Frank Bayuk, Jones Day, Atlanta Frank Bayuk, Jones Day, Atlanta (Photo: John Disney/ALM)

Tobacco trial team partner Frank Bayuk Jr. has left King & Spalding after more than a decade for Jones Day, where he started his legal career.

“I had a great time and a great career at K&S. I have tremendous respect for the people there,” Bayuk said.

“There are a lot of exciting things going on here and opportunities that were too good to pass up,” he said. “Jones Day offers a platform to do first-rate legal work and, ultimately—what is most interesting to me—try big cases.”

Bayuk, 39, has been working almost exclusively on tobacco trials defending R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in the Engle progeny litigation in Florida, all single-plaintiff cases, since 2011, when he tried his first Engle case at King & Spalding.

Jones Day also is handling the Engle litigation for RJR in Florida, which could go on for another decade.

Bayuk said he’d worked on tobacco litigation and other product liability cases as a new lawyer at Jones Day, where he started his legal career in 2005 after obtaining a law degree from Florida State University.

“I have known Frank for many years, and have been continually impressed by his dedication to clients, his diligence and preparation, and his performance in the courtroom,” said Stephanie Parker, who co-heads Jones Day’s business and tort litigation practice, in a statement. “His work on behalf of companies facing aggressive, high-stakes liability actions is outstanding.”

After joining King & Spalding in 2007, Bayuk said, he handled primarily pharmaceutical litigation until joining the tobacco trial team, where he tried a total of 18 Engle cases, the last eight as lead trial counsel. That worked out to between two and four cases annually, which means he’s on the road for six or seven months a year, taking depositions and meeting with witnesses.

In a 2016 case that Bayuk tried, King & Spalding quashed a $37.5 million wrongful death suit for RJR brought by Miami plaintiffs firms Alvarez Law Firm and Freidlin Brown.

But a 2014 case resulted in a $21 million award by a Miami jury for the plaintiffs, represented by Alex Alvarez of the Alvarez Law Firm and solo practitioner Gary Paige.

“One of the exciting opportunities” at Jones Day, Bayuk said, “is the ability to take the significant courtroom experience I have and take it to other industries outside of tobacco while maintaining the tobacco focus as well.”

A senior associate, Bethany Schneider, who worked with Bayuk on the tobacco team at King & Spalding, decided in February to use her trial experience to open her own plaintiffs shop, Schneider Law.

Briefly

Meanwhile, King & Spalding has landed another securities litigation partner from Alston & Bird. Lisa Bugni joined earlier in March, following partner Jessica Cornley, who decamped from Alston for King & Spalding last month. Bugni will relocate to King & Spalding’s San Francisco office in May.

“Lisa is a rising star with litigation experience across a range of industries including health care and financial services that are a strategic focus of the firm,” said the head of King & Spalding’s trial and global disputes practice, Andy Baymen, in a statement.


Experienced corporate lawyer Tom Chorey has joined Taylor English Duma as a partner from Barnes & Thornburg. For more than 30 years Chorey has handled corporate transactions, advised on daily operating issues and served as outside general counsel to middle-market companies in Atlanta and the Southeast.

Before joining Barnes & Thornburg in 2010, Chorey had been a shareholder in his own firm, Chorey, Taylor & Feil, since 1978 after starting his career at Troutman Sanders.


After a 30-year hiatus, real estate lawyer Mark Block has returned to Morris Manning & Martin as a partner from Seyfarth Shaw. Block handles commercial real estate development and finance law for real estate investment trusts, developers and managers of office and industrial properties. “We never broke up; we just took a 30-year vacation,” Block said in a statement.

“Mark is known for his deal-making skills, particularly in acquisitions and sales, joint venture agreements and refinancings,” said Morris Manning’s managing partner, Louise Wells, in a statement, adding that many of the firm’s lawyers have worked on deals with him over the years. “The mutual respect is evident,” she added.


Chris Richardson has joined Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough’s international and immigration team as of counsel from the U.S. Department of State. As a foreign service officer, Richardson handled visas for foreign nationals as well as U.S. citizen services on assignments in Nigeria, Nicaragua, Pakistan and Spain. Richardson spent seven years at the State Department after working for Alston & Bird in the employment and immigration law practice.


Family law firm Kessler & Solomiany has hired Max Fishman as an associate from Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor. Fishman is a 2013 graduate of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.


Lyn Schroeder has joined James-Bates-Brannan-Groover as of counsel from Bryan Cave. Schroeder advises financial institutions and their boards on transactions, securities law and regulatory compliance.