David G. Wirtes, Jr.

  • Named Appellate Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in America® in 2016, 2021, and 2023.

Dave Wirtes, Jr.




Support Staff

Legal Assistant
Alisa Fillingim

  • Profile
  • Results
  • Education
  • Affiliations
  • Reported Decisions
  • Publications
  • News
Focusing on strategic planning, motion practice, and appeals, Dave Wirtes has worked for over three decades helping our firm and our clients be successful in litigation.

Dave’s efforts in Alabama, Mississippi, and throughout the Country help protect working men and women in ways most will never know. He has won many battles against powerful defendants and in the course of doing so helped change laws to give victims justice.

He has been rated for decades as AV® Preeminent TM as shown at www.martindale.com. This peer rating means Dave is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity. In 2016, 2021, and again in 2023, Dave was awarded the distinction of Appellate Lawyer of the Year in Alabama after peer review by Best Lawyers. Colleagues have commented, “Dave is the premier appellate lawyer in Alabama.” “He has more experience and success than any lawyer in the state.” “Dave Wirtes [and Bruce McKee] are two of Alabama’s best appellate lawyers.”

Dave is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts serving Alabama and Mississippi, the Fifth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Dave helps his colleagues through service in numerous professional organizations. He is a member of the Alabama and Mississippi State Bar Associations, has served on the Ethics Committee, and Long-Range Planning Committee and served as co-editor of The Alabama Lawyer (2014-2024).

Dave is a long-time member of the Alabama Supreme Court’s Standing Committee on the Rules of Appellate Procedure, and presently serves on the Court’s special task force concerning privacy issues in litigation.

Dave is a Trustee and former officer of the National Civil Justice Institute (f/k/a Pound Civil Justice Institute), the nation’s legal think tank for trial attorneys.

Dave is a Sustaining Member of the Alabama Association for Justice and has served as a Member of its Board of Governors and Executive Committee (1990-present); Member and/or Chairman of its Amicus Curiae Committee (1990-present); and Co-editor of the Alabama Association for Justice Journal (1996-present).

Dave is also actively involved with the American Association for Justice where he previously served as Alabama’s Representative and as a Member of the Board of Governors. He continues his service as a Member of its Amicus Curiae Committee (1999-present).

Dave is a member of the Mobile County Bar Association and has served on many of its committees, including as Chairman, Ethics Committee; Chairman, Bench, and Bar Conference Committee; Co-chairman, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee; and Member, Grievance Committee.

Dave was nominated by colleagues for appointment as a Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America and is now a Senior Fellow. He was a founder of The American Institute of Appellate Practice ("AIAP"), serving as its Executive Director (2015-16), and is one of just fourteen persons certified nationwide by AIAP as an Appellate Specialist.

Dave also helps his colleagues by frequently sharing his knowledge and experiences through publishing peer-reviewed articles in law reviews and legal journals, and through speaking at continuing legal education seminars. He has spoken across the country on such topics as Defeating Unlawful Discrimination in Jury Selection, Appellate Practice, Perfecting the Appeal, HIPAA and Ex parte Contacts, Recent Updates on the Law, Electronic Discovery, Arbitration, and Immunity.

Outside the courtroom, Dave enjoys photography and restoring antique automobiles.

Featured Results

  • $11.9 billion in State of Alabama vs. ExxonMobil
  • $140 million in a wrongful death of a patient
  • $108 million in a hazardous waste case
  • $50 million in a defective water heater explosion
  • $40 million in a defective seatbelt case
  • $35 million in a malpractice case for death after thumb surgery
  • $34 million State of Alabama v Shell Oil Co.
  • $29 million State of Alabama v. Amoco Production Co.
  • $23 million in defective meat saw case
  • $20.5 million in defective meat saw case
  • $20 million in a wrongful death case
  • $20 million in an anesthesia error resulting in death
  • $15 million in a medical malpractice case
  • $15 million in a hot water heater injury case
  • $14.5 million in a medical malpractice case
  • $12.5 million State of Alabama v Mobil Oil Corporation
  • $8.25 million settlement for shipyard workers
  • $5.5 million in a medical malpractice case
  • $5 million settlement for wrongful death of a teenager
  • $5 million jury verdict in carbon monoxide poisoning death case
  • $5.0 million in a rear-end collision with Federal Express delivery vehicle
  • $4.6 million royalty fraud against Hunt Petroleum Corp.
  • $4.5 million Family in head-on collision with a large truck
  • $4 million verdict against hospital pharmacy for fatal dose
  • $2.75 million for a medical malpractice case
  • $2.4 million against Farmers Insurance for fraud
  • Numerous other confidential settlements

Recognition & Awards

  • The American Institute of Appellate Practice, Certified Appellate Specialist
  • Benchmark Plaintiff, “Litigation Star” in its national rankings of Appellate Attorneys
  • Best Lawyers in America®
    • Listed (2011 – present)
    • Named “Lawyer of the Year – Appellate Practice” (2016, 2021, 2023)
  • Super Lawyers, Listed as one of the top plaintiff attorneys in Alabama / Mid-South Region (2012 – present)
  • Litigation Counsel of America
    • Co-Founder
    • Senior Fellow (2016)
  • Lawdragon, listed in the 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers (2020 - present)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ 5.0/5.0 Peer Rating
  • Frequently invited to present at continuing legal education seminars and has spoken on topics such as:
    • Defeating Unlawful Discrimination in Jury Selection
    • Appellate Practice
    • Perfecting the Appeal
    • HIPAA and Ex parte Contacts
    • Recent Updates on the Law
    • Electronic Discovery
    • Arbitration
    • Immunity

Video Clips

Dave Wirtes Presents Case To Alabama Supreme Court | (September 19, 2023)

Dave Wirtes argues case before the Alabama Supreme Court | (April 5, 2023)

The University of Alabama Law Review Virtual Symposium, Ten Years of the Supreme Court’s Personal Jurisdiction Revival | (March 5, 2021)

  • $11.9 Billion State of Alabama vs. ExxonMobil
  • $140 Million Verdict for Wrongful Death of a Patient
  • $50 Million Defective Water Heater Explosion
  • $40 Million Defective Seatbelt Case
  • $35 Million Verdict for Death After Thumb Surgery
  • $34 Million State of Alabama v. Shell Oil Co.
  • $29 Million State of Alabama v. Amoco Production Co.
  • $20.5 Million Verdict in Defective Meat Saw Case
  • $20 Million Verdict in Wrongful Death Case
  • $20 Million Anesthesia Error Resulting in Death
  • $15 Million Verdict in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
  • $15 Million Hot Water Heater Injury
  • $14.5 Million Verdict in Medical Malpractice Case
  • $12.5 Million State of Alabama v. Mobil Oil Corporation
  • $10 Million Death After Thumb Surgery
  • $8.25 Million Settlement for Shipyard Workers
  • $5.007 Million Rear-End Collision With Federal Express Delivery Vehicle
  • $5 Million Wrongful Death Case
  • $5 Million Verdict for Carbon Monoxide Death
  • $4.6 Million Royalty Fraud Against Hunt Petroleum Corp.
  • $4.5 Million Family in Head-On Collision With a Large Truck
  • $4 Million Verdict Against Hospital Pharmacy for Fatal Dose
  • $2.75 Million Verdict for Medical Malpractice
  • $2.4 Million Verdict Against Farmers Insurance For Fraud
  • $779,477 Verdict for Man in Industrial Accident
  • $400,000 Home Was Wrongfully Foreclosed
  • Confidential Settlement Negotiated Over Defective Heater
  • Confidential Settlement Negotiated in 'Wrongful Birth' Case
  • Confidential Physician Assistants Win in Court Against Blue Cross
  • Confidential Woman Injured in Truck Crash
  • Confidential Case Against Ford Motor Co. for Defective Intake Manifolds
  • Confidential Ford Explorer/Firestone Tire Rollover
  • Confidential Negotiated Settlement Over Death Involving Go-Cart
  • Confidential Man Paralyzed During Automobile Accident
  • Confidential Settlement Negotiated Over Construction Site Accident
  • Confidential Negotiated Settlement Over Harmful Diet Program
  • Confidential Settlement Reached Over Medical Malpractice Case
  • Confidential Settlement Reached in Confidential Medical Malpractice Case
  • Confidential Medical Malpractice Verdict in Wrongful Death Case


  • Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama, J.D., 1985
  • University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, B.A., 1981


  • Court Admissions
    • Admitted to Alabama Bar (1985)
    • Admitted to Mississippi Bar (2013)
    • Admitted to U. S. Court of Appeals, 5th and 11th Circuits (1985)
    • Admitted to United States Supreme Court (1985)
  • Professional Organizations
    • American Institute of Appellate Practice, Founding Member
      • Chairman (2015 – 2016)
    • Alabama Association for Justice
      • Member (1985 – present)
      • Board of Governors (1992 – 1996)
      • Executive Committee (1997 – present)
      • Amicus Curiae Committee (1990 – present)
      • Chairman/Co-Chairman (1995 – present)
    • American Association for Justice
      • Member (1985 – present)
      • State Delegate (1999 – 2001)
      • Board of Governors (1992 – 1996)
      • Amicus Curiae Committee (1999 – present)
    • Alabama Supreme Court’s Standing Committee on Rules of Appellate Procedure, Member (2004 – present)
    • The Alabama Lawyer (Co-Editor, 2014-2024)
    • Alabama Association for Justice Journal, Co-Editor
    • Public Justice, Sustaining Member
      • Alabama representative
    • National Civil Justice Institute (f/k/a Pound Civil Justice Institute), Trustee and Former Officer
    • National Board of Appellate Lawyers (a division of the National Board of Trial Advocacy), Founding Director and Trustee
  • Motions in Limine & Issue Preservation
  • Proposed New Rules Concerning Privacy and Confidentiality of Court Records
  • Are There Constitutional Issues With Alabama's Gubernatorial and Legislative Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Tips from the Trenches | Opposing Defense Motions In Limine Concerning Reptile Theory, Vol. 42
  • Recent Civil Decisions, Vol. 42 Alabama Association for Justice Journal, p. 81, Spring 2022
  • Combating Weaponized Challenges to Personal Jurisdiction
  • Recent Civil Decision
  • Tips from the Trenches
  • Recent Civil Decisions
  • Legal Update Winter 2021
  • Recent Civil Decisions
  • Tips from the Trenches - Ex parte Freudenberger: Context and Implications
  • Legal Update Summer 2020
  • Punitive Damages in Eleventh Circuit Maritime Cases After Batterton
  • Recent Civil Decisions - Spring 2020
  • Did You Know?
  • Legal Update Winter 2020
  • Recent Civil Decisions - Fall 2019
  • Alabama Law Regarding Proof of Future Medical Expenses - Fall 2019
  • Alabama’s Appellate Standards of Review in Civil Cases
  • Remember the Controlling Principles of "Notice" Pleading
  • Recent Civil Decisions - Spring 2019
  • Ascertainment of Maritime Victims' Status and Its Impact Upon Recoverable Damages in Injury and Death Cases
  • Recent Civil Decisions - Fall 2018
  • Tips from the Trenches: Don't Take the Defense Witness's Affidavit at Face Value
  • To What Extent Are the Contents of Your Client’s Medical Records Admissible?
  • Recent Civil Decisions: Summaries From September 22, 2017 to March 23, 2018
  • Alabama Medical Records
  • Revisiting an Important Consequence of HIPAA
  • Recent Civil Decisions
  • Alabama Medical Records: Part 2
  • Recent Civil Decisions
  • Tips From the Trenches- The Statute § 6-5-551
  • Alabama Medical Records: Part 1
  • Legal Update - Fall 2016
  • Legal Update - Summer 2016
  • Plaintiff's Burden of Proof Relative to Recovery of Lost Future Earnings & Lost Future Earning Capacity
  • Legal Update - Winter 2015
  • Ala. Code § 6-11-20(A)’s Clear and Convincing Evidence Standard Has No Application When Opposing a Motion for Summary Judgment
  • Overcoming an Assertion of Fifth Amendment Privilege Against Self-Incrimination in Parallel Civil Proceedings
  • State-Court Jurisdiction Over Federal Enclaves
  • Exclusive Legislation Does Not Mean Exclusive Jurisdiction - State-Court Jurisdiction over Civil Actions Arising
  • Anatomy of an Alabama Co-employee Willful Misconduct Case for Removal or Failure to Install, Repair, or Maintain a Safety Guard
  • Hospitals', Surgical Centers', and Clinics' Vicarious Liability for Acts and Omissions of Doctors, CRNAS, Physician's Assistants
  • The Limited Scope of Contributory Negligence in AEMLD-Crashworthiness Cases
  • Is a Health Care Authority Constitutionally Entitled to Invoke the $100,000 Cap on Liability for a Local Government Entity?
  • Suggested Strategies for Admission of Other Similar Incident Evidence
  • Raising a Successful Batson Challenge in Jury Selection
  • Establishing Personal Jurisdiction in Alabama
  • The Scope of a Nurse's Duty of Care
  • Establishing a Prima Facie Case of Discrimination in Jury Selection
  • Taking Control: How a False Claims Act Will Allow Alabama to Stop the Leeching of Its Treasury
  • Batson, Branch, and the Elimination of Racial and Gender Discrimination in Jury Selection in Alabama
  • CLE Presentation: Identifying and Defeating Unlawful Discrimination in Jury Selection
  • Recent Developments in Appellate Motion Practice
  • Voir Dire, Jury Selection and Discrimination
  • Out of the Quagmire: Alabama's Statute of Limitations for Wantonness Is Six Years
  • Don't Neglect the Nurse's Duty of Care
  • Appellate Motion Practice Speech
  • Taking Control: How a False Claims Act Will Allow Alabama to Stop the Leeching of Its Treasury
  • Appealability, Perfecting an Appeal and Supplying the Record
  • An Important Consequence of HIPAA: No More Ex Parte Communications Between Defense Attorneys and Plaintiffs' Treating Physicians
  • How Does Cooper Industries v. Leatherman Affect the Alabama Practitioner?
  • Avoiding Arbitration: Ten Steps to Consider
  • Suggestions for Defeating Arbitration
  • Voir Dire
  • Discovering Ways to Avoid Erisa Preemption Trial Talk
  • Recent Developments in Avoiding Erisa Preemption: Part II – Discovery
  • Recent Developments in Avoiding Erisa Preemption: Part I

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