ATTORNEY BIO
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880 Montclair Road Suite 100 Birmingham, AL 35213
Assistant
Shirley Marks
Legal Assistant
bio image Laura C. Nettles
of counsel

Laura had been with LGWM since 1993. She practices in the Professional Liability Practice Group. Laura's practice has covered a broad spectrum of litigation, both in-state and federal courts. Laura has represented business professionals, contractors, insurance agents and brokers, real estate agents and brokers, accountants, employers, property managers, mortgage brokers, title agents and other professionals in errors and omissions actions, contract disputes, allegations of fraud, misrepresentation, bad faith and negligence cases.

Laura also handles cases involving all facets of Title VII, both at the EEOC administrative level and in federal court. Laura handles administrative due process proceedings involving municipal employees who are terminated or disciplined.

Laura's consumer financial litigation practice includes representing both local and national clients involved in debt collection and credit reporting litigation. Laura has experience with defending state law tort claims that arise out of debt collection and credit reporting, as well as violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act the Fair Credit Porting Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. She also represents creditors who are sued in adversary proceeding in Bankruptcy for violations of the automatic stay and discharge violations.

Professional Profile
Laura practices in LGWM's Labor and Employment and Professional Liability Practice groups. Laura's practice is divided between employment practices liability and debtor/creditor disputes.

Laura handles cases involving all facets of Title VII, both at the EEOC administrative level and in federal court. Laura also handles administrative due process proceedings involving municipal employees who are terminated or disciplined.

Laura's consumer financial litigation practice includes representing both local and national clients involved in debt collection and credit reporting litigation. Laura has experience with defending state law tort claims that arise out of debt collection and credit reporting, as well as violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
Admitted
  • All Alabama and Mississippi State Courts
  • The United States District Courts for the Northern Middle and Southern Districts of Alabama
  • The United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi
  • The United States Circuit Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits
  • The United States Supreme Court
Education
University of Alabama
B.F.A., in Acting, 1979

University of Alabama
M.F.A., in Acting, 1983

Fordham University School of Law
J.D. 1993
CASES OF NOTE
  • Laura won summary judgment in a suit alleging fraud and misrepresentation against an insurance agent. The plaintiff asserted the insurance agent had misrepresented the amount of coverage a homeowners policy she purchased from the agent would pay in the event of storm damage to her home. However testimony proved the plaintiff actually chose the amount of coverage she wanted and that all her claims were paid.
  • Laura recently obtained dismissal of an adversary proceeding in Bankruptcy court. The plaintiffs had originally filed a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy including $445,000 in student loan debt. She then converted the Chapter 7 to a Chapter 13. The defendants moved to dismiss arguing that the adversary proceeding was no longer ripe due to the plaintiff's conversion to a Chapter 13. The Court found that the adversary proceeding was not ripe due to the infancy of the plaintiff’s Chapter 13 case and dismissed the adversary proceeding.
  • K& B Quality Masonry, Inc. (K& B), masonry subcontractor entered into seven separate contracts with masonry contractor, Xcel Masonry (Xcel). K& B was paid on a “per block laid” basis, but was required by the contract to point, patch, and polish after the blocks were painted. On one day K & B pulled 125 workers off the projects without giving Xcel any prior notice. Xcel sued in breach of contract and for damages associated with hiring replacement subcontractors to finish the projects. Laura Nettles tried the case on behalf of Xcel and the jury awarded $125,000 in damages.
  • Crews purchased property and casualty insurance from National Boat Owners Association Marine Insurance Agency, Inc. (NBOA) for his 45 foot yacht which was an moored at Orange Beach, Alabama. When the policy renewed for the third time, the carrier, Markel, included a navigation restriction during hurricane season which would have required Crews to move his yacht to the northeastern coastline the United States. His yacht was damaged in hurricane Katrina and he filed a claim, which was denied by Markel based on the navigation restriction. Cruise sued the agency and the carrier, who moved to compel arbitration. At the arbitration hearing, under cross examination Laura Nettles forced Mr. Crews to admit he knew about the navigation restriction in the policy and had just ignored it. The arbitrator dismissed the claims against NBOA.
  • Mr. Bradford alleged violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1981, Ala.Code § 25-1-10 and conspiracy to violate Ala. Code § 25-1-10 against the City of Birmingham (City) and the Personnel Board of Jefferson County (Personnel Board), by not including Native Americans as a minority in affirmative action programs the City and the Personnel Board purportedly had. He also alleged violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 on the basis that he was not selected for a position for which he applied because of racial discrimination. Laura Nettles represented Personnel Board and in a motion for summary judgment was able to show the Court that Mr. Bradford never disclosed his Native American heritage to anyone at the Personnel Board and that the Personnel Board does not have an affirmative action program. The claims against Personnel Board were dismissed.
  • Hurston contacted Holley, a State Farm agent, to purchase property and casualty insurance on her own home. State Farm would not write the insurance on Hurston’s home because of its age and heating system. Holley was able to procure a policy for Hurston through Baldwin Mutual Insurance Company, Inc. (BMIC) in an amount Hurston chose herself. When Hurston filed claims with BMIC, BMIC arranged for independent contractors to do the repair to her home, whose work was subpar. She asserted that Mr. Holley knew or should have known BMIC was not a reputable insurance carrier and would not pay her claims. We filed summary judgment on behalf of Holley and showed the Court that all of Hurston’s claims barred by the two-year statute of limitations. The claims against Holley were dismissed.
  • While meeting with insurance agent, Myrick, Ms. Kirkpatrick applied for a $250,000 life insurance through Modern Woodmen. The application was subject to underwriting for pre-existing medical conditions. Kirkpatrick paid an initial premium. The application stated that if coverage were issued other than as applied for, it would require the applicant’s written consent. Based on underwriting, coverage issued at a different classification than applied for. Before the policy could be delivered to Kirkpatrick for written consent, it was rescinded because Myrick learned Kirkpatrick had been diagnosed with cancer. Kirkpatrick claimed Myrick told her she was covered by paying the initial premium along with the application and if coverage was issued, she had non-cancelable coverage. We were able to show the allegations of fraud were not reasonable because Kirkpatrick knew the conditions of coverage shown in the application. Summary Judgment in favor of Myrick was appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court. Laura Nettles and Steve Whitehead briefed the issues and the judgment in favor of Myrick was affirmed.
  • Bice sued as conservator of her mother, Myrtle Whitfield, related to a reverse mortgage Whitfield had placed on her home at the request of her son. Richard Wood Appraisals, (RWA) is an independent contractor who was hired by the reverse mortgage company to do an appraisal of the property. After her brother stole all the money from the reverse mortgage from Whitfield, Bice sued everyone involved with the transaction. We filed summary judgment on behalf of RWA, showing the Court that Bice’s negligence and wantonness claims were due to be dismissed because the independent appraiser owed no duty to Whitfield and Bice had no evidence to refute the amount for which the property was appraised.
  • S.L. Regions sued Synergy Medical Solutions (Synergy) for lease payments owed by Synergy after Synergy vacated offices on the 31st floor of the Regions building in downtown Birmingham. Synergy, in turn, filed a third-party complaint against Harbert alleging the offices were unusable because they shared the floor with the Summit Clue and that the noise and smells from the kitchen interfered with Synergy’s work. Synergy also claimed Harbert represented to Synergy the lease could be terminated. In the motion for summary judgment filed on behalf of Harbert, we proved the president of Synergy knew S.L. Regions was the only entity who could agree to terminate the lease.
  • Bass was tenured Firefighter for the City of Birmingham. In 2006, he applied for a promotion to Fire Inspector 2 through on-line system of the Personnel Board and his name was listed on the register. He was not selected for the promotion. In 2010, another promotion application period was announced for Fire Inspector 2 and Bass’ captain told him to apply. Bass believed his application from 2006 was still in effect and so did not apply. His name was not placed on the register for the 2010 promotion. He sued the City and the Personnel Board alleging his due process rights were violated. Laura Nettles’ summary judgment for the Personnel Board showing the Court Bass was afforded all the due process to which he was entitled. The case was dismissed.
  • Henley worked as a porter at a Burger King. He alleged he was burned with grease while working and asked to be sent for treatment. His burn was reported to Sago’s worker’s compensation carrier and he was treated for several weeks, while he continued to work on restricted duty. Months after his wound had fully healed, he was terminated for insubordination and violation of the company’s policies. He filed a Worker’s Compensation claim and asserted he was terminated in retaliation for his injury. Summary Judgment was granted on the retaliation claim because we were able to show Sago had legitimate, non-retaliatory reasons to terminate Henley.
  • Farmers hired Engineering Design and Testing (EDT) to investigate the claim filed by Keck concerning storm damage to her property. EDT inspected the property and submitted a report to Farmers. Farmers paid Keck for the damage which EDT reported was attributable to the storm. Keck sued Farmers and EDT asserting claims of negligence and wantonness. We filed summary judgment on behalf of EDT arguing under Alabama law, third-party investigators and adjusters hired by insurance companies to inspect, investigate, or adjust claims owe no legal duty to the insured. Instead, such third parties only owe a duty to the insurance carrier that retains third party. See Akpan v. Farmers Ins. Exchange, Inc., 961 So.2d 865, 873 (Ala.Civ.App. 2007) EDT was dismissed from the case.
REPORTED CASES
  • Bowie v. The Personnel Board of Jefferson County, 129 S. Ct. 767, 172 L.Ed.2d 755, 2008 US LEXIS 9165 (U.S. 2008).
  • Frascogna v. Security Check, LLC, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Jackson Division, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4044, January 7, 2009.
  • Sparks v. Phillips & Cohen Associates, Ltd., U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, Northern Division, 641 F. Supp. 2d 1234, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47915, June 20, 2008.
  • Callicut v. Professional Services of Potts Camp, Inc., Supreme Court of Mississippi 974 S. 2d. 216, December 13, 2007.
  • Casey v. PECO Foods, Inc., U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Eastern Division, 297 B.R. 73, 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14181, April 17, 2003.<
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