Litigation & Appeals

Arbitration, Mediation & Alternative Dispute Resolution

Stites & Harbison has a wealth of ADR experience conducting ADR sessions as either mediators or arbitrators, and in advocating on behalf of clients in the ADR setting. The firm's attorneys mediate and arbitrate all types of disputes. Ten of our firm's attorneys completed training or certification in mediation, and eight completed training or certification in arbitration. The New York City-based CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution has named three Stites & Harbison attorneys to its Panel of Neutrals. In addition, many others have received training in ADR by the American Arbitration Association, the Atlanta Justice Center, or the Mediation Center of Kentucky and regularly serve as arbitrators and mediators.

As advocates, we understand that the majority of litigation results in a negotiated settlement. We are experienced and well-equipped to achieve the best settlement results possible for our clients. We have settled hundreds of millions of dollars in claims by alternative dispute resolution. In one recent case, Stites & Harbison helped achieve a mediated settlement of $12 million in favor of the firm's client.

In our experience, mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution often succeed in terminating litigation on terms acceptable to both parties. Mediation or ADR forces a plaintiff to realistically assess a case and come face-to-face with its weaknesses. Otherwise, this might not happen until the eve of trial.

In cases involving complex engineering or scientific principles, we have sometimes used a “non-lawyer neutral” in direct interface with experts retained by the adverse parties. Sometimes we do this without lawyers present; sometimes we have lawyers present, but only for the purpose of observing to ensure the fairness of the process. We have noted how much time can be saved and how many technical issues can be resolved in this manner. Mediations or arbitrations are substantially shortened, and the issues narrowed more quickly.

Examples of complex cases we successfully resolved by ADR include:

  • A construction mold case involving $25 million in damage to a hotel in Charleston, S.C. Large amounts of water infiltrated the building within a year of its completion. Essentially, the entire building from the concrete structure out had to be torn down and rebuilt. Engineering issues concerned whether this was a result of construction errors in the masonry system, or design errors by the HVAC engineer inducing negative pressures and exacerbated by the humidity of the South Carolina summer. Ground-breaking scientific approaches to proof were developed in this case.
  • A $40 million case involving the chemistry of flu gases generated in a coal-burning power plant, and the metallurgy of a very rarely-used grade of stainless steel that was specified for construction of a scrubber tower. We represented an international engineering and construction company that was the world's leading builder of power plants. On the other side was the last U.S. manufacturer of boilers used in power plants. Each of these companies needed the other in order to maintain its market going forward. The ADR, which followed months of aggressive litigation, was structured totally around future business arrangements between the parties.
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Events

2021 Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities (KAHCF) Annual Meeting and Expo

Date: 11/9/21 - 11/11/21

Galt House Hotel & Suites, 140 North Fourth Street, Louisville, KY 40202

Stites & Harbison is a sponsor and Louisville office attorney Matt Breetz will be a presenter at the KAHCF Annual Meeting and Expo in Louisville November 9-11, 2021.

Matthew W. Breetz October 22, 2021
Press Releases

Fayette County Bar Association Names Rebecca Sherman as Outstanding Young Lawyer for 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky.—The Fayette County Bar Association has recognized Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Rebecca M.W. Sherman with its Outstanding Young Lawyer Award for 2021.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC October 04, 2021
Events

Fall 2021 National Legal Malpractice Conference

Date: 9/22/21 - 9/24/21

JW Marriott Nashville, 201 8th Avenue South, Nashville, Tennessee 37203

Louisville office attorney Matt Breetz will be moderating a panel discussion on Case Law Updates on September 23rd in Nashville TN at this conference.

Matthew W. Breetz September 17, 2021
Events

2021 Women in Litigation Joint CLE Conference

Date: 11/17/21 - 11/19/21

Boston Park Plaza, 50 Park Plaza at Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116-39014

Louisville office attorney Whitney Watt will be a member of the panel for a presentation at this ABA Conference in Boston, Mass., November 17-19, 2021.

Whitney Frazier Watt September 17, 2021
Press Releases

Chambers USA High Net Worth Honors Gregory D. Smith for 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Chambers USA High Net Worth selected Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Gregory D. Smith for inclusion in its 2021 guide in the category of Family/Matrimonial for USA: Tennessee. Chambers High Net Worth ranks top lawyers and law firms in the international private wealth market.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC July 27, 2021
Press Releases

Dan Douglass and Bill Joseph Recognized in 2021 Georgia Super Lawyers

ATLANTA—Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys Dan Douglass and Bill Joseph were recently honored in the 2021 Georgia Super Lawyers magazine.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC May 04, 2021
Press Releases

Gregory D. Smith Inducted as Fellow of American College of Trial Lawyers

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Gregory D. Smith was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) on March 5, 2021, at an online ceremony during the Spring Meeting of the College. Only 1% of the Total Lawyer Population in the U.S. and Canada
Are Fellows

by Gregory D. Smith March 23, 2021
Press Releases

Chad McTighe Appointed Chair of Stites & Harbison’s Business Litigation Service Group

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC is pleased to announce that attorney Chad McTighe has been appointed Chair of the firm’s Business Litigation Service Group. McTighe succeeds Phil Collier, who has served as the service group chair for 22 years. Both Collier and McTighe will continue their diverse legal practices in business litigation.

by Chadwick A. McTighe March 02, 2021
Press Releases

Morgan Ward Appointed as Chair of Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has appointed Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Morgan Ward as Chair of Louisville Metro Government’s Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC January 25, 2021
Client Alerts

Will COVID-19 Toll the Statute of Limitations in Product Liability Actions?

As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches into 2021 with no clear end in sight, a good question for product liability defendants is whether the pandemic will have a tolling effect on the applicable statute of limitations. In product liability cases, state law provides a statute of limitations to bar untimely-filed claims against the product manufacturer, distributor, or retailer. The point is to provide a predictable time period for a plaintiff to investigate the claim, identify the proper parties, and file suit.

by Daniel E. Danford and Harlee Havens, Summer Associate (2020) December 21, 2020
Press Releases

Whitney Frazier Watt Appointed to Governor’s Scholars Board of Directors

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has appointed Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Whitney Frazier Watt to the Board of Directors of the Governor’s Scholars Program.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC December 02, 2020
Press Releases

Legal Aid Society Honors Morgan Ward with Outstanding Volunteer Award for 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Legal Aid Society has recognized Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Morgan Ward with its Outstanding Volunteer Award for 2020. Ward was one of three individuals honored with the award this year.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC November 10, 2020
Press Releases

Marjorie Farris to Be First Woman to Lead Stites & Harbison Law Firm

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC, announced today that Kentucky native Marjorie A. Farris will become the firm’s new Chair effective January 2021. She will be the first woman to lead the firm since its founding in 1832.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC November 06, 2020