Michael F. Walker

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

Michael Walker handles a wide variety of complex civil litigation matters across a number of industries. Much of his practice involves the defense of product liability and toxic tort claims against businesses that design and make things or operate industrial facilities. He has also represented businesses in commercial litigation, primarily in disputes involving intellectual property, real estate, and class actions. He has tried cases to verdict in court and arbitrated matters to successful conclusions before panels of both the American Arbitration Association and JAMS. Michael is recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® for Commercial Litigation 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 hip and knee replacement devices, mineral spirits, electronic vaping devices, clothes dryers, tires, and smoke detectors. He has managed and resolved disputes at all stages, from pre-suit through appeal. For cases that cannot be disposed of early on, 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, some of Michael’s 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 in arbitrations of national manufacturers in disputes with their regional distributors.

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 in 2016. He currently serves as chair-elect of the Birmingham Bar Association’s Federal Practice Section.

Notable Matters
  • Defense of a cleaning solvent manufacturer in product liability exposure matters in multiple cases in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 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. He also recently successfully obtained the dismissal of another such case in a South Carolina state court based on a lack of personal jurisdiction.
  • Defense of multiple international manufacturers of medical devices, electronic vaping devices, and other items in product liability matters. This work has included preparation for a national MDL, the defense of various individual actions, and advising clients on how to limit product liability exposure under the laws of various states.
  • Defense of a coal plant operator in a 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.
  • Defense of 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, obtained dismissal of numerous claims and transfer of case to a Maryland federal court. Ultimately, the remaining claims were dismissed on summary judgment motion. Thereafter, the court ordered that our 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 non-profit 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 our client and rejected the defendant’s counterclaims.