J. Banks Sewell, III

J. Banks Sewell, III










Birmingham, AL

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


  • Alabama, 1990
  • 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

  • Defense verdict for a major vehicle manufacturer in a wrongful death and quadriplegia product liability action alleging a defective vehicle suspension
  • Defense verdict on behalf of an automotive manufacturer in a product liability case involving an infant seriously burned in a vehicular fire
  • Defense verdict on behalf of a Class 8 vehicle manufacturer resulting from a vehicular fire allegedly caused by defective brakes
  • Defense verdict in a product liability case involving an injury allegedly caused by a defect in a recalled product
  • Defense verdict on behalf of a major movie studio in a 1st Amendment/false light claim brought by a Civil Rights era icon
  • Defense verdict in a bad faith/breach of contract insurance dispute involving the denial of death benefits to an insured
  • Defense verdict on behalf of a national rental company in a negligence suit involving serious personal injury
  • Obtained Summary Judgment for an airframe manufacturer a multi-death plane crash case despite prior precedent finding a question of fact as to whether manufacturer had committed fraud on the FAA
  • Obtained Summary Judgment for aviation company in a multi-death plane crash following successful Daubert motions against plaintiffs’ liability experts
  • 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. has listed Banks for Product Liability Litigation Defendants since 2008 including the most recent 2019 edition
  • Named by Super Lawyers as a 2017 “Mid-South Super Lawyer”
  • 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 since 2016
  • Named “Media Defense Attorney of the Year in Alabama-2016” by Global Law Experts
  • Listed as a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent rated lawyer, 2004-2017
  • Member of Product Liability Advisory Council
  • Member of Media Law Resource Center

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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