Willingham's Experience
in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

 Selected significant cases reflecting effective ADR in various contexts


  • Nationwide Pharmaceutical Litigation:  Allen dedicated four years to managing the defense and achieving complete resolution of nationwide litigation against one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.  Hundreds of case filings followed FDA’s withdrawal of significant approved indications for a drug. The FDA action was occasioned by post-approval emergence of certain health risks. In-house general counsel overseeing the litigation gave the following assessment after all the claims were resolved: “Allen spear-headed our defense and was our national attorney.  He always zealously represented us, while at the same time never alienating himself from about a dozen plaintiffs’ firms.  This is no easy feat and one that balanced being an excellent litigator with a lot of diplomacy.  Allen ultimately was the key emissary to amicable resolution of the litigation.”  Assoc. General Counsel, North American Litigation.

  • Marathon multi-case negotiation:  Originated and conducted an unconventional ADR process in the form of a 10-hour, 2-person non-stop marathon negotiation between Allen Willingham, counsel for a pharmaceutical company, and distinguished Plaintiffs’ counsel.  This marathon session yielded nearly complete resolution of each of sixty pharmaceutical cases pending in the Circuit Court of St. Clair County, Illinois (East St. Louis). The final resolution occurred a few weeks later.  This illustrates the unique capacity of counsel to advance the resolution of matters in good faith when there exists a common spirit of fairness and compromise and when there is significant mutual respect and trust between counsel.

Registered Mediator and Arbitrator

State of Georgia

  • Arbitration:  Served as an arbitrator in a panel of three, adjudicating and deciding a dispute between attorney and client arising from fees charged in a domestic relations matter involving  millions.  The outcome was an Arbitration award in favor of claimant attorney for $1 million.

  • Arbitration:  Served as an arbitrator in a number of other fee disputes adjudicated under the Georgia State Bar’s fee dispute resolution protocols.

  • Arbitration:  Allen served as a single private arbitrator to decide personal injury claims arising from a recreational boating accident, hearing evidence, deciding factual issues, and applying Georgia law. Allen entered an adjudication and award in favor of the plaintiff.  The matter was concluded in a single day.


  • Mediation:   A claim flowing from a pharmacy overdose of a drug for an infant suffering from separation of the corpus collosum was resolved in a mediation.

  • Mediation: RICO claims against a national nursing home chain were substantially resolved in a lengthy mediation involving many lawyers and affected parties.

  • Mediation:  A tragic church bus accident potentially related to a tire failure, with one child death and one profound and serious child injury and with a dozen other injured parties, was mediated to a settlement concluded in the wee hours of the morning.  The process was unusual on account of the number of claimants proceeding together in the mediation process.

  • Mediation: Complex commercial dispute

  • Mediation: Personal Injury Claims

  • Mediation: Domestic Relations matter

  • Mock trials: In a significant product liability case, Allen worked closely with mock trial case evaluators, testing the value of cases before multiple mock juries, seeking objective evaluation of the merits of the claims and defenses, and defining the impact of sensitive contested issues of fact.