J. S. Christie , Jr. - Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

J. S. Christie , Jr.

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2005

Chris Christie is Chair of Bradley Arant’s Insurance Litigation Group, is a member of its Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, Healthcare, and Litigation Practice Groups, and is Co-Chair of its Pro Bono Committee.  He was selected to be a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel.

Chris represents employers, plans, HMOs and insurers in ERISA and insurance litigation. Chris also advises clients on matters related to ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA and other similar laws.

Chris has handled numerous class actions, multi-district litigation cases, and other complex litigation.  He has tried many cases to favorable verdicts in state and federal courts and has obtained numerous favorable arbitration awards.  His experience includes life, health and disability benefits litigation, breach of fiduciary duty litigation, as well as health care provider reimbursement claims, physician de-selection claims, and health care fraud claims. Many of the ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims have involved business or stock valuations and ESOPs or other retirement plans.

Recent specific matters include the following: 
• An $18,900,000 settlement representing a class of state employees participating in a 457 plan, working with the Alabama State Personnel Board, where an insurance company allegedly had provided about $13,000,000 in undisclosed payments to the state employees union in exchange for being selected as the plan’s exclusive investment and administrative services provider.
• A defense verdict in a JAMS arbitration arising from the sale of an insurance company, including a discretionary award of $200,000 as attorneys’ fees in favor of the firm’s client and against the insurance company purchaser, where the purchaser alleged the former shareholders had manipulated reserves to inflate the sales price.
• A defense verdict following a trial involving a dispute as to the value of stock purchased by a retirement plan, which included testimony from 27 witnesses and 12 expert witnesses.
• A plaintiff’s verdict for $294,000, including $50,000 in punitive damages, against the other physicians in the group practice and in favor of the physician who was squeezed out of the practice.
• A defense judgment following a TRO hearing, a preliminary injunction hearing, and an administrative hearing contesting a hospital CEO's termination for fraud and abuse compliance violations.
• A $30 million settlement following a creative alternative dispute resolution process in which the federal government had calculated compensatory damages, without statutory penalties, as ranging between $150 million to $170 million.
• A new trial for a death row inmate who had spent 24 years on death row.

Rhodes CollegeBA 1981Duke University School of LawJ.D. 1985Duke University Sanford School of Public PolicyMA 1985
American College of Employee Benefits CounselAmerican Diabetes Asociation

Case History

McCay v. Siemens Corp., 247 F. Appx. 172 (11th Cir. 2007)
Affirming summary judgment for defendants on claims seeking job separation benefits and holding that ERISA provision restricting plan mergers was inapplicable.
Piazza v. EBSCO Industries, Inc., 273 F.3d 1341 (11th Cir. 2001)
Reversing class certification of claims alleging that ERISA fiduciaries incorrectly valued stock of plan sponsor.
Herman v. South Carolina National Bank, 140 F.3d 1413 (11th Cir. 1998)
Reversing summary judgment and holding that Secretary of Labor’s claims were not bared by ERISA plan participants’ prior class action settlement of claims for same damages and based on same alleged acts.
Blaylock v. Mutual of New York Life Ins. Co., 228 F. Supp. 2d 778 (S.D. Miss. 2002)
Denying motions to remand for 42 plaintiffs participating in ten nongovernmental plans and holding that the plans did not fall within the payroll deduction safe harbor exclusion from ERISA preemption.
Cosgrove v. Raytheon Co. Long Term Disability Plan, 277 F. Appx. 879 (11th Cir. 2008)
Affirming summary judgment and holding that burden under ERISA of establishing disability remained on a plaintiff even though disability benefits had been paid and then terminated.

Client Comments

"Mr. Christie is extremely knowledgeable in health industry matters. He is a very effective communicator, plans well, and is responsive, always making time for his client. He makes his clients feel comfortable and adds just the right personal touch. I appreciated having him assigned to work with me and my company. "

"Chris prepares his case and his client every step of the way. I was kept informed ahead of time of each step which would transpire and my phone calls and emails were returned promptly. He is a very well educated and hardworking attorney who practices law the right way."

"Chris (Christie) and staff are excellent. He is very knowledgeable and great to work with."

-Brad Rollow
VIVA Health, Inc.

"Mr. Christie is an outstanding attorney. He is very bright and always prepared."

"J.S. Christie is innovative, analytical, and aggressive to get matters resolved."

-Patricia Pritchett
General Counsel
University of Alabama Health Services Foundation, P.C.

"Chris Christie continues to be one of the most cost-effective and results-oriented attorneys representing my company. As an in-house attorney, I like Chris's quiet and methodical approach to getting things done. "

-Patricia Pritchett
General Counsel
University of Alabama Health Services Foundation, P.C.

Office Location

One Federal Place
1819 Fifth Avenue North
Birmingham, AL 35203
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2016 Lawyer of the Year in Litigation - ERISA of the Birmingham Metro Area
J. S. Christie, Jr. has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2016!

Practice Areas

Commercial Litigation
Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (ERISA, Litigation, Pension, Health and Welfare)
Insurance Law
Litigation - ERISA
Litigation - Insurance

Other Information

Gender: Male