WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hausfeld announced today that distinguished litigator Frederick "Rick" Kuykendall III has joined the firm as Of Counsel. A native of Alabama, Kuykendall brings with him thirty years of extensive experience in all areas of complex litigation, including product liability, mass tort, and environmental litigation. Kuykendall is a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent-rated lawyer and has been listed in Best Lawyers in America. Over the course of his career, he has represented clients in every type of court, from municipal court to the Supreme Court of the United States, and has served as lead or co-lead counsel in cases with verdicts and settlements totaling more than $1 billion.

Most recently, Kuykendall has represented businesses, individuals, and public entities (spanning Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas) for damages arising out of the Deepwater Horizon oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. Among other matters, Kuykendall is also representing dialysis patients nationwide who have been injured by a concentrated chemical compound used in dialysis procedures. He is also leading the firm's efforts to pursue redress in tribal courts for Native Americans in this and other matters.

Whether trying civil rights cases, representing trade unions, or defending the rights of individuals and businesses, Kuykendall has been a tireless advocate and a compassionate voice for justice. In addition to his litigation experience, he has served as a court-appointed special master in one of the largest environmental cases in Alabama, involving Monsanto. His litigation experience, negotiating acumen, and work as a special master led the Honorable Braxton Kittrell (Former Presiding Judge, 13th Judicial Circuit, Mobile, Alabama) to comment that Kuykendall is "an exceptional lawyer whose skills as a litigator are equaled only by his expertise as a negotiator." A student of law, literature, history, and philosophy, Rick has never forgotten that a lawyer's first obligation is to his or her client, inextricably linked as well to being a good citizen involved in and attuned to the community. He prides himself on treating his adversaries as indispensable allies in the pursuit of truth.

Partner Richard Lewis welcomed Kuykendall to the firm: "Rick and I have worked together on various matters for over a decade, and we are thrilled that he is joining Hausfeld. We value the depth of his experience, his ability to navigate complex litigation with agility, and his deep roots in Gulf Coast communities where we already practice and intend to expand our role."  Chairman Michael Hausfeld added: "Rick is one of the most highly regarded trial lawyers in the United States. He is a real asset to the plaintiffs' bar and our firm. We welcome his contributions."

Kuykendall graduated from the University of Alabama and the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. From 1981 to 1998, he was a managing partner at Cooper, Mitch, Crawford, Kuykendall & Whatley, LLC.  Since that time, he has managed his own law firm, Kuykendall & Associates, LLC.

Kuykendall has long been active in public affairs and political matters as well. Having worked on Capitol Hill for several years, he has had a lifelong interest in politics at both the state and federal level. He has served on the board of directors of numerous prominent non-profit organizations, such as the Surfrider Foundation, the Pensacola Florida Riverkeepers, and The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law, and is a longstanding member of the AFL-CIO's Lawyers Coordinating Committee. Additionally, he has served as a contributing editor of the Developing Labor Law (BNA Bloomberg) and been elected to the Alabama State Bar's Board of Bar Commissioners. A frequent lecturer and commentator on legal matters, he was this year's keynote speaker at Georgia State University's Earth Week festivities.

This is the third major lateral acquisition announced by Hausfeld in recent weeks. Laurent Geelhand, Michelin's General Counsel for Europe, joined Hausfeld as a partner last month in Brussels, where he has opened and will manage Hausfeld's second European office. Additionally, former federal judge Walter Kelley joined Hausfeld's Washington, DC office as a partner in October 2014.