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General Defense
Vernis & Bowling of Birmingham, LLC
3300 Cahaba Road, Suite 200
Birmingham, Alabama 35223Locate in Google Maps
Telephone: 205-445-1026
Fax: 205-445-1036
Practice Areas
About Us
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Insurance Law Podcasts
Established: 1970

Practice Areas
  • Civil Litigation
  • Insurance Law
  • Workers' Compensation
  • Premises Liability
  • Labor and Employment
  • Civil Rights
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Complex Litigation
  • Product Liability
  • Directors and Officers Liability
  • Errors and Omissions
  • Construction Law
  • Construction Defect
  • Environmental Liability
  • Personal and Commercial Vehicle
  • Appellate Practice
  • Admiralty and Maritime Law
  • Real Estate
  • Family Law
  • Elder Law
  • Liability Defense
  • SIU/Fraud Litigation
  • Education Law (ESE/IDEA)
  • Property and Casualty (Commercial and Personal Lines)
  • Long-Haul Trucking Liability
  • Government Law
  • Public Law
  • Criminal
  • White Collar
  • Business Litigation
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About Us
VERNIS & BOWLING has proudly served the needs of its clients since 1970. Frank C. Vernis, Jr. and James W. Bowling devoted themselves to creating a full service law firm providing exceptional, cost-effective, personal representation by experienced, highly qualified personnel.

This philosophy continues into a new generation. G. Jeffrey Vernis, Esquire, and Robert C. Bowling, Esquire, the sons of the firm's original founders, comprise the firm's management team. Together they oversee the firm's direction and ensure its mission and goals are achieved.

VERNIS & BOWLING is proud to have received an "AV" rating from the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, evidencing the highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards.

Vernis & Bowling offers personalized and cost-effective legal representation to businesses, insurance companies, self insureds and government entities. We pride ourselves on the fact that 96% of our cases are resolved without a trial, but have built our reputation on the 4% that do require trial. That’s why we don't just meet our clients' expectations, we exceed them.

While many of our clients retain VERNIS & BOWLING for our exceptional trial experience and skills, we recognize that not all cases go to trial. We are keenly aware that smart, innovative resolution strategies effectively save our clients money, both in indemnity and expenses. These resolution strategies include early evaluation and ADR (mediation), analysis to determine what is needed to effectively resolve a matter and creating an early exit plan for litigation. Identifying and implementing an agreed exit path with our client partners, with an eye on the bottom line, sets our firm

Our litigation philosophy begins with our firm's primary mission: providing exceptional, cost-effective legal representation. To support that mission, we are careful about firm overhead. We maintain reasonable, professional offices in business locations that offer reduced costs. We utilize costsaving technologies that offer efficient file management and document creation. We consistently create and utilize different fee structures, including fixed fee, tiered volume reduction, annual retainers and success bonuses.

Personal service and attention are the trademarks of VERNIS & BOWLING. Our legal representation and advice are unsurpassed in the industry. Each of our attorneys provides the highest level of personal service to our clients. By offering this level of service, we consistently exceed client expectations. Our Management, Client Services and Accounting teams are available to assist our clients with their specific needs. We look forward to continuing to build our partnership and encourage you to contact us to see how we may be further able to assist you.

The firm takes pride in the racial, ethnic and religious diversity reflected by its attorneys and staff. Each of its offices reflects the diversity and makeup of the regions we serve.

Our attorneys are selected for their experience, skill, legal education and interests. Some of our attorneys have joined the firm after years of litigation experience or after years of "hands on" involvement in business or government service. Others join the firm directly from distinguished law school careers. Additionally, our attorneys are innovators and leaders in their areas of practice and often serve as lecturers to insurance companies, self-insureds and trade association groups.

At the inception of every case, the firm's attorneys give the client a prompt and thorough analysis covering issues such as available defenses, a concise discovery plan, possible exposure, settlement values and an estimated cost of defense. The attorney and the claims representative work together as a team to decide strategy and direction. The firm believes that avoiding protracted litigation is largely the result of experienced, informed teamwork between the client and VERNIS & BOWLING.

Our firm gives its attorneys a strong team of support staff, including certified legal assistants, secretaries and paralegals. The firm is equipped with a state-of-the-art, fully networked computer system that enables its attorneys to have both local and remote, immediate access to e-mail communications and legal research for the most current court decisions and statutory revisions.

The firm also maintains a secure intranet for its clients' billing and handling guidelines and preferences, pleadings, motions and orders. We host on-site educational seminars, maintain an active presence in industry-related organizations and communicate new legal developments in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Mississippi to our clients through the Vernis & Bowling Law Update and our website.
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Personnel Information
Managing Attorney
William F. Smith, II
Birmingham, AL
  • Alabama, 1987
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama, 1988
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama, 1997
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 1999
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama, 2004
  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • The University of Alabama, B.S. (with honors), 1984
  • The University of Alabama School of Law, J.D., 1987
Sigma Gamma Epsilon
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Chelsey A. Mitchell Edgerly
Birmingham, AL
  • Alabama, 2010
  • U.S. District Court, Middle, Northern and Southern Districts of Alabama
  • Alabama State Bar
  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • The University of Alabama, B.S. (summa cum laude), 2007
  • Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, J.D., 2010
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Maloree G. McDonough
Birmingham, AL
  • Mississippi, 2008
  • Alabama, 2009
  • University of Missouri School of Law, J.D., 2008
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Tracey C. McDonald
Birmingham, AL
  • Alabama, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, Middle, Northern and Southern Districts of Alabama
  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham, B.S.N., 1994
  • Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, J.D., 2003
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Workers' Compensation
Michael Barratt
Birmingham, AL
  • Alabama, 2004
  • U.S. District Court, Middle and Northern Districts of Alabama
  • Alabama and Birmingham (WC Division, A.M.A.) Bar Associations
  • The University of North Alabama, B.S., 2001
  • Mississippi College School of Law, J.D., 2004
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Additional Links
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(See profile under North Palm Beach, FL for additional information)