Ernest “Ernie” Cory has practiced law for more than 35 years with a focus on dangerous drugs, defective medical devices, products liability, mass torts and class actions. He has represented clients across the U.S. and in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Ernie is nationally recognized for his ability to level the playing field against corporate America, and is frequently appointed as lead counsel and to other leadership positions in high-profile complex litigation, mass torts, and class actions.
A founding principal of Cory Watson, Ernie’s legal roots are local; he tried his first jury trial just 11 months after becoming an attorney in Gadsden, Alabama and over his career has helped thousands of people across the state. Ernie realized early that it was essential to establish client trust, and that successful results require hard work. Every client mattered. This commitment to service and unwavering integrity provided the foundation for the firm he founded more than two decades ago, and those values serve as guiding principles for Cory Watson Attorneys today.
He’s proud to have helped assemble a legal team that has served more than 150,000 families and recovered more than $2 billion in settlements and verdicts. According to Ernie, “We know corporations and insurance firms are going to hire the best lawyers they can afford. I have made it my goal for 35 years to be the best, to hire the best, and to never back down from a fight. Our clients deserve nothing less.”
Ernie grew up in Birmingham, Alabama where he graduated from Vestavia Hills High School. He went on to study at the University of Alabama, graduating magna cum laude. He earned his Juris Doctor from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. Ernie feels it is important to give back to the community and profession that have provided him with so many opportunities, and he serves in a number of philanthropic and leadership positions within the bar and legal profession.
Ernie is an avid Alabama football fan and on Saturdays in the fall, he can generally found in Tuscaloosa at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Ernie is an active member of Church of the Highlands where he and Vivian lead a weekly small group. They enjoy supporting local causes serving children and supporting education. Ernie spends his free time with his family, in his gardens and traveling.
- Alabama State Bar
- Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, J.D.
- The University of Alabama, B.S., summa cum laude
- Alabama Civil Justice Foundation, Pioneers of Justice Society, Charter member
- American Association for Justice, Sustaining Member, Member of Aviation Section and Product Liability Section
- Birmingham Bar Association
- Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program, Board of Directors
- Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Committee, Development Committee
- AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated Martindale-Hubbell
- Best Lawyers in America, 2014, 2016
- Super Lawyers, 2008-2015
- Super Lawyers, Top 50 Alabama Attorneys
- Best Lawyers in America, Best Law Firms
- Birmingham Magazine, Top Birmingham Attorneys, 2009-2012
- Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Stars, Personal Injury, 2010-2013
- The American Trial Lawyers Association, Top 100 Lawyers 2007-2012
- Cumberland School of Law Advisory Board, 2009-2013
- America’s Top 100 Attorneys®, Lifetime Achievement Member