Litigation

Experience

Interim General Counsel for State Fair Board

Tanner was appointed interim general counsel for the Kentucky State Fair Board and its associated Kentucky Venues in 2019. His duties included overseeing all legal operations for the Kentucky venues properties, and handling all connected legal issues.

Successfully Defended Bank against Claims of Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Client: Large Regional Bank

We represented our client, a large regional bank, following a claim of breach of fiduciary duty in connection with a large family trust. We successfully had those claims dismissed through a dispositive motion, a decision which was unanimously upheld on appeal.

Asset Sale

Represented a software development company in the sale of business in order to settle litigation between hostile shareholders.

Medical Device Product Liability Litigation

Defending multiple product liability cases involving joint replacement products.

OxyContin Litigation

Defense of Purdue Pharma, LP in multiple state court cases involving product liability claims based on the marketing of the prescription pain relief medication Oxycontin. In the course of that defense, we successfully obtained one of the first judgments in favor of the company based upon the defense of misuse of the product. We also obtained the dismissal of a significant number of individual claims, and negotiated a resolution of one of the first actions instituted by a state attorney general against the company.

Successfully Defended Private High School in Lawsuit

Client: A High School

We successfully defended our client, a private high school, in a lawsuit challenging the principal’s decision to withdraw a student for a disciplinary infraction. The student and his family sued the school, claiming breach of contract and discrimination, and sought an injunction overturning the principal’s decision and reinstating the student. We worked in a two week span to brief the injunction request, accomplish all necessary discovery and depositions, and prepare the case for trial. After the plaintiffs presented their case, we moved for involuntary dismissal under Rule 41, arguing they had failed to meet the burden of proof required. The court agreed, and in a written decision denied plaintiffs’ motion for injunction, dismissed the injunction claim altogether, and entered complete judgment in our client’s favor on that count.  Plaintiffs then agreed to resolve the remaining damages claims for nonmonetary consideration.

Arbitration of Environmental Liability Dispute

Client: Energy Company

Represented client in series of private arbitrations involving environmental liabilities arising from property exchanges. Conducted arbitration to determine scope of contractual liability, prevailed in 21 of 22 arbitrations allocating responsibility for specific properties, and the parties then reached a confidential settlement.

Coordinated Corporate Control Disputes

Client: Senior Management and Shareholders

Represented officers, directors and shareholders of companies based in Hong Komg in corporate control disputes in California state courts and provided advice regarding related litigation in Hong Kong. Defeated preliminary injunction motion, coordinated California cases and then reached global settlement on confidential terms.

Defense of Data Analytics Company in Class Action

Client: Data Analytics Company

Defended data analytics provider in coordinated class actions alleging violations of the Video Privacy Protection Act. Case against client stayed pending resolution of related action.

Defense of Departing Employees in Trade Secrets Dispute

Client: Investment Banking Group

Defended group of investment bankers in trade secrets case filed by former employer. Defeated preliminary injunction motion and the case then settled on confidential terms.

Defense of Energy Client in Coordinated Antitrust Class Actions

Client: Energy Client

Defended energy client in coordinated class actions alleging wage-fixing arising from participation in salary surveys. Defeated class certification.

Defense of Hospital in Antitrust Class Action

Client: Hospital

Defended hospital in class action alleging state antitrust law violations arising from participation in salary survey. Obtained summary judgment and case then settled while on appeal.

Defense of Investment Advisor in Securities Fraud, Negligence Cases

Client: Investment Advisor

Defended investment advisor in related cases alleging securities law violations and professional negligence. Narrowed issues through motion to dismiss in lead case and all cases then settled on confidential terms.

Defense of Investment Bank in Entertainment Industry M&A Dispute

Client: Investment Bank

Defended investment bank in cases filed by an acquiring company and a lender seeking $1.5 billion in damages for alleged professional negligence in connection with the preparation of a solvency opinion related to a film studio acquisition. Obtained summary judgment in lender’s case and parties then agreed to settlement on confidential terms.

Defense of Pharmaceutical Manufacturer in Antitrust Class Action

Client: Pharmaceutical Manufacturer

Defended pharmaceutical manufacturer in class action alleging antitrust violations under California law based on alleged sham patent litigation and reverse settlement payments. Motion to dismiss with prejudice granted.

Defense of Securities Fraud, Ponzi Scheme Cases

Client: Investment Advisory Firm Executive

Defended CEO of investment advisory firm in cases alleging securities law violations and fraud filed by the SEC, the CFTC and institutional investors. We reached a confidential settlement with the federal agencies and a Receiver appointed by them and the institutional investors then dismissed their cases against the client.

Defense of Video Game Developer in Data Breach Class Action

Client: Video Game Developer

Defended video game developer in class action alleging data breach. After a successful motion to transfer, the case settled on confidential terms.

Merger Clearance

Client: Energy Client

Represented energy client before the FTC in connection with the sale of a subsidiary. Responded to Second Request and negotiated asset divestiture to obtain clearance.

Pursuit of Trade Secrets Claims Against Former Employees and Competitor

Client: Engineering Firm

Pursued trade secrets case on behalf of engineering firm against departing employees and competitor. Obtained preliminary injunction preventing use of trade secrets by the competitor and case then settled on confidential terms.

Thwarted Union Attempt to Enjoin Sale of Refinery

Client: Energy Client

Defended energy client in case filed by union to enjoin sale of refinery under federal labor law. Obtained summary judgment, affirmed on appeal.

Trial of Breach of Contract Dispute

Client: Advertising Agency

Defended advertising agency in breach of contract case. Obtained defense verdict after a two-week jury trial.

Trial of Oil and Gas Joint Venture Dispute

Client: Energy Client

Defended energy client in case seeking $6 billion in damages for alleged breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence. Obtained defense judgment after a three-month bench trial.

Trial of Oil and Gas Lease Dispute

Client: Energy Client

Defended energy client in case seeking $200 million in damages for alleged interference with interest in a joint venture. Obtained defense judgment after a four-week bench trial.

Liquidation of Delta America Re

While in Kentucky, Mr. Jernigan served as lead counsel for the liquidator of Delta America Re, an insolvent reinsurance company, suing to recover several hundred million dollars in premium balances and reinsurance premiums due.  This representation involved litigation in the state and federal trial courts and appellate courts of Kentucky and New York in actions against insurance companies, brokers and intermediaries located in such diverse locations as Singapore, Tokyo, London, Moscow, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.  These efforts resulted in significant monies being recovered on behalf of the estate for the benefit of its creditors.

Representation of Corporate Defendants

Over the course of his career, Mr. Jernigan is experienced in the defense of major cases involving primarily corporate defendants.  Those cases have ranged from contract disputes to product liability claims involving the statewide representation of, among others, American Motors and Chrysler Corporation in the defense of Jeep rollover litigation; Sturm Ruger & Co., Inc. in the defense of product liability claims involving certain of its firearms; Johns Manville Corp. in defense of asbestos related claims; Black & Decker Corporation in the defense of various product liability claims involving guiding issues; and Procter & Gamble in defense of toxic shock claims.

Representation of Energy Industry Companies

Mr. Jernigan has represented a large number of companies in the energy industry in the defense of personal injury actions, contract disputes, major property damage claims and disputes with the State of West Virginia, including, among others, Massey Energy Company, Allegheny Energy, Peabody Energy, Consol Energy, Bluestone Coal Corporation, and Foundation Coal as well as the former Island Creek Coal, Cannelton Coal Corp., Westmoreland Coal Corp. and Pittston Coal.

Successful suit by minority shareholder against majority owners of family business enterprise

Client: A Minority Shareholder

To assist our client, a minority shareholder who was being denied her share of the profits in a lucrative family business, we filed suit against the majority owners alleging breach of fiduciary duty. After filing suit and obtaining access to certain business and financial records, we employed forensic accountants and valuation experts to calculate the value of the client’s losses and ownership share. As discovery demonstrated the unfairness of the majority’s actions, we obtained a successful settlement of the lawsuit for our client through mediation efforts.

Obtained Favorable Ruling in Malpractice Lawsuit

Client: A law office

Our clients previously represented plaintiffs in a Court of Claims lawsuit against the West Virginia Department of Highways. At issue was a culvert plaintiffs alleged caused flooding on their property. The lawyers obtained an $85,000 settlement for the plaintiffs in exchange for a release by plaintiffs of their claim and release of any future claims arising from the alleged defective culvert. Five thousand dollars of the settlement was earmarked for plaintiffs to use to hire a contractor of their choice to clean out the culvert, which they never undertook. Plaintiffs, however, alleged they were not informed the settlement included a release of future claims and sued their lawyers for malpractice. We represented the lawyers in the legal malpractice lawsuit.

In the malpractice lawsuit, plaintiffs alleged but for the release of their future claims, they would have been able to sue the Department of Highways repeatedly with respect to the culvert. At trial, via cross-examination of the plaintiffs, we proved the terms of the settlement were explained to plaintiffs prior to the settlement being consummated. We ultimately obtained judgment as a matter of law in favor of our clients at the close of the plaintiffs’ case-in-chief.

Received Favorable Ruling for Trucking Company at Trial

Client: A trucking company

We represented an international trucking company and its driver at trial over an accident that occurred when the driver stopped his tractor-trailer on a rural road in order to make a home delivery. The tractor-trailer was stopped approximately 290 feet past a blind curve, with its flashers on. Plaintiff was driving around the curve and drove straight into the rear of the trailer, without hitting her brakes until the instant before the collision. Plaintiff alleged the driver and company were negligent because the tractor-trailer was stopped in the road and the driver did not provide sufficient advanced warning to oncoming traffic.  At trial we convinced the jury that the Plaintiff was 40 percent at fault for causing the accident because she had adequate time and distance to see the tractor-trailer and either stop or safely go around it. This resulted in a very favorable verdict for our clients.

Successfully Defended a Claims Administrator

Client: Claims administrator

A third-party claims administrator (TPA) for Workers’ Compensation claims was sued by a former employee of a company for whom the TPA administered claims. The employee alleged the TPA had fraudulently denied her workers’ compensation claim and committed workers’ compensation discrimination. The TPA was originally represented by other counsel, who filed and lost a motion to dismiss. We then filed a writ of prohibition with the West Virginia Supreme Court, seeking dismissal of the employee’s lawsuit based upon the statute of limitations and statutory immunity provided to third-party administrators with respect to workers’ compensation discrimination lawsuits. We prevailed on these arguments before the supreme court, which resulted in the dismissal of all claims against our client.