Gregory S. CusimanoAttorney
Gregory S. Cusimano was born in Gadsden, Alabama and attended the local schools. After graduating from Gadsden High School, he entered The University of Alabama in the School of Commerce and Business Administration. While in undergraduate school, he became a founder and first president of Beta Theta Pi social fraternity at The University. As a senior, he was voted "Outstanding Fraternity Man of the Year". He was active in student affairs and was selected to be included in Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. He graduated in 1965 with a B.S. degree in Business Administration and entered The University of Alabama Law School. While a law student, he served as president of the student body. He was tapped into the Bench and Bar Honor Society and asked to serve on Law Review as a freshman. He received his Juris Doctor degree from The University of Alabama Law School in 1968.
After returning to Gadsden, he began actively serving his community. Although never a member of the Jaycees, in 1971, Cusimano was selected by the Jaycees as the Outstanding Young Man of the Year in Etowah County and was nominated as one of the four Outstanding Young Men in Alabama. His activities include the following: Vice President of the Young Democrats; Vice President and President of the Alabama Alumni Association of Etowah County; President of the Holy Name Society of Catholic Men; President of the Gadsden Chapter of the Toastmasters; Captain of the Gadsden Quarterback Club; President of the Board of Directors of the Gadsden YMCA; Board Member of the United Way; and Member of the Gadsden Kiwanis Club. He also served as a member of the Alabama Anti-Drug Commission. In 1991, Cusimano was selected to serve as a member of the Advisory Council to the Chancellor of The University of Alabama System.
In support of his legal career, Greg has served as Executive Board member, Treasurer, Vice President, President and Past President of the Alabama Trial Lawyers Association. In 1987-88, he served as Vice Chairperson of the Trustees of the Farrah Law Society, an organization committed to legal excellence and the support of The University of Alabama Law School. In 1988, he was selected Chairperson of Farrah Law Society. He was elected to the Law School Foundation Board of Directors in 1992, and in 2004 became Vice President of the Foundation, and served as President for three years. In 1995, Cusimano was appointed to the Council of the Alabama Law Institute. In January of 2007, he was appointed to the American Bar Association's Advisory Panel.
Cusimano has served as president of the Etowah County Trial Lawyers Association, the Etowah County Young Lawyers, and the Etowah County Bar Association. He is an active member of the American Bar Association and the Alabama Bar Association. He has served for many years on the Alabama Law Institute, an organization that systematically reviews and rewrites statutory laws of Alabama.
In 1988, he was appointed by the Alabama Supreme Court to serve on the Committee to review and revise the Alabama Rules of Evidence. He served on the Alabama State Bar Task Force Committee on Dispute Resolutions as well as the Antitrust and Business Torts Section of the Alabama Bar. He also served on the Bar's Liaison Committee with the Federal Judiciary. In 1992-93,1995-98 he was appointed as a member of the Alabama State Bar Task Force on Legal Education. In June of 1997, he was appointed by the Supreme Court of Alabama to serve as a member of the Alabama Pattern Jury Instructions Committee. In December of 1999, he was appointed by the Supreme Court to the Standing Committee of the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure. By invitation, Cusimano served as Practitioner in Residence at The University of Alabama School of Law in the fall of 1992. He taught, lectured, and interacted with faculty and students. He is a member of the Alabama Academy of Attorney Mediators. Greg was elected to membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and Alabama Chapter of ABOTA at their meeting on January 13, 2007.
In 1985, 1986, and 1987, Cusimano sat on the President's Council of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and from 1986 through 1988, served as a member of its Board of Governors. In 1995, Cusimano was again elected to the Board of Governors of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and continues to serve. He served on the Keyman Committee, 1986-88; PAC Task Force Committee, 1986-88; Trial By Jury Committee, 1988-89; State Legislative Advisory Committee, 1996 -1999, and the Constitutional Challenge Committee, 1988-91. He served as National Chairperson of the Committee to Review Litigation Groups, 1989-90, and Co-Chaired the Litigation Group Oversight and Liaison Committee, 1991-92. Greg was named a Fellow in the Roscoe Pound Foundation in 1989 and later served on its Executive Board. Greg was appointed to serve as Co-chair of the Curriculum Development Committee from 1998-1999. In 1996, Greg was appointed to serve on the ATLA Press Advisory Board, and as co-chair of that Board 2002-. He is an "M" Club member and a member of Trial Lawyers for Public Justice. Greg was elected to the Executive Committee of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America in 1998 & 1999. He was also elected to serve on the Budget Committee in 2002. He was appointed to serve on the Organization Review Committee for ATLA from 2002 to 2005. He is in the Presidents' Club and past Leaders Forum of ATLA (now the American Association for Justice).
In 1987, he was guest lecturer in the Trial Advocacy Program at The University of Alabama Law School, and has lectured at numerous Continuing Legal Education seminars since 1978. (See attachment for partial listing of presentations and publications.) In February, 1990, Greg served as a workshop leader and lecturer at the Association of Trial Lawyers of America National College of Trial Advocacy held in Atlanta, Georgia. In August, 1990, he served on the faculty of the first Ultimate Trial Advocacy College which was held at Harvard Law School. In June, 1991, he lectured at the ATLA Ultimate Trial Advocacy College held in Miami, Florida. He served on the faculty and was a workshop leader at the ATLA Ultimate Trial Advocacy College at Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, California in August of 1991. In March of 1992, he served as Co-Chairperson and faculty member at the ATLA Ultimate Trial Advocacy College at Georgetown University School of Law in Washington, D.C. Cusimano served as a faculty member at ATLA's Trial Advocacy College at Harvard Law School in March 1993, and has been re-invited to present there numerous times. Along with others, he also designed, and served as workshop leader and lecturer at ATLA's first Post-Ultimate College held in Charleston, South Carolina in March 1994. He has lectured to Bar Associations and lawyer groups in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, California, New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Texas, Massachusetts, Kansas, Illinois, Washington D.C. and Washington State, Kentucky, Nevada, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Hawaii, Montana, Florida, Iowa, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Idaho, Oregon, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Alaska, Connecticut, Mexico and Canada.
In 1992 Cusimano was selected to serve on the Board of Trustees of the National College of Advocacy (NCA). In 1993-94, Greg was appointed as Vice-Chair of the NCA Board of Trustees. He was selected to serve as Co-Chair of the NCA Board of Trustees for 1994-1996, and was appointed to serve as Vice Chair of the National College of Advocacy Board of Trustees in 1996. He served on the Board for 14 years.
The Alabama State Bar presented to Cusimano a continuing legal education award in recognition of his efforts to enhance professional competence during the year 1989. He was selected as a sustaining member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America which is awarded to those "who have made outstanding contributions to the goals of the Association, who have obtained recognition through expertise in the practice of trial law, and who are committed to the values upheld by this Association." He was a recipient of the Wiedemann Wysocki Citation of Excellence in 1990, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997. 1998 & 1999. In 1991 and 1992, Cusimano received the Association of Trial Lawyers of America's Citation of Excellence. In 1993, he was named a Fellow and an Advocate by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. In 1994, he was designated a Diplomate of Trial Advocacy by the National College of Advocacy. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America since 1993, and Best of the U.S. in 2006 and 2007, 2008, and 2009. He has been named a Super Lawyer in Alabama since 2006, and Best in Birmingham, Alabama on two occasions. Greg was selected to be included in Marquis Who's Who in American Law, 9th Edition, 1996, in Strathmore's Who's Who in their 1997-98 Edition and is a Life Member in the National Registry of Who's Who. He is a Diplomate of the International Academy of Litigators. He was honored as the second inductee into the Hall of Fame of the Small Office Practice Section of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America in 1996. In 1998, Greg was inducted as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and in 1999 as a Fellow of the Alabama Bar Foundation. He is now a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Alabama Bar Foundation. Greg is the fifth recipient of the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.
Greg has served on the Editorial Advisory Board of The Alabama Lawyer, the Alabama Bar Association's legal journal. He has published several legal articles including contributions to: Julien's Opening Statements by Callaghan & Company, the 1987 edition of Stein's Closing Arguments on punitive damages, the 1993 edition of Basic Legal Skills published by Alabama Bar Institute for Continuing Legal Education on demonstrative evidence; articles for TRIAL magazine on summation, tips on cross examination, and combating juror bias, as well as a book review on negotiation; ATLA ADVOCATE , A Tribute to Trial Lawyers, published in the Collection of Final Arguments, Vol. 1, by the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association, editors Joseph R. Mirrione & Kathleen L. Nastri, published in 2004; and the ALABAMA LAW REVIEW, on proposed Rules of Evidence. In 1990, Michie released a major work called Alabama Tort Law Handbook. Cusimano is the contributing editor of this book which was described in a book review in The Alabama Lawyer as an outstanding contribution to the bench and bar of Alabama. Alabama Tort Law second edition, contributing editor, 1996; third edition, 2000, fourth edition, 2004. In 1995, his closing argument in the case of Peterson v. Super Value Stores was included in Professional Techniques Library's MILLION DOLLAR ARGUMENT SERIES for continuing legal education. He has appeared in Lawyers Weekly and Lawyers USA on several occasions, and published several articles in Lawyers USA, along with David Wenner of Arizona.
Thomson/West published a six-volume work co-edited by Mr. Cusimano and Roxanne Conlin, entitled, "ATLA's Litigating Tort Cases". The Association of Trial Lawyers of America recently released a set of five videos by Mr. Cusimano and another trial attorney entitled, "Commanding the Courtroom". This is a comprehensive presentation designed for all levels of trial experience.
Cusimano has distinguished himself as a trial lawyer in many areas. He defended several members of a failed bank board of directors in a suit filed by the FDIC. It was said at that time, that the defense verdict was the first loss ever suffered by the FDIC in such a suit.
Although he now specializes in representing the plaintiff, at the beginning of his career, he successfully tried to conclusion many criminal and civil defense cases including a not guilty verdict in a capital punishment case. Primarily a plaintiff attorney, Cusimano did represent an insurance company for a time. He received a defense verdict or a mistrial in every case he tried to a verdict for that company during those years. In 1985, Cusimano secured a jury verdict for the plaintiff that for many years was the largest verdict ever affirmed by the Alabama Supreme Court. The verdict stood as the record in Etowah County until 2009, when his partners received a verdict that broke the 1985 verdict that stood for 24 years. He also secured a jury verdict in 1994 which was the largest award at that time in a retaliatory discharge case. The verdict was affirmed by the Supreme Court of Alabama.
In 1981, Cusimano represented a wife and mother in a Title VII and invasion of privacy case that involved numerous first impression issues in both the State of Alabama and the 11th Circuit. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in 1983 affirmed the award recognizing in this significant case that sexual harassment should be a protected right under Title VII. The Alabama Supreme Court in a decision certified to it from the 11th Circuit Court also recognized the complained of conduct as an actionable invasion of privacy.
Mr. Cusimano has been employed as a trial consultant in several high-profile cases around the country. He is also a member of the American Society of Trial Consultants. As a trial consultant, lawyer, and author he is often interviewed by national magazines, and has appeared on television as well as radio programs. He is a founding principal in Winning Works, LLC, a national consulting firm.
Greg is a partner in the law firm Cusimano, Roberts, Knowles & Mills in Gadsden, Alabama. He is married to the former Alice Nabors of Gadsden. He has three daughters, Virginia Downs, Deborah Arnold, Sarah Cusimano Miles, sons-in-law, Randy Arnold, Dwight Downs, and eleven grandchildren, Megan, Joshua and Savannah Miles, Grayson Cusimano, Gabriel and Martha Claire Downs, Rileigh and Jake Arnold, Emma, Matthew and Melissa Downs.
J.D., The University of Alabama School of Law, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1968
B.S. , Bench and Bar University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, 1965
Jurisdictions Admitted to PracticeAlabama, 1968
U.S. Federal Court, 1970
U.S. Supreme Court, 1988
- Coeditor: ATLA's Litigating Tort Cases, ATLA Press & West; 2003, Six Volumes, updated every year
- Contributing Editor: Roberts-Cusimano Alabama Tort Law Handbook, Michie Company, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1990
- Recognizing and Proving Damages of Psychic Injuries, 39 The Alabama Lawyer, 1978
- A Tribute to Trial Lawyers, Association of Trial Lawyers of America Advocate, Vol. 16, No. 9, December, 1990
- A Tribute To Trial Lawyers, Association of Trial Lawyers of America Brief, Vol. 7, No. 1, April, 1991
- A Tribute to Trial Lawyers, The Cumberland Lawyer, Vol. 26, No. 1, Fall, 1991
- Summation: The Last Hurdle, Trial, Vol. 28, No. 9, September, 1992
- Proposed Alabama Rules of Evidence: What's the Same? What's Different?, 45 Alabama Law Review 109, 1993
- Alabama Tort Law, Third Edition, Michie, 1996
- Super Valu Stores, Inc. v. Peterson, 506 So.2d 317 (AL 1987)
- Phillips v. Smalley Maintenance Services, Inc., 435 So.2d 705 (AL 1983)
- Hathcock vs. Wood, 815 So.2d. 502 (Ala. 2001)
Sabrina Bevis, Regions Bank, Gadsden, Alabama
- Lecturer, Trial Advocacy, University of Alabama School of Law, 1984-1986
- Lecturer, Trial Advocacy, University of Alabama School of Law, 1992
- University of Alabama Law School, 1992 Practitioner in Residence
- Lecturer, Continuing Legal Education, Alabama Bar Institute, 1984-Present
- Lecturer, Continuing Legal Education, Cumberland School of Law, 1986
- Numerous Presentations, Continuing Legal Education, Alabama Trial Lawyers Association, 1988-Present
- Numerous Presentations, Continuing Legal Education, Trial Tactics Workshop
- Numerous Presentations, Continuing Legal Education, Association of Trial Lawyers of American
- Lecturer, Continuing Legal Education, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, 1988
- Lecturer, North Carolina Bar Association
- Lecturer, North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers
- Lecturer, Academy of Trial Lawyers of Maryland
- Lecturer, New York Trial Lawyers Association
- Lecturer, Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association
- Lecturer, Nebraska Trial Lawyers Association
- Lecturer, Kentucky Academy of Trial Attorneys
- Lecturer, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Various Conventions and Seminars
- Trial Techniques and Presentation of 45th Annual Belli Seminar, Kansas City, 1988
- Presenter, 46th Belli Seminar, 1989
- Instructional Tapes, Future Damages, Alabama Bar Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 1987
- Basic Course, Atlanta, Georgia
- Ultimate Advanced Course, Harvard Law School, 1990
- Ultimate Advanced Course, Hastings Law School, 1991
- Ultimate Advanced Course, Georgetown Law School, 1992
- Ultimate Advanced Course, Harvard Law School, 1993 and 1996
- Designer, First Post-Ultimate College, Charleston, South Carolina then Houston, Texas, Georgia
- Designer, First Overcoming Jury Bias College, Atlanta, 2001, then San Diego, Phoenix, New Mexico
- Alabama Judicial College, 1995
- Presenter, Overcoming Juror Bias Seminars and Tapes
- Commanding the Courtroom (series of five video tapes)
- Argument published in "Million Dollar Arguments"
Mr. Cusimano's speaking schedule at this time is:
- 2005 -- 2010 - American Association for Justice National and Mid Winter Conventions each year
- 2005 --2010 - Five State Lawyers Association as well as Alabama Association for Justice
- 2005 -- 2010 Trucking Seminars and Mega Trial Colleges
- Guest Lecturer at Law Schools
- June 8-12, 2005 - Mississippi Trial Lawyers Conference
- July 21, 2005 - Alabama State Bar Annual Meeting
- March, 2005 - Alaska TLA
- January, 2005 - ATLA Miami
- December 2004 - NY Trial lawyers Association
- October 27-31, 2004 - ATLA Overcoming Juror Bias College, Santa Fe, NM
- August 13-15, 2004 - Oregon Trial lawyers Association
- 2004 - Georgia Trial lawyers Association, Atlanta
- July 1-8, 2004 - Association of Trial Lawyers of America Annual Convention
- May 26-29, 2004 - Ontario Trial lawyers Association
- April 16-18, 2004 - ATLA Overcoming Juror Bias College, Las Vegas, NV
- March 26-April 3, 2004 - Harvard Ultimate
- February 13-18, 2004 - Association of Trial lawyers of America Winter Convention
- January 29-31, 2004 - Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association
- February 2, 2003 - ATLA Winter Convention Maui, Hawaii - "Concept Focus Group - Experience Its Power"
- February 12, 2003 - Overcoming Jury Bias College, Phoenix, Arizona
- April 11, 2003 - Consumer Attorneys of California Convention
- June 5, 2003 - American Society of Trial Consultants Annual Conference, Reno, Nevada
Honors and Awards
- Fellow, Roscoe Pound Foundation
- Outstanding Young Man of the Year, Etowah County, 1971
- Fellow, National College of Advocates (Advocate and Diplomat)
- Listed, Best Lawyers in America, 1993-present
- Included in Professional Techniques Library Million Dollar Argument Series, 1995
- Fellow, American Bar Foundation
- Fellow, Alabama Bar Foundation
- Recipient, Lifetime Achievement Award, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 2000
- One of 10 lawyers in the country completing the Advanced Studies in Trial Advocacy Certificate 2010
- American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
Professional Associations and Memberships
- American Bar Association Member
- Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Member Farrah Law Society, 1988-1990 President
- University of Alabama Law School, 1968 President
- Etowah County Bar Association, 1968-1969 Secretary-Treasurer
- Etowah County Bar Association, 1980-1981 President
- Etowah County Bar Association Member
- Alabama State Bar, State Young Lawyers Section, 1970-1971 Member, Executive Board
- Alabama State Bar, 1973-1974 Member, Executive Committee
- Etowah County Young Lawyers Association, 1973-1974 President
- Alabama Trial Lawyers Association, 1982-1983 Treasurer
- Alabama Trial Lawyers Association, 1975-Present Member, State Executive Board
- Alabama Trial Lawyers Association, 1983-1984 First Vice President
- Alabama Trial Lawyers Association, 1984-1985 President Elect
- Alabama Trial Lawyers Association, 1985-1986 President
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Sustaining Member, 1990-1992 Co-Chair
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 1986-1988 Member, Board of Governors
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 1995-Present Member, Board of Governors
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 1998-2000 Executive Committee
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 1985-1986 Presidents Council
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 1988-1989 National Chair, Litigation Group, Oversight and Liaison Committee
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America Sustaining Member
- National College of Trial Advocacy, 1992-Present Member, Board of Trustees
- National College of Trial Advocacy, 1993-1994 Vice Chair
- National College of Trial Advocacy, 1994-1996 Co-Chair
- National College of Trial Advocacy, 1996-1998 Vice-Chair
- University of Alabama Law School Foundation Member, Executive Committee
- The Alabama Lawyer, 1979-1981 Member, Editorial Advisory Board
- ATLA National College of Trial Advocacy, 1990-Present Faculty
- Alabama Bar Institute C.L.E., 1983-Present Faculty
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 1984-Present Faculty
- Alabama Judicial College, 1995 Faculty
- Alabama Supreme Court Member, Pattern Jury Instructions Committee
- Alabama Supreme Court Member, Civil Procedure Committee
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 2000 Member-Present, President Club
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America Leaders Forum
- National College of Advocacy
- Designated Advocate & Diplomat
Past Employment Positions
Hawkins, Rhea Keener & Cusimano; Keener & Cusimano; Floyd, Keener Cusimano & Roberts; Special Assistant Attorney General, 1978-Present
- Beta Theta Pi
- Phi Alpha Delta
90% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
August 18, 1943, Gadsden, Alabama, United States of America