J. Paul Zimmerman
Partner

Paul Zimmerman can relate to his business owner clients. He’s run a business before and knows what it’s like to have every decision you make directly impact others and your ability to provide for your family. That’s why Paul appreciates the trust that clients place in Christian & Small, and approaches each engagement as a partnership between attorney and client because legal issues are also business issues.

Paul formerly taught paramedics. He says his days as an instructor help him talk to juries and people from all walks of life when he’s tried cases in both rural and metro Alabama courtrooms. It’s also helped him develop a better dialogue with firm clients. Paul believes that if he can educate clients about their situation, they will make better decisions, ask better questions, and hopefully, rest easier at night.

Paul is a member of The Sedona Conference Working Group 1 (Electronic Document Retention and Production) and is co-chair of CLM’s eDiscovery and ESI Committee. He is a frequent speaker with the Birmingham ESI Roundtable and is a member of the Miami ESI Roundtable. Paul serves on the firm’s technology committee.

REpresentative experience

  • Advised a national retailer regarding a data breach involving employee and customer files.
  • Defending a hospital in a class action involving allegations of a data breach of patient files.
  • Advises a large electronic discovery provider regarding defensibility of its machine learning tool.
  • Defending a company against allegations of misappropriation of trade secrets.
  • Extricated two shareholders from complicated disputes among the various shareholders of their two companies and with a third company by orchestrating his clients’ buyout by other shareholders.
  • Represented two individual defendants in RICO claims.
  • Obtained a complete dismissal of all claims by a physician against her former practice group and partners.
  • Recent e-discovery projects involve a $33,000,000 commercial claim alleging property damage and the defense of a defective product claim seeking damages for quadriplegia.
  • Defeated a former shareholder and director’s request for injunctive relief regarding customer lists and other requested relief.
  • Obtained testimony that served as foundation for the Alabama Supreme Court’s holding that the plaintiff’s damages were speculative and that no evidence of a misappropriated trade secret was presented during a three-week trial. Obtained dismissal for client following reversal of the verdict.
  • Part of firm team that represented a Louisiana company in nearly 100 products liability cases in seven states.
  • Coordinated the defense of 17 fraud cases against a mortgage lender.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for his client in a nuisance and trespass verdict following a two-week trial.
  • Obtained an injunction against a client’s business partner preventing him from continuing to operate the business.
  • Obtained an injunction prohibiting a client’s sub-contractor from operating a rival website.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a smoke alarm manufacturer on products liability and breach of warranty claims in a notoriously plaintiff-friendly venue.
  • Obtained a settlement for his client in an amount that was four times the limitation of liability in a contract between the parties.
REPORTED DECISIONS
  • Systrends, Inc. v. Group 8760, LLC, 959 So. 2d 1052 (Ala. 2006) (obtaining, ultimately, a dismissal for his client after eliciting trial testimony that led to the reversal of one of the largest jury verdicts in the history of Jefferson County, Alabama).
  • Phillips v. AmSouth Bank, 833 So. 2d 29 (Ala. 2002).
Professional and Community Involvement
  • The Sedona Conference Working Group 1(Electronic Document Retention and Production)
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM): Co-Chair of eDiscovery and ESI Committee Premium Member
  • Birmingham ESI Roundtable: Speaker
  • Miami ESI Roundtable
  • American Inns of Court
  • Alabama State Bar
  • Birmingham Bar Association: Former Computer and Technology Committee Member
  • City of Helena, Alabama: Member, Design Review Board
  • Helena Business and Professional Association: Former Director
  • Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church: Member and occasional trumpet player
Publications and presentations
  • Panelist at the Council on Claims and Litigation Management Annual Conference: The Practical and Legal Issues Associated with Transitioning to the World of Electronic Documents (April 2014)
  • J. Paul Zimmerman, Jennifer C. Rothstein & Paul C. Garrison, Where Is It (Under) Written? Exploring the Risks and Costs of E-Discovery, Litigation Management (Fall 2013)
  • A Practical Guide to the Development of Jury Charges Regarding Social Media, The American Journal of Trial Advocacy (Spring 2013), cited by Tennessee v. Smith, No. M2010-01384-SC-R11-CD, 2013 WL 4804845, at *10 (Tenn. Sept. 10, 2013)
  • Panelist at The American Journal of Trial Advocacy’s Social Media Symposium: The Use of Social Media in 21st Century Litigation (February 2013)
  • Panelist at LegalTech New York 2013: The Evolving Role of Analytics and Will Technology Assisted Review Save Money? (January 2013)
  • Guest lecturer at the University of Alabama School of Law Trial Advocacy Program (November 2012)
  • Speaker at the Birmingham ESI Roundtable’s Social Media Symposium: #YouTwitFace: Social Media and Employment (January 2013)
  • Speaker at The Huron Legal Institute’s: 2012 E-Discovery Briefing: How to Respond to Increasing Costs, Atlanta, GA. (March 2012)
  • Presenter at the Birmingham (ESI) Roundtable: Deposing the Electronic Discovery Witness (May 2012)
  • Presenter at Attorneys Insurance Mutual of the South Fall 2011 CLE: Five Ways to Prevent Common E-Discovery Mistakes (December 2011)
  • Moderator for Birmingham Bar Association Panel Discussion: Electronic Discovery: A View From the Bench (June 2011)
  • J. Paul Zimmerman & Courtney L. Saad, Outlook Social Connector: Blurring the Line between Professional and Personal, Stare Decisis: A Quarterly Publication of the Primerus Young Lawyers Section (January 2011)
  • A Primer on the New Electronic Discovery Provisions, 71 The Alabama Lawyer 3 (May 2010)
Admissions
  • Alabama, 1998
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Alabama
  • United States District Court, Middle District of Alabama
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Alabama