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Ernest “Ernie” Cory has practiced law for more than 38 years with a focus on dangerous drugs, defective medical devices, products liability, mass torts, and class actions. He has represented clients across the U.S., as well as Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Ernie is nationally recognized for his ability to level the playing field against corporate America. He is frequently appointed as lead counsel and to other leadership positions in high-profile complex litigation, mass torts, and class actions.
As a founding principal of Cory Watson, Ernie’s legal roots are local. He tried his first jury trial just 11 months after becoming an attorney in Gadsden, Alabama, and he has helped thousands of people across the state over his career.
Ernie realized early that it was essential to establish client trust, and that successful results require hard work. Every client mattered. This commitment to service and unwavering integrity provided the foundation for the firm he founded more than two decades ago, and those values serve as guiding principles for Cory Watson Attorneys today.
He’s proud to have helped assemble a legal team that has served more than 150,000 families and recovered more than $3 Billion in settlements and verdicts.
“We know corporations and insurance firms are going to hire the best lawyers they can afford. I have made it my goal for 38 years to be the best, to hire the best, and to never back down from a fight. Our clients deserve nothing less,” said Ernie.
Ernie grew up in Birmingham, Alabama where he graduated from Vestavia Hills High School. He went on to study at the University of Alabama, graduating magna cum laude. He earned his Juris Doctor from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. Ernie feels it is important to give back to the community and profession that have provided him with so many opportunities, and he serves in a number of philanthropic and leadership positions within the bar and legal profession.
Ernie is an avid Alabama football fan and on Saturdays in the fall, he can generally be found in Tuscaloosa at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Ernie is an active member of Church of the Highlands where he and his wife, Vivian, lead a weekly small group. They enjoy supporting local causes serving children and supporting education. Ernie spends his free time with his family, in his gardens, and traveling.
- Joint Settlement Committee, In Re: 3M Combat Arms Earplug Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2885
- Lead Counsel and Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, In Re: Viagra (Sildenafil Citrate) Products Liability Litigation MDL 2691
- Plaintiffs Lead Settlement Counsel in In Re: Abilify (Aripiprazole) Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2734
- Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee In Re: Lipitor (Atorvastatin Calcium) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation MDL No. 2502
- Lead Counsel and Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, In Re: Chantix (Varenicline) Products Liability Litigation MDL 2092
- Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, In Re: Trasylol Products Liability Litigation MDL No. 1928
- Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee and Co-Chair for Discovery Committee, In Re: Bausch & Lomb Contact Lens Solution Products Liability Litigation, MDL No.1785
- Co-Lead Counsel, In Re: Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch Product Liability Litigation, MDL No.1842
- Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, In Re: General Motors Corporation Dex-Cool Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1562
- Lead Counsel and Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel, In Re: ProteGen Sling and Vesica Systems Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1387
- Class Counsel, Denney v. Jenkins & Gilchrist, et al, USDC Southern District of New York, CV 03-5460
Honors, Awards & Accomplishments
- America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®
- The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100
- Mass Tort Trial Lawyers Association – Top 25
- Business Tort Trial Lawyers – Top 10
- AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated Martindale-Hubbell
- Best Lawyers® Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions “Lawyer of the Year” in Birmingham, 2018
- Best Lawyers in America©, 2014-2021
- Mid-South Super Lawyer, 2008-2020
- Super Lawyers, Top 50 Alabama Attorneys
- Birmingham Magazine, Top Birmingham Attorneys
- B-Metro Magazine, 2019 TopFlight Attorney and Hall of Fame Honoree
- Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Stars, 2009-2018
- The American Trial Lawyers Association, Top 100 Lawyers
- Cumberland School of Law Advisory Board, 2009-2013
- America’s Top 100 Attorneys®, Lifetime Achievement Member
- Top American Lawyers, Lifetime Charter Member
- American Law Society, Member
- Alabama Civil Justice Foundation, Pioneers of Justice Society, Charter member
- American Association for Justice, Sustaining Member, Member of Aviation Section and Product Liability Section
- Birmingham Bar Association
- Birmingham Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
- Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program, Board of Directors
- Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Committee, Development Committee
- The Supreme Court of the United States
- The Supreme Court of Alabama
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee
- U.S. District Court of Rhode Island
- Alabama State Bar
- Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, J.D.
- The University of Alabama, B.S., summa cum laude