For over 30 years, Rick Norris has maintained a diversified trial practice in state and federal courts, trying more than 100 jury trials to verdict in more than 35 counties across the state of Alabama. He has devoted a large part of his practice to the representation of major restaurant and retail corporations in defense of premises liability, product liability, automobile and trucking accidents, as well as employment practices liability actions.
Rick’s extensive courtroom experience has taken him to difficult venues in high exposure cases. He has successfully tried serious injury, loss of limb and wrongful death cases in some of the most feared forums for corporate defendants. In addition to his trial practice, Rick is an experienced mediator listed on the panel of neutrals of the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution in Montgomery, Alabama, and he is frequently invited to speak on issues of trial tactics and personal injury litigation for both legal events and industry specific programs.
One of the things that Rick likes most about practicing law at Christian & Small is the firm’s investment in its people. He says the firm spares no expense when it comes to developing the finest lawyers. That dedication may come in the form of the latest technology or making sure that every attorney has an opportunity to give back to the community through charitable activities.
Outside his law practice, Rick is a proud husband and father and an active member of Mountain Brook Community Church, where he teaches an adult community group class.
- Successfully defended a national department store in a jury trial where customer sued the store over a mistaken shoplifting allegation. After two day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the department store.
- Successfully defended a national retailer in a lawsuit alleging an employee dropped two boxes of folding tables on a customer in the store. The trial lasted five days and ended with a jury verdict in favor of the national retailer.
- Tried and defended serious personal injury case involving client vehicle which allegedly left road and struck plaintiff. Jury returned verdict for client defendant.
- Tried and defended national restaurant corporation in premises liability case where plaintiff claimed an alleged defect on the premises. Jury returned verdict for client defendant.
- Tried and defended large automobile dealership in allegations of fraud in sale and ultimate repossession of vehicle. Jury returned verdict in favor of client.
- Defended wrongful death case to verdict involving client log truck’s collision with commercial van driven by plaintiff.
- Tried and defended wrongful death case involving suit against co-employees for deaths resulting from being confined in area with poisonous chemical fumes. Jury returned verdict in favor of co-employees.
- Appealed verdict for plaintiff in personal injury case resulting in Supreme Court reversal of verdict and entry of judgment on behalf of national retailer. Alabama Supreme Court’s decision clarified the standard concerning open and obvious condition on premises and is recognized as the leading case for defendants sued in premises liability actions.
- Tried and won verdict in excess of one million dollars recovered on behalf of insurance company for damages paid as a result of a truck/bus collision.
- Dolgencorp, Inc. v. Taylor, 28 So. 3d 737 (Ala. 2009).
- Dollar General Corporation v. Nelson, Case No. 2070889, 2009 WL 1887431 (Ala. Civ. App. July 2, 2009).
- Ex parte Dolgencorp, Inc., 13 So. 3d 888 (Ala. 2008).
- Harris Moran Seed Co., Inc. v. Phillips, 949 So. 2d 916 (Ala.Civ.App. 2006).
- Dolgencorp, Inc. v. Pounders, 912 So. 2d 523 (Ala.Civ.App. 2005).
- Dolgencorp, Inc. v. Hall, 890 So. 2d 98 (Ala. 2003).
- Flagstar Enters., Inc. v. Foster, 779 So. 2d 1220 (Ala. 2000).
- Harris v. Flagstar Enters., Inc., 685 So. 2d 760 (Ala.Civ.App. 1996).
- Berry v. Fife, 590 So. 2d 884 (Ala. 1991).
- Dolgencorp v. Spence, ___So.3d___
Professional and Community Involvement
- Defense Research Institute (DRI): Member, Trial Tactics Steering Committee
- Alabama Defense Lawyers Association (ADLA): Member
- American Bar Association (ABA): Member
- Birmingham Bar Association: Member
- Mountain Brook Community Church: Member
Awards and Recognition
- Claims & Litigation Management Institute, Graduate
- Selected for inclusion in Alabama Super Lawyers® in 2012 – 2015 in the field of personal injury defense, general; in Mid-South Region Super Lawyers in 2016-2017 in the field of personal injury defense, general
- AV® Distinguished Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell*
- Listed in Who’s Who in American Law, 2000
Publications and Presentations
- Author, Video Surveillance: Treasure or Trap?, Christian & Small Nonstop Insights Blog (March 2015)
- Presenter, Video Surveillance: Treasure or Trap?, CLM 2015 Retail, Restaurant & Hospitality Conference (February 2015)
- Author, Helping The Hills Address Illegal Substance Abuse, Christian & Small Nonstop Insights Blog (August 2014)
- Presenter, Economic Damages – Cross Examination of a Life Care Planner, CLM Annual Conference (May 2012).
- Presenter, Negotiation Strategies, CLM-Infinity Insurance Conference (September 2012).
- Presenter, Litigation Nuts and Bolts, Barristers Educational Services Seminar (December 2008).
- Presenter, Quick Tips for Personal Injury Practice, Barristers Educational Services Seminar (Dec. 2007).
- Presenter, Preparing and Trying a Soft Tissue Injury Case, National Business Institute Seminar (Feb. 2007).
- Presenter, Automobile Insurance Law and Accident Litigation, Lorman Education Services Seminar (June 2002).
- Presenter, Automobile Insurance Law and Accident Litigation, Lorman Education Services Seminar (Jan. 2000).