LITIGATION DEPARTMENT OF THE YEAR - Mid-Size Firm  ALM's Daily Report   2017 - 2016 - 2014
Photo of Nicholas P. Panayotopoulos

Nicholas P. Panayotopoulos

Partner

Nick’s broad-based civil litigation practice focuses primarily on business litigation, professional liability, consumer financial services, class actions, complex tort, and construction litigation. Known for his mastery of (and excelling in) highly complex, big dollar cases, Nick is often referred such cases by the most recognized and well-regarded litigation firms in the country.

He has represented his clients in litigation and arbitration of more than 100 state and federal cases throughout the nation, including claims with thousands of plaintiffs.  Nick has on several occasions been hired to defend claims where the disputed amounts exceeded $1 billion and has advised on the prosecution of multi-billion dollar claims. 

Nick’s practice is exemplified by his defense of thousands of claims in the highly publicized Chinese-manufactured drywall multi-district litigation. He was appointed to the Defense Steering Committee by the Honorable Eldon E. Fallon of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, where he defended numerous class and direct actions. Nick has defended many well-known manufacturers, power companies, natural resource companies, construction firms, and law firms that choose him for their “bet the company” litigation.

AV® Preeminent rated in Products Liability, Litigation, and Commercial Law by Martindale-Hubbell, Nick is recognized by his clients and adversaries for “fierce, tenacious and conscientious client advocacy” and for “excelling in complex litigation matters where numerous attorneys are involved.”

Education

Emory University, B.A., 1990

Tulane University Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1993

Bar & Court Admissions

  • State Bar of Georgia
  • Alabama State Bar
  • New York State Bar
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Georgia

Representative Experience

Defended claims covering allegedly defective construction product (after firm tried the first nationwide contested trial) and settled more than 4,000 claims, over 300 state court cases, 32 class actions, and multi-district litigation ("MDL") in Louisiana in claims of hundreds of millions against the client.  Client paid nothing out of pocket, even though policy limits were a tiny fraction of actual damages.

Defended, and was selected to be part of the Defense Steering Committee, numerous mining and timbering defendants, including Massey Coal and Massey Energy, from claims brought by thousands of homeowners in what is believed to have been the largest mass tort claim in West Virginia history, at the time.

Defended all members of the compensation committee of the board of directors of a publicly traded company against class action brought by shareholders alleging breach of fiduciary duty and seeking damages in connection with allegedly spring loaded stock options grants and excessive compensation.

Defended well known national supplier of construction products in nationwide putative class action brought by building owners and condominium associations alleging the sale of defective piping product.

Nationwide class action voluntarily dismissed and Plaintiffs and Plaintiffs’ counsel stipulated to never refile claims as a class action, following the filing of Motion to Dismiss Class Allegations or to Deny Class Certification.  The case was removed to a federal district court within the Eleventh Circuit, and the Motion was filed as the first responsive pleading, before any discovery was conducted by any party. 

Advised on litigation strategy concerning multi-billion dispute concerning DOE’s Nuclear Waste Fund.

Nationwide class actions voluntarily dismissed after settlement of individual Plaintiff’s claims with nominal contribution from client, following the filing of Motion to Dismiss Class Allegations or to Deny Class Certification.  Motion was filed as first responsive pleading in the “Rocket Docket”, the Eastern District of Virginia.

Successfully handled numerous FDCPA and TCPA cases.

Consulted on nationwide class action against manufacturer of construction products on behalf of owners of commercial real estate buildings.

Defended numerous mass tort litigations throughout the country, including multi-district litigations and class actions such as those involving building construction materials and other products.

Recovered in excess of $10 million for clients in 2015.  Recovered well over $50 million in cash or other consideration for clients in last five years. 

Often called on to advise manufacturers and businesses in class action litigation. 

Defended a major power company in a certified class action lawsuit with more than 3,300 claimants. Plaintiffs claimed tens of millions in damages.  Case settled for $1.45 million, less than estimated cost of defense.

Obtained summary judgment for general contractor in a highly publicized contractual dispute over construction of a jail in Alabama. 

Prosecuted claims for over $100 million against foreign businesses. 

Awards & Recognitions

Martindale-Hubbell®, AV Preeminent Rating 4.9/5.0, with "high ethical standing"

Professional & Community Activities

American Bar Association

Atlanta Bar Association

Cobb County Trial Lawyers Association, Former Vice President and Treasurer

Leadership Cobb