Robert E. Hawthorne, III

Partner

-1 years experience

Phone: 205.980.5888

Fax: 205.980.1098

About

Trey grew up in Trussville, Alabama, and went to college at Auburn University, where he majored in Finance. After graduating from Auburn, Trey was awarded an academic scholarship to attend law school at the University of Alabama.

Trey joined Gaines Gault Hendrix in 2014, and focuses on personal injury, construction defect, and telecommunications infrastructure litigation. However, prior to joining the firm, he handled cases in a wide variety of areas, ranging from bankruptcy and family law to catastrophic personal injury, class actions, and appeals before the 11th Circuit. He has worked on matters as small as drafting standard wills and incorporating single member LLCs to matters as large as the administration of mass tort settlements of over $140 million. As a result, Trey has a working knowledge of nearly every area of law he might encounter.

He and his wife, Jennifer, live in Trussville, along with his daughter, Devon, and two stepdaughters, Averi and Adalyn. Outside the office, Trey is an avid supporter of all things Auburn and loves the outdoors. He has worked with the Arthritis Foundation, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the United Way, and is an active member of Briarwood Presbyterian Church.

Practice Areas

Automobile litigation, general civil litigation, insurance defense, trucking litigation, construction law, premises liability.

Education

  • B.S., Auburn University (2005)
  • J.D., University of Alabama School of Law (2008)
Reported Cases & Notable Trials
Honors & Awards
Courts & Professional Associations

HULSEY V. RANSOM; CIRCUIT COURT OF MARSHALL COUNTY, ALABAMA; CV-2015-000011

  • Trey obtained a favorable verdict in the jury trial of a case in which it was his client had backed out of her driveway and into the front of the plaintiff's oncoming truck. Both vehicles suffered significant damage, with the plaintiff's truck being totaled. The plaintiff sought treatment for back pain, and underwent back surgery about six weeks after the accident. Prior to the lawsuit being filed, his client’s insurance company offered to pay its policy limits to settle the claim, but was fronted by the plaintiff's underinsured motorist carrier, which opted out of the case. The only demand received prior to trial was for $100,000, which was equal to the combined policy limits of the liability and UIM policies.

  • Trey had to try the case with an 'empty chair,' as his client was excluded from the trial as a result of an apparent health condition that prevented her from participating in the case. At trial, it was undisputed that the plaintiff had a degenerative back condition that predated the accident. However, the plaintiff argued the accident aggravated the condition, leading to his surgery. The plaintiff claimed to have incurred about $78,000 in medical bills, but it was agreed that those bills were paid by Medicare. The defense disputed the medical causation, and argued the plaintiff's back pain existed prior to the accident. After deliberating for about an hour and a half, the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff in the amount $20,000, which was less than the amount originally advanced by the underinsured motorist carrier to keep Trey’s client in the case.

Greenwood v. Rudick, Circuit Court of St. Clair County; CV-2014-000033

  • Trey obtained a defense verdict in a single vehicle accident case in which it was alleged his client had been drinking, and in which it was agreed by all involved that Trey’s client and the plaintiff had been at a bar together a few hours after the accident, and that the accident occurred after Trey’s client fell asleep and his car left the road and hit a tree. The jury returned a defense verdict in only 27 minutes.

O’Rear v. Farris, Circuit Court of Walker County; CV-2014-900545

  • Obtained a defense verdict in a disputed liability and disputed causation case in which the plaintiff claimed she was injured in a car accident and ultimately had to take an early retirement from her job as a teacher. In addition to her medical bills and past lost wages, the plaintiff claimed to have lost over $125,000 in future income, and, over the course of her life, expected to pay an additional $25,000 in health insurance premiums due to the early retirement. The plaintiff’s lowest settlement demand was for $85,000. At trial, Trey was able to successfully call into question the plaintiff’s injury claims, as well as persuade the jury the plaintiff was partly at fault for causing the accident.

Hopkins v. ACCC Insurance Company, Circuit Court of Jefferson County; CV-2015-904414

  • Trey represented ACCC Insurance Company in a case in which it was sued for bad faith, conversion, misrepresentation, and breach of contract. Through two different Motions to Dismiss and a Motion for Summary Judgment, Trey succeeded in having all but the conversion claim dismissed. Ultimately, the plaintiffs’ claims for conversion went to trial, which resulted in a defense verdict in favor of ACCC. The plaintiffs’ last pretrial demand was for $75,000.

The Builders Group of West Alabama, LLC v. Skip Sutton Plumbing, et al., Circuit Court of Tuscaloosa County, CV-2016-901275

  • Obtained summary judgment on five out of six causes of action in a case with allegations of faulty plumbing in over 30 homes.

Professional

  • Selected to the Birmingham Bar Association Future Leaders Forum, Class of 2012

University of Alabama

  • Academic Scholarship Recipient

  • J.D., University of Alabama School of Law (2008)

Auburn University

  • School of Business Dean’s List; Fall 2004 and Spring 2005

  • B.S., Auburn University (2005)

  • Cabinet Member, Interfraternity Council

  • Delta Chi Fraternity

Professional Associations

  • Alabama State Bar

  • Birmingham Bar Association

Courts

  • Alabama State Courts

  • United States District Courts for the Northern and Middle Districts of Alabama

  • United State Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit

  • United States Bankruptcy Court

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama (2008)