Tom Warburton has appeared in state and federal courts across the country, and has tried a wide variety of cases to verdict or final judgment. He has significant arbitration experience, first chair trial experience in both state and federal court, and has been recognized by Alabama Super Lawyers, Benchmark Litigation, and the Birmingham Magazine. He has tried cases and arbitrated representing both those asserting claims as well as the parties defending against them, and has prevailed on behalf of both.
Tom handles cases across the country, and has litigated and arbitrated in dozens of venues from Alabama to Arizona. Tom has also litigated international disputes.
While he has litigated and tried cases to successful result for clients in a number of industries, Tom’s practice has concentrated in recent years on cases relating to product design and manufacture (product liability), commercial and business disputes, litigation relating to natural resources (coal, oil and gas, and timber) and real property (landowner use rights, ownership disputes, construction, and property taxation).
By virtue of his experience in litigating natural resources disputes, Tom is familiar with coal and natural gas extraction, and the regulatory framework governing these industries. He chairs the firm's Natural Resources Industry Team, and has tried cases regarding mineral rights, oil and gas, land use (zoning and other restrictions), as well as other matters relating to mining and natural resource extraction.
Additionally, he is experienced in the following:
Trade Secret and Protective Order Issues
Expert Witness Development and Challenges
Corporate Witness Preparation, Presentation, and Examination
Depositions and Witness Interviews and Development
Management of Regional Portfolios of Cases
Coordination of Cases with Nationwide Counsel
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation, 2016-2022 Listed in Benchmark Litigation "Local Litigation Star," Alabama, 2015-2021 "Future Star," Alabama, 2014 Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers Business Litigation, 2020 General Litigation, 2021 Listed in Who's Who Legal: Product Liability Defence, 2019-2021 Listed in Alabama Super Lawyers General Litigation, 2014-2015 "Rising Stars," General Litigation, 2010, 2013 Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent Rated Birmingham Business Journal's "Top 40 Under 40," 2016 Listed in B-Metro,"Top Lawyers," 2019-2020 Marubeni v. S.E. Wood Fiber (American Arbitration Association International Center for Dispute Resolution) Represented several Alabama companies in a breach of contract and fraud case against a Japanese shipping company and its American subsidiary. The arbitration before a three-judge panel resulted in a $6.2 million award in favor of our clients. CLF; DEA Birmingham, LLC v. Jefferson County Board of Equalization, CV-07-1495; 2891 (Circuit Court of Jefferson County, AL) Represented building owner in appeal of ad valorem taxes assumed upon commercial property. Following a two-day trial, panel of appraisers reduced the value of the property at issue by over $10 million resulting in significant tax liability savings for our client. Bradley v. Cooper Tire, 4:03cv00094-DPJ-JCS (United States District Court, Southern District of Mississippi) Jury trial of products liability action. Handled examination of experts and other witnesses. Obtained judgment on all claims. Drummond Co. Inc. v. Walter Industries, Inc., CV-02-673, 962 So. 2d 753 (Ala.2006) (Circuit Court of Tuscaloosa County, AL 2006) Represented a family of companies in a lawsuit which called into question the ownership of nearly the entirety of their strip-mineable coal and alleged over $400 million in compensatory damages. When tried to a jury, the plaintiff was awarded $10, and coal ownership was restored to our client. Obtained affirmance of the trial court’s favorable rulings and judgment, but reversal of the trial court’s judgment dismissing our client’s counterclaims. City of Graysville, et al. v. Alabama Dept. of Environmental Mgmt, Civ. Action No. 2008-901954 (Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama) Obtained summary judgment for a landfill developer against claims that the Alabama Department of Environmental Management’s (ADEM) issuance of our client’s landfill permit violated statutory and regulatory requirements. Following limited discovery, negotiations to obtain a limited initial undisputed factual record, and coordination of the defense of the case with counsel representing the State of Alabama’s interests, prevailed by arguing that the municipal and individual plaintiffs failed to adequately participate in ADEM’s process so as to exhaust their administrative remedies. The trial court’s summary judgment was upheld on appeal by the Alabama Supreme Court. Alabama Oil & Gas, LLC v. Allen Rodgers, et al., CV-06-94 (Circuit Court of Pickens County, AL) Represented the purchaser of oil and gas rights in a suit in which the landowner failed to transfer good title and alleged negligence on the part of our client. Obtained a judgment following trial for return of the entirety of the client’s funds, with interest. RJR Mining Co. v. Board of Zoning Adjustment of Jefferson County, CV-08-808 (Circuit Court of Jefferson County, AL) Represented a coal mining company in its appeal of an adverse zoning decision, obtaining reversal of the zoning body’s decision denying our client the ability to surface mine over $18 million in coal. Following trial, the court granted our client a zoning variance providing for the desired mining. Vulcan Aero v. Walker County, Alabama, CV-07-382 (Circuit Court of Walker County, AL) Represented the operator and manager of a municipal regional airport as lead counsel in a dispute arising between it and the county that had granted the operator its lease rights. Obtained a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction prior to settling the case on favorable terms. In re Oil Spill by the Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon” Involved in representation of two defendants in the largest oil spill in the history of the United States.