E. Berton  Spence

E. Berton Spence

Partner
Birmingham Office

205.327.5550 phone 205.326.6786 fax bspence@rumberger.com

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Bert Spence has a broad background in civil litigation, banking and financial services, and general counseling of businesses.

For more than three years (2005-2008) he served as the chief litigation counsel in the legal department of one of the top 10 banks in the U.S.

In his commercial litigation practice, Bert represents corporate clients in a wide range of litigation matters throughout Alabama state and federal courts. 

Litigation:

  • Banking and Financial Services, including consumer finance and consumer protection
  • Class Actions
  • Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith
  • Commercial
  • Product liability, including pharmaceutical and medical device
  • Workplace exposure, toxic tort, general tort issues

Banking and Financial Services:

Beyond litigation, Bert has represented numerous lenders and special servicers regarding problem loans, with a particular emphasis on remedial issues in Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securitized lending (“CMBS”) including commercial real estate foreclosures and deed-in-lieu transactions, receiverships, loan modifications, guaranty claims and general issues concerning realization on collateral.

Illustrative Experience:

  • Served as Deputy General Counsel for $140 billion financial services company where he managed litigation throughout the nation and internationally as head of a five-lawyer litigation team;
  • Represented the country’s largest Special Servicers in CMBS problem loan remediation;
  • Defended products for many of the largest national and international manufacturers in both personal injury (product-liability) and warranty claims;
  • Handled commercial litigation – including class actions -- for large and small companies, including some of the largest banks and insurers in the U.S.;
  • Defended one of the largest transportation companies in the world in a series of hundreds of workplace exposure cases;
  • Defended leading pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in drug and device litigation;
  • Successfully represented Alabama’s Governor in a constitutional challenge to the state’s property tax system.
  • Served as arbitrator, beginning in 2001, in over 30 cases, all decided with reasoned (written) opinions and selected for inclusion on the National Arbitration Forum’s Panel of Neutrals as well as the Alabama Center For Dispute Resolution’s Roster of Arbitrators;
  • Wrote and worked for passage of numerous items of legislation involving Alabama’s tort laws and civil procedure, class action certifications, and healthcare laws, as well as drafting proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for the country’s leading defense bar organizations to ensure fact-based pleading and proportional discovery.

As a private practitioner, Bert has tried and litigated cases throughout Alabama and surrounding states and has assisted lenders with problem loan and commercial mortgage issues throughout Alabama. As the head of a major financial services company’s in-house litigation team, he has overseen litigation and mediation/settlement activities all across the U.S. and internationally. In that role, he also supervised development of eDiscovery policies and participated in responses to governmental investigations. He is a frequent writer and speaker on legal topics.

Education

  • University of Alabama School of Law, J.D., 1990
  • Jacksonville State University, B.A., , 1983

Honors

  • Co-presenter, "Mortgage Banking Law," Mortgage Bankers Association of Alabama Education Session, June 7, 2017
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America, Banking and Finance Law; Commercial Transactions/UCC Law, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018
  • AV-Rated Martindale-Hubbell

Professional & Civic Activities

  • Lawyers for Civil Justice
  • American Bar Association, Banking Committee, Litigation Section and Torts and Insurance Practice Section
  • Federalist Society, Steering Committee for Birmingham Lawyers Chapter
  • Better Business Bureau of Central Alabama Arbitrator Panel
  • National Arbitration Forum, (Panel of Neutrals)
  • Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution Roster of Arbitrators
  • Supreme Court of Alabama Standing Committee on Rules of Appellate Procedure
  • Defense Research Institute
  • International Association of Defense Counsel