What We Do

Smith & Bahakel offers clients decades worth of experience in a wide variety of legal matters. We represent individuals, small businesses, and large corporations in litigation in state and federal courts across Alabama, at both the trial and appellate levels.  We take on cases large and small.  We are continuously working on our business model to meet client needs to control costs, handle matters expeditiously, and reach creative solutions.  When appropriate, we set the agenda early in litigation to posture the case for early resolution – whether accomplished by mediation, early motion practice, or other means.

 

Some of our practice areas include the following:

Appellate Practice

Our attorneys have argued and won cases before the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals, the Alabama Supreme Court, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. We understand the importance of identifying and preserving appellate issues at the trial level.  Otherwise, they can never provide the basis for a successful appeal.  For that reason, our clients often retain the firm to assist other lawyers during trial to frame key issues, preserve the record, and prepare post-trial motions.  Our attorneys are also experienced in petitioning appellate courts for emergency writs and other relief from “non-final” trial court orders.

Catastrophic Injury

Clients rely on our firm’s decades of experience handling high-exposure cases involving catastrophic injury or death. Our attorneys are sensitive to the particular challenges such cases bring.  We have developed a reputation for vigorously defending these cases, always looking for unexpected opportunities to obtain the best possible result for the client.  We explore all options to shift the loss to the other parties or their insurers.  Crafting a winning argument requires close collaboration with the client, an exhaustive investigation of the facts, and skillful development of expert testimony.  Our firm prepares every case for trial with this in mind.

Complex Litigation

Clients often entrust our firm with complicated contractual disputes, fraud and bad faith actions, multi-party litigation, difficult insurance coverage disputes, and third-party actions.  These cases can be document intensive and often involve time-consuming and exhaustive “e-discovery” which presents its own set of challenges.  We pride ourselves on finding creative solutions to complex problems and achieving the best possible result for the client through settlement or trial.

Construction Litigation

Our firm often represents developers, project owners, general contractors, subcontractors, architects, design professionals, and third-party vendors in all types of construction disputes.  The firm handles cases involving residential and commercial property, hotels, apartment complexes, parking lots, industrial plants, municipal property (roads, parks, etc.), and coastal condominiums.  We are experienced in litigating issues involving personal injury, breach of contract, faulty workmanship, construction defects, contractor/subcontractor disputes, as well as disputes over performance bonds.

Employment Law

We represent employers and employees in claims arising out of the workplace, including unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliatory discharge, negligent hiring, wrongful termination, and all other employment-related claims. 

General Litigation

Smith & Bahakel provides aggressive representation to businesses and individuals in litigation of all types in courts across the State of Alabama.  No matter what kind of case a client may bring to the firm, our attorneys are committed to providing zealous representation both inside and outside the courtroom.

Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith

We provide solid, practical coverage advice, partner with claim professionals investigating claims, and represent carriers and policyholders in coverage litigation in courts across Alabama.  Our experience covers all lines of insurance, including commercial general liability, professional liability, directors and officers liability, automobile liability, garage liability, environmental liability, and employment liability.  We are often called upon to defend carriers after they have been sued for bad faith, but pride ourselves on identifying coverage issues early, enabling clients to resolve disputes before costly litigation occurs.  Our clients appreciate the aggressive representation we provide in the courtroom and value our ability to find creative, efficient solutions to difficult problems in the increasingly complicated world of insurance coverage.

Premises Liability

Our team is frequently called upon to represent businesses facing claims resulting from accidents on their property.  Clients benefit from our firm’s decades of experience defending such cases, as well as our comprehensive understanding of the unique legal defenses available under Alabama law.

Products Liability

Claims against product manufacturers, retailers, and distributors have increased in recent years due to new laws and a heightened consumer awareness of product safety.  We offer a wealth of experience in this area of the law and have handled a broad range of product liability cases alleging manufacturing and design defects, failure to warn, safety misrepresentations, breach of warranty, and statutory violations.

Trucking Litigation

The firm regularly defends all manner of claims arising from commercial vehicle accidents.  This includes claims relating to driver qualifications and negligent maintenance of the vehicle.  We help clients and their insurers navigate the complexities of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and understand how those requirements impact litigation and liability in Alabama.  When an accident occurs, our team of attorneys, investigators, and experts act quickly to gather facts, identify and interview witnesses, and preserve the accident scene while key evidence is still fresh and available.  We have successfully defended trucking cases in Alabama for decades and are active members of the Transportation Lawyers Association.