Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
As a trial lawyer who understands business, Bob Patterson has spent the last 40 years representing all types of businesses in complex litigation in courtrooms from California to Florida. Bob combines business acumen with courtroom experience to assure his clients make informed business decisions about business litigation.
A seasoned courtroom lawyer, Bob loves the challenge of complex litigation. He is energized by the “learning experience” presented by complex cases with novel issues, identifies the key elements of the case and focuses his efforts on those factors that are “outcome determinative.” He regards each case as an opportunity to apply for his client’s benefit the lessons learned trying everything from personal injury to securities cases for companies large and small. He is a trial lawyer, rather than a litigator, who knows what will be important in the courtroom, and understands how to present complicated concepts about complex transactions in way that guides the fact finder to the best resolution for his clients.
Importantly but uniquely for a commercial trial lawyer, Bob understands business from an insider’s perspective. He has held leadership roles in numerous organizations, serves as the outside general counsel for several companies and served as the managing partner of his law firm for six years. He understands that business litigation does not exist in a vacuum, and appreciates the many organizational, tax, accounting and risk management issues that impact the development and the resolution of business disputes.
So, what is “complex commercial litigation?” Bob likes the “three-dimensional chess game” presented by commercial litigation that almost always involves considerations beyond the legal issues in the case. For example, there may be coverage issues that are dramatically impacted by the litigation, whether it is assuring coverage for a director sued for breach of fiduciary duty or managing a mass tort to assure a resolution within the policy limits. Disputes between shareholders involve not only complex accounting and business valuation issues, but also impact personnel and business operations. Bob sees more go wrong in business in one year than most CEOs (hopefully) see go wrong in a lifetime, and uses his experience working in many industries to develop a critical path for the resolution of those issues.
For example, the changing world of heath care presents unique issues in litigation. The volume of claims in a heavily regulated industry foments tension that pervades the economics of business relationships in the healthcare industry. Bob wants to understand the issue from the inside out. For example, he wants to learn how regulation impacts the logistics of healthcare and loves the science involved in defending a medical malpractice case. He also understands the business judgment required to manage business litigation, and manages those cases with the perspective of his experience in managing litigation in all phases of the health care industry. Changes in reimbursement have stressed providers of all types, forcing a re-examination of vicarious liability issues inherent in the doctor/hospital relationship, and making the governance decisions about privileges, investigation and reporting particularly sensitive. At a corporate level, Bob understands applies his involvement in reimbursement issues and internal investigations of potential Stark Law violations to the defense of False Claims Act cases. At a more global level, Bob has defended a large hospital chain against allegations that it failed to provide appropriate charitable care, defended a major mental health care benefits provider against allegations that it wrongfully terminated a provider and has consulted on the anti-trust ramifications of the referral relationships between hospitals and large provider groups. Bob's experience in healthcare litigation of all types allows him to work closely with management on the resolution of the range of issues facing healthcare executives navigating the risks of an ever-evolving industry.