Pictured:
Gordon S. Rather, Jr.
Judy Simmons Henry
Jerry J. Sallings

Litigation

Our extensive litigation experience enables us to skillfully protect the interests of our clients in the courtroom.

We have earned a reputation for excellence in handling challenging litigation, and we provide an impressive depth of trial and appellate experience in nearly every kind of civil litigation that occurs in state and federal courts.



Antitrust

From mergers and acquisitions to bet-the-company litigation, Wright Lindsey Jennings attorneys have guided our clients through claims of antitrust violations and unfair competition in multiple venues. Our diverse team of commercial litigators, business and transactional practitioners and former criminal law attorneys can help clients navigate antitrust and competition matters.

We take a multidisciplinary approach. Our relevant experience covers a wide range of related issues, such as mergers and acquisitions and regulatory and agency work. Most recently, we defended a case by a competitor specialty hospital against the state’s largest hospital system and the state’s largest healthcare insurer alleging unlawful collusion and antitrust violations.

We have also defended a number of companies across various industries in disputes where unfair or deceptive trade practices have been alleged.


Appellate Advocacy

Recognizing that trial court proceedings are often only the first step in the litigation process, our appellate litigators have extensive experience in all areas of appellate litigation — interlocutory appeals, extraordinary writs and post-judgment appeals — and have represented firm clients in hundreds of cases covering a broad range of substantive and procedural issues before the Arkansas Supreme Court, the Arkansas Court of Appeals and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

In handling a broad range of appellate and trial matters, we evaluate the unique issues and opportunities that arise on appeal and develop strategies for arguing our clients’ positions to the court. The presentation of those arguments to the appellate court combines the well-honed research, writing and oral advocacy skills that are vital to a successful appeal. Our approach has proven successful in numerous published decisions of the state and federal appellate courts.

Our appellate lawyers are active outside the courtroom as well. Troy A. Price, a member of the appellate advocacy group, wrote the section on abstracting that appears in the Arkansas Bar Association’s treatise, Handling Appeals in Arkansas. Members of the group regularly speak at seminars on appellate issues, attend local and national seminars to continue developing their skills and stay abreast of the latest developments in appellate procedure and practice.


Arbitration & Mediation

Several of our attorneys are specially trained and certified as both arbitrators and mediators and regularly serve in those roles. These alternatives to trial and traditional settlement negotiations are used to avoid some of the ever-mounting costs of litigation.

The Honorable James M. Moody Sr., former federal judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas leads our arbitration and mediation team in consulting with attorneys both inside and outside the firm.  With extensive courtroom experience and a Federal Rules-based approach, Wright Lindsey Jennings attorneys offer unique insight on the dynamics of the judicial system that aid clients in determining the best litigation strategy.

Not only do we offer an exceptional arbitration and mediation service, we also open our conference center to clients to provide a comfortable environment in which to conduct arbitration and mediation meetings.


Bankruptcy & Creditor's Rights

Wright Lindsey Jennings is actively involved in all aspects of bankruptcy practice in Arkansas, including representation of secured and unsecured creditors, creditor committees and trustees as well as reorganization and liquidation of business debtors. Our capacity and experience in the bankruptcy area have allowed us to serve as lead and local debtor’s counsel in significant Chapter 11 cases filed in Arkansas.

Our bankruptcy attorneys work closely with our business transaction attorneys in insolvency cases involving asset sales. We also have substantial experience in all types of “out-of-court” workouts and restructurings, representing both debtors and creditors. Other creditor representations include a significant volume of routine to complex replevins, real estate foreclosures and the representation of lenders in all types of litigated matters, such as the defense of lender liability claims.

Our bankruptcy and creditors’ rights attorneys actively participate in local, state and national bar organizations and are regularly called upon as speakers at state-wide education programs in the areas of bankruptcy and creditor rights.


Class Action, Mass Tort, and Multidistrict Litigation

Wright Lindsey Jennings provides innovative, aggressive advocacy to defend our clients in class action, mass tort, and multi-district litigation.  Our attorneys are involved in a wide range of complex litigation arising under both state and federal laws, including marketing and consumer claims, lending and collection practices, products liability, insurance disputes, drug and medical devices, toxic and mass torts, and many other areas.

We understand the key legal issues—procedural and substantive—that arise in these cases, permitting us to formulate a sophisticated defense tailored to each case and each client’s individual needs.  We coordinate intensive discovery in class action and MDL proceedings, identifying and producing relevant documents while protecting privileged materials from disclosure.  We also identify and prepare witnesses, including experts, to testify on issues at every stage of the litigation, from class certification to trial.  We are well-prepared to challenge, attack, and defeat specious expert testimony offered by the other side.

Recognizing the extraordinary expense such cases pose for our clients, we work in conjunction with our paralegal and support staff to use the latest litigation support technology to reduce litigation costs and maximize efficiency, particularly in the often-difficult area of e-discovery.

The proof is in our record of success in numerous class actions, of which the following provide merely a sample:

  • Defeated class certification and obtained summary judgment in a multistate class action seeking the rescission of easements for an 850-mile long interstate crude oil pipeline and the removal of the pipeline.
  • Defeated certification of a class under the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act seeking payment of unpaid overtime.
  • Defeated certification of nationwide and Arkansas-only classes in a consumer fraud class action alleging false advertising in the marketing of multivitamins, resulting in the plaintiff accepting an offer of judgment in the amount of $25.00 plus costs on her individual claim in a case where disgorgement of substantial profits was sought
  • Won dismissal at the pleading stage of a nationwide class action alleging that another line of multivitamins was falsely advertised.
  • Defended nationwide and state-wide proposed class action against a sandwich restaurant alleging false advertising in the marketing of six-inch and twelve-inch sandwiches that were allegedly shorter than the advertised lengths.
  • Defeated plaintiff’s motion for conditional certification of a proposed collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act based on her failure to establish her job position was similar to those who would make up the proposed class.
  • Mediated and settled a class action on favorable terms involving motor vehicle document fees charged to consumers in the purchase of automobiles, taking over the case from another law firm late in the litigation and assisting in the administration of the settlement.
  • Won summary judgment in a multi-state class action alleging that a large, national equipment rental company fraudulently charged customers a “rental protection fee” without their approval.
  • Defended MDL proceeding against a major agricultural company in multimillion dollar negligence cases.
  • Defended a document preparation fee class action against a major Arkansas title company and obtained a judgment for our client on its counterclaim against the plaintiffs.
  • Defended several class actions against retailers for their use of “flash cookies” on their websites.
  • Defended athletic shoe manufacturer against proposed state-wide class actions involving claims of false advertising of “toning” shoes.
  • Defended proposed national and state class action against a national bank for alleged breach of contract, deceptive trade practices, and fraud arising from charges to customers related to garnishments and other process.

This proven record of success in complex litigation continues, as we currently represent a host of clients from numerous industries in various pending class actions in state and in federal court.


Commercial Litigation & Contract Disputes

Wright Lindsey Jennings commercial litigation attorneys have successfully handled thousands of cases for clients engaged in major contract disputes and civil litigation. From counseling through trial and appeal, we provide comprehensive experience in a broad range of matters. Our attorneys have handled cases involving class actions, antitrust, banking, trusts, health care, corporate governance and shareholder disputes, securities regulation, commercial contracts, bankruptcy, secured transactions, real property, taxation, financial transactions as well as franchise and dealership litigation.

When matters go into litigation, WLJ can handle every aspect of the litigation from start to finish, managing each case as both a legal and business problem and always striving to resolve every matter in a way that best benefits our clients. Accordingly, our commercial litigation attorneys are prepared to represent our firm’s clients in a wide variety of forums – from the courtroom to administrative hearings to alternative dispute resolution through mediation and arbitration.

Wright Lindsey Jennings attorneys have prevailed on motions for dismissal or summary judgment in a countless number of complex matters. Should a case proceed further, our commercial litigation attorneys are trial lawyers – they understand what it takes to win at trial. They also understand and appreciate the importance of presenting testimony from professional experts and have developed long-standing relationships with the best expert witnesses available both in Arkansas and throughout the country. When cases are appealed, clients appreciate our experienced team of appellate lawyers who are extremely knowledgeable about what it takes to navigate the appellate process at all levels in both state and federal court.

Our firm is recognized as one of the leading commercial litigation firms in Arkansas by Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and Best Lawyers in America. Many of our commercial litigation attorneys have been individually recognized by Chambers USA and Best Lawyers, as well as by Mid-South Super Lawyers, Lawdragon, Benchmarkand other professional publications.


Construction

General contractors, subcontractors, architects, engineers, materials suppliers and sureties find our uniquely qualified construction attorneys understand, analyze and act quickly to resolve disputes. We negotiate, litigate, mediate and arbitrate claims arising from construction and building projects. The projects range in size from personal residences to large developments, such as shopping centers and hospitals. We also assist in drafting and negotiating construction contracts and regularly deal with materialmen’s liens — assisting clients in filing, foreclosing and defending against lien claims.

Our construction litigation experience includes handling lawsuits in state and federal courts, proceedings before regulatory and administrative bodies and serving as AAA-certified construction arbitrators. We are familiar with the unique legal issues involved in both representing sureties and bringing claims against them.

Our attorneys are often called upon to speak and write on construction litigation topics and their experience and intimate knowledge of the construction industry and its governing law can lead to successful results for our clients.


Director & Officer Liability

Companies, whether public or private and the decision makers within them, are susceptible to a host of Director & Officer (D&O) exposures. Our team of D & O attorneys has an outstanding reputation both in the boardroom and in the courtroom. D & O matters are on the rise, particularly in the areas of finance, as regulatory and governmental agencies meticulously oversee their respective industries.

We work closely with our clients and create proactive plans that guide day-to-day operations to protect company leaders against personal liabilities. Should disputes arise, we strive to resolve them without the necessity of litigation. However, our team of D&O attorneys is well-equipped to defend our clients’ interests from start to finish.

We have represented directors and officers in a wide variety of disputes from alleged wrongful failure to renew a loan to failure to properly monitor company investments.


e-Discovery

Wright Lindsey Jennings’ e-Discovery team counsels clients on a variety of discovery-related issues regarding record retention, data destruction and litigation hold policies. Our firm offers a thorough and practical approach to data protection, collection, search and production. Preparedness is pertinent in any litigation matter, but the impact of new and emerging technologies heightens the need for flawless pre-trial research. Our dedication to pre-trial preparation generates a distinct competitive advantage for our clients. WLJ offers competitive, reasonable rates and alternative pricing models.

We have extensive experience handling large-scale data collection and production in complex litigation. The firm’s e-Discovery team, comprised of individuals with both legal and technological backgrounds, is available to provide clients hands-on assistance in the preservation and collection of data. Our e-Discovery attorneys provide a unique set of skills to support our clients in the discovery process, while the firm’s information technology specialists have the experience and knowledge necessary to deploy tailored IT solutions to assist clients throughout the duration of our legal service.

Our e-Discovery team is well-positioned to assist in any type of matter, including cases where WLJ is not lead counsel. Where a traditional model is required or appropriate, we will work with your lead defense counsel to develop suitable search terms and review protocols. With up to 20 WLJ attorneys and a project manager available to manage and staff a document review team at any given time, we are able to handle many document reviews using our attorneys. Alternatively, where the scale of the project or cost-efficiencies weigh in favor of using contract lawyers, we will train and manage a team of contract lawyers, with WLJ attorneys providing second level review/quality control. The e-Discovery team also has experience using Technology Assisted Review (TAR), which has proven to be a more cost-efficient alternative to traditional attorney-review in some cases.

In a recent engagement involving more than 15 related lawsuits, we assisted our client in collecting electronically-stored information (ESI) from nearly 100 custodians, resulting in the collection of 7.5 million electronically-stored files. Search terms were applied to more than 4 million electronically-stored files, and the 1 million documents returned by those terms were then reviewed by a team of 18 WLJ attorneys and 35 contract attorneys. Ultimately, more than 250,000 documents were produced to opposing counsel.


Environmental Issues & Toxic Torts

We have successfully defended claims across the spectrum of toxic tort litigation including, but not limited to, the defense of claims for asbestos exposure, exposure to hazardous substances, the sale of hazardous or toxic substances and industrial accidents involving hazardous or toxic substances. These include claims by single plaintiffs and those in complex, multi-party and class action litigation in both state and federal court. We have extensive experience in handling the legal and factual issues that arise in environmental and toxic tort cases, including the identification and engagement of qualified expert witnesses to contest liability and damages.

Our attorneys and paralegals are adept in the management of environmental and toxic tort litigation, including the extensive discovery process that often takes place in such matters. We have a strong trial support and appellate advocacy practice which allows us to pursue summary adjudications and rulings on evidentiary issues that properly position the case for trial, as well as for appeals. Our understanding of the science, medicine and law at issue in these cases permits us to communicate effectively with judges and juries alike.

Our practice in this field is not limited to litigation. We provide advice to clients on avoiding litigation through preventative measures and devising effective product warnings. We have also represented a variety of manufacturing, waste treatment and disposal industries in administrative actions before the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission.


Insurance Defense

For more than 100 years, Wright Lindsey Jennings has handled insurance defense matters in state and federal courts. In that time, WLJ has earned statewide and national recognition as one of the premier insurance defense firms in Arkansas. We have represented insureds and insurance carriers at the trial court level in every county in Arkansas and in every division of federal court in Arkansas.

Moreover, our attorneys have successfully handled matters involving insurance defense issues before the Arkansas Court of Appeals and the Arkansas Supreme Court. We are actively involved in all areas of insurance defense — automobile accidents, products liability, commercial property losses, personal injury claims, contractual liability, construction liability, premises liability, professional liability, subrogation prosecution and defense, environmental litigation, toxic torts, wrongful death claims, class actions, business interruption, healthcare, life and disability, trademark infringement, bad faith/extra-contractual claims and other areas in which disputes arise that are defended by insurers.

Our insurance defense practice also includes handling coverage disputes arising from the same types of matters that we defend. In the role of coverage counsel, we advise our clients regarding coverage disputes and litigate them in state and federal courts where necessary.


Medical Malpractice

Our medical malpractice team has the experience and industry knowledge to handle complex legal issues faced by hospitals and healthcare providers – large and small. We are meticulous when it comes to defending healthcare providers facing regulatory proceedings, litigation and contractual issues, and we also provide guidance regarding risk management and loss prevention.

Our team of medical and dental malpractice attorneys has successfully defended medical malpractice actions against clients from every spectrum of the healthcare industry, including corporations, hospitals, physicians, dentists, nurses, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers. We take pride in working with these practitioners in overcoming the challenges created by the ever-changing business, legal and regulatory landscapes they face.

Chambers USABest Lawyers in America and Mid-South Super Lawyers have recognized our attorneys for their excellence in medical malpractice defense. Wright Lindsey Jennings prides itself on client-focused advocacy and continues to earn acknowledgment as one of the premier firms in Arkansas in the practice of medical malpractice defense.


Products Liability

Wright Lindsey Jennings trial lawyers regularly defend a broad range of national and international product manufacturers, designers and suppliers in state and federal courts throughout Arkansas. Our experience is proven in claims from single plaintiffs and those in complex, multi-party and class action litigation in both state and federal court. These cases have involved products of nearly every type and description of product, ranging from the smallest household products to the largest industrial machinery.

Our attorneys have served for years as statewide counsel for one of the “Big Three” automakers, two major Japanese automobile manufacturers and several other manufacturers of automobiles, trucks and recreational vehicles. We also regularly defend a broad array of domestic and foreign manufacturers in such diverse fields as drugs and medical devices, pharmaceuticals, aviation and marine equipment, industrial machinery, agricultural and farm implements, outdoor equipment, power tools, consumer products, sports equipment, electronic and computer products, building, paint and petroleum products.

Our extensive trial and appellate experience in handling the legal and factual issues involved in defending products liability claims allows us to handle this litigation from its inception to its conclusion, including identifying and engaging qualified expert witnesses to contest liability and damages issues.


Professional Liability

A number of Wright Lindsey Jennings attorneys devote a significant amount of their time to the defense of professional malpractice claims. We frequently represent attorneys and other professionals who are insured by the largest professional liability insurer in Arkansas and defend medical malpractice claims on behalf of hospitals, physicians and other medical professionals throughout the state. We also have extensive experience in the litigation and trial of architectural, engineering, dental, accounting, veterinarian and insurance agent malpractice actions.

In addition to defending professionals in civil litigation, our attorneys represent a wide range of professionals before administrative tribunals charged with enforcing professional standards. We also have substantial experience in evaluating insurance coverage issues and litigating declaratory judgment and contract actions in the context of professional liability disputes.


Title Curative & Surety

Wright Lindsey Jennings attorneys have extensive experience representing title insurance companies, property owners, lenders and others who seek to remedy difficult or complex defects in chains of title. We give our clients practical advice and work diligently to resolve the title defects without the necessity of litigation.

If litigation becomes necessary, we have experience addressing all manner of claims, such as quiet title, declaration of priorities, equitable subrogation, breach of contract, fraud and foreclosure. Our attorneys work to quickly and efficiently deliver clear and marketable title to our clients.

By way of example, our attorneys typically work to correct legal description errors, obtain releases of prior liens or extinguished prior liens, reform recorded real estate documents and analyze homestead exemptions.


Trucking & Transportation

Wright Lindsey Jennings’ defense of the transportation industry dates back to 1900 when the Rock Island Railroad hired the firm’s founder as its legal counsel. With the advent of the tractor-trailer industry, our firm began handling truck wreck litigation. And as the transportation industry has grown in scope and complexity, our firm’s expertise has expanded to meet the industry’s needs.

Today, our trucking and transportation attorneys defend transportation industry leaders in truck and bus cases in every county and federal court in Arkansas. We have tried hundreds of jury trials and have mediated and arbitrated countless truck and bus cases. For example, we have represented Schneider National Carriers, Inc., ABF Freight System, Inc., Covenant Transportation, Ryder Transportation, Swift Transportation, McNeill Express, Southwestern Motor Transport, Daily Express, Bekins Van Lines, PAM Transportation, Penske Truck Leasing, Exel, Tango Transport, Heartland Express and Interstate Distributor Company. We also regularly represent trucking companies through numerous transportation industry insurers and third party administrators, including Vanliner, Kingsway Insurance (Canada), General Casualty, Northbridge Insurance, Alteris Insurance Services, National Fire and Liability, Amerisure, Kemper, Progressive, Great West Casualty, Landstar, Canal Insurance Company, National Indemnity, Liberty Bell/Cherokee Insurance, National Specialty Insurance, Gallagher Basset Services, Inc., Berkley Risk Administrators and Western World Insurance Group.

We bring broad experience to issues confronting the transportation industry, such as fatality and wrongful death, traumatic brain injury and PTSD claims, truck and pedestrian accidents, conspicuity issues, fog, smoke and ice-on-the-highway collisions, vehicle simulations, ECM and SDM downloads, Carmack Amendment questions, underride and jackknifing accidents, chain reaction cases, rear-end accidents, “T-bone” collisions, as well as contested traffic signal, lane-change and roll-over accidents. Our attorneys employ their related experience in criminal law and products liability cases — including tire failure, airbag, truck and auto defect — to unravel complementary issues that arise in truck and bus litigation. Several of our partners handle workers’ compensation cases and employment disputes for the trucking industry as well.

Attorneys in both the Central Arkansas (Little Rock) and Northwest Arkansas (Rogers) offices routinely work with accident reconstructionists, biomechanical engineers and other experts throughout Arkansas and adjacent states. Given the importance of rapid investigation of accidents, the firm maintains an Accident Rapid Response Team always staffed by at least 7 lawyers, providing clients with 24-hour access to legal assistance with expertise in overseeing scene inspections by adjusters, in debriefing drivers and in directing experts in on-scene investigations immediately following collisions, as well as after litigation ensues.

In addition to serving as outside General Counsel for the Arkansas Trucking Association, our transportation and trucking attorneys take active roles in numerous truck-related defense organizations, including American Law Firm Association (ALFA) – Transportation Practice Group, Defense Research Institute and Trucking Industry Defense Association (TIDA).


Trust Litigation

In addition to helping our clients create trusts for their personal or business use, we also represent trustees, settlors and beneficiaries in various types of trust disputes. We regularly advise trustee clients on interpretation of trust instruments and whether certain distributions are allowable, including distribution from special needs trusts and other specialized trusts that are subject to heightened state and federal requirements.

Wright Lindsey Jennings attorneys have helped to protect beneficiary rights when a trustee has breached its fiduciary duties under the trust instrument, as well as vigorously defended trustees who are wrongfully accused of violating their fiduciary duties. When a creditor of a settlor or beneficiary attacks a spendthrift trust to attempt to collect from trust assets, we have assisted trustees in withstanding the attack.

On the other hand, when a settlor has fraudulently transferred assets to a trust for the purpose of shielding them from creditors, we have assisted creditors with setting aside the fraudulent transactions.