Shelby Grubbs applies his deep experience in complex commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution to resolve—efficiently and expeditiously—even the most difficult cases. Having served as both an advocate and neutral, Mr. Grubbs brings various perspectives to the analysis of disputes, allowing him to read a room and assist in devising multiple paths to resolution.
Prior to joining JAMS, Mr. Grubbs was with the U.S. law firm of Miller & Martin PLLC, where he was most recently managing member of its Atlanta office. He served as lead counsel on matters in various disciplines, including business and commercial, consumer protection, copyright, corporate governance, defamation, employment, ERISA, wage and hour, securities, state antitrust, product liability, trademarks, trade secrets, trespass and insurance. He also represented clients in class actions and served as coordinating counsel monitoring and supervising related class cases in multiple U.S. jurisdictions. He has defended matters arising under the First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. He was lead U.S. counsel in cases involving parallel proceedings in Luxembourg, Mexico and the United Kingdom, and counsel in arbitrations in the United States, Europe and Asia. In addition to being admitted to practice in Tennessee and Georgia, he has been admitted pro hac vice in Alabama, California, Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. All the while, Mr. Grubbs served as an arbitrator, mediator and early neutral evaluator as time permitted.
Mr. Grubbs’ dispute resolution experience includes work as an arbitrator, mediator and court-appointed special master. As an arbitrator, he has chaired American Arbitration Association (AAA) tribunals and served as sole arbitrator in cases administered by AAA, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) and the International Court of Arbitration (ICC). He is also a panelist for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as well as the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR). His experience as a court-appointed special master has included a claim brought by the United States against a major health insurer to recover over $1 billion in Medicare payments.
Mr. Grubbs has an extensive track record of professional involvement with the legal community. He is currently a member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR and the Arbitration Committee of the U.S. Council on International Business (USCIB), chairing its Southeastern Subcommittee. From 2014 to 2017, he was the executive director of the Atlanta Center for International Arbitration and Mediation (ACIAM), a component of the Georgia State University College of Law (GSU). He has taught international commercial arbitration as a member of the adjunct faculty at GSU, the Emory University School of Law and the Vanderbilt School of Law.
ADR Experience and Qualifications
- More than 40 years of complex commercial litigation involving business and commercial, construction, intellectual property, securities, product liability and insurance disputes
- Substantive experience as an arbitrator, mediator and court-appointed special master.
- Served as arbitrator on domestic and cross-border disputes related to construction, consumer, corporate governance, employment, energy, franchise law, products liability and securities
- Served as mediator on more than 30 matters involving various areas of law, including breach of contract and general commercial claims, contract, employment, personal injury, wrongful death, product liability and securities.
Selected Arbitration Experience by Subject Matter
- Sole arbitrator in dispute regarding construction of limited liability company operating agreement and tax issues corporate governance.
- Sole arbitrator in disputes involving construction of metropolitan subway system.
- Wing arbitrator in dispute involving replacement of process parts in oil refinery.
- Sole arbitrator in commission dispute involving textile sales.
- Sole arbitrator in 42 U.S.C. §1981 case.
- Sole arbitrator in Age Discrimination in Employment case.
- Sole arbitrator in multiple wage and hour cases involving employee/independent contractor status.
- Sole arbitrator in dispute arising out of fast-food franchises.
- Sole arbitrator in dispute arising out of franchises for magazine publication.
- Special Master in Shults et al v. Champion International Corp. – Appointed by US District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee to divide settlement proceeds among 1200 class members.
- Special Master in United States v. Provident Life & Accident Beach v. Unisys Corporation – Appointed by US District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee to compute damages owed in Medicare secondary payment litigation.
- Sole arbitrator in dispute involving alleged breach of contract relating to improper sales into exclusive Latin American territory.
- Sole arbitrator in personal injury claims by seafarers in international waters.
- Sole arbitrator in dispute involving attorneys’ fees in dispute in Thailand.
- Wing arbitrator in dispute involving replacement of process parts in oil refinery in United Kingdom.
- Wing arbitrator in non-dispute involving construction contracting.
- Sole arbitrator in three related cases regarding independent contractor or employee status of entertainers.
- President of panel and wing arbitrator in securities claims arising in broker–customer context.
- Sole arbitrator in personal injury claim arising out of use of contraceptive device.
- President of arbitration panel in claim against public utility involving natural gas supply agreement.
Selected Mediation Experience by Subject Matter
- Special Master in Faucet et al v. White - Appointed by US District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee to conduct various proceedings to explore settlement in 15 plaintiff claim pertaining to management of industrial gas company. Settlement achieved.
Class Action & Mass Torts
- Mediated settlement in class action products liability dispute.
Franchise & Distribution Law
- Mediated settlement in franchise dispute involving fast food restaurants.
- Mediated various disputes involving Title VII claims.
- Special Master in Beach v. Unisys - Appointed by US District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee to conduct various proceeding to explore settlement in 60+ plaintiff ground water contamination case. Settlement achieved.
- Mediated settlement in international dispute involving tracking devices and associated software.
- Mediated settlement in wrongful death claim against automobile manufacturer.
Selected Litigation Experience by Subject Matter
During his time in private practice, Mr. Grubbs served as lead counsel on a range of matters spanning various industries and issues. These include the following:
- Lead counsel in U.S. proceedings in federal court in Georgia opposing enforcement of a Luxembourg award against a Spanish travel company and coordinating parallel proceedings in Mexico and Luxembourg
- Lead counsel in domestic arbitration involving consumer electronics on behalf of a Dutch multinational
- Lead counsel in a domestic securities arbitration
- Lead counsel in Singapore arbitration involving technology transfer
Business and Commercial
- Lead counsel for Canadian company in a 60-plus-plaintiff securities case with parallel cases in state courts in North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas
- Lead counsel in Tennessee state court for 100-plus limited partners in claims arising out of limited partnership to mine coal
- Lead counsel in trespass cases against wireless telephone company in federal court for Western District of Tennessee and Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
- Counsel for FDIC in directors’ and officers’ liability and fidelity bond cases arising out of bank failures and bank receiverships
Employment/ERISA/Class and Collective Actions
- Lead counsel in constructive discharge case in federal court for Middle District of Tennessee involving California-based talent agency
- Lead counsel in employment class claims against consumer products company in federal and state courts in Ohio, including Ohio Court of Appeals
- Coordinating counsel in employment class claims against consumer products company in federal and state courts in Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas
- Lead counsel in ERISA litigation in federal courts in Georgia and Tennessee
- Lead Tennessee counsel for TV network and production company in First Amendment defense of employment class claims in federal court for Middle District of Tennessee
- Lead counsel in employment class action claims against Big Four accounting firm in federal court for Middle District of Tennessee
- Coordinating counsel in wage and hour collective actions against consumer products company in federal and state courts in California
Personal Injury and Mass Torts
- Lead counsel in products liability claim involving acetylene gas in federal court for Western District of Tennessee and Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
- Lead counsel in Tennessee state court defamation prosecution against pest control company
- Lead counsel in Georgia state court in mass tort claims involving manganese exposure
- Lead Tennessee counsel in Tennessee Court of Appeals in state antitrust litigation involving assigned risk pool for workers’ compensation insurance
- Lead counsel in life insurance litigation against Canadian-based insurer in state court in Georgia involving “other insurance” provision and viaticated policy
- Lead counsel for Texas-based insurer in life insurance cases seeking rescission following viatication transactions in state court in Tennessee
- Counsel in RICO litigation in federal court for East Tennessee against insurance-rate-setting organization
- Lead counsel in insurance coverage litigation in Tennessee Court of Appeals
- Lead counsel in copyright litigation regarding manual for use in obtaining Medicare reimbursement
- Lead counsel in trademark litigation regarding use of name for country music band
- Lead counsel in trade secrets litigation involving golf equipment
- Lead counsel in defense of Italian roofing tile manufacturer in opposing claims in the U.S.
- Counsel for German manufacturer in U.S. trade secrets litigation involving dental equipment
- Lead counsel for Japanese food service company in U.S. contract and trade secrets litigation