Christopher M. Helms

Area of Emphasis

Chris Helms is an associate in the Litigation and Employment and Labor Services Groups of Babst Calland. Mr. Helms has a broad range of litigation experience in several practice areas including environmental, toxic tort, commercial and labor and employment. In his environmental practice, he has experience representing clients in large-scale cost recovery cases under CERCLA and state law statutes. In his commercial litigation practice, Mr. Helms has experience defending toxic tort claims, shareholder dispute claims, insurance and annuity sales practices claims, premises liability claims and nursing home negligence claims. In his employment practice, he has experience defending clients in claims under Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Mr. Helms also has experience representing clients in appeals of Unemployment Compensation Board of Review decisions to the Commonwealth Court of Appeals. He has represented clients in federal and state trial courts, the Pennsylvania Board of Claims, appellate courts, and in Alternative Dispute Resolution, including proceedings before the American Arbitration Association and other court-annexed private arbitration and mediation.

Background

Mr. Helms received his B.A. in Speech Communications from Arkansas State University, where he was team captain of the university’s nationally ranked debate team. Mr. Helms earned his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he graduated cum laude and was elected for membership in the Order of the Coif. Mr. Helms also graduated with a certificate in advanced study of civil litigation. At the University of Pittsburgh, he was the lead note and comment editor of the law school’s Journal of Law and Commerce. While in law school, Mr. Helms served as a student intern to the Honorable Joy Flowers Conti in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Additionally, he served as a student research assistant to Professor Deborah L. Brake where he worked on an amicus brief that was presented to the United States Supreme Court in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (2007). Mr. Helms was a two semester participant in the law school’s Elder Law Clinic, where he represented clients regarding end of life planning, among other things.

Memberships and Affiliations

Mr. Helms is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and American Bar Associations.

Publications/Presentations
  • Helms, Christopher M., Steven F. Baicker-McKee and C. Shawn Dryer. “Proving Causation in Toxic Tort Litigation.” Civil Litigation Update, Pennsylvania Bar Association, Volume 13, No. 3, Fall 2008.
  • Helms, Christopher M. and John A. McCreary Jr. “Eighth Circuit Holds that OSHA Secretary can Cite General Contractor for OSHA Violations of Subcontractor.” Under Construction, Vol. 7, Issue 2, March 2009.
  • Helms, Christopher M., “You have a website and a blog: can you be sued for libel?” Intellectual Property Bulletin, 2010.