesses and in formulating and executing e-discovery plans. 

Outside of the product liability arena, he has represented businesses in commercial litigation in disputes in a wide range of areas, from intellectual property to financial fraud, and from disputes over software programs and mobile apps to real estate litigation. Other representative matters include the defense of a coal plant operator in a long-running series of class action and mass action lawsuits brought by different groups of nearby property owners, as well as his representation of national manufacturers in arbitrated disputes with their regional distributors. He has tried cases to verdict in court and arbitrated matters to decision before panels of both the American Arbitration Association and JAMS. 

In addition, working with several local federal judges, Michael re-drafted the Local Rules of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, leading to the issuance of a substantially revised version of those rules. He thereafter chaired the Birmingham Bar Association’s Federal Practice Section. In the community, he served for many years in leadership roles for Childcare Resources, a Central Alabama United Way affiliate, including as chair of that agency’s Board of Directors in 2021.

Notable Matters
  • Defended a global medical device manufacturer in various product liability matters. This work included assistance with federal multidistrict litigation related to hip replacement devices and the defense of various actions in the Southeast.
  • Defended a cleaning solvent manufacturer in product liability exposure matters, dozens of which were filed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Houston, Texas, St. Louis, Missouri, and in several southeastern states. Michael developed jurisdictional defenses in these matters that have been accepted by several Philadelphia courts as grounds for dismissal of cases involving forum-shopping plaintiffs, which represented a shift from prior Pennsylvania law. He also successfully obtained the dismissal of similar cases in South Carolina and Florida state courts based on a lack of personal jurisdiction.
  • Defended an international manufacturer of electronic vaping device manufacturer in product liability matters. Michael also advises this foreign company regarding U.S. product liability law.
  • Defended a coal plant operator in series of lawsuits involving claims of nuisance and trespass. These cases have included multiple appeals to the Alabama Supreme Court, hundreds of named plaintiffs, and thousands of potential class members and properties, requiring management and litigation of complex discovery and trial plan issues.
  • Defended a national paperboard and box manufacturer and two of its executives against trade secret and fraud claims. This case was brought in Alabama state court by a company operated by several well-known Birmingham residents. After removal to federal court, we obtained dismissal of numerous claims and transfer of case to a Maryland federal court. Ultimately, the remaining claims were dismissed on our summary judgment motion. Thereafter, the court ordered that the client was entitled to recover its attorneys’ fees from plaintiffs due to a showing that plaintiffs’ claims were groundless.
  • Representation at trial of an international nonprofit in an intellectual property and tortious interference lawsuit filed in federal court. After a seven-day trial, the jury awarded a multimillion-dollar verdict and injunctive relief in favor of the client and rejected the defendant’s counterclaims.