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Samuel Lanier Felker

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Sam Felker, managing shareholder in Baker Donelson's Fort Lauderdale office, is a member of the Firm's Product Liability and Mass Tort Group and practices a wide variety of civil litigation.

Featured Experience

Successfully defended a transportation client in a serious collision case involving allegations of traumatic brain injury as well as debilitating orthopedic injuries.

Obtained summary judgment for a prosthetic device assembler and seller in a federal court products liability suit alleging injury from the failed device.

Served as national counsel for a major U.S. food company in multiple significant cases alleging product contamination.

Professional Biography

Overview

During the course of his career, Sam has successfully represented clients in significant litigation involving products liability, transportation, food safety, toxic torts, medical malpractice and also commercial matters, including the trial of cases throughout the United States. In complex pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, Sam has served as national, regional and local counsel in defending manufacturers in coordinated mass tort proceedings.

In the area of commercial litigation, Sam represents clients in matters involving insurance coverage, breach of contract, theft of trade secrets, defamation and intellectual property. A trained mediator, Sam is well-versed in all forms of alternative dispute resolution and is a AAA Arbitrator. Sam is also a Certified Information and Privacy Specialist (CIPP/US), advising clients in various aspects of data security and privacy.

Sam is also a member of the Firm's Business Litigation, Transportation, and Government Enforcement & Investigations Groups. He is a member of the Firm's 24 Hour Motor Carrier Emergency Response Team, a group of attorneys dedicated to providing rapid post-accident intervention and investigation throughout the Firm's footprint and beyond, whenever and wherever you need us.

Representative Matters
  • Defended the manufacturer of pelvic mesh devices in multiple suits in federal court and served on the expert witness team.

  • Successfully defended a transportation client in a serious collision case involving allegations of traumatic brain injury as well as debilitating orthopedic injuries.

  • Represented a trucking company in a wrongful death case in Florida, achieving a favorable settlement.

  • Obtained summary judgment for a prosthetic device assembler and seller in a federal court products liability suit alleging injury from the failed device.

  • Served as national counsel for a major U.S. food company in multiple significant cases alleging product contamination.

  • Served as regional counsel for a pharmaceutical manufacturer in multiple suits alleging serious injuries from the use of over-the-counter medication.

  • Led a team of over 50 attorneys and legal professionals in defending a pharmaceutical company in diet drug litigation in Tennessee, consisting of over 2,500 federal court cases throughout the state. Also served on the client’s national expert witness team deposing medical causation experts throughout the country.

  • Defended a Japanese insurance company in a significant insurance coverage dispute involving the cost of defending hundreds of suits filed over alleged defective products.

  • Represented clients in food contamination recalls involving peanut butter products and ingredients.

  • Defended a smoke alarm manufacturer in a wrongful death case, and coordinated the national defense of similar products.

  • Defended a leading manufacturer of orthopedic knee and hip devices in multiple suits alleging product defect and failure.

  • Defended the manufacturer of over-the-counter pain medication against allegations of catastrophic injuries.

  • Defended the manufacturer of electrical components in a case involving multiple deaths.

  • Defended a brokerage firm in arbitrations throughout the United States involving alleged securities fraud and broker misconduct.

  • Secured a large award for a client in an arbitration against its former CFO, who was accused of embezzling company funds, breaching fiduciary duties, and failing to repay amounts owed to the company.
Professional Honors & Activities
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America® in areas of Commercial Litigation; Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Defendants; Product Liability Litigation - Defendants; Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants; Bet-the-Company Litigation
  • Named the Best Lawyers' 2020 Nashville Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Named the Best Lawyers' 2019 and 2016 Nashville Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Defendants "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers since 2006, Personal Injury Defense, Products
  • Named to Lawdragon Leading 3000 Lawyers in America
  • Listed as a 2017 Benchmark Litigation "Local Litigation Star" 
  • Trained Civil Mediator under Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31
  • Member − Nashville Bar Association, Federal Courts Committee
  • Member – Tennessee Bar Association; former chair of Litigation Section
  • Member –  Broward County Bar Association
  • Co-Chair − American Bar Association, ABA Products Liability Committee
  • Member − Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel; Drug, Device and Biotechnology and Product Liability Sections
  • President − Tennessee Stonewall Bar Association
  • Member − Metropolitan Nashville Board of Health
    • Past Chair (2014 − 2017)
  • Member − American Health Lawyers Association
  • Member − DRI
  • Recipient − Human Rights Campaign's Community Leadership Award (2008)
  • Certified Information and Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
Publications
Speaking Engagements
  • "Drone On! Emerging Legal Issues for Commercial Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Will You and Your Clients Be Ready for the Invasion of American Airspace?," ABA Environmental, Mass Torts & Products Liability Joint CLE (Winter 2016)
  • Panelist – "Cyber Security Risks and Apportioning of Liability: What You Need to Know in 2016 and Beyond," webcast, The Knowledge Group (August 2016)
  • Panelist – "Send Me in Coach? the Business Case for Diversity in the Legal Profession," ABA Corporate Counsel CLE (Winter 2015)
  • "Practical Implications of the Recent Federal Rules Amendments - from Bench and Bar Perspectives," Tennessee Bar Association (December 2015)
  • Moderator – "When Good Lawyers Go Bad-Consequences of Rambo Litigation Tactics In Depositions and At Trial," ABA Section of Litigation Annual Conference (April 2015)
  • "Leading Through Public Service," Nashville Bar Association, Young Leader's Class (2015)
  • "The Costs of Leadership," Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Conference (Winter 2014)
  • "Products Liability Year in Review," ABA Joint CLE Conference, Products Liability Committee (Winter 2014)
  • Panelist – "Ebola and the Public Health System: Risk Management and Legal Duties in Fighting a Deadly Infectious Disease," ABA Health Law Committee Roundtable (October 2014)
  • Participant – "Criminal Prosecution of Food Companies," ABA Products Liability Committee, Food & Supplements Subcommittee Roundtable (December 2013)
  • "Does the Fall of DOMA Change the Lyrics to 'Love and Marriage Go Together Like a Horse and Carriage'?," Lawyers' Association for Women Monthly Meeting (September 2013)
  • "Effective Time Management and Stress Management," LCLD Mentoring Group, Vanderbilt Law School (October 2012)
  • "International Issues that Arise in Litigation of Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Cases," ABA Pharmaceutical/Medical Device Regional CLE Workshop (November 2011)

Education

  • University of Virginia, J.D., 1980
  • University of Tennessee School of Law, 1978
    • Torchbearer Award for Academic Excellence 
  • Mississippi State University, B.S., 1977 

Admissions

  • Florida, 2016
  • Tennessee, 1980
  • Tennessee Supreme Court, 1980
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee, 1980
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee, 2001
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee, 2007
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, 2016
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit, 1987
  • U.S. Court of Appeals First Circuit, 1993 

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