J. S. Christie, Jr.


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J. S. Christie, Jr.

Chris Christie is Chair of the firm’s Insurance Group, is a member of its Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, Litigation, Labor and Employment, and Health Care Practice Groups, and is Co-Chair of its Pro Bono Committee.


Chris represents employers, plans, HMOs and insurers in ERISA and other employee benefits litigation and represents hospitals, physicians and managed care organizations in healthcare matters. He has handled numerous class actions, multi-district litigation cases, and other complex litigation. Many of the ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims have involved business or stock valuations and ESOPs or other retirement plans. Chris also advises clients on matters related to ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA and other similar laws.

Specific matters in which Chris was lead or co-lead counsel include the following:

  • An $18,900,000 settlement representing a class of state employees participating in a 457 plan, working with the Alabama State Personnel Board, where an insurance company allegedly had provided about $13,000,000 in secret payments to the state employees union in exchange for being selected as the plan’s exclusive investment and administrative services provider.
  • A defense verdict in a JAMS arbitration arising from the sale of an insurance company, including a discretionary award of $200,000 as attorneys’ fees in favor of the firm’s client and against the insurance company purchaser, where the purchaser alleged the former shareholders had manipulated reserves to inflate the sales price.
  • A plaintiff’s verdict for $294,000, including $50,000 in punitive damages, against the other physicians in the group practice and in favor of the physician who was squeezed out of the practice.
  • A defense verdict following a trial involving a dispute as to the value of stock purchased by a retirement plan, which included testimony from 27 witnesses and 12 expert witnesses.
  • A defense judgment following a TRO hearing, a preliminary injunction hearing, and an administrative hearing contesting a hospital CEO's termination for fraud and abuse compliance violations.
  • A $30 million settlement following a creative alternative dispute resolution process in which the federal government had calculated compensatory damages, without statutory penalties, as ranging between $150 million to $170 million.
  • A new trial for a death row inmate who spent 24 years on death row.


  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®
    • Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2005–2013
    • Insurance Law, 2013-2014
    • Litigation-ERISA, 2011–2014
  • Listed in Alabama Super Lawyers, Employee Benefits/ERISA, 2013
  • Fellow, American College of Employee Benefits Counsel
  • Martindale Hubbell® AV Preeminent Rated

Memberships and Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Alabama State Bar
  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • Alabama Defense Lawyers Association
  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • American College of Employee Benefits Counsel
  • American Diabetes Association, Alabama Board, Chair, 2013-present, Member, 2007-present
  • Homewood Presbyterian Church, Elder, 1994-present
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Big Brother, 1982-present
  • Community Bible Study, Assoc. Teaching Director, 1999-2012
  • Homewood Park Board, Girls Basketball Coach, 2001-2006
  • Shades Valley YMCA, Coach, Youth Sports, 1994-2000
  • John Croyle's Big Oak Ranch, Relief Houseparent, 1992-1998

You May Not Know

As a Peace Corps volunteer after graduate and law school, Chris taught at the University of Yaoundé School of Law and Economics in Cameroon, West Africa.

Chris serves or has served as a Teaching Director for Community Bible Study, an elder for Homewood Presbyterian Church, and as a Relief House Parent for John Croyle's Big Oak Ranch.