Joseph Leavens

Joseph Leavens

Balch & Bingham LLP, Partner

Birmingham, Alabama

About About Q&A Select Matters Publications News Credentials About Joe Joe Leavens has a diverse practice focusing on joint use and pole attachment issues for utilities across the United States; products liability defense for national manufacturing companies; construction disputes for owners, general contractors and subcontractors; and insurance coverage analysis for both insurers and insureds. Joe's experience includes state and federal trial courts, appeals before the Eleventh Circuit and numerous regulatory proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Q&A Expand All Collapse All What types of clients do you represent? In my joint use and pole attachment practice, I represent multiple electric utilities in a variety of matters ranging from contract negotiation and day-to-day operational issues with attaching entities to pole attachment complaint and rulemaking proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as well as state and federal court litigation over attachment agreements. In my products liability practice, I represent truck and heavy machinery manufacturing companies, as well as chemical manufacturers in personal injury and exposure suits. My construction practice involves representing owners and contractors in the negotiation of contracts and the litigation of disputes over payment and workmanship. My work in each of these practices allows me to also assist both insurance companies and insureds in coverage disputes evolving from these matters. What type of matters do you work on most often? A good chunk of my practice involves solving day-to-day joint use and pole attachment issues for utility companies. I have negotiated new pole attachment agreements between utilities and attaching entities, and helped resolve common legal issues associated with make-ready, National Electric Safety Code compliance and the sale and transfer of telecommunications systems. My goal is to help the client resolve the issue quickly, concisely and without prompting litigation or regulatory proceedings. But, should litigation be necessary, I have experience before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Eleventh Circuit and numerous state and trial courts. The remainder of my practice is spent in ongoing litigation in products liability, construction, and insurance coverage suits. My experience includes representing both commercial and military equipment manufacturers in products liability actions alleging product defects and personal injuries. I have also had the good fortune to represent owners and general contractors against claims of defective workmanship, non-payment, and nuisance. What do you find most exciting about your work? The people I work with and the challenges of the work I do. I am very lucky to have smart, sophisticated, and enthusiastic clients who need help with complex issues. My practice requires not just an understanding of the legal issues involved, but also my clients' business needs and interests. Helping my clients navigate these complicated issues is challenging but is made interesting by the relationships I have with the people I work for. How are you involved in your community? I served on the junior board of a local organization that funds and runs a camp for children suffering from cancer. I have also coached three middle school football teams to their league Super Bowls. The rest of my spare time is spent with friends and family. Select Matters Toxic Tort Litigation: Part of a team of Balch trial attorneys who successfully defended an international limestone processor during a twelve day jury trial in Alabama state court. The plaintiff alleged multiple catastrophic injuries after working as a contractor at the client's facility. Plaintiff has incurred more than $3 Million in medical expenses to date, and the plaintiff's experts projected that it will cost over $7 Million for future care. Plaintiff's counsel asked the jury for $25 million, but the jury returned a verdict for the defense. (May 2017) Joint Use Agreement Negotiation: Representation of multiple utilities in the negotiation of numerous pole attachment agreements with telecommunications and cable companies. (2014-2016) False Claims Act Lawsuit: Obtained a dismissal with prejudice of the plaintiff's False Claims Act complaint alleging that Lincare submitted fraudulent claims for payment to Medicare and Medicaid. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed in a per curiam decision. (2015, Britton v. Lincare, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39876 (N.D. Ala. Mar. 30, 2015) aff'd 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 21373. (11th Cir. 2015)) Products Liability and Casualty Defense: Representing Alabama Power Company, Joe obtained summary judgment in favor of Alabama Power in a wrongful death case where an estate of a minor alleged that Alabama Power negligently and wantonly supplied electricity to a home and lake community. (2015, Parker v. Alabama Power. (Circuit Court, Walker County Alabama)) Joint Use Litigation: Representation of electric utility in lawsuit over pole rental attachment fees in Florida state court. (2014, Tampa Electric v. Verizon) Joint Use Litigation and Regulatory Proceeding: Representation of electric utility in litigation and pole attachment complaint proceeding over pole attachment rental fees. (2015, Duke Energy v. Frontier) Joint Use Litigation: Representation of electric utility in Federal District Court for the Southern District of Indiana over cost of make-ready work associated with telecommunications provider's attachments. (2015, Duke Energy v. Comcast) Joint Use Pole Attachment Complaint Proceeding: Representation of electric utility in pole attachment complaint proceeding concerning make-ready work and NESC compliance of Cox Communications' attachments to NV Energy poles. (2015, Cox Communications v. NV Energy) Construction Litigation: Representation of General Contractor in state court lawsuit over alleged wrongful termination of subcontractor and claims of nonpayment. (2013, Builders Construction Services v. Cottage Builders) Publications View More News View More Credentials Education Washington University in St. Louis, School of Law, J.D., 2011 University of Virginia, B.A., Religious Studies, 2007 Bar Admissions Alabama, 2011 Professional Affiliations Defense Research Institute, Young Lawyers Steering Committee Alabama Defense Lawyers Association Birmingham Inns of Court Birmingham Young Lawyers Association Awards & Accolades The Best Lawyers in America®, Ones to Watch Benchmark Litigation, 40 & Under Hot List Birmingham Business Journal, Rising Star Lawyer 2018 Birmingham Magazine, Top Attorney, 2020 Community Involvement Camp Smile-A-Mile, Junior Board Secretary, 2014, Board Member, 2013-2015 Mountain Brook Athletics Association, Volunteer Football Coach, 2012-2014

Experience

Balch & Bingham LLP Logo
Balch & Bingham LLP
Partner
∼ Present
Firm Prospects attorney tracking launched in 2015/2016. Prior employment history currently unavailable.

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