J. Cecil Gardner
Cecil Gardner specializes in union-side labor law, and has represented labor organizations before state and federal courts and various federal administrative agencies for the last thirty years.
Cecil is graduate of the University of Alabama Law School and is admitted to practice before all of the district courts in the State of Alabama, as well as the U. S. Courts of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit, the Eleventh Circuit, the Federal Circuit, and the U. S. Supreme Court. He has been listed in Naifeth and Smith “The Best Lawyers in America,” Labor and Employment Law, in each of the editions of that publication.
Mary E. Olsen
Mary Elizabeth Olsen, admitted to practice law in the state and federal courts of Alabama (1994) and Florida (1995), has been associated with the firm in Mobile, Alabama, since August of 1994 and became a member of the firm in March 2002.
Her current practice primarily involves WARN Act litigation on a nationwide basis. She has prosecuted more than one hundred WARN Act cases and served as class counsel in at least thirty-five. In addition to her work at The Gardner Firm, Mary is also of counsel at the prominent New York City firm Lankenau & Miller, LLP.
Michael Vance McCrary graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 1998. Vance received his law degree from the University of Alabama in 2001. While in law school, Vance clerked for several nationally recognized union-side labor law firms, including the predecessor firm to The Gardner Firm. Vance began work as an associate with the firm upon graduation from law school. He was made a full partner at the age of 30.
His current practice is primarily in the area of labor and employment law, and toxic torts. He is admitted to practice law in the state courts of Alabama and all federal district courts in Alabama, as well as the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. Vance spends a great deal of his time in the litigation of mass tort, class action, toxic tort and complex product liability claims. He regularly litigates labor and employment cases before state and federal courts. And, he has successfully handled many administrative hearings.
Reggie Copeland, Jr.
Reggie Copeland, Jr. was born in Mobile, Alabama and graduated from Spring Hill College in 1975. Reggie received his law degree from Cumberland School of Law in 1978. He joined the firm as a partner effective May 1, 2011. Reggie is admitted to practice in all state courts in Alabama and in United States District Courts in the Northern and Southern districts of Alabama. He is also admitted to practice in the United States Courts of Appeals for the 5th and 11th Circuits. He has tried more than 100 jury trials in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Illinois. His successes include a products liability case in which he secured a verdict for his client in excess of $22 million.
Reggie is an experienced mediator and litigator who focuses primarily on product liability, nursing home-related claims, personal injury, insurance disputes, bad faith and commercial litigation.
S. Russ Copeland
Russ has over 23 years of litigation experience. He spent the first seven years of his practice working for a large defense firm in Mobile where the bulk of his practice consisted of representing doctors and hospitals in medical malpractice litigation. For the last 16 years, Russ' exclusive emphasis has been on the plaintiff's side focusing primarily on personal injury, products liability, nursing home related claims and insurance disputes. While the bulk of his cases have been in Mobile and Baldwin counties, Russ has handled cases throughout the state. Russ feels that his past experience on the defense side gives him a unique advantage when fighting for his clients.
William F. Patty
William F. Patty graduated summa cum laude from Cumberland School of Law in 1990. Bill has practiced civil litigation, education, administrative law, and labor and employment law for over 24 years. Bill also represents professionals and businesses before their licensing and certification agencies. Bill is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, and is admitted to practice before all courts in the State of Alabama. Bill is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
David earned his bachelor's degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2004. He earned his law degree from Howard University School of Law as a Merit Fellows Scholar in 2008. At Howard, David earned CALI awards in alternative dispute resolution, equal employment law, labor law, and legal writing.
David practices labor and employment law with an emphasis on class claims under the WARN Act, labor relations under the NLRA, and collections of delinquent contributions under the LMRA, ERISA, and MPPAA. David is admitted to practice law in all the state and federal courts in Alabama. He regularly litigates class claims in courts across the nation.
Tom attended the University of Alabama School of Law, earning his Juris Doctor in 2005, and the University of Alabama, earning his Bachelor of Science in 2002. Tom also completed a Master of Business in Administration at The George Washington University School of Business in 2010.
Tom represents local unions with their general legal matters and numerous health and pension plans with ERISA and other regulatory compliance. Tom regularly fights for the interests of laid off employees in the ligations of WARN Act cases and individuals injured as the result of the negligence or arrogance of others. As the son of a public school educator, Tom also works to protect the rights of teachers in our local schools.
Sam Heldman’s practice focuses on briefwriting, at the appellate and trial-court level in both federal and state courts, and on pre-litigation strategy and research. He works, in this capacity, with lawyers outside the firm who desire assistance in this aspect of litigation, as well as with colleagues in the firm. He has argued before the United States Supreme Court, before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit sitting en banc, and many times before various federal appellate courts. His appellate practice includes criminal as well as civil matters on a wide variety of topics, including complex litigation, labor and employment rights, and constitutional matters.
Sam was first admitted to the bar in 1990, and has been with the firm in its Washington office since 1998. He graduated from Harvard College in 1986 and from Harvard Law School magna cum laude in 1989; during law school he was a member of the Harvard Law Review.
Hilary E. Ball has been with the firm, in its Washington D.C. office, since 1998. Hilary was educated at Trinity University in San Antonio; at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland; at Cumberland School of Law (JD magna cum laude 1991); and at the Georgetown University Law Center (Master's in Employment and Labor Law, with honors, 1999). She is admitted to practice in Alabama, in the District of Columbia, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico (by way of exam), in various other federal courts and the US Supreme Court.
She practices primarily in the areas of class actions, and labor and employment law, as well as complex litigation in state and federal courts. She is experienced as an arbitrator and mediator in securities litigation. Among her cases has been one of the largest recoveries in Puerto Rico, through settlement, in any multi-plaintiff cases involving discrimination by a local government against its employees on the basis of political affiliation.