Admitted: 1983, Alabama
Practice: Complex Commercial and Business Disputes; Environmental; Professional Liability; Product Liability; Admiralty; Personal Injury; Employment; Contract
Education: University of Virginia, J.D., 1983; James Madison University, B.A., 1980, Summa Cum Laude, ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate.
Military Service: Officer, United States Army National Guard (Artillery) 1980-1986.
Experience: Mr. Upchurch has been trying lawsuits, primarily for defendants, since 1983. He has tried many cases of every type to jury verdict in state and federal court, including product liability, professional liability, commercial, white-collar criminal, environmental, medical negligence, personal injury, maritime and breach of contract. Mr. Upchurch has successfully defended clients in many high-exposure lawsuits, including toxic tort cases, admiralty cases and many cases involving death and catastrophic injury, including quadriplegia, brain damage, and amputation. Mr. Upchurch has broad experience representing companies and individuals in high stakes complicated business and commercial lawsuits. Mr. Upchurch has extensive experience in serious medical and healthcare cases, and has defended every type of individual and corporate healthcare provider. Mr. Upchurch also represents professionals in licensing and disciplinary matters. Mr. Upchurch also has tried and won a variety of plaintiff personal injury cases.
Legal Activities and Recognitions: Mr. Upchurch has been a Super Lawyer (Business Litigation) and a Best Lawyer (Personal Injury Litigation) for over 10 years, has twice been Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year, Mobile, Personal Injury Defense” has been selected Best Lawyers “Top 50 in Alabama”, and Super Lawyers “Top 50 in Alabama” and is a Benchmark “Litigation Star.” Mr. Upchurch was recognized in 2013 by Alabama Legal Services for Outstanding Support.
Mr. Upchurch is the past President of the Mobile Bar Association (2013), past President (2015-2016) and Director (2011- 2015) of the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association, and was the original Co-Chair of the Mobile Bar Association Diversity Task Force. Mr. Upchurch served as the chair of the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama (2016), and is the co-chair of the Alabama State Bar Bench and Bar Task Force and is a member of the Alabama State Bar Selection Committee for the Alabama Lawyers Hall of Fame, the Alabama State Bar Disciplinary Rules and Enforcement Committee and the Alabama State Bar Diversity in the Profession Committee.
Mr. Upchurch is a fellow/member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates, the Alabama Law Foundation, the International Society of Barristers, the Litigation Council of America (Senior Fellow), the Trial Law Institute, the Diversity Law Institute, the Professional Liability Defense Federation, American Inns of Court, the United States Supreme Court Historical Society, the South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program, and the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals.
Mr. Upchurch is a frequent faculty member of the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association Bibb Allen Trial Academy held each year in Birmingham, Alabama. For many years Mr. Upchurch wrote a column with advice for young lawyers in the Alabama Defense Lawyer’s Association Journal. Mr. Upchurch’s article “Are We the Problem?” was published in the Alabama Lawyer magazine. The International Association of Defense Counsel published a series of Mr. Upchurch’s articles in its Trial Techniques and Tactics Newsletter.
Mr. Upchurch is a frequent speaker at seminars and meetings on a variety of topics associated with litigation, including trial tactics, mediation, arbitration, and healthcare defense. Mr. Upchurch has twice been a featured speaker at the Defense Research Institute “Diversity for Success” Seminar in Chicago. He also has been a speaker at the Alabama Bar Association Annual Meeting. Mr. Upchurch has given presentations on “Trying the Unwinnable Case,” Litigation Council of America, Renaissance Symposium II; on “How to Be a Good Lawyer,” Alabama Defense Lawyers Association Annual Meeting; and on cross-examination, Alabama Young Lawyers State Meeting. Mr. Upchurch is a regular speaker at healthcare provider meetings; for example, Mr. Upchurch has been the keynote speaker for the Congress of Clinical Rheumatology.
Mr. Upchurch is a certified mediator since 1993 and has mediated over 1200 cases of all types and has been selected as Best Lawyer in Mediation. Mr. Upchurch also is a certified and experienced arbitrator, and is a certified arbitrator for the Better Business Bureau.
Personal: Mr. Upchurch is the son of a Marine Corps pilot and schoolteacher. Mr. Upchurch is married and has three adult children. Mr. Upchurch belongs to St. James Episcopal Church in Fairhope, Alabama and serves as Treasurer of the Fairhope Single Tax Corporation, a non-profit charitable civic organization.