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Jesse W. Hill
email: jwhill@hipeslaw.com
direct: 678.395.4775

A.B., Duke University (Economics), 1970
J.D., Vanderbilt University, 1973
Order of the Coif
Managing Editor, Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law
Brief Author, Jessup International Moot Court Team (recipient, National best brief award)
 
Georgia Supreme Court; Georgia Court of Appeals
U.S. District Courts for Northern and Middle Districts of Georgia
U.S. Courts of Appeal for Fifth, Eleventh, and Federal Circuits


American Bar Association; Labor and Employment Law Section, Employee Rights
and Responsibilities Committee, Equal Employment Opportunity Committee
State Bar of Georgia
Atlanta Bar Association
Society for Human Resource Management
Board of Editors, Employment Law Strategist
Board of Directors, Spectrum Technical Institute
 

 
Introduction

Jesse W. Hill has tremendous and varied litigation and trial experience at the highest levels in courts across the United States. His legal career of over 30 years includes first chair trials to jury verdict in dozens of cases, and coordination of teams of lawyers he selected in nation wide class action cases for three different Fortune 500 companies. Jesse has personally negotiated group settlements in mass tort cases involving thousands of plaintiffs in multiple jurisdictions. He also has extensive experience in commercial litigation (banking law, construction law, fidelity and surety law), insurance law (reinsurance treaties, environmental coverage, excess liability matters), medical malpractice (hospitals, ethical drugs), and environmental litigation (violations of EPA and state regulations, due diligence for purchasers of at risk properties and companies, risk assessment).


Background

Jesse began his legal career at Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy in 1973. Powell, Goldstein was one of the largest full service law firms in the Southeast, and it enjoyed a well deserved reputation for particular expertise in litigation. Jesse worked directly for Edward E. Dorsey, head of the firm's litigation group and Regent of the American College of Trial Lawyers, until his admission to the partnership in 1979.When he began his practice, unlike today, it was common for younger lawyers to get actual trial experience from jury selection through closing argument, post-trial motions, and appeals in state and federal courts. This training was invaluable to Jesse and other lawyers who began their practice in similar ways; younger lawyers today have far fewer opportunities to learn and refine their courtroom skills in actual cases. The cost and potential risk of trials has caused most cases to be settled. Today it is a rare case that actually goes to trial. It remains true, however, that a client cannot negotiate its best settlement without a credible threat to take the case to trial. Jesse gives all our clients this necessary credibility to make settlements possible and, where that is not possible on favorable terms, to take the case to trial with the confidence that comes from years of experience.

Among the major clients Jesse has represented in his litigation career are Citizens & Southern National Bank (now Bank of America), Delta Air Lines, Aetna Casualty and Surety Company, The Travelers Insurance Company, and several large Atlanta hospitals. He is best known nationally for his representation of target defendants in product liability claims that were filed nationwide, including Owens-Corning, Shaw Industries, and Bridgestone/Firestone. He served as national counsel for each of these defendants in multi-state or national class actions, as well as hundreds of individual lawsuits with similar claims. He was lead trial counsel in over 30 jurisdictions, selected and worked with all expert witnesses, selected and worked with local counsel across the country, and negotiated settlements. As a necessary component of any major alleged product defect defense, he also developed and presented expert witnesses before the EPA and Congress on medical causation, industrial hygiene, epidemiology, and other subjects that concerned these claims, and worked directly with trade associations for these clients who wanted to shape public and legislative opinion about their products.

Jesse recognized that his unusually broad litigation experience, especially in settlement negotiations of complex and expensive matters, would be of value to new clients. To refine those skills he completed specialized training in alternative dispute resolution as authorized by the Georgia Supreme Court. He became a registered neutral in 2005.

Jesse has appeared regularly at Continuing Legal Education programs in Georgia and across the country, at Defense Research Institute programs on multi-state litigation and asbestos disease matters, and at the ASTM Johnson College conference on indoor air quality issues. He was selected by the EPA to serve over a three year period as a member of the 25 member Federal Advisory Committee on asbestos health issues in buildings.
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