40 and Under South

40 & Under Hot List - South


Dispute resolution



Birmingham-based Bradley has several  40 & Under partners in Alabama. Whitt Steineker dedicates his practice to a variety of complex commercial litigation matters. In addition to representing clients in traditional commercial and product cases, Steineker focuses a considerable amount of time advising craft brewers, beverage distributors and hemp producers. Among his recent matters, Steineker successfully defended a brewery and their new employee in a breach of contract dispute. Tiffany deGruy assists clients in high-stakes business and commercial litigation. She recently defended an online travel company in multiple cases nationwide, one of which involved the Supreme Court in New Hampshire unanimously ruling in favor of the client. Rudy Hill dedicates her practice to commercial, intellectual property, product liability and white-collar litigation. Hill is a registered patent attorney with a background in mechanical engineering. He recently defended a global networking products provider in a patent dispute as well as a manufacturer of off-road vehicles in product liability litigation. Ann Hill dedicates her practice to complex business litigation, with a particular emphasis on class-action cases. Also focusing on class actions and related commercial litigation is Thomas Richie. Richie has engaged in a wide variety of cases and has argued cases across the country as well as the Alabama Supreme Court.

                Maynard Cooper & Gale’s Stephanie Mays is highly touted as an emerging labor and employment litigator. Based in Birmingham, Mays represents public and private companies, as well as individuals, in a variety of disputes involving employment-related discrimination, harassment, retaliatory discharging, and disabilities matters. In addition, Mays serves as the firm’s Chief Talent Officer, spearheading diversity and inclusion efforts.


David Mitchell at Rose Law Firm focuses his practice on complex business, financial services, and class action litigation, representing both public and private companies. Among his notable matters, Mitchell successfully defended a multinational oil and gas company in a putative nationwide class-action lawsuit. In addition, he served as lead counsel to a new market tax credit lender in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings involving a failed wood pellet mill in the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada.

          Quattlebaum Grooms & Tull is a full-service law firm serving Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas with two emerging litigators. Joseph Price focuses on complex commercial litigation and represents a variety of clients in matters pertaining to breach of contract, fraud, defamation, product liability, and Freedom of Information Act, and OSHA. Among his recent cases, Price was part of the team that successfully represented Simmons Bank in a breach of contract dispute with borrowers that resulted in a multimillion-dollar settlement in favor of the client. Ryan Younger also dedicates his practice to business-related litigation, serving both individuals and companies in high-stakes commercial matters.


Christian George is managing partner for the Jacksonville office of Akerman. George focuses his practice on commercial litigation and represents several high-profile financial institutions. Among his recent matters, George served as lead counsel for a primary secured creditor in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy of a large pavement company that resulted in favorable terms for his client. In Miami, Ryan Roman dedicates his practice to securities, class-action, and antitrust litigation. Roman represents clients in a wide range of industries including healthcare, transportation, and financial services. In addition, Roman is involved in the restaurant business, owning an oyster bar in Miami and representing several clients in the food and beverage industry. Aleksas Barauskas is based in Jacksonville and focuses on complex commercial, financial services, product liability, and real estate litigation. Among his recent matters, Barauskas successfully served as lead counsel representing a recreational vehicle manufacture in three cases involving the enforcement of their client’s forum selection release clause. In addition, Barauskas also represented a client in a high-profile escrow account dispute, resulting in a favorable ruling as well as a substantial attorney fee award.

               Bilzen Sumberg has a star litigator in Lori Lustrin, who dedicates her practice to class-action and antitrust litigation, specifically in the food and beverage industries. Among her recent matters, Lustrin successfully defended All Market Inc, parent company of Vita Coconut Water, in a federal class-action lawsuit. In addition, Lustrin represents three major electronics distributors in an opt-out antitrust fixing case.

                Kathryn Saft at Greenspoon Marder is a member of the firm’s timeshare and resort group and assists clients in a variety of complex litigation matters. Saft successfully represented Westgate in an arbitration case as well as Orange Lake Country Club in a matter involving business interference and unfair trade practices.

                Bayardo Alemán is the founding partner of Perea Barnhart Alemán and focuses on labor and employment matters. Alemán, who heads the firm’s Miami office, successfully defended arbitration grievances on behalf of a multinational concessionaire, which resulted in the upholding of collective bargaining agreement provisions and management rights.  In addition, Alemán obtained summary judgments on behalf of a restaurant chain sued for sexual harassment in state court and on behalf a multinational food distributor against a former employee who sought overtime wages for alleged misclassification in federal court.


Ali Sabzevari, who is based in the Atlanta office of Freeman Mathis & Gary, specializes in commercial litigation and government liability issues. Sabzevari represents both private and public companies in a wide range of disputes, as well as government entities in matters involving civil rights and personal injury. Among his recent cases, Sabzevari succeeded in having two high profile wrongful death cases dismissed for both clients.

               Susan Clare at King & Spalding co-chairs the firm’s automotive practice group and, for the second year in a row, is recognized in this year’s list. Among her notable matters, Clare represents a leading automotive manufacturer in several consumer fraud and breach of warranty cases in California.

                In the Atlanta offices of Troutman Pepper, Puja Patel Lea dedicates her practice to high-stakes intellectual property litigation. Lea has extensive experience arguing in front of state and federal courts as well as being involved in investigation at the International Trade Commission. Among her recent matters, Lea was part of the team that represented the American Automotive Association (AAA) of Northern California, Nevada, and Utah in a trademark infringement case against General Motors (GM), resulting in a successful settlement for the client.


At New Orleans-based Barrasso Usdin Kupperman Freeman & Sarver, Kyle Siegel focuses her practice on complex litigation matters with an emphasis on product liability. Siegel assisted in handling multiple civil actions in state court and US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, as well as the appeals. Debuting on this year’s list, Christine Calogero handles a wide range of commercial disputes, particularly in the securities space. Calogero also heads the firm’s diversity and inclusion committee.


Cody Bailey at Brunini Grantham Grower & Hewes is a commercial litigator with experience representing clients in a number of industries including construction, telecommunications, securities, and financial services. Bailey defends several clients against allegations of civil conspiracy, aiding and abetting and gross negligence, among other violations and claims. Another emerging litigator at the firm is Karen Howell. Howell focuses her practice on complex commercial, healthcare, intellectual property, and product liability litigation.

Kaytie Pickett is a partner in the Jackson office of Jones Walker. Pickett focuses  on complex commercial matters and has several clients in the financial services, education, insurance, manufacturing, and construction industries. Among her recent matters, Pickett submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools supporting the State of Mississippi in a case challenging public funding of charter schools.

North Carolina

Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard boasts several emerging litigators in in the Tar Heel State. Justin Outling specializes in business litigation and white-collar criminal investigations. Based in Greensboro, Outling has assisted clients in breach of contract matters, unfair trade practices, fraud, and shareholder disputes. In addition, Outling also represents companies in government investigations, which includes a hedge fund with exposure to the highly publicized Bernard Madoff fraud scheme. Clint Morse focuses his practice on bankruptcy, intellectual property and general business litigation. Among his recent matters, Morse successfully represented PMC Aviation in a multimillion-dollar liability case that resulted in a favorable settlement for the client. In Raleigh, the firm has two emerging litigators in Will Quick and Craig Schauer. Quick represents businesses and local governments in trial and appellate matters across North and South Carolina, while Schauer dedicates his practice to complex litigation as well as electoral law and First Amendment rights matters.

            Patrick Mincey at Cranfill Sumner & Hertzog focusing  on white-collar defense. He represents clients in grand jury investigations and prosecutions, as well as a wide range of collateral regulatory and civil enforcement actions brought by federal and state governments. Among his current matters, Mincey serves as lead counsel for an accounting firm in a federal investigation related to financial fraud as well as a Singaporean shipping company against allegations of environmental crimes.

              Based in Charlotte, Frank Schall at Moore & Van Allen focuses on regulatory enforcement and white-collar criminal defense litigation. Schall has extensive experience representing a variety of institutions, both domestic and international. Among his recent matters, Schall successfully represented a minority shareholder in a breach of fiduciary duty dispute, which resulted in a multi-million settlement for the client.

                Erik Zimmerman of Robinson Bradshaw regularly assists clients through complex commercial and intellectual property litigation. Zimmerman notably represented the Governor of North Carolina in a highly publicized constitutional case as well as the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in a breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets dispute. The case involved an issue of first impression as Zimmerman and the team persuaded the court that the university has sovereign immunity against trade secrets claims.

              Based in Raleigh, Isaac Linnartz at Smith Anderson is an experienced business and employment litigator. Linnartz represents clients in a variety of industries with a host of labor-related disputes including breach of contract, fraud, fiduciary duty, and unfair trade practices. He recently defended Duke Energy Progress against discrimination and failure to accommodate claims under the ADA and a wrongful discharge claim under North Carolina common law. Linnartz successfully obtained a settlement in this matter, as well as several employment-related matters over the last year.

              Ward and Smith  lays claim to several emerging litigators in the state.  In Raleigh, Jeremy Wilson is leader of the firm’s personal injury and wrongful death practice group. He has litigated numerous cases involving claims for wrongful death, serious personal injury and a broad range of civil litigation before state and federal courts including cases involving vehicle accidents, professional malpractice, premises liability, product liability and class actions. Devon Williams handles an assortment of labor and employment matters, regularly advising clients on best practices as well as engaging in litigation when necessary. In addition, Williams serves as co-managing director for the firm. In New Bern, Michael Parrish focuses his practice on complex commercial and bankruptcy litigation, representing a variety of clients. Allen Trask is based in the firm’s Wilmington office and dedicates his practice to a variety of agriculture-based clients. Trask leads several of the firm’s practice groups including agribusiness, hemp law, and community associations.


Based in Nashville, Dickinson Wright litigator Joshua Burgener focuses on a variety of commercial, labor, and real estate litigation. Burgener represents clients in a host of industries on matters including breach of contract, fraud, and whistleblower claims as well as enforcement of non-compete, non-solicitation and other employment-related disputes.

         Emma Wolfe at K&L Gates has developed a reputation as a commercial litigator with a growing expertise in assisting several clients in the construction industry. Most notably, Wolfe co-first chaired a federal jury trial and obtained a $1.2 million dollar verdict for the client.

       Shane Ramsey of Nelson Mullins focuses his practice on bankruptcy and other financial-related litigation. Ramsey is vice chair of the firm’s bankruptcy and financial restructuring practice group and chair of the firm’s creditor's committee practice group. Among his recent matters, Ramsey represented the exit-financing lender in Chapter 11 cases involving a long-term healthcare provider that provides rehabilitation and nursing services across four states.


Jonathan Hance, at Bracewell engages in both commercial and intellectual property litigation for clients. Notable companies represented include Apache Corporation, Syntrix Biosystems, and Direct Energy.

              Hunton Andrews Kurth has several emerging litigators in their Houston office that make this year's list. Joseph Buoni focuses on complex commercial and bankruptcy litigation within the energy industry. Among his current matters, Buoni serves as lead counsel for Sable Permian Resources in a dispute against Shell Trading Company. In another case, Buoni represents Hi-Crush against EOG Resources involving improper termination of contract. Kaylan Dunn is a new addition to our 40 and Under Hot List and dedicates her practice to complex energy, banking, and real estate disputes. Among her current clients, Dunn represents a major national trust company in a breach of fiduciary duty case brought by a trust beneficiary. In addition, Dunn serves as co-chair of the Houston office's diversity and inclusion committee. Courtney Glaser is an experienced litigator with a particular expertise in healthcare-related matters. Glaser assist clients with a number of managed care disputes including issues related to billing, privacy, and coverage determinations.

              Jared Eisenberg at Lynn Pinker Hurst & Schwegmann debuts on this year’s 40 and Under Hot List and is noted for his handling of complex business and intellectual property litigation. Among his recent matters, Eisenberg successfully defended a client in a commercial arbitration against allegations it had cut a former business partner out of a $45 million investment opportunity. The arbitration panel dismissed the claims and also awarded attorney fees to the client.

              Reid Collins & Tsai partner Joshua Bruckerhoff focuses  on commercial, product liability and bankruptcy matters. He is involved in a case that raises novel issues about the viability of actual intent fraudulent conveyance claims under state law. Bruckerhoff and the team were hired as replacement counsel for the Trustee of the BosGen Liquidation Trust, Mark Holliday. Recently, they filed a Proposed Third Amended Complaint, seeking to recover roughly $1 billion in fraudulent transfers. Working alongside Bruckerhoff on the BosGen case is Brandon Lewis, who is a commercial litigator with experience handling wide range of business-related disputes on behalf of trustees, hedge funds and creditor committees throughout courts nationwide. Lewis is also part of the team representing a client who in a suit against a fund management company, alleging breach of fiduciary duty. Nathaniel Palmer similarly focuses on commercial and product liability matters in addition to securities actions. Palmer works alongside fellow star Michael Yoder as plaintiffs’ counsel in a $500 million shareholder derivatives suit brought against Renren. Palmer and Yoder successfully defeated the defendants’ motion to dismiss. Jordan Vimont specializes in a variety of commercial and financial services-related litigation. Vimont was part of the team that represented Sarah Bradley, co-founder of Kainos Capital, in a highly publicized case against her former company involving allegations of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. Jeremy Wells once again makes this year’s list and focuses on complex commercial and bankruptcy litigation. Among his current matters, Wells represents a relator in a false claims act case against a chain of nursing home facilities, alleging they systematically charged for excessive rehabilitation services to boost Medicare revenue. The litigation is considered an innovative example of using data analytics along with qualitative evidence to prosecute qui tam cases.

              James Schuelke specializes in complex energy matters and recently joined Hogan Thompson, a litigation boutique that focuses on serving clients in the industry. Among his notable work, Schuelke served as counsel for OMNOVA Solutions in a weeklong bench trial related to the company’s acquisition of a drilling fluid additives business. He played a key and active role in the case's victories on claims of breach of contract, statutory fraud and fraudulent inducement. Other high-profile clients include Energy Transfer Partners, Wood Group, and Huntsman.

              Ty Dole at Smyser Kaplan & Veselka litigates on a wide variety of matters, especially on behalf of healthcare and energy clients. He recently served as lead counsel for Nobilis in a multimillion-dollar international coverage dispute, which resulted in a summary judgement finding that the client was owed coverage, including past attorneys' fees, on several cases in the US and Canada. In another matter on behalf of Nobilis, Doyle defended allegations that the client owed seven figures in loan guarantees. The matter involved assets sold in bankruptcy. Doyle obtained summary judgment for Nobilis in this matter as well. The firm have several litigators that debut on this year’s list. Sydney Scott is highly regarded for representing both plaintiffs and defendants on a variety of commercial litigation. Among her recent matters, Scott successfully obtained a $3.3 million judgement for an Eagle Ford operate in a breach of contract dispute. Alex Wolf concentrates his practice on white-collar investigations and litigation. Wolf has represented a wide array of clients in prosecutions by the Department of Justice, Internal Revenue Service, as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission. Maintaining a general civil practice, Hector Chavez has developed a particular expertise in patent infringement and contract disputes. Also handling complex commercial matters is Crystal Robles, who represents clients in a variety of industries including healthcare, energy, and financial services.

              Susman Godfrey has a number of young litigators based in its Houston office.  Ryan Caughey focuses his practice on complex commercial and antitrust litigation and represents firms in a variety of industries including life sciences, energy, and consumer goods companies. Among his current matters, Caughey represents software company Veeva in high-stakes antitrust and trade secrets litigation as well as Walmart in an antitrust case.  David Peterson once again makes this year’s list and is highly regarded for his work as a litigation work on behalf of energy, real estate, and financial services clients. Pederson currently represents Anadarko and an affiliate against Natural Resources Partners to enforce the terms of an asset purchase agreement.

In Dallas, Elizabeth Ryan recently moved to Weil Gotshal & Manges from a reputable local litigation boutique and handles a wide range of high-stakes business matters, including complex commercial, intellectual property, insurance, product liability, and trust disputes. Ryan represents several high-profile clients in the pharmaceutical and financial services industries.

              Based in Dallas, Katrina Eash of Winston & Strawn dedicates her practice to assisting clients in high stakes commercial, intellectual property, and employment litigation. Among her recent matters, Eash successfully defended several high-profile marketing organizations in class action disputes as well as a prominent technology company against patent infringement claims. Michael Bittner is an intellectual property litigator who focuses on patent disputes. Bittner has experience representing clients in a variety of industries and has argued in front of the federal circuit and PTAB.


              Troutman Pepper has two young litigators in Virginia that once make it on this year’s 40 and Under Hot List. Based in Richmond, Tim St. George specializes in consumer class actions with a particular emphasis on claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Among his current clients, St. George represents a large national financial institution as well as serving as counsel for a leading background screening provider. Working alongside St. George in the consumer class action arena is Dave Gettings, who practices from the firm’s offices in Virginia Beach. Gettings represents clients in a variety of industries and of every size, ranging from startups to large multinational corporations.

July 21, 2021