Although I’m among the least tech-savvy people I know, I’ve been persuaded that a blog will be an effective platform for me to share my passion for helping people resolve conflict. I first trained to become a mediator some twenty years ago, through a faith-based program serving others in my church. That role evolved into a full time calling as a mediator, helping lawyers and parties settle civil disputes.
Since 2009, I’ve taught mediation as an adjunct professor at The University of Alabama Law School. During that time, I’ve become a student of mediation myself. It’s my belief that mediation is more of an art than a science — and there is no one way, or best way, to do it.
Although my wife is convinced that I am no expert in resolving my own conflicts, I’ve enjoyed a measure of success in helping others with conflict resolution. In focusing on principles and subjects relating to mediation and resolving conflict, it’s my goal with this blog to offer insights and advice that benefit my readers professionally and personally. Which is why I welcome any and all suggestions for addressing mediation issues you consider important.
Thank you very much for your interest. I hope you’ll find the time you invest with me here is time well-spent.
My Mediation Experience
Since 2006, I’ve mediated hundreds of cases to partial or complete resolution, including cases in the following categories:
Wrongful death claims arising out of automobile accident.
Lawsuit between neighbors over boundary line.
Multi-million dollar construction dispute between housing authority, contractor, sub-contractors, architects, engineers and lenders — resulting in the completion of the project and settlement of all claims.
Wrongful death claims arising out of automobile accident and alcohol.
Negotiated the split of a 35 member doctor group.
Coverage disputes between insurance companies.
Helped resolve departmental conflicts arising out of working relationships between employees and departments for a Fortune 500 company.
Wrongful death claims arising out of treatment in hospital.
Wrongful death claims arising out of stay in nursing home.
Fall from a treestand while hunting resulting in paralysis.
Multi-million dollar dispute involving municipal bond default and numerous lawsuits between subdivision developer, contractors, home owners, lenders, junior lien holders and municipality.
Religious or Charitable Organizations
Negotiate church split for a 4,000 member church.
Multi-million dollar shareholder derivative suit involving publicly traded company with claims for mismanagement against officers and claims against accounting firm for negligent audit work.
Claims arising out of fire loss.
Injuries from accident involving eighteen wheeler and automobile.
Familial dispute over validity of will.
Bill Ratliff’s law practice has been principally in the area of commercial litigation and insurance defense. He now focuses exclusively on alternative dispute resolution, both as a mediator and an arbitrator. Bill was one of the first attorneys in the state of Alabama to be approved for appellate mediation appointments. Bill is a certified mediator with the American Arbitration Association, and he is on the roster for the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution.
A wide variety of trial experience serves Bill well as a mediator and arbitrator. He has represented individuals, financial institutions, automobile dealerships, manufacturers, construction companies, insurance companies, and other types of corporate clients, as both plaintiffs and defendants, in both state and federal court. He also has extensive experience representing creditors in workouts and in bankruptcy proceedings under Chapters 7 and 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.
Bill was born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1956. He attended the University of Alabama, and in 1978, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in corporate finance. Bill attended Cumberland School of Law at Samford University and graduated in 1981. He worked with the Birmingham firm of Cabaniss, Johnston, Gardner, Dumas & O’Neal until 1988. At that time, he joined Dale Wallace and Bert Jordan to practice law. They have been partners or members of the same firm for over 20 years.
Bill is admitted to practice law before all Alabama federal district courts and all Alabama state courts. He is a member of the Alabama State Bar, the Birmingham Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.
Areas of Concentration
- Bad Faith
- Banking – Lending and Regulatory Matters
- Construction Law
- Creditors’ Rights
- Medical Malpractice
- Personal Injury/Wrongful Death
- Products Liability
- Real Estate
- Shareholder Disputes
- S. District Court Middle District of Alabama, 1981
- S. District Court Northern District of Alabama, 1981
- S. District Court Southern District of Alabama, 1981
- Alabama, 1981
- Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, Birmingham, AL, J.D., 1981
- The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, B.S, Corporate Finance, 1978
Arbitration Panel Affiliations
- Agency for Dispute Resolution, Inc.
- American Arbitration Association
- National Arbitration Forum
- National Health Lawyers Association
- Fellow, American College of Civil Trial Mediators
- Member, The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals
- Adjunct Professor of Mediation at the University of Alabama School of Law (2010 to present)
- Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution
- Alabama State Bar
- American Bar Association
- Birmingham Bar Association
- Christian Legal Society
- Federal Court Neutral
- Cabaniss, Johnston, Gardner, Dumas & O’Neal, Associate, 1984-1988
- Corley, Moncus, Bynum, and DeBuys, Associate, 1981-1984
Adjunct Professor of Mediation
University of Alabama School of Law (2010 – present)
Phone: (205) 874-0306
Fax: (205) 874-3260
P.O. Box 530910
Birmingham, AL 35253
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Phone: (205) 874-0364