Bridges is at his best preparing his witnesses for trial or teaching complex facts to a jury in a readily accessible and memorable way. He never shies away from confrontation, he is quick on his feet, and he has a keen ability to prepare for the unexpected. Teaching high school students in Indianapolis and Kansas City at-risk programs served him well in honing these very skills. Teaching, convincing and motivating a jury (or a classroom) are right in his wheelhouse.
Writing is another of Bridges's strengths. Bryan Garner, the editor of Black's Law Dictionary and nationally acclaimed guru of all things having to do with legal writing, featured one of Bridges's appellate briefs in the 2011 edition of Advanced Legal Writing & Editing. Introducing the brief, Garner wrote,
How good is the brief? Several on-staff lawyers at LawProse ransacked our collection of thousands of briefs on file, and this one came out on top. Consider that lawyers at a major firm took the case as a pro bono matter. This is the Atticus Finch brief that many a lawyer dreams to write. Forgive the gentle hyperbole, but it's perfect.
And let's not forget that it won.
The brief is available here.
Bridges has a nationwide practice in high-stakes commercial lawsuits, and he regularly appears in federal and state courts across the country. For example, he has tried cases as lead or co-lead counsel in Washington, D.C., Indianapolis, and St. Louis, in addition to his home state, Texas. He has served as lead or co-lead appellate counsel in the Fourth, Fifth, and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeal, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court. Bridges routinely represents and consults with clients, both plaintiffs and defendants, in qui tam litigation under the federal False Claims Act and its state counterparts.
Bridges has learned from the very best. Trials with Steve Susman and Bill Carmody have taught him precisely what it takes to prepare for trial. Preparing opening statements, closing arguments, witness exams, mock trials, and mediation presentations under the tutelage of these preeminent trial lawyers is the very best kind of trial by fire, and it has paid off.
Friends University (B.A., high honors, 1991)
Ball State University (M.A., summa cum laude, 1993)
University of Notre Dame (J.D., magna cum laude, 2000)
- Editor in Chief, Notre Dame Law Review
- Law Clerk to The Honorable Thomas M. Reavley, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
- Named "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers and Texas Monthly 2005, 2006, 2007
- Named "Future Star" by Benchmark Litigation's Guide to America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 (forthcoming)
- As an undergrad, he received his university's highest award for writing: the Mary Hamilton Neary Writing Award, an endowed scholarship awarded by the English faculty to the university's most outstanding writer each semester. Bridges received the award four times. His graduate work in English further sets him apart from most attorneys. His master's program, which he completed with a perfect academic record, included a major critical and analytical writing component in every course.
- "Hooding the Jury," 35 University of San Francisco Law Review 651 (2001)
- "Suing for Peanuts," 75 Notre Dame Law Review 1269 (2000)
- "Mitigating Measures Under the Americans with Disabilities Act: Interpretation and Deference in the Judicial Process," 74 Notre Dame Law Review 1061 (1999)
- As co-lead trial counsel along with firm founder Steve Susman, Bridges won a 42.4 million-dollar judgment in the Superior Court of Marion County in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 2009. This class action involved equal-pay claims on behalf of thousands of state employees against their employer, the State of Indiana. An appeal is pending at the time of this writing.
- Bridges and partner Terry Oxford filed a record-setting qui tam suit under the federal False Claims Act against Oklahoma's Gold Bank on behalf of a group of the bank's customers and the federal government. In this loan-fraud action, which Bridges and Oxford litigated on behalf of the federal government, they successfully negotiated what the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma called the largest single settlement ever recovered by the United States in his district. View the Department of Justice's press release here. In a subsequent class action against the bank, Bridges and Oxford, as co-lead counsel, obtained a settlement that paid an average of more than $20,000 to each member of the class, which consisted of several hundred of the bank's customers.
Last year Bridges defended Luminant Generation and Luminant Mining in a trial instigated by Alcoa in Milam County, Texas. The suit concerned operation, maintenance, and contractual obligations at a power plant, mine and aluminum smelter. The jury rejected Alcoa's $500 million claims and awarded Luminant $10 million on its counterclaim. Bridges crossed the first witness and later the most difficult of Alcoa's witnesses and also presented a key third-party witnesses for Luminant, among other significant contributions to the trial effort. Texas Jury Verdict Review & Analysis featured this trial in its June issue, available here.
When Brent Redstone hired Susman Godfrey's Steve Susman and Mark Wawro to sue to dissolve the eight-billion-dollar family company controlled by his father, Sumner Redstone, they called on Bridges to handle key aspects of the case: drafting the complaint, retaining experts, negotiating discovery agreements, and contributing heavily to briefing efforts. The court's order denying the defendant's motion to dismiss is available here. No additional details can be provided at this time.
On behalf of IMCO Recycling, the world's largest recycler of aluminum and zinc at the time, Bridges and partner Bill Carmody successfully defended a declaratory-judgment action, winning both contract damages and attorney fees from the plaintiff. This St. Louis jury trial involved an insurance coverage dispute between IMCO and one of the Hartford Insurance Companies.