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Benjamin L. Bailey

Chambers USA states, “Benjamin Bailey is exalted by market commentators as ‘fantastic’...”

Overview

Ben Bailey, co-founder of Bailey Glasser, is a lawyer’s lawyer. He plays a leading role in the firm’s nationwide auto defects litigation cases, in complex commercial litigation, in high-stakes appeals, and in advising and representing pubic officials, lawyers, and other professionals.

Ben’s favorite legal habitat is the courtroom. He began his trial career as a federal prosecutor, focusing on a series of fraudulent coal tax shelter cases which recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for the US Treasury. He spent the next four years as counsel to the Governor of West Virginia, and 10 years in a prominent West Virginia-based defense firm.

With Brian Glasser, Ben founded Bailey Glasser in 1999. The firm almost immediately took on the representation of the State of West Virginia, in groundbreaking environmental and constitutional litigation over mountaintop removal mining, which Ben ultimately argued and won on appeal in the Fourth Circuit.

As the firm grew, his practice expanded to include cases as diverse as representing hundreds of rural residents of West Virginia who lost their water wells to coal mining, and defending white-collar criminal cases and accused murderers. Ben and the firm also handled scores of complicated commercial litigations for plaintiffs and defendants, and advised and represented numerous lawyers and public officials in sensitive and confidential cases.

More recently, Ben’s work for a family in Flint, Michigan, whose mother died after her Toyota accelerated out of control, culminated in his selection to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Toyota Sudden Acceleration MDLs in Orange County, California. That successful work was followed, in short order, by Ben’s selection to the leadership of the Volkswagen Dieselgate MDL, in San Francisco, California, the largest automobile products class action in history, which settled for more than $10 billion. Simultaneously, Ben served as one of the coordinating lawyers in the Freedom Industries Chemical Spill case, which has a settlement process underway to provide up to $150 million to 300,000 residents and businesses in West Virginia whose water was contaminated by the spill.

In addition to the automotive work, Ben – with, as always, the help of his colleagues at Bailey Glasser - has successfully defended white-collar criminal cases, undertaken appeals, and orchestrated subsequent trial strategies for small and large business clients who had lost substantial trial verdicts, and continued to represent public officials and lawyers in matters both public and private. That work includes his representation of the Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court in the unprecedented investigations and/or impeachment of all five justices on that court.

Awards & Accolades

Best Lawyers in America, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, and Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs (2005 - 2020)

Chambers USA, West Virginia; General Commercial (2011 - 2019)

“Top 100 Trial Lawyers,” National Trial Lawyers

Best Lawyers in America, “Lawyer of the Year Criminal Defense: White Collar” (2011)

Super Lawyers, West Virginia, General Litigation, Criminal Defense: White Collar, and Environmental Litigation (2007 - 2017)

Clerkships

  • Law Clerk, Hon. John T. Copenhaver, Jr., US District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia (1980 - 1982)

Government Service / Previous Employment

  • Counsel to the Governor of West Virginia (1984 - 1988)
  • Assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia (1982 - 1984)

Education

J.D., Harvard Law School, 1980

B.A., Washington and Lee University, 1975, magna cum laude

Admissions

  • West Virginia
  • District of Columbia
  • US Supreme Court
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • US District Court, Northern District of West Virginia
  • US District Court, Southern District of West Virginia
  • Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

Experience

Representative Matters

  • Prosecuting, for the State of West Virginia, an antitrust case against several asphalt paving contractors, including the world’s largest contractor; the case alleges that the state is a victim of a monopolization scheme which cost it more than $120 million, resources desperately needed for the state’s highway system
  • Represents more than 300,000 residents and businesses in and around Kanawha County, West Virginia, whose drinking water was contaminated by a chemical spill in the Elk River; settlement will provide up to $150 million in compensation to those citizens and businesses who lost their water during that crisis
  • Leads a team of Bailey Glasser lawyers who represent plaintiffs nationwide in automotive class actions involving defects in autonomous driving technologies, airbag control units, and engines which catch fire, among others
  • Serves on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for the owners of more than 500,000 Volkswagens whose diesel engines contained a cheat/defeat device which hid the cars’ excessive NOx emissions from federal and state regulators; the complicated overall settlements, involving the cars’ owners, the federal government, and state governments, removes the polluting cars from the road or fixes them, compensates the owners (and lessors) generously for their vehicles, assessed billions of dollars in fines and environmental penalties and – in related actions – resulted in the conviction and incarceration of VW officials
  • Representing a family-owned business in Maryland in a substantial coverage dispute with its insurer, and a family-owned business in West Virginia in a dispute over title to natural gas-producing land
  • Recently concluded the successful representation, on appeal, of a Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in a fee dispute with dissenting law firms in one of the largest MDLs in the United States; the appellate court’s quick dismissal of the appeals enforced provisions of the trial court’s underlying orders designed to prevent such disputes and hasten the resolution of these long-running cases
  • Represented and argued for the West Virginia Investment Management Board in an appeal of an adverse arbitration decision; the case involved annuities for retirees with a value in excess of $100 million, and presented novel constitutional and structural issues affecting the composition of, and access to, arbitration in the West Virginia Business Court

News & Insights

News & Insights

Community & Professional

Community and Professional Activities

Hon. John A. Field, Jr., Inn of Court

Permanent Member, Judicial Conference for the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Fellow, American Bar Association

Fellow, West Virginia Bar Foundation

Board Member and Executive Committee, Public Justice Foundation.

Vice President and Board Member of the Mountaineer Montessori School

Member, West Virginia Republican Party State Executive Committee

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