Icon close

Close

People

Val Leppert is a first-chair appellate lawyer and legal strategist.  He has handled dozens of appeals and obtained the reversal of numerous adverse judgments.  Val has represented clients across an array of industries, including airline, automotive, insurance, lending, medical device, pharmaceutical, private equity, transportation, and software.  But he has developed particular expertise in consumer products, having worked extensively in tobacco litigation while also representing companies in matters pertaining to alcohol and construction materials.   Just recently, Legal 500 noted that Val is “recommended” for the defense of consumer products, including for “his work at First Instance” and also for “his appellate skills.” 

In some matters, Val steps into the case on appeal.  But in most instances, Val works alongside the trial teams from the inception of the case, devising the legal strategy from the pleadings stage through post-trial motions and appeal. Using this format, he frequently develops new and creative arguments and has attained a number of victories in pretrial proceedings, such as the dismissal of his clients before trial or limitations on the other side’s claims.  If a case makes it to trial, Val often serves as legal issues counsel, helping the team shape the case by obtaining favorable evidentiary rulings or jury instructions.   This integrated approach, where Val is embedded with the trial team, is frequently the foundation for success in post-trial and appellate proceedings. 

Although he is resident in the firm’s Atlanta and Miami offices, Val works on cases throughout the United States.  He has argued matters from North Carolina to Nevada and from Minnesota all the way down to the Southernmost Point in the Florida Keys.

Val served as law clerk to the Honorable Frank M. Hull, United States Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.  He graduated, magna cum laude, from Mercer University School of Law where he received the George W. Woodruff Award of Excellence as the top-ranked student in his class.  While in law school, Val served as Articles Editor of the Mercer Law Review and as Research Assistant to Professor Harold S. Lewis, Jr.  While in college, he was named the 2004 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference South Most Valuable Player on Offense after quarterbacking Westminster College (Mo) to consecutive football conference championships.   He was inducted into the Westminster Athletic Hall of Fame in 2019. 

Val is a native of Frankfurt, Germany, and is fluent in German.

Full Bio

Credentials

J.D., Mercer University, magna cum laude

B.A., Westminster College

Court of Appeals of Georgia

Florida

Georgia

Supreme Court of Georgia

Supreme Court of the United States

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida

Law Clerk, Frank M. Hull, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Florida

Georgia

German

Matters

Obtained affirmance of dismissal of pure bill of discovery for lack of personal jurisdiction. MSP Recovery Claims, Series LLC v. Coloplast Corp., 3D22-191, --- So. 3d ---, (Fla. 3d DCA Jan. 11, 2023).

Obtained affirmance of summary judgment based on the exclusion of the plaintiff's specific causation expert in medical device lawsuit. Arevalo v. Mentor Worldwide LLC, 21-11768, --- F. App'x---, 2022 WL 16753646, at *1 (11th Cir. Nov. 8, 2022)

Obtained summary judgment on all claims in product liability case based on exclusion of plaintiff's causation expert. James v. Coloplast Corp., CV 20-654 (JRT/TNL), 2022 WL 4465956 (D. Minn. Sept. 26, 2022) (appeal pending).

See more
Icon close

Close

Matters

Obtained affirmance of dismissal of pure bill of discovery for lack of personal jurisdiction. MSP Recovery Claims, Series LLC v. Coloplast Corp., 3D22-191, --- So. 3d ---, (Fla. 3d DCA Jan. 11, 2023).

Obtained affirmance of summary judgment based on the exclusion of the plaintiff's specific causation expert in medical device lawsuit. Arevalo v. Mentor Worldwide LLC, 21-11768, --- F. App'x---, 2022 WL 16753646, at *1 (11th Cir. Nov. 8, 2022)

Obtained summary judgment on all claims in product liability case based on exclusion of plaintiff's causation expert. James v. Coloplast Corp., CV 20-654 (JRT/TNL), 2022 WL 4465956 (D. Minn. Sept. 26, 2022) (appeal pending).

Obtained summary judgment on all claims in medical device case. Cantrell v. Coloplast Corp., 2022 WL 2806390 (D. Minn. July 18, 2022) (appeal pending)

Obtained reversal of multi-million dollar judgment based on amendment of tort reform statute in product-liability case. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Kaplan Estate of Kaplan, 336 So. 3d 309, 310 (Fla. 4th DCA 2022) (per curiam)

Obtained reversal of judgment that included $20 million in punitive damages in product liability case. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Mattson Estate of Konzelman, 336 So. 3d 315 (Fla. 4th DCA 2022) (per curiam)

Obtained reversal of $42.5 million judgment in light of error during jury selection. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Gloger, 338 So. 3d 977 (Fla. 3d DCA 2022)

Obtained dismissal of foreign parent company for lack of personal jurisdiction. Rogers v. Coloplast Corp., 2022 WL 252420, at *1 (M.D. Fla. Jan. 27, 2022)

Obtained reversal of dismissal of habeas claim based on ineffective assistance of counsel. Davila v. United States, 21-11359-V, 2022 WL 1236828, at *1 (11th Cir. Jan. 5, 2022)

Obtained reversal of $10 million judgment in light of improper closing arguments. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Neff, 325 So. 3d 872 (Fla. 4th DCA 2021), review denied, SC21-1603, 2022 WL 1261381 (Fla. Apr. 28, 2022)

Obtained reversal of $37.5 million judgment in light of improper closing arguments. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Mahfuz, 324 So. 3d 495 (Fla. 4th DCA 2021), review denied, SC21-1551, 2022 WL 1153496 (Fla. Apr. 19, 2022)

Obtained dismissal of foreign parent company for lack of personal jurisdiction. Almond v. Coloplast A/S, 2021 WL 2042659, at *1 (M.D. Fla. May 21, 2021)

Obtained affirmance of defense verdict in high-risk trial after obtaining an adverse inference instruction. Adamson v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 325 So. 3d 887 (Fla. 4th DCA 2021), review denied, SC21-1210, 2021 WL 6140352 (Fla. Dec. 30, 2021)

Obtained reversal of $16 million in light of improper jury instruction. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Bessent-Dixon, 313 So. 3d 173 (Fla. 1st DCA 2021)

Obtained summary judgment on failure to warn claims and on punitive damages in medical device case. Nunez v. Coloplast Corp., 461 F. Supp. 3d 1260 (S.D. Fla. 2020).

Obtained reversal of $18.5 million judgment in light of improperly admitted evidence. Philip Morris USA, Inc. v. Gloger, 273 So. 3d 1046 (Fla. 3d DCA 2019)

Obtained rarely granted appellate writ to disqualify the trial judge from a number of cases. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Alonso, 268 So. 3d 151 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019).

Obtained reversal of punitive damages award in light of novel argument under tort reform statute. Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Martin, 262 So. 3d 769 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018)

Obtained order granting new trial and vacating multi-million judgment in light of improper arguments; obtained appellate affirmance of same order. Oshinsky-Blacker v. Philip Morris USA Inc., 249 So. 3d 643 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018) (per curiam)

Obtained transfer of venue from high-risk county to lower risk venue; obtained appellate affirmance of same. Muro v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 245 So. 3d 1010 (Fla. 3d DCA 2018) (per curiam)

Supported trial team in obtaining complete defense verdict. Gay v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2007-14649 (Fla. 13th Cir. Ct. 2018)

Obtained affirmance of defense verdict based on statute of limitations. Hackimer v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 244 So. 3d 270 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018)

Supported trial team in obtaining complete defense verdict. Mobley v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2007-CA-1709-K (Fla. 16th Cir. Ct. 2018)

Obtained reversal of $10.5 million judgment in light of erroneously admitted government reports. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. McCoy, 229 So. 3d 847 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017) (per curiam)

Obtained reversal of $10 million judgment in light of erroneously admitted government reports. Philip Morris USA, Inc. v. Pollari, 228 So. 3d 115, 119 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017)

Obtained summary judgment in tobacco case. Capone v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. et al., No. 2005-010312-CA-24 (Fla. 11th Cir. Ct. 2017)

Obtained affirmance of defense verdict based on statute of limitations. Haliburton v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 230 So. 3d 459 (Fla. 4th DCA Feb. 22, 2017) (per curiam)

Supported trial team in obtaining complete defense verdict in tobacco trial. Wilkins v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 15-2007-CA-20 (Fla. 11th Cir. Ct. 2016)

Obtained reversal of seven-figure award in attorney’s fees. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Webb, 187 So. 3d 388 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016)

Supported trial team in obtaining complete defense verdict in high-risk tobacco trial. Robertson v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2007-CV-036442 (Fla. 17th Cir. Ct. 2015)

Obtained affirmance of defense victory in product liability case. Smith v. Brown & Williamson Corp., 410 S.W. 3d 623 (Mo. 2013)

Obtained summary judgment for defendant in product liability case. Thompson v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 12-01326-CV-W-GAF, 2013 WL 12075967 (W.D. Mo. May 29, 2013)

Obtained reversal of summary judgment on nonparty fault defense in product-liability case against manufacturer of construction materials. Georgia Pacific, LLC v. Fields, 293 Ga. 499, 748 S.E. 2d 407 (2013)

Supported trial team in obtaining an almost complete defense verdict in common-issues phase of mass-tort trial. In re: Tobacco Litigation (Individual Personal Injury Cases), No. 00-CA-5000 (Kanawha County, West Va., 2013)

Obtained dismissal of mass action against alcohol manufacturers for lack of jurisdiction. Oglala Sioux Tribe v. Schwarting, 894 F. Supp. 2d 1195 (D. Neb. 2012)

Obtained affirmance of defense victory in product-liability case against manufacturer of construction materials. Toole v. Georgia-Pacific, LLC, 2011 WL 7938847 (Ga. App. Jan 19, 2011)

Obtained rarely granted stay of state court judgment pending US Supreme Court review in product-liability class action. Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Scott, 131 S. Ct. 1 (2010) (Scalia, J., in chambers)

Insights

View all

Matters

Obtained affirmance of dismissal of pure bill of discovery for lack of personal jurisdiction. MSP Recovery Claims, Series LLC v. Coloplast Corp., 3D22-191, --- So. 3d ---, (Fla. 3d DCA Jan. 11, 2023).

Obtained affirmance of summary judgment based on the exclusion of the plaintiff's specific causation expert in medical device lawsuit. Arevalo v. Mentor Worldwide LLC, 21-11768, --- F. App'x---, 2022 WL 16753646, at *1 (11th Cir. Nov. 8, 2022)

Obtained summary judgment on all claims in product liability case based on exclusion of plaintiff's causation expert. James v. Coloplast Corp., CV 20-654 (JRT/TNL), 2022 WL 4465956 (D. Minn. Sept. 26, 2022) (appeal pending).

See more
Icon close

Close

Matters

Obtained affirmance of dismissal of pure bill of discovery for lack of personal jurisdiction. MSP Recovery Claims, Series LLC v. Coloplast Corp., 3D22-191, --- So. 3d ---, (Fla. 3d DCA Jan. 11, 2023).

Obtained affirmance of summary judgment based on the exclusion of the plaintiff's specific causation expert in medical device lawsuit. Arevalo v. Mentor Worldwide LLC, 21-11768, --- F. App'x---, 2022 WL 16753646, at *1 (11th Cir. Nov. 8, 2022)

Obtained summary judgment on all claims in product liability case based on exclusion of plaintiff's causation expert. James v. Coloplast Corp., CV 20-654 (JRT/TNL), 2022 WL 4465956 (D. Minn. Sept. 26, 2022) (appeal pending).

Obtained summary judgment on all claims in medical device case. Cantrell v. Coloplast Corp., 2022 WL 2806390 (D. Minn. July 18, 2022) (appeal pending)

Obtained reversal of multi-million dollar judgment based on amendment of tort reform statute in product-liability case. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Kaplan Estate of Kaplan, 336 So. 3d 309, 310 (Fla. 4th DCA 2022) (per curiam)

Obtained reversal of judgment that included $20 million in punitive damages in product liability case. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Mattson Estate of Konzelman, 336 So. 3d 315 (Fla. 4th DCA 2022) (per curiam)

Obtained reversal of $42.5 million judgment in light of error during jury selection. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Gloger, 338 So. 3d 977 (Fla. 3d DCA 2022)

Obtained dismissal of foreign parent company for lack of personal jurisdiction. Rogers v. Coloplast Corp., 2022 WL 252420, at *1 (M.D. Fla. Jan. 27, 2022)

Obtained reversal of dismissal of habeas claim based on ineffective assistance of counsel. Davila v. United States, 21-11359-V, 2022 WL 1236828, at *1 (11th Cir. Jan. 5, 2022)

Obtained reversal of $10 million judgment in light of improper closing arguments. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Neff, 325 So. 3d 872 (Fla. 4th DCA 2021), review denied, SC21-1603, 2022 WL 1261381 (Fla. Apr. 28, 2022)

Obtained reversal of $37.5 million judgment in light of improper closing arguments. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Mahfuz, 324 So. 3d 495 (Fla. 4th DCA 2021), review denied, SC21-1551, 2022 WL 1153496 (Fla. Apr. 19, 2022)

Obtained dismissal of foreign parent company for lack of personal jurisdiction. Almond v. Coloplast A/S, 2021 WL 2042659, at *1 (M.D. Fla. May 21, 2021)

Obtained affirmance of defense verdict in high-risk trial after obtaining an adverse inference instruction. Adamson v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 325 So. 3d 887 (Fla. 4th DCA 2021), review denied, SC21-1210, 2021 WL 6140352 (Fla. Dec. 30, 2021)

Obtained reversal of $16 million in light of improper jury instruction. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Bessent-Dixon, 313 So. 3d 173 (Fla. 1st DCA 2021)

Obtained summary judgment on failure to warn claims and on punitive damages in medical device case. Nunez v. Coloplast Corp., 461 F. Supp. 3d 1260 (S.D. Fla. 2020).

Obtained reversal of $18.5 million judgment in light of improperly admitted evidence. Philip Morris USA, Inc. v. Gloger, 273 So. 3d 1046 (Fla. 3d DCA 2019)

Obtained rarely granted appellate writ to disqualify the trial judge from a number of cases. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Alonso, 268 So. 3d 151 (Fla. 4th DCA 2019).

Obtained reversal of punitive damages award in light of novel argument under tort reform statute. Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Martin, 262 So. 3d 769 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018)

Obtained order granting new trial and vacating multi-million judgment in light of improper arguments; obtained appellate affirmance of same order. Oshinsky-Blacker v. Philip Morris USA Inc., 249 So. 3d 643 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018) (per curiam)

Obtained transfer of venue from high-risk county to lower risk venue; obtained appellate affirmance of same. Muro v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 245 So. 3d 1010 (Fla. 3d DCA 2018) (per curiam)

Supported trial team in obtaining complete defense verdict. Gay v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2007-14649 (Fla. 13th Cir. Ct. 2018)

Obtained affirmance of defense verdict based on statute of limitations. Hackimer v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 244 So. 3d 270 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018)

Supported trial team in obtaining complete defense verdict. Mobley v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2007-CA-1709-K (Fla. 16th Cir. Ct. 2018)

Obtained reversal of $10.5 million judgment in light of erroneously admitted government reports. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. McCoy, 229 So. 3d 847 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017) (per curiam)

Obtained reversal of $10 million judgment in light of erroneously admitted government reports. Philip Morris USA, Inc. v. Pollari, 228 So. 3d 115, 119 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017)

Obtained summary judgment in tobacco case. Capone v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. et al., No. 2005-010312-CA-24 (Fla. 11th Cir. Ct. 2017)

Obtained affirmance of defense verdict based on statute of limitations. Haliburton v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 230 So. 3d 459 (Fla. 4th DCA Feb. 22, 2017) (per curiam)

Supported trial team in obtaining complete defense verdict in tobacco trial. Wilkins v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 15-2007-CA-20 (Fla. 11th Cir. Ct. 2016)

Obtained reversal of seven-figure award in attorney’s fees. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Webb, 187 So. 3d 388 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016)

Supported trial team in obtaining complete defense verdict in high-risk tobacco trial. Robertson v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2007-CV-036442 (Fla. 17th Cir. Ct. 2015)

Obtained affirmance of defense victory in product liability case. Smith v. Brown & Williamson Corp., 410 S.W. 3d 623 (Mo. 2013)

Obtained summary judgment for defendant in product liability case. Thompson v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 12-01326-CV-W-GAF, 2013 WL 12075967 (W.D. Mo. May 29, 2013)

Obtained reversal of summary judgment on nonparty fault defense in product-liability case against manufacturer of construction materials. Georgia Pacific, LLC v. Fields, 293 Ga. 499, 748 S.E. 2d 407 (2013)

Supported trial team in obtaining an almost complete defense verdict in common-issues phase of mass-tort trial. In re: Tobacco Litigation (Individual Personal Injury Cases), No. 00-CA-5000 (Kanawha County, West Va., 2013)

Obtained dismissal of mass action against alcohol manufacturers for lack of jurisdiction. Oglala Sioux Tribe v. Schwarting, 894 F. Supp. 2d 1195 (D. Neb. 2012)

Obtained affirmance of defense victory in product-liability case against manufacturer of construction materials. Toole v. Georgia-Pacific, LLC, 2011 WL 7938847 (Ga. App. Jan 19, 2011)

Obtained rarely granted stay of state court judgment pending US Supreme Court review in product-liability class action. Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Scott, 131 S. Ct. 1 (2010) (Scalia, J., in chambers)

Insights

View all

Credentials

J.D., Mercer University, magna cum laude

B.A., Westminster College

Court of Appeals of Georgia

Florida

Georgia

Supreme Court of Georgia

Supreme Court of the United States

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida

Law Clerk, Frank M. Hull, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Florida

Georgia

German