Practice Groups

Education

  • B.A., Auburn University (Journalism), 1975
  • J.D., Cumberland School of Law (cum laude) 1979

Professional Memberships

  • Alabama State Bar
  • Montgomery County Bar Association
  • Alabama Defense Lawyers Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Alabama Law Foundation Fellow
  • Journalism Advisory Council: Auburn University School of Communications and Journalism
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Trial MastersTM
  • DRI Business Torts & Contract Litigation SLG

Admitted To Practice

  • Alabama
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. Tax Court

Dennis R. Bailey

Shareholder

Contact

Email Mr. Bailey
Phone: 334-206-3234
Fax: 334-481-0031
Download vCard

After serving as a federal law clerk in the Middle District of Alabama for one year, Mr. Bailey began practicing law with the firm in 1980 and has been a shareholder since 1983. Building upon a strong background of product liability and insurance defense, Mr. Bailey’s practice has evolved into handling a variety of complex litigation directly for clients who are either self-insured or have control over the selection of defense counsel.

Mr. Bailey works closely with corporate counsel and is therefore familiar with corporate litigation guidelines, reporting, and budgeting requirements.  He has managed and argued complex litigation for corporate manufacturing, insurance, and financial services clients as pro hac vice counsel in federal or state cases in Arizona, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and California.  He has also represented clients in construction arbitration proceedings and has served as an arbitrator.

A former newspaper reporter, cartoonist and magazine editor, Mr. Bailey has been involved in media law since 1980, particularly matters involving First Amendment rights and open government. He has served for years as general counsel for the Alabama Press Association and other media clients, and now supervises a statewide media hotline.

Recent Practice Highlights

In a decision that affects at least 13 other putative class action cases pending in Alabama circuit courts, the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action claiming that Alabama cooperatives could not utilize patronage capital credits under Alabama law. Recherche, LLC v. Baldwin County Electric Membership Corporation, No. 1171144. The Court relied heavily on the case of Caver v. Central Alabama Electric Cooperative, 845 F.3d 1135 (11th Cir. 2017) which was defended by Rushton Stakely attorneys Dennis Bailey, Evans Bailey and Mac Freeman with the assistance of Ted Jackson and Chris Simmons. The Rushton Stakely team of Dennis Bailey, Chris Simmons and Evans Bailey also submitted a friend of the court brief on behalf of the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives in Recherche.

Dennis and Evans Bailey obtained a summary judgment for the Dothan Eagle newspaper in a case involving a motor vehicle-pedestrian collision. The Plaintiff alleged that the tortfeasor was working as an agent or employee of the Dothan Eagle at the time of the accident. Dennis and Evans were able to demonstrate to the Court’s satisfaction that the alleged tortfeasor was actually an independent contractor, and the Dothan Eagle could not be liable as a result. The case is Westmoreland v. Dothan Eagle, Inc., et al., Coffee County Circuit Court, Enterprise Division, Case No. 17-900185.

With Ted Jackson, Dennis Bailey was successful in defending claims against an electric cooperative made by a general contractor relating to construction. After several days of testimony presented to a AAA arbitrator, the arbitrator ruled for the owner, an electric cooperative, on all claims asserted by the contractor and awarded the owner $170,000 on its counterclaim relating to completion delays. Arbitrator fees were assessed against the contractor. There was no appeal and the award and fees were paid by the contractor as directed. Ted Jackson handled the pre-arbitration dispute and Dennis Bailey handled the arbitration proceedings.

Obtained a dismissal of an appealed defamation claim. A Ugandan missionary sued The Alabama Baptist Newspaper in Jefferson County claiming an article concerning his operations in Africa was defamatory. The circuit court granted summary judgment that the article was not capable of a defamatory meaning nor written with actual malice toward the missionary. The missionary filed post-judgment motions and then appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court. The appeal was dismissed October 28, 2017, due to the expiration of the time to appeal established in Ala. R. Civ. Pro. 59.1. Evans Bailey and Jessica Trotman participated in the briefing process.

Honors and Awards

In September 2018, Mr. Bailey became a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America.

Dennis R. Bailey was elected President of the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association during the 2018 Annual Meeting. He will serve in that position until June 2019.

Dennis R. Bailey, was elected Alabama Defense Lawyers Association’s 2017 – 2018 President-Elect on June 17 during Alabama Defense Lawyers Association’s 2017 Annual Meeting

June 23, 2016-Alabama Bar Association President Lee Copeland awarded Dennis Bailey and two others the President’s Award in recognition of Exemplary Service to the Profession.

Since 2008, Mr. Bailey has been chosen by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America®. In the 2020 edition, he was selected for Communications Law, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Banking & Finance, Litigation – Intellectual Property, Litigation – Labor & Employment, Litigation – Real Estate, and Product Liability Litigation – Defendants. Mr. Bailey was also awarded “Lawyer of the Year” for Product Liability Litigation – Defendants.

In October, 2015, Mr. Bailey became an accredited member in Trial MastersTM.  Membership is reserved for the elite few lawyers who have tried more than 35 civil trials to verdict.  Less than 1/2 of 1% of lawyers are members.

The Alabama Defense Lawyers Association selected Mr. Bailey to serve on the 2015 – 2016 District III Board of Directors.

Mr. Bailey is an Advocate of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), and has been selected one of The Best Lawyers in America (2008 – 2014). He has been AV peer review rated by Martindale-Hubbell for many years; commended by Joint Resolution of the Alabama Legislature for work in drafting Alabama Open Meetings Act of 2005 and by the board of directors of the Alabama Press Association for helping to pass that legislation.

Mr. Bailey was selected for the 2012 – 2015 Journalism Advisory Council of Auburn University School of Communications and Journalism.

In November 2011, Mr. Bailey was selected for inclusion in “Top Lawyers: Commercial Litigation” by The American Lawyer and Corporate Counsel.  This special supplement includes The Best Lawyers in America® 2011 Annual Guide to Commercial Litigation. American Lawyer and Corporate Counsel magazines distribute the annual guide to their combined readership, highlighting the top firms and attorneys in the area of Commercial Litigation.

Mr. Bailey was the recent decisions editor for Cumberland Law Review and a member of Cumberland School of Law’s Curia Honoris Society.

While attending Auburn University, Mr. Bailey was a scholarship baseball player and was a member of the student newspaper staff. He made the Academic Baseball Team in 1975 and was named to the Outstanding College Athletes of America.

Publications

“Defamation in Alabama,” Jones Law Review (2000)

“1975: A Code Odyssey,” Cumberland Law Review (1979)

Presentations

May 2010: Alabama Press Association Webinar: Media law Refresher Course

Adjunct Professor: Department of Journalism, Auburn University:”Mass Media Law and Press Ethics.”  2007 – 2009

Alabama Bar Institute:  “Removal Jurisdiction in Federal Courts: The New Standards” and “Recent Developments in Civil Procedure”

“American Products Liability Overview” – Swedish Manufacturers Association (Stockholm)

“The Alabama Open Meetings Act of 2005” sponsored by the Alabama Press Association in conjunction with the Attorney General of the State of Alabama

Adjunct Professor, Jones School of Law: Conflicts of Law, 1983

Community Involvement

Mr. Bailey is involved in a number of community activities and has coached youth baseball for many years. He is a member of the Church of the Ascension in Montgomery, Alabama.

After serving as a federal law clerk in the Middle District of Alabama for one year, Mr. Bailey began practicing law with the firm in 1980 and has been a shareholder since 1983. Building upon a strong background of product liability and insurance defense, Mr. Bailey’s practice has evolved into handling a variety of complex litigation directly for clients who are either self-insured or have control over the selection of defense counsel.

Mr. Bailey works closely with corporate counsel and is therefore familiar with corporate litigation guidelines, reporting, and budgeting requirements.  He has managed and argued complex litigation for corporate manufacturing, insurance, and financial services clients as pro hac vice counsel in federal or state cases in Arizona, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and California.  He has also represented clients in construction arbitration proceedings and has served as an arbitrator.

A former newspaper reporter, cartoonist and magazine editor, Mr. Bailey has been involved in media law since 1980, particularly matters involving First Amendment rights and open government. He has served for years as general counsel for the Alabama Press Association and other media clients, and now supervises a statewide media hotline.

Recent Practice Highlights

In a decision that affects at least 13 other putative class action cases pending in Alabama circuit courts, the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action claiming that Alabama cooperatives could not utilize patronage capital credits under Alabama law. Recherche, LLC v. Baldwin County Electric Membership Corporation, No. 1171144. The Court relied heavily on the case of Caver v. Central Alabama Electric Cooperative, 845 F.3d 1135 (11th Cir. 2017) which was defended by Rushton Stakely attorneys Dennis Bailey, Evans Bailey and Mac Freeman with the assistance of Ted Jackson and Chris Simmons. The Rushton Stakely team of Dennis Bailey, Chris Simmons and Evans Bailey also submitted a friend of the court brief on behalf of the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives in Recherche.

Dennis and Evans Bailey obtained a summary judgment for the Dothan Eagle newspaper in a case involving a motor vehicle-pedestrian collision. The Plaintiff alleged that the tortfeasor was working as an agent or employee of the Dothan Eagle at the time of the accident. Dennis and Evans were able to demonstrate to the Court’s satisfaction that the alleged tortfeasor was actually an independent contractor, and the Dothan Eagle could not be liable as a result. The case is Westmoreland v. Dothan Eagle, Inc., et al., Coffee County Circuit Court, Enterprise Division, Case No. 17-900185.

With Ted Jackson, Dennis Bailey was successful in defending claims against an electric cooperative made by a general contractor relating to construction. After several days of testimony presented to a AAA arbitrator, the arbitrator ruled for the owner, an electric cooperative, on all claims asserted by the contractor and awarded the owner $170,000 on its counterclaim relating to completion delays. Arbitrator fees were assessed against the contractor. There was no appeal and the award and fees were paid by the contractor as directed. Ted Jackson handled the pre-arbitration dispute and Dennis Bailey handled the arbitration proceedings.

Obtained a dismissal of an appealed defamation claim. A Ugandan missionary sued The Alabama Baptist Newspaper in Jefferson County claiming an article concerning his operations in Africa was defamatory. The circuit court granted summary judgment that the article was not capable of a defamatory meaning nor written with actual malice toward the missionary. The missionary filed post-judgment motions and then appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court. The appeal was dismissed October 28, 2017, due to the expiration of the time to appeal established in Ala. R. Civ. Pro. 59.1. Evans Bailey and Jessica Trotman participated in the briefing process.

Honors and Awards

In September 2018, Mr. Bailey became a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America.

Dennis R. Bailey was elected President of the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association during the 2018 Annual Meeting. He will serve in that position until June 2019.

Dennis R. Bailey, was elected Alabama Defense Lawyers Association’s 2017 – 2018 President-Elect on June 17 during Alabama Defense Lawyers Association’s 2017 Annual Meeting

June 23, 2016-Alabama Bar Association President Lee Copeland awarded Dennis Bailey and two others the President’s Award in recognition of Exemplary Service to the Profession.

Since 2008, Mr. Bailey has been chosen by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America®. In the 2020 edition, he was selected for Communications Law, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Banking & Finance, Litigation – Intellectual Property, Litigation – Labor & Employment, Litigation – Real Estate, and Product Liability Litigation – Defendants. Mr. Bailey was also awarded “Lawyer of the Year” for Product Liability Litigation – Defendants.

In October, 2015, Mr. Bailey became an accredited member in Trial MastersTM.  Membership is reserved for the elite few lawyers who have tried more than 35 civil trials to verdict.  Less than 1/2 of 1% of lawyers are members.

The Alabama Defense Lawyers Association selected Mr. Bailey to serve on the 2015 – 2016 District III Board of Directors.

Mr. Bailey is an Advocate of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), and has been selected one of The Best Lawyers in America (2008 – 2014). He has been AV peer review rated by Martindale-Hubbell for many years; commended by Joint Resolution of the Alabama Legislature for work in drafting Alabama Open Meetings Act of 2005 and by the board of directors of the Alabama Press Association for helping to pass that legislation.

Mr. Bailey was selected for the 2012 – 2015 Journalism Advisory Council of Auburn University School of Communications and Journalism.

In November 2011, Mr. Bailey was selected for inclusion in “Top Lawyers: Commercial Litigation” by The American Lawyer and Corporate Counsel.  This special supplement includes The Best Lawyers in America® 2011 Annual Guide to Commercial Litigation. American Lawyer and Corporate Counsel magazines distribute the annual guide to their combined readership, highlighting the top firms and attorneys in the area of Commercial Litigation.

Mr. Bailey was the recent decisions editor for Cumberland Law Review and a member of Cumberland School of Law’s Curia Honoris Society.

While attending Auburn University, Mr. Bailey was a scholarship baseball player and was a member of the student newspaper staff. He made the Academic Baseball Team in 1975 and was named to the Outstanding College Athletes of America.

Publications

“Defamation in Alabama,” Jones Law Review (2000)

“1975: A Code Odyssey,” Cumberland Law Review (1979)

Presentations

May 2010: Alabama Press Association Webinar: Media law Refresher Course

Adjunct Professor: Department of Journalism, Auburn University:”Mass Media Law and Press Ethics.”  2007 – 2009

Alabama Bar Institute:  “Removal Jurisdiction in Federal Courts: The New Standards” and “Recent Developments in Civil Procedure”

“American Products Liability Overview” – Swedish Manufacturers Association (Stockholm)

“The Alabama Open Meetings Act of 2005” sponsored by the Alabama Press Association in conjunction with the Attorney General of the State of Alabama

Adjunct Professor, Jones School of Law: Conflicts of Law, 1983

Community Involvement

Mr. Bailey is involved in a number of community activities and has coached youth baseball for many years. He is a member of the Church of the Ascension in Montgomery, Alabama.

  • B.A., Auburn University (Journalism), 1975
  • J.D., Cumberland School of Law (cum laude) 1979
  • Alabama State Bar
  • Montgomery County Bar Association
  • Alabama Defense Lawyers Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Alabama Law Foundation Fellow
  • Journalism Advisory Council: Auburn University School of Communications and Journalism
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Trial MastersTM
  • DRI Business Torts & Contract Litigation SLG
  • Alabama
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. Tax Court