Levin Papantonio Rafferty
316 South Baylen St.
Pensacola, FL 32502
Bill Cash III is proud to be an attorney at Levin Papantonio Rafferty, where he joined as an associate in 2009. He became a shareholder in 2015, and is now of counsel to the firm. Cash lives and works in Chicago. Cash believes strongly that the lawyer, having earned the privilege of representing others in the courts, has an obligation to repay society by assisting those who need legal help but can’t get it. He also believes lawyers have a special role to play in informing fellow citizens about how the law works, so that those citizens play meaningful roles in governance.
Cash concentrates his practice in complex civil litigation. Substantive areas of practice include product liability, consumer fraud, engineering negligence, intellectual property, litigating the wrongful deaths of citizens at the hands of police, insurance litigation, privacy torts, and international discovery practice. Cash also concentrates in appellate litigation, from the U.S. Supreme Court down to the lowest levels. Cash has been appointed by judges to lead counsel and plaintiffs’ steering committee positions, and he has successfully briefed and appeared in multiple proceedings at the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.
Before transitioning to class action work, Cash led the charge in several drug products liability mass torts, including cases against Merck, Roche Laboratories, Boehringer-Ingelheim, and other pharma and medical device defendants. He cut his discovery teeth in these cases, taking and defending hundreds of depositions of fact witnesses, medical practitioners, drug company employees, and expert witnesses. As an associate, Cash was also the lawyer responsible for properly handling thousands of individual plaintiffs’ settlements.
Cash particularly enjoys expert witness work, and has served as the lead attorney in retaining dozens of experts to explain technical aspects of his clients’ cases to juries. Perhaps equally as enjoyable and academically interesting, Cash has cross-examined dozens of opposing experts, uncovering evidence that has led some courts to curtail or even eliminate those experts’ opinions at trial. Cash writes, opposes, and argues expert admissibility motions in trial courts, and has repeatedly lectured on expert admissibility standards at conferences around Florida and elsewhere. For years, Cash worked with firm principal Troy Rafferty to lobby against the adoption of the Daubert standard in Florida, and Cash also authored a key brief to the Supreme Court of New Jersey, after which that court elected to retain its liberal admissibility standard for novel toxic tort evidence rather than adopt “full” Daubert in that state. Cash has also written on expert law for the FJA Journal.
Cash is also known inside and outside the firm as a good writer who advances a modern style. You will not find legalese or stale idioms in his work. Cash knows, from his two judicial externships and his judicial clerkship, that judges are not happy to receive a meandering 5,000-word brief if a direct 2,000-word brief will do. He credits several professors and mentors over the years with helping hone his style, as well as years of exposure to bad writing by some. Cash admires the modernizing, flexible spirit of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure of 1938, and particularly admires the 2007 modern-language rewrite. In that vein, he never uses “shall,” because “must” or “will” or “may” is always a better choice. And he is president of the League of Extraordinary Grammarians (a LEG man).
Cash’s other legal interests include advanced discovery practice, innovative case management orders, e-discovery (drawing upon his past years as a software architect and programmer), the rights inherent in state constitutions, privacy law, and the admission of non-lawyer practitioners to limited practice in the field.
Cash also occasionally represents the firm in its own affairs, including disputes over intellectual property and business matters.
Cash is extremely proud of his unpaid work that has given meaningful legal relief to citizens who could not afford to pay for it—for example, work on behalf of tenants, work in the areas of income tax and public benefits, and work to earn safe shelter for a horse.
Cash is a graduate of Capital University Law School in Columbus, where he graduated summa cum laude and third in his class. He also served two years on the Capital University Law Review, including one year on the executive board as the research editor. During law school, he held externships with two federal judges, the Hon. U.S. Circuit Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton and the Hon. U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley, as well as served as research assistant to Prof. Bradley A. Smith, former chair of the Federal Election Commission. After law school, Cash served as an elbow law clerk to U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers in Pensacola.
Cash has been interviewed by the New York Times, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, Law360, and print and television media in Florida and elsewhere.
In his spare time, Cash reads books, goes camping, rides his bike, speaks German, pretends to lift at the gym, listens to electronic music, and looks after family. He has visited all 50 states and is now attempting to visit every “tri-state” point in the continental U.S., which will take forever.
Edwards v. CSX Transportation, 983 F.3d 112 (4th Cir. 2020). Won reinstatement of an environmental class action that had been dismissed on federal preemption and state-law grounds. This important case on behalf of the people of Lumberton, North Carolina has been featured on NBC News, in the New Yorker, and in The Intercept. Lead author of appellate briefs and argued at the Fourth Circuit.
Miley v. Belkin Int’l, No. 20STCV00033 (Cal. Super. Ct. Sept. 7, 2021). Argued and defeated opponent’s motion for summary judgment on the issues of product label misrepresentation and the reasonable consumer standard. This case is a class action alleging deceptive practices in the portable battery market. Lead author of brief.
Rich v. Simoni, No. 14-0998 (W. Va. Apr. 10, 2015). Argued and won a decision strengthening the ethical standards for all attorneys in that state. The high court adopted his position unanimously over the objection of two other parties.
Kerns v. Lamot Industries, No. 3:16-cv-76-RV/EMT, 2017 WL 2903348 (N.D. Fla. June 1, 2017). Won a plaintiff’s motions for summary judgment over an employer in a Fair Labor Standards Act case.
In re Pradaxa Prods. Liab. Litig., MDL No. 2385, 2014 WL 321656 (S.D. Ill. Jan. 29, 2014). Lead author of a successful motion challenging confidentiality designations by the defendant. The issues included the proper interpretation of German and European privacy laws. Some of the materials disclosed were later discussed in the British Medical Journal’s cover story, Dabigatran: how the drug company withheld important analyses (July 23, 2014).
In re Accutane Litig., 234 N.J. 340 (2018). Key author of a brief opposing the adoption of the federal Daubert standard in New Jersey. The high court unanimously refused to displace New Jersey’s protective standard with the federal standard sought by the drugmaker defendant.
Childers v. Escambia County, No. 2022-CA-409 (Fla. Cir. Ct. July 5, 2022). Represented Escambia County, Florida in dueling mandamus and declaratory judgment actions. Argued and won motion dismissing opponent’s entire case.
Areas of Practice
- Class actions
- Products liability
- Pharmaceuticals litigation
- Appellate practice
- Supreme Court of the United States
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska
- Juris Doctorate; summa cum laude; Capital University Law School; Columbus
- Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Geography with a minor in Economics; Ohio State University; Columbus, Ohio
Professional Associations and Memberships
- American Association for Justice
- Florida Justice Association, “Soaring Eagle” member
- American Bar Association (past)
- Chicago Bar Association (past)
- Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (past)
- Ohio State Bar Association (past)
Selected Published Works
Multiple publications, including:
- Book Chapter, Anatomy of the Personal Injury Lawsuit, 4th ed., 2015
- Is it Time to Rethink the MDL?, The Trial Lawyer, Summer 2015 (cover story)
- Multidistrict Litigation 101: How a Tort Becomes a Mass Tort, Florida Justice Association Journal, Mar/Apr 2015
Dozens of solo lectures and panel discussions in at least eight states.