J. Paul Zimmerman

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 Working Group II (Data Security and Privacy Liability) and is chair of CLM’s eDiscovery and ESI Committee. Paul serves on the firm’s Technology Committee.

REpresentative experience

  • Represents a regional retailer in a class action data breach claim brought on behalf of banks
  • In an action for declaratory judgment in Alabama regarding a covenant not to compete, defeated a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction concerning a Florida company with its principal place of business in Georgia
  • Defending pollution claims by 1,700 plaintiffs in 24 cases
  • Obtained a dismissal of a lawsuit against a city and its police chief alleging the use of excessive force during the course of an arrest
  • Advises an insurance company concerning data-related issues
  • Defeated a plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction on all relief sought regarding supposed trade secrets except with regard to software which clients undisputedly did not have or use
  • Local counsel for hospitals in a nationwide data breach class action
  • Advised a scientist in his withdrawal from an LLC
  • Advised a national retailer regarding a data breach involving employee and customer files
  • Defending two hospitals in separate class actions involving allegations of  a data breach of patient files
  • Advises a large electronic discovery provider regarding defensibility of its machine learning tool
  • Has represented companies to protect their trade secrets, as well as companies and individuals accused of misappropriating trade secrets
  • Represented two individual defendants in RICO claims
  • Obtained a complete dismissal of all claims by a physician against her former practice group and partners
  • E-discovery projects include a $33,000,000 commercial claim alleging property damage, the defense of a defective product claim seeking damages for quadriplegia, and multiple employment cases
  • Defeated a former shareholder and director’s request for injunctive relief regarding customer lists and other requested relief
  • 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
  • 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)
  • The Sedona Conference Working Group 11 (Data Security and Privacy Liability)
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM): Chair of eDiscovery and ESI Committee Premium Member
  • American Inns of Court
  • Alabama Defense Lawyers Association (ADLA): Member
  • Alabama State Bar
  • Birmingham Bar Association: Former Computer and Technology Committee Member
  • City of Helena, Alabama: Former member, Design Review Board
  • Helena Business and Professional Association: Former Director
  • Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church: Member and occasional trumpet player
  • Buglers Across America
Publications and presentations
  • 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