Morris Dees

The National Trial Lawyers is honored to announce that Top 100 Executive Committee member, Morris Dees, has been chosen to receive the American Bar Association’s highest award, the coveted ABA Medal. Morris will accept the award on August 7 at this year’s American Bar Association’s annual meeting in Chicago. The rare ABA Medal is only awarded to the lawyer or lawyers the ABA’s Board of Governors deem to have dedicated exceptional service to the legal community. Morris is best known as a zealous Civil Rights advocate and as a co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Throughout the years, Morris’ fearless role as a Civil Rights lawyer and activist has played a pivotal part in the integration of public institutions and the demise of white supremacist hate groups. The National Trial Lawyers proudly congratulates Morris on this great achievement. For more information, please visit:

Mark Andrews

The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 and Top 40 Under 40 member, Mark Andrews, recently obtained a record-setting $21 million compensatory-only verdict in Alabama. The case arose out of catastrophic injuries suffered by his client when a piece of heavy grade sheet metal fell and impaled the Plaintiff’s face while she was working at a Wal-Mart Distribution Center. The force of the blow caused extensive facial trauma, along with epileptic and non-epileptic seizures which remained uncontrolled even with significant levels of medication. The National Trial Lawyers is pleased to announce that the $21 million verdict has been recognized by several Law Journals and has also been documented by the Alabama Jury Verdict Reporter as the largest compensatory-only verdict for a negligence action in the history of the State of Alabama. Mark is a Partner at Morris, Carey, Andrews, Talmadge & Driggers in Dothan, Alabama. For more information, please visit:

Burg Simpson

Burg Simpson attorneys, Michael S. Burg, Holly Kammerer, Steven G. Greenlee and Stephen J. Burg recently received a $4.1 million jury verdict on behalf of their client who was seriously injured while working at a Colorado gas drill site. At trial, the attorneys successfully proved that Tesco, the corporation that operated the drill site, did not properly train its employees and failed to make the drilling procedures safe. In addition to the compensatory damages, the jury awarded $1.5 million in punitive damages. The National Trial Lawyers applauds the attorneys for their victory. Michael is an Executive Committee member of The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100. Holly and Steven Greenlee are both members of The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100. Stephen Burg is an Executive Committee member for The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40 as well as a member of The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100. For more information, please visit

Lance Swanner

On June 20, 2012, Lance Swanner of The Cochran Firm and Fernando Chavez of The Chavez Firm met with leaders from across the county and various Obama Administration members to discuss immigration reform at the White House Immigration Community Leaders Briefing. This exclusive, invitation-only meeting held at the White House was an all-day event that focused on the new deferred action policy and the challenges and legal issues involved with its implementation. The National Trial Lawyers proudly supports Lance and Fernando in their fight to seek equal justice for all. Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, addressed the attendees along with other Administrative leaders including the Senior Economic Advisor, the Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. Lance is an Executive Committee member for The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40 and The National Latino Trial Lawyers, as well as a member of The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100. Fernando currently serves as President of National Latino Trial Lawyers and is an Executive Committee member of The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100. For more information, please visit

Robert Reeves named one of South Carolina’s Top Trial Attorneys

South Carolina attorney Robert Reeves, founding partner of Reeves, Aiken & Hightower LLC, has been listed as one of the state’s Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers (NTL).

NTL is a professional, educational and business organization of trial attorneys. Its membership is limited only to those it selects on its top 100 trial lawyers list. These spots are offered to those attorneys that the NTL believe have demonstrated superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence and profile as civil plaintiff or criminal defense trial lawyer.

Reeves accepted the invitation to become an elite member of NTL with great appreciation and excitement.

“I love being able to help people everyday that I come to work,” Reeves said. “It’s an honor to be recognized by The National Trial Lawyers for helping people understand their legal rights and finding them to solutions to their problems.”

The office of Robert J. Reeves PC is located in Fort Mill yet has a limited liability partnership with Aiken & Hightower PA located in Columbia. Together the firms represent clients in both South Carolina and North Carolina who come to them for help in either personal injury or criminal matters. The firm focuses primarily on DUI / DWI and workers compensation cases.

Reeves is part of the less than one percent of lawyers in the country who has attained a personal injury settlement worth more than $1 million. This rare achievement has made him a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

Reeve’s partner, Arthur Aiken, is also one of the few members of the Million Dollar Advocates, making Reeves, Aiken & Hightower an impressive and reputable team of personal injury lawyers.

The firm also has a successful record in criminal cases.

Reeves’ civil litigation skills have helped him aggressively defend countless DUI/DWI cases. Such convictions have an enormous negative impact not only on the person charged, but his or her family members as well. That is why Reeves, and the attorneys at Reeves, Aiken & Hightower, conscientiously fight against these charges on behalf of their clients.

As a new member of The National Trial Lawyers, Reeves will gain extensive networking resources as well as engage in open dialogue between the finest trial lawyers in the country.



DATE: March 21, 2011



CASE NO.: 09C0053

COURT/COUNTY: Superior Court of the State of California, Kings County

JUDGE: Hon. James T. Laporte, Dept. 4

MEDIATOR: Michelle Reinglass, Esq.

SETTLEMENT: $2,500,000.00


Brian Panish and Thomas Schultz – PANISH, SHEA & BOYLE, LLP (Los Angeles, California)

Michael Silvers – Las Offices of Michael Silvers (Los Angeles, California)


Kamala Harris, Attorney General; and Alberto Gonzalez, Supervising Deputy Attorney General, State of California


On January 5, 2008, April Macias (37 years old) was driving her two minor children Korin Macias (16 years old) and Michael Macias (14 years old) home from school in her 2005 Ford Excursion.  April was travelling westbound on Highway 198.  At the same time, a 75 year old employee of the State of California driving a State vehicle, was travelling eastbound on Highway 198.

Inexplicably, the State employee turned left directly in front of Plaintiff’s vehicle causing her to collide with the broadside of the State vehicle.  The brunt of the impact was felt in the left front of the vehicle where April was sitting.  April lost consciousness and had to be carried out of the car through the rear window by her two minor children.

After the accident, April, Michael and Korin were transported by ambulance to a local hospital for medical treatment.



At the scene of the accident, Plaintiff complained of head, neck, shoulder, hips, legs and back pain.  She was later diagnosed as having suffered a concussion as well as a cervical sprain/strain with radicular symptoms, a left AC joint tear, left shoulder internal derangement and positive impingement sign, lumbar sprain/strain, rib contusion and coastal chondritis.  In addition, she underwent six surgeries to treat neuropathy in her left wrist and upper extremities. Even after the surgeries, Plaintiff suffered chronic pain in her hands, back and neck.

Michael and Korin suffered abrasions and contusions to their face and bodies.  Korin was also diagnosed with bursitis in her left tricep.


As a result of her injuries, Plaintiff was unable to return to work.  At the time of the accident, Plaintiff worked in a deli as a food preparer.  She had taken this job in order to have more time to raise her children.  Prior to working as a food preparer, Plaintiff worked as an administrative assistant/secretary.  Due to the injuries to her hands, Plaintiff’s secretarial abilities were severely limited.

Plaintiff claimed past and future lost income, loss of earning capacity and past and future medical expenses.

Michael and Korin claimed damages for negligent infliction of emotional distress both as bystanders and as direct victims.


In February of 2011, shortly after Brian Panish and Thomas Schultz of Panish, Shea & Boyle were associated in, Defendant admitted liability in this action.  Defendant further stipulated that their driver was solely responsible for the accident and that he was working within the course and scope of his employment at the time of the collision.  The only issues to be determined at trial was the nature and extent of the injuries and damages to Plaintiffs.


The case settled for $2.5 million during mediation before Michelle Reinglass, Esq., on March 21, 2011.

Bea Hightower Joins University of South Carolina as an Adjunct Professor

Having spent seven years of undergraduate and law school education at the University of South Carolina, Bea Hightower has decided it’s time to return. Except this time, she is going to be sharing knowledge instead of gaining it. Ms. Hightower will be serving in an adjunct teaching position, and her primary responsibility will be to teach the university’s course on Criminal Courts. It will explore the structure, organization and functions of the federal and state court systems.

Bea Hightower is a founding partner of the SC law firm, Reeves, Aiken & Hightower, LLP. She has an extensive criminal and litigation background, and has worked at the Berkeley County Deputy Attorney’s Office, the Richland County Public Defender’s Office and the Richland County DSS Child Support Enforcement Office.

Serving as a South Carolina attorney, Ms. Hightower focuses on cases involving clients who have been accused of DUI, DUAC, drug charges, credit card fraud, domestic violence, bad financial transactions, and other similar offenses. These experiences, coupled with her activity in various law associations and committees, give her the expertise needed to serve as an adjunct professor within the USC’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

About Reeves, Aiken & Hightower, LLP

Reeves Aiken & Hightower LLP is a limited liability partnership between Robert J Reeves PC (Fort Mill/Charlotte) and Aiken & Hightower PA (Columbia). They are full-service personal injury and criminal defense law firms that employ personal injury lawyers and criminal defense attorneys who have over 70 years of combined legal experience.

About the University of South Carolina Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice

The University of South Carolina Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice offers state-of-the-art programs grounded in both research methods and criminological theory. These programs focus on the causes of and societal responses to crime and other deviant behavior. Students are provided with a strong foundation in both liberal arts and social sciences, and they are prepared to address the challenges of crime in society from the viewpoint of criminal justice professionals, researchers, educators and more.

The National Trial Lawyers President Speaks Out on Sanford, Florida Fatal Shooting

By Andrew Findley and Niki Pierce

Mike Papantonio, the president of The National Trial Lawyers, talked about the recent killing of a young black man in Florida on MSNBC’s The Ed Show on Wednesday, March 21, 2012.  Papantonio criticized the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) involvement in passing the “Stand Your Ground” law passed in Florida.  The “Stand Your Ground” law is getting attention after the recent fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida.  Police say George Zimmerman shot Martin February 26 while acting as a neighborhood watchman.  Zimmerman, who has not been arrested, says he shot Martin in self-defense.  The Justice Department is investigating the shooting.

To watch video of Papantonio’s appearance, please click the link below:

Gloria Allred interviewed on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight

By Andrew Findley and Niki Pierce

California discrimination attorney Gloria Allred, a member of The National Trial Lawyers executive committee, was recently interviewed on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight.  Morgan asked Allred if she believed political candidates should be precluded from running for office if it is proven that they have had an extramarital affair.  You can watch Allred’s interview by clicking on the link below: