Lightfoot Franklin & White

Trial and Appellate Counsel

William S. Cox, III

Buddy Cox attended the University of Virginia School of Law where he was a member of the editorial board of the Virginia Law Review and elected to the Order of the Coif. After graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law, Buddy began his environmental and toxic torts practice in San Diego, California with Latham & Watkins. He joined Lightfoot, Franklin & White in 1990 shortly after it was founded and is admitted to practice in all Alabama state and federal courts, the 11th Circuit, the DC Circuit, and United States Supreme Court. Buddy is an active member of the Birmingham Bar Association, chairing its CLE Committee in 2005 and the Alabama Bar Association, chairing the Environmental Law Section in 2000. He continues to serve on the Executive Committee of the Environmental Law Section. He is also a member of the American Bar Association’s Environment, Energy and Resources and Litigation Sections and the Defense Research Institute. Buddy often speaks to local, state and national groups on a variety of environmental law topics. He is recognized in the Best Lawyers in America for Alabama for his environmental law and water law practices. 

Since 1990, Buddy has had assisted a wide variety of clients who are faced with property damage and personal injury lawsuits brought by neighboring residents, administrative claims brought by state and federal regulatory agencies under various environmental statutes and regulations, disputes among persons responsible for clean up costs at numerous remediation sites under the Superfund Act or CERCLA, natural resource damages claims, and the opportunity to re-develop potentially contaminated properties. He has also helped numerous clients deal with the environmental laws and regulations governing chemical manufacturing facilities, wood treatment facilities, and facilities that generate, treat or dispose of hazardous and solid waste. Buddy has worked on environmental and toxic tort cases throughout the United States. He has also worked on behalf of the State of Alabama in its long-running dispute with the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the States of Georgia and Florida over water resources.

Buddy’s jury trials and other cases have ranged from a single plaintiff to several thousand plaintiffs. Whether defending against the claims of thousands or an administrative order of a regulatory agency, Buddy believes it is important to communicate his client’s story. As a result, he often works closely with experts in the fields of toxicology, epidemiology, hydrology, remediation, engineering, and medicine to ensure that complex issues are presented clearly and understandably to judges and juries and to identify weaknesses or gaps in the opposing party’s case.

In addition to his law practice, Buddy enjoys spending time with his wife and three children and playing the guitar. Buddy serves as a member of the board of directors of Outback America and the board of elders of Church of the Highlands.


  • B.A., Vanderbilt University, 1985 magna cum laude
  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1988


  • Alabama, 1990
  • California, 1988

Lightfoot, Franklin & White, LLC

The Clark Building 400 20th Street North Birmingham, AL 35203
205-581-0700 (phone) 205-581-0799 (facsimile)