Joe Loveland is a senior litigation partner in King & Spalding’s Atlanta office with more than 30 years of trial and appellate experience. A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, he has been named in the Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA’s list of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, and Corporate Counsel Magazine’s list of the “Nation’s Top Business Litigators,” and a Top 100 Georgia Super Lawyer. A member of the bars of both Georgia and Texas, he has served as trial and appellate counsel on complex civil litigation and regulatory matters, including the following recent matters:
- Lead counsel for Imperial Tobacco Co. of Canada in litigation in San Francisco state court brought by a former subsidiary seeking to recover more than $1 billion on claims of fraudulent conveyance, illegal dividends, and alter ego arising out of inter-corporate transfers. The action is also connected with the subsidiary’s bankruptcy action in Delaware.
- Lead counsel for Wachovia and Wells Fargo in action filed by Elavon, Inc. in federal court in Atlanta asserting claims of breach of contract and tortious interference with contractual relationships arising out of the merger of Wachovia and Wells Fargo.
- Lead counsel for The Coca-Cola Company in litigation in federal court in Atlanta involving Egyptian bottling rights. The District Court granted The Coca-Cola Company’s motion to stay the United States litigation in favor of previously-filed Egyptian suit, and the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the stay on appeal.
- Lead counsel for Chevron Corp. in federal court in Charleston, S.C., in claim of breach of contract by former senior corporate officer involving expiration of stock options. The District Court granted summary judgment in Chevron’s behalf, and this grant was affirmed by the Fourth Circuit.
- Lead counsel for Ernst & Young in securities litigation and accounting liability cases in federal court in Tennessee and Mississippi.
- Lead counsel for Verizon Wireless defending litigation brought by AT&T to enjoin Verizon’s “There’s a Map for That” commercials comparing the 3G networks of the two companies. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia denied AT&T’s request for a temporary restraining order on the commercials, and the action was subsequently dismissed.
- Lead counsel for XL Health in purported class action brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia granted summary judgment on all claims of the named plaintiff and thereby determined that the motion to certify a class was moot.
- Lead counsel for The Coca-Cola Company in litigation filed in both federal and state court by more than 50 independent bottlers challenging the right of the Company and Coca-Cola Enterprises to warehouse and deliver certain products to major retailers, including Wal-Mart.
- Lead counsel for General Electric Healthcare in defense of claims of breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets with regard to software in federal court in Austin, Texas.
- Lead counsel for ACS in an action asserting breach of contract and misappropriation of ACS trade secrets claims against a former vendor in Chancery Court in Wilmington, Delaware.
Mr. Loveland's trial experience includes:
- Lead counsel for Texaco Inc. and Texaco Pipeline Inc. in a three-month toxic tort jury trial in Beaumont, Texas defending against claims of personal injury and property damages arising from a pipeline rupture and subsequent fire on the San Jacinto River. The jury returned a defense verdict on all claims. The case was selected by the National Law Journal as one of the Top Ten Defense Wins for the year.
- Lead counsel for The Coca-Cola Company in a two-week jury trial in federal court in Atlanta asserting claims against its international apparel licensee for trademark infringement, breach of contract, breach of a loan agreement, and defending against counterclaims for breach of contract and fraud. The jury returned a verdict for The Coca-Cola Company on all claims.
- Lead counsel for Baxter Healthcare in 2011 arbitration against Teva Pharmaceuticals involving indemnification for Nevada propofol litigation. The arbitration was resolved in favor of Baxter Healthcare.
- Lead counsel for Donnie Cleveland Lance in a death penalty habeas corpus trial in Georgia. The matter is now proceeding in federal court.
- Lead counsel for Ernst & Young in a month-long accountant liability jury trial in Gulfport, Mississippi. The jury allocated 75% of liability to settling defendants and 25% of liability to Ernst & Young. Mr. Loveland argued the appeal of the verdict in the Fifth Circuit.
- Lead counsel for Small Smiles Holding in 2010 trial in state court in Madison, Wisconsin involving post-closing demands on an escrow fund created upon the purchase of a business. The plaintiff seeking release of the funds dismissed the claims with prejudice.
- Defending Banca Nazionale del Lavoro in a number of suits in state and federal courts arising out of $2 billion of unauthorized loans by the bank’s Atlanta branch to the government of Iraq.
- Lead counsel in the defense of Columbia HCA and one of its hospitals in a three-week trial in federal court in Atlanta on claims of breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets involving computerized hospital information systems. The court found in favor of Columbia HCA on the trade secret claims and awarded minimal damages on the breach of contract claim.
- Lead counsel for a group of United States and Netherlands Antilles corporations in two separate jury trials and appeals against corporate alter ego and fraudulent conveyance claims brought by a German construction company arising out of commercial transactions in Iran. The Georgia Supreme Court ultimately ordered that judgment be entered in the groups’ favor on all claims.
Mr. Loveland has substantial experience in governmental investigations and regulatory matters, including:
- Lead counsel defending The Coca-Cola Company against whistleblower allegations of financial and accounting improprieties filed by a former employee in litigation in both state and federal court in Georgia. Mr. Loveland also coordinated the Company’s response to investigations into these activities by the Department of Justice and the SEC.
- Coordinating counsel for WellCare Health Plans, Inc. and its subsidiaries in responding to the investigation of the Company by the United States Department of Justice and other state and federal agencies into claims of criminal misconduct in WellCare’s Medicaid health plan and in negotiation of settlement of federal and state False Claims Act claims.
Mr. Loveland is a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court and the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal. He has argued in numerous state appellate courts, including the Supreme Courts of Georgia and Tennessee and the Texas Court of Appeals.
Mr. Loveland’s recent appellate matters include the following:
- Lead counsel for Chevron Corp. in 2011 appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on executive stock option case. The Court affirmed a grant of summary judgment in Chevron’s favor.
- Lead counsel for The Coca-Cola Company in 2011 appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit involving international abstention in dispute involving Egyptian bottling rights. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the District Court’s grant of a stay of United States litigation as sought by The Coca-Cola Company.
- Lead counsel for MillerCoors in 2012 appeal pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit dealing with the application of Ohio statute governing the right of a successor beer manufacturer to change distributors.
- Lead counsel for DeKalb County in appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court involving the constitutionality of an intergovernmental agreement involving distribution of tax revenues. Mr. Loveland argued the case in the Georgia Court of Appeals as well as the Georgia Supreme Court on two occasions. The Georgia Supreme Court affirmed summary judgment for DeKalb County in 2011.
- Lead counsel for Ernst & Young in appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in alleged class action involving claims of securities fraud. The Sixth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s grant of a motion to dismiss. Mr. Loveland served as lead counsel in the District Court as well.
- Lead counsel for Ernst & Young in appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in appeal from jury verdict in accountant liability action in the United States District Court in Mississippi. Mr. Loveland served as both lead trial counsel and lead counsel on the appeal.
- Lead counsel for Sterling Currency in appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court by a former I.T. vendor of Sterling from a grant of injunctive relief in Sterling’s favor. The Supreme Court affirmed the entry of the injunction.
- Lead counsel for NBC Universal in certified question proceeding before the Georgia Supreme Court. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia certified an issue regarding the scope of Georgia’s anti-gaming statute to the Georgia Supreme Court for decision. Mr. Loveland argued the case in both the District Court and the Georgia Supreme Court. Following determination by the Georgia Supreme Court, the District Court dismissed the class action proceeding brought against NBC Universal.
Mr. Loveland graduated with highest honors from the University of North Carolina and received his law degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School. He served as Chair of King & Spalding’s Litigation Department and has served several terms on the firm’s Policy Committee.
Mr. Loveland is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees and serves as Treasurer of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and serves as Chair of the American College of Trial Lawyers’ Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Committee. He is a member of the Lawyer’s Committee of the National Center for State Courts. He was a founding member of the Board of Georgia Appleseed, served as its Chair in 2010-2011, and remains a member of its Executive Committee.