Education and Professional Background
- University of Miami School of Law, J.D., Cum Laude, 1993
- Syracuse University, B.A. Economics, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Army ROTC Scholarship recipient, 1990
- Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution: Mediation Certification Course, February 2012
- Admitted to practice: Georgia (1999); Florida (1993)
- John Miller Community Service Award, Savannah Bar Association, 2013
- Outstanding Attorney Coach Award, Georgia High School Mock Trial Program, 2011
- Certificate of Commendation, State Bar of Georgia Committee on Professionalism, 2005
- Martindale Legal Directory Rating AV 5.0
- Georgia Super Lawyers: Personal Injury Defense – Products, Transportation/Maritime; 2012-2015
- Best Lawyers in America: Product Liability Litigation, Transportation Law; 2010-2014
- Who’s Who in American Lawyers: 2005-2011
Activities and Affiliations
- Member: State Bar of Georgia (1999), State Bar of Florida (1993)
- Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire: Board Member & Volunteer Mediator
- American Bar Association: Advisory Panel, Member; Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Trial Techniques Committee, Vice Chair
- Defense Research Institute: Product Liability Committee
- Georgia Motor Trucking Association: Associate Member
- Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution: Registered Neutral
- Savannah Bar Association: Bar Grievance Committee Member, 2006-Present
- Former Chair & Steering Committee Member, ALFA International: Product Liability & Complex Torts Practice Group
- S. Army: Judge Advocate General’s Corps, 1993-1999
- S. Dept. of Transportation: Highway Watch Participant, Driver ID # GA003135
- 200 Club of the Coastal Empire
- Rape Crisis Center of the Coastal Empire: Board Member, 2011 – 2013
- Savannah Country Day School: Board of Trustees, 2009 – 2010; Annual Fund, Chair, 2009-2010; Upper School Mock Trial Team, Attorney Coach, 2000 – Present
- Harley Owner’s Group: National and Savannah Chapters
- Knights of Columbus: Fourth Degree Member
- Military Order of the World Wars: Budget and Finance Committee, Past Chair
- James Catholic Church: Parishioner
Presentations and Publications
- “Social Media and Ethics,” presented at the Annual Savannah Bar Association Hot Topics Seminar, January 16, 2015.
- “Mediating Claims in the U.S. and China,” presented at the ALFA International Law Practice Group Asia Regional Meeting in Beijing, China, May 11-12, 2014
- “The Art of the Deal: Mediating Your Commercial Motor Vehicle Claims,” presented at the 2014 ALFA International Transportation Seminar in Miami, FL, April 24, 2014.
- “Legal Update: Issues Our Clients Are Asking Us About,” presented at the Southeastern Warehouse Association Annual Convention in Destin, FL, September 14, 2013.
- “Providing Stability in an Unstable Environment: The Use of Roll Stability Systems in CMVs,” presented at the ALFA Transportation Practice Group Seminar in Tucson, AZ, May 10, 2013.
- “CSA 2010… Now What?” presented at the ALFA Transportation Practice Group Seminar in Amelia Island, FL, on May 4, 2012.
- “Fire Investigations & Litigation,” presented at the ALFA Product Liability Practice Group Seminar in Laguna Nigel, CA, November 2008 and in Nashville, TN, November 2011.
- “Dealing with the Increase in Fire Claims: Fighting Fire with Fire,” presented at the ALFA Product Liability Practice Group Seminar in Nashville, TN, September 23, 2011.
- “Joyride From Hell,” co-presented at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL, October 11, 2010.
- “Product Liability Issues in a Green Construction World,” presented in Paris, France, October 2010.
- “Sector Specific Green Focus: Product Liability, Construction & Real Estate,” presented at the ALFA International Law Practice Group Seminar in Paris, France, September 24, 2010.
- “Global Product Recalls,” presented at the ALFA International Client Seminar in Palm Beach, CA, March 2007.
- “Best Practices to Prevent Lawsuits and Limit Your Trucking Company’s Exposure,” presented at the Georgia Motor Trucking Association, September 15, 2005.
- “The Risks & Benefits of Offering Optional Safety Devices,” presented at the annual National Products Liability Conference held by the Defense Research Institute, spring 2002.
- “Manufacturer’s Liability Related to Optional Safety Devices,” presented at the Defense Research Institute Products Liability Conference, Young Lawyers Seminar, in Los Angeles, CA, February 2002.
- “The Risks & Benefits of Offering Optional Safety Devices,” presented at the ALFA International 2000 Product Liability Practice Group Seminar in Atlanta, GA, May 10, 2000.
- “Subsequent Product Design Modifications, Warnings, Instructions and Label Changes,” material for presentation at ALFA International Liability Seminar in Atlanta, GA, May 2000.
- “Trucking: Driving the Logistics Industry in Georgia,” published on April 15, 2015, in Business in Savannah.
- “Early, Aggressive Investigation and Assessment of Claims Key in Highway Transportation Litigation,” chapter by Dennis Keene in the Aspatore book Inside the Minds: Strategies for Transportation Litigation and Dispute Resolution, published in 2013 by Thomson Reuters Pub.
- “Protecting Your Client’s Wrongful Death Settlement Proceeds from Medicare,” published in The Brief (Fall 2013).
- “Benefits of Mediation in Business Disputes,” published on November 20, 2013, in Business in Savannah.
- “Roll Stability Systems: Pending Federal Regulations and Tractor Trailer Accident Litigation,” published on October 22, 2013, in Westlaw Journal Automotive.
- “New Hours of Service Rule Continues to Spark Controversy Within Transportation Industry,” published on July 11, 2012, in Business in Savannah.
- “How Not to Get Burned While Investigating a Fire Claim: A Primer on Exculpating Your Product as the Cause of a Fire,” published in Products Liability Perspectives (Summer 2011).
- “Know Your Obligations for Post-Sale Product Safety,” published on May 25, 2011, in Business in Savannah.
- “Green Building Standards May Be Stabilized,” published on September 15, 2010, in Business in Savannah.
- “Retailers Protected From Certain Liability Claims,” published on October 21, 2009, in Business in Savannah.
- “Allocation of Financial Responsibility Among Insurers Based on the MCS-90 Endorsement,” published in Transportation Update (Spring 2009).
- “Product Claims for Defective Class III Medical Devices: A Thing of the Past, or Stronger Than Ever?” published on July 1, 2008, in Products Liability Perspectives.
- “Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Re-Adopts Controversial HOS Rule,” published on December 31, 2007, in Business Report and Journal.
- “Loss Allocation in Light of the MCS-90 Endorsement: A Survey of Select Federal and State Case Law,” published in Transportation Update(Fall 2005).
- “The Benefit of the Independent Creation Rule,” published on February 13, 2003, in Products Liability Publication.
- “Logo Liability: A Truckload of Trouble,” published on January 26, 2003, in Savannah Morning News.
- Trickett v. Advanced Neuromodulation Systems, Inc.: Represented medical device manufacturer in product liability lawsuit stemming from alleged defective spinal cord stimulator.
- Pitts v. Fisher-Price, Inc.: Represented toy manufacturer in product liability lawsuit resulting in ultimate dismissal with prejudice in favor of client.
- Smith v. Caterpillar, Inc.: Plaintiff dismissed lawsuit on eve of summary judgment hearing in this product liability lawsuit alleging excessive carbon monoxide exposure.
- Jenkins v. Caterpillar, Inc.: Plaintiff alleged design defects in state-of-the-art cut-to-length logging equipment. Court granted summary judgment to manufacturer client on all warranty, contract, and products claims relating to the sale and use of farm equipment of more than $1 million.
- Bomfim v. Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP): Represented personal watercraft manufacturer in jury trial with favorable verdict.
- Taylor v. BRP and Medley v. BRP: Represented personal watercraft manufacturer in product liability lawsuits stemming from alleged defective design.
- Boekenheide v. Club Car, Inc.: Represented golf car manufacturer in product liability lawsuit stemming from alleged defective design that caused multi-million dollar property loss claim.
- Cuya v. Ashland, Inc.: Obtained dismissal of manufacturer in product liability/ wrongful death action.
- Great Dane, LP: Served as a coordinating counsel for global trailer manufacturer’s product liability litigation.
- Myers v. Nutone, Inc.: Plaintiff convinced to voluntarily dismiss cause of action against manufacturer client in this products liability lawsuit after significant investigation into cause of fire that led to plaintiff’s injuries.
- Seymour v. Penske Truck Leasing, LP: Court granted truck leasing company client’s summary judgment motion based on federal preemption argument pursuant to the Graves Amendment, 49 U.S.C. s. 30106.
- Hudd Distribution Services, Inc./Maersk Distribution Services, Inc.: Represent carrier in numerous personal/catastrophic injury cases.
- Bridge Terminal Transport, Inc.: Represent carrier in numerous personal/ catastrophic injury cases.
- Strickland v. Sysco Corp.: Represent motor carrier in wrongful death case.
- Bays v. Prudential Residential Svcs. & Repcik v. Prudential Residential Svcs.: Court granted summary judgment as to the defendant in each of these cases brought by homeowners against sellers of homes containing synthetic stucco siding (EIFS).
- Kicklighter v. First Citizens Bank: Represented bank in fraud lawsuit stemming from the cashing of CDs. Summary judgment granted on all counts. Court of Appeals affirmed the summary judgment.
- Glass-Cam v. SunTrust Bank, et. al.: Court granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment based on the ratification of plaintiff’s agents’ conduct. The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the summary judgment.
- Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc.: Represent trucking company in various personal injury/property damage cases.
Dennis Keene is an AV® Preeminent™ rated partner who represents corporations and individuals in tort-based litigation with an emphasis in product liability and trucking law. His diverse client base ranges from international manufacturers and national motor carriers to regional carriers and local businesses. Keene gained extensive trial experience as a judge advocate in the U.S. Army and continues to use these trial skills as a civil practitioner, having litigated and tried a number of lawsuits in Georgia. He is also a registered neutral with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution and has mediated a number of personal injury, business, and interpersonal disputes.
Keene is a member of the State Bars of Florida and Georgia and is admitted to practice in all Florida and Georgia state courts, the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Northern Districts of Georgia, and the Middle District of Florida, as well as the U.S.Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He has also been admitted on a pro hac basis in a number of jurisdictions.
Keene is a member of the American Bar Association, where he serves as a vice chair on its Trial Techniques Committee; the Savannah Bar Association, where he serves on the Bar Grievance and Bench & Bar Committees; and the Defense Research Institute, where he is a member of the Product Liability Committee. He is also an attorney coach for the Georgia High School Mock Trial Program, which recognized him as the 2011 Outstanding Attorney Coach for his region.
Keene received his B.A. in economics, magna cum laude, from Syracuse University in 1990 and his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law in 1993. While at Syracuse, Keene was a member of the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). He was named the recipient of the General Meyer Leadership Award and, upon graduation, was deemed a Distinguished Military Graduate. He was also Phi Beta Kappa. At the University of Miami, Keene served as an articles and comments editor for the school’s Business Law Journal and co-chaired the Student Bar Association’s Law-Related Education Program.
After law school, Keene completed the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps Officer Basic Course, where he made the Commandant’s List by graduating in the top 12 in his class. He served on active duty in the U.S. Army from 1993 to 1999, holding various legal positions, including government contract attorney, procurement fraud advisor, prosecutor, and criminal defense attorney. As a prosecutor and defense attorney, he served as lead counsel in more than 75 courts-martial.
Keene is married and has two children in high school. He is a parishioner at St. James Catholic Church in Savannah and a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He is very active in his children’s school, Savannah Country Day School, where he has served as an attorney coach for the mock trial team for eleven years, chaired the school’s Annual Fund campaign, and served a term on the board of trustees.