J. Banks Sewell, III

J. Banks Sewell, III



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Birmingham, AL

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  • B.A., Hampden-Sydney College, 1987
  • J.D., Vanderbilt University Law School, 1990


  • Alabama, 1990
  • Michigan, 2012
  • Texas, 2016

Banks Sewell joined Lightfoot shortly after the firm opened its doors in 1991 and after completing Vanderbilt Law School and a clerkship with the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Since that time Bank’s practice has grown to include clients in numerous industries across the commercial spectrum. Having successfully tried to verdict many cases ranging from catastrophic product liability to consumer fraud to First Amendment claims, the majority of Banks’ time is now spent serving as national lead trial counsel for a number of manufacturers in the automotive and aviation industries.

Representative Matters

  • Defended a major vehicle manufacturer in a wrongful death and quadriplegia product liability action alleging a defective vehicle suspension
  • Defended on behalf of an automotive manufacturer in a product liability case involving an infant seriously burned in a vehicular fire alleging defective vehicle design
  • Defemded on behalf of a Class 8 vehicle manufacturer resulting from a vehicular fire allegedly caused by defective brakes
  • Defended a product liability case involving an injury allegedly caused by a defect in a recalled product
  • Defended on behalf of a major movie studio in a 1st Amendment/false light claim brought by a Civil Rights era icon
  • Represented a client in a bad faith/breach of contract insurance dispute involving the denial of death benefits to an insured
  • Represented a client in a multi-death plane crash case on behalf of an airframe manufacturer despite prior precedent finding a question of fact as to whether manufacturer had committed fraud on the FAA
  • Defended a class action against a Fortune 500 company alleging defective component parts
  • Serves as General Counsel and National Coordinating/Trial Counsel for a major component part supplier in the transportation industry
  • Serves as National Trial Counsel for a Class 8 vehicle manufacturer in complex and catastrophic injury cases
  • Serves as National Trial Counsel for the world’s largest do-it-yourself moving company


  • The Best Lawyers in America by Woodward White, Inc. listed Banks as the “2016 Birmingham Lawyer of the Year for Product Liability Litigation Defendants”
  • Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers, which is a Thomson Reuters service, for Product Liability, 2016
  • Listed as a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent rated lawyer, 2004-2017
  • Member of Product Liability Advisory Council

Banks is a firm believer in the tenacious, ethical representation of clients. His approach is to tailor his efforts to try to meet his clients’ needs, whether it be a speedy resolution or through trial and into appellate courts. Banks understands that knowledge of the law is not enough; effective representation requires knowledge of the client and the client’s industry, as well as how to effectively communicate with opposing counsel, the jury and the Court.

Outside the practice of law, Banks is a proud husband and father of two, as well as a committed outdoorsman and pilot. He and his family are involved in a variety of community activities.

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