Mr. Whatley grew up in Monroeville, Alabama, the setting for To Kill A Mockingbird. He is a graduate of Harvard University (A.B., cum laude, 1975), and University of Alabama Law School (J.D., 1978). His firm opened an office in New York in 2006. Mr. Whatley is a member of the Bar in the States of New York, Alabama, Texas, and Colorado, and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the Middle, Southern and Northern Districts of Alabama, the Southern, Northern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, the Eastern District of Wisconsin, the District of Colorado, as well as the United States Court of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits. After graduating from the University of Alabama Law School, Mr. Whatley served as a law clerk to the Chief United States District Judge for the Northern District of Alabama (1978-1979). Mr. Whatley is a member of the American Bar Association (Member, Sections on: Antitrust; Litigation; Healthcare; Labor and Employment Law), a member and past President (1990-1991) of the Birmingham Federal Bar Association, and a member and past President (1990-1991) of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Alabama State Bar.
Mr. Whatley is one of the few lawyers in the country to have argued before the United States Supreme Court as well as tried class actions to jury verdict for plaintiffs as well as defendants. He has a wide-ranging, national practice. He has argued cases before a majority of the Circuit Courts of Appeals in the country and tried cases in a number of different States and Districts.
Mr. Whatley is an experienced trial lawyer, having tried numerous cases, including class actions, to verdict. For example, Mr. Whatley won a $1.28 billion jury verdict on behalf of a class of cattle ranchers against Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. in Pickett v. Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., No. 96-A-1103-N (M.D. Ala.), and won what was at the time the largest wrongful death verdict in Louisiana history in Dunn v. Consolidated Rail Corp., 890 F. Supp. 1262 (M.D. La. 1995). Mr. Whatley has recovered billions of dollars in monetary relief and business practice changes in litigations against the managed care industry. He also has served as one of the lead counsel in numerous multi-million dollar settlements.
Mr. Whatley has been recognized by his peers as one of the top lawyers in the country. He has been admitted as a Fellow to the American College of Trial Lawyers. In 2011, he was selected as one of the top 100 lawyers in the New York Metropolitan Area. He has been selected each year for decades as one of the Best Lawyers in Alabama.
to the American College of Trial Lawyers. In 2011, he was selected as one of the top 100 lawyers in the New York Metropolitan Area. He has been selected each year for decades as one of the Best Lawyers in Alabama.