Mr. Kuykendall was recognized recently by CNN as “one of the most intriguing people in the world," for his work in the BP oil spill and he is a frequent speaker and commentator on the litigation. He was lead co-counsel in all the early important victories before the United States Department of Justice in the Barrish vs. Commercial Fisherman Association of Louisiana case that enjoined BP from failing to train relief workers and having them release their rights as a condition of employment. This significant victory impacted thousands of coastal residents in all five states, setting the groundwork for their recovery and monitored health. Additionally, Mr. Kuykendall’s work with Feinberg Rozen prior to the oil spill led them to invite him to participate with a group of twelve other elite litigators from around the country in a series of meetings to develop the Gulf Coast Claims Facility.
“The alliance with Rick Kuykendall reflects the comprehensive approach we are taking to ensure fair compensation to those who have suffered losses in the United States’ worst environmental damage case,” said Wesley Farrell, founding partner of Farrell & Patel. “With the addition of the Alabama offices, we will continue to move swiftly to provide our regional clients with the best personal service available,” he added.
Kuykendall explained that after the BP oil spill, he began helping friends and neighbors along the Alabama coast sort through the complexities of the evolving case. He is now one of the leading plaintiff lawyers in the case against BP, and currently represents hundreds of families and businesses impacted by the spill, as well as a number of the coastal governmental entities.
“Farrell & Patel has progressively developed a regional office infrastructure to support claimants up and down the coastline. Our staff of experts has fine-tuned the claims process to provide exemplary service and efficiency to our collective clients,” stated Mr. Kuykendall. “We are fully equipped to address the unique needs of each case,” he added.
Mr. Kuykendall began his distinguished career over twenty years ago, fighting for working men and women in Birmingham, Ala. at Cooper, Mitch, Crawford and Kuykendall, one of the most successful labor law firms in the United States. In 1983, he became managing partner, presiding over the firm’s evolution into a powerful national plaintiff / public interest firm. Despite the firm’s rapid growth, he never deviated from the firm’s core mission of helping those who needed it the most, despite the odds.
A recognized speaker at national seminars, Mr. Kuykendall is past president of the Alabama Bar section on labor and employment law, and a regular commentator on the Legal Broadcast Network. Martindale-Hubbell and Mr. Kuykendall’s peers have also recognized him with an AV® Preeminent rating, signifying the height of professional excellence. Additionally, he has been listed in Super Lawyers and Lawyers in America on numerous occasions.
Active in politics and formerly a trustee of the Gore Presidential Campaign in 2000, and the Kerry Presidential Campaign in 2006, Mr. Kuykendall has served on both the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the board of directors of the prestigious Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights. Under the Clinton administration, the Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board appointed Mr. Kuykendall to serve as a select committee member, overseeing practice and procedure before the board.
Mr. Kuykendall’s litigation experience in maritime and admiralty cases has involved everything from labor disputes to Seaman/Jones Act injury claims. His nationwide practice has resulted in his admission pro hac vice in the Eastern District of Louisiana in MDL 2179, the ongoing oil spill litigation. He is best known for his ability to solve complex problems and bring closure to controversy that sometimes prevents claimants from moving on with their lives. Focusing on results, not battles, Mr. Kuykendall has served as lead or co-lead in countless class actions, as well as individual and mass tort cases. He was appointed special master by the Court in the Anniston, Alabama vs. Monsanto litigation for chemical contamination damages. In this case, lawyers for more than 20,000 plaintiffs in federal and state trials reached a $700 million settlement agreement. Other notable work includes Moye vs. Exxon/Mobil Corp., a class action relief for damages incurred as the result of defendant’s wrongful drilling; Spencer vs. Shell, the first $1 billion consumer class action settlement in US history; Howard vs. Ford, the nationwide recall of defective automobiles and $1 billion dollar class action relief; and work with The Murphy Firm, in Queen vs. Constellation Energy, a cutting edge $50 million property and environmental damage settlement in Maryland. He remains strategically aligned and "of counsel" to the prestigious Murphy firm based in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Kuykendall is licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court, as well as the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts; and the third, fifth, and eleventh circuit courts of the United States.
Mr. Kuykendall is a Gulf Coast native who has had a lifelong interest in the environmental quality of the region, especially the natural waters. As such, he is a Founding Member and Board Member of the Pensacola, Florida/Gulf Coast River keepers, Inc., an Honorary Board Member of Mobile Baykeeper, and an active supporter of the national Water Keepers Alliance and the Surfrider Foundation. He was appointed by the Governor of State of Alabama to serve as a member of the Alabama Commission on Environmental Affairs.
He resides with his family in Miami Beach while keeping several residences along the Alabama Coast.
# # #
Farrell & Patel, Attorneys at Law, (www.farrellpatel.com)