W. Daniel Dee Miles III, left, and J. Cole Portis, right, of Beasley Allen Law Firm. ()
With little more than 200,000 people, Montgomery, Ala., is home to the Hank Williams Museum, the Montgomery Biscuits minor league baseball team — and a firm that takes on high-profile cases with national implications.
Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles in October 2013 secured a $3 million jury verdict in a “sudden unintended acceleration” lawsuit against the Toyota Motor Corp. Although the award amount wasn’t staggering, it was the first verdict against Toyota based on claims that a defective electronic throttle caused a deadly accident. Toyota negotiated a confidential settlement before jurors could weigh punitive damages.
The Oklahoma verdict was felt nationwide. Days later, the company opened the door to global settlement talks that could resolve between 400 and 500 cases. “It’s my opinion that Toyota never thought they’d lose a case,” said Cole Portis, head of Beasley Allen’s personal injury section.
Another 2013 win came in August, when a Mississippi judge ruled that Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. fraudulently overbilled Medicaid for prescription drugs and ordered the company to pay the state $12.3 million in penalties and compensatory damages. Beasley Allen was Mississippi’s outside counsel.
The case was only one of about 360 that the firm has pursued nationwide, all involving allegations that drug companies manipulated prices and overcharged Medicaid programs. The firm has recovered about $1.5 billion in verdicts and settlements for eight states. As a result, the industry and Medicaid are using a different price benchmark. One of Beasley Allen’s clients is Louisiana, which recovered $238 million from drug companies. Trey Phillips, Louisiana’s first assistant attorney general, said his agency hired Beasley Allen because of its expertise. “The firm is professional, efficient and effective,” he said.
Based: Montgomery, Ala.
Total No. of Attorneys: 77
► Be as honest as you can be. If you make a mistake and you get caught, it just comes back to haunt you.
►Master the tedious details, but make sure it’s not tedious in court. You have to step back and explain the case in everyday language.
►People retain more information when you use a visual aid, so the use of illustrations is critical. But you need to put time and thought into what you want to communicate.
—Dee Miles and Cole Portis, partners