As a founding partner of DeGaris Law, LLC and a seasoned trial lawyer with decades of experience, Annesley DeGaris has dedicated his life to advocating for the injured and aggrieved. He has successfully litigated cases against prominent trucking companies, insurance firms, chemical manufacturers held responsible for toxic spills, aircraft manufacturers, and major players in the pharmaceutical industry.
With a profound commitment to public service and a pursuit of excellence, Annesley’s accomplishments extend far beyond the courtroom, encompassing his roles as a legal educator, author, and valuable member of influential committees. Known for his strategic vision and persuasive advocacy, he has earned a reputation as a formidable force in complex litigation, earning the respect and admiration of peers, adversaries, and clients alike. Annesley DeGaris’ remarkable journey as a lawyer is a testament to his dedication to the principles of justice, leaving an enduring impact on the legal profession.
Early Life and Education
Annesley’s formative years were characterized by a pursuit of knowledge and a profound commitment to academic excellence. His early life was marked by an insatiable curiosity of all things, laying the foundation for an illustrious educational journey. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Samford University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration. Driven by his passion for the law and desire to help others, he enrolled at Cumberland School of Law, earning a Juris Doctor and graduating Magna Cum Laude. While at Cumberland School of Law, Annesley served as the Casenote Editor for the Cumberland Law Review. He was also recognized by Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges while a student at Cumberland School of Law and later was inducted into Curia Honoris.
After graduating from law school, Annesley him a full tuition scholarship, the Rotary Foundation Scholarship for International Understanding., He worked as a law clerk for the Honorable E. B. Haltom, Jr. at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. During his tenure at the federal district court, Rotary International recognized his achievements with an award. As a Rotary Scholar, he pursued his studies at the University of Melbourne School of Law in Australia, a prestigious institution consistently ranked among the top 10 law schools globally. Additionally, he was accepted into residency at Trinity College. During his time at the University of Melbourne he concentrated his legal studies in international law. His thesis was an international survey of the role of judges in the resolution of disputes. Following the completion and acceptance of his thesis, he received an LL.M.
As a founding partner of DeGaris Law, LLC, Annesley’s spirit has led the firm’s trajectory toward eminence in the legal arena. Specializing in litigation, the firm’s focus encompasses the intricate domains of personal injury, wrongful death, and complex litigation, including defective medical devices and pharmaceutical drugs. Under his leadership, the firm has become a steadfast pillar of the Alabama legal community.
Notably, his expertise and proficiency excelled during his tenure as a founding partner at three law firms, where he handled a wide array of cases, ranging from aviation and environmental matters to personal injury and defective device litigation.
His tenure as a staff attorney at the United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, exemplified his commitment to public service, as he meticulously researched and drafted recommendations pertaining to a wide spectrum of criminal appeals, habeas corpus petitions, sentencing guidelines, employment discrimination, Social Security claims, and private civil matters.
Multidistrict Litigation Leadership
Annesley currently serves on the Plaintiff Steering Committee for In re: Abbott Laboratories, et al., Preterm Infant Nutrition Products Liability Litigation, MDL 3026, pending in federal court. He has served on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for In Re: Stryker LFIT V40 Femoral Head Products Liability Litigation, the Plaintiffs’ Lead Counsel Committee for In Re: Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, and was appointed to the Settlement Oversight Committee. He also was appointed to the State Liaison Committee for In Re: Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation.
DeGaris served on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee as Co-Chair for the Science Committee and as a member of the Administrative Committee for In Re: Fosamax Products Liability Litigation, the Science Committee for In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, and the Science Committee for In Re: Hydroxycut Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation. He served on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for In Re: Aredia and Zometa Products Liability Litigation.
Annesley’s legal expertise and dedication to justice have earned his notable appointments and crucial roles in various multidistrict litigations. His impactful contributions to prominent cases have been instrumental in shaping the route of these complex legal battles. As a member of these steering committees, he demonstrated his exceptional leadership, strategic vision, and legal analysis, providing invaluable guidance to his colleagues in navigating the intricate intricacies of mass tort litigation.
On his return to the United States, Mr. DeGaris, he served as an adjunct professor at Emory University School of Law, where he taught legal research and writing. Later, he returned to Birmingham where he taught courses at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, taught Constitutional Law at the Birmingham School of Law, and taught Comparative Civil Litigation at the Cumberland School of Law.
As a professor at Birmingham School of Law, he adeptly imparted his extensive knowledge, guiding aspiring lawyers through the intricacies of Constitutional Law, Agency and Partnership, and Civil Procedure. His role as an instructor of Criminal Law at the University of Alabama at Birmingham showcased his innate ability to inspire and engage students, laying a deep understanding of the complexities within the realm of criminal justice.
As an instructor of Research, Writing, and Appellate Advocacy at Emory University School of Law, DeGaris exemplified his abilities to enhance students’ legal writing skills and equip them with the art of persuasive advocacy. Annesley has played a significant role in sharpening his students’ legal skillset and mentoring their professional trajectory. Currently, he teaches Alabama Civil Practice and Procedure and Complex Civil Litigation at Cumberland School of Law.
Annesley has written extensively on various legal topics, including the role of judges in the settlement process, politics and its influence on the judicial system, and dangerous pharmaceuticals and medical devices.His legal writings have been published in various national and international publications, spanning from the University of Tasmania Law Review to West’s Federal Rules Decisions (F.R.D.), Voir Dire, Best Lawyers, the Cumberland Law Review, the Australian Dispute Resolution Journal, The Trial Lawyer, The Alabama Lawyer, The Alabama Association for Justice Journal and in TRIAL magazine. Some of his best-known articles include “Seeing Red: China Plays by the Rules” (Best Lawyers Business Edition, Summer 2019), “An Introduction to Mass Litigation” (Best Lawyers Business Edition, Winter 2017), “E-Cigars Spark Lion” (Trial Magazine, Vol. 52, 2016), and “The Role of Eleventh Circuit Court Judges in the Settlement of Disputes,” 176 F.R.D. 601 (1998).
Notably, he has dissected pressing issues such as “Master of Marketing” (The Trial Lawyer, 2014), “Testosterone Replacement: Ending Old Age Our Way” (Alabama Association for Justice Journal, 2014), and “Stryker Strikes Out: Another Hip Device Recall” (Nabuna Association for Justice Journal, 2013), among others. His written works exemplify his remarkable ability to articulate complex legal concepts with lucidity and depth, cementing his position as a respected legal scholar and a thought leader within the legal community.
In addition to his publications, He is also a frequent national lecturer on a variety of topics. marketing and litigation topics, including defective pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Recent speaking engagements have focused on educating lawyers and paralegals on the fundamentals of multidistrict litigation, settlement strategies, and lawyer communication techniques. Annesley has appeared on NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox affiliates around the country.