November 2013 NEWSLETTER


It’s football season in Alabama and spirits are high. However, the sixth year of record low interest rates on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) that have historically funded all grants, combined with cuts in federal funding for Legal Services could result in the Alabama Law Foundation having to sideline as much as $120,000 dollars in grants to organizations that provide free legal aid to the poor in civil cases, for projects that improve the administration of justice and for law-related education.

The ALF Football Challenge tackles this problem; it is a chance for the annual rivalry between the state’s two football powerhouses to help the mission of the Alabama Law Foundation award grants for law-related charitable purposes. The unique website,, sets up two teams of four members each from the legal profession, the Orange and Blue Team and the Crimson and White Team, to compete against each other for donating to the foundation and showing pride in their team. Team updates will be posted daily. The team that drops the ball and has the least amount of donations at the end of the competition will suffer the penalty of incorporating the school colors of the other team into their formal attire at the annual Fellows of the Alabama Law Foundation dinner in January.

Over eighty percent of the foundation’s grants are awarded to organizations that provide free civil legal aid to low-income residents of Alabama. A large portion of legal aid grants help support the five Volunteer Lawyers Programs in the state.  Together, with Legal Services Alabama, they provided legal assistance to 15,900 clients in 2012. The Alabama Law Foundation encourages all football fans to participate and get those funds over the goal post for the grants in December.

Play Ball!!


The Alabama Law Foundation announces that Thomas L. Oliver, II is the new board of trustees president for 2013-2014. President Oliver states, “I am very glad and honored to serve as the Foundation President as I’ve tried to spend my career not only serving clients, but serving the needs of those less fortunate.”

Tom Oliver is a founding shareholder in Carr Allison’s Birmingham, Alabama office where he specializes in employment, professional, and transportation litigation. He has been named a “Super Lawyer” in the state of Alabama, “Top Lawyer” by Corporate Counsel, and “Best Lawyer in America.” In addition to serving on the Alabama Law Foundation Board, Tom has served as President of the Auburn University Bar Association, Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Alabama State Bar, and is active in the Alabama State Bar and the American Bar Association. Tom is a member of the Alabama Law Foundation’s Atticus Finch Society and has been acknowledged as a Fellow. Tom’s extensive volunteer work includes the Kids’ Chance Scholarship program which provides, through the Alabama Law Foundation,scholarships to students whose parents were killed or severely disabled by on-the-job accidents. The successful project gives Tom “the fulfillment of knowing that through our efforts we are able to raise substantial funds to provide scholarships to children who otherwise would not be able to afford college because of their family tragedies.”

The Alabama Law Foundation Board Trustees assume the responsibility of advancing the foundation’s mission of making access to justice a reality for all Alabama citizens. The Alabama Law Foundation appreciates Tom Oliver’s expertise and service and looks forward to a productive period.

Tom Oliver, ALAW President


In addition to the new president, the Alabama Law Foundation proudly welcomes two new board members: Richard J. R. Raleigh, Jr. and Sally B. Hawley.

Sally B. Hawley is president of Transworld Business Valuation Services, which provides a variety of accounting services. Hawley has worked in banking for First Commercial and AmSouth, and as Controller for Ransom Industries, Inc. She is active with Highlands School and the UAB Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging. Sally’s financial expertise made her a valuable member of the Alabama Law Foundation’s Grants Committee. Sally states, “I am honored to be associated with the Alabama Law Foundation; its efforts are crucial in providing civil legal service to those in need.”

Rich Raleigh works as an attorney and managing shareholder of the legal firm Wilmer & Lee in that firm’s Huntsville, Alabama office. On July 13 Rich became President Elect of the Alabama State Bar. In talking about his extensive service record, he explains that “Changing human experiences in this world is important to me.” Rich is a Fellow of the Alabama Law Foundation and past president of the VLP (Volunteer Lawyers Program) board. Rich explains that “Volunteer Lawyers Programs in Alabama changes lives every day.” He also states that “I am excited about being involved with the Alabama Law Foundation

because it supports a cause very dear to me – access to justice.”


Mary Margaret Bailey
Mobile – Frazer, Greene, Upchurch & Baker

Thomas N. Carruthers, Jr.
Birmingham – Bradley Arant Boult Cummings

Laura L. Crum, Treasurer
Montgomery – Hill, Hill, Carter

Joseph A. Fawal
Birmingham – Fawal & Spina

Edward A. (Ted) Hosp
Birmingham – Maynard, Cooper & Gale

Anthony Joseph
Birmingham – Maynard, Cooper & Gale

Phillip W. McCallum
Birmingham – McCallum, Methvin & Terrell

Patrick S. McCalman
Andalusia – Murphy, Murphy & McCalman

Anne W. Mitchell
Birmingham – Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz

Thomas L. Oliver, II, Vice President
Birmingham – Carr, Allison, Pugh, Oliver & Sisson

J. Cole Portis
Montgomery – Beasley Allen

James R. Pratt, III
Birmingham – Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton

Benjamen T. Rowe
Mobile – Cabaniss, Johnson, Gardner, Dumas & O’Neal

Mr. Alexander M. Smith

Cameron Vowell

Rocky Watson, President
Fort Payne – Watson & Neeley

Hon. R. Donald Word, III
Scottsboro – 38th Judicial Circuit, District Court


The Alabama Law Foundation dedicates over 80% of its revenue to Legal Aid for the Underserved

Since IOLTA funding is determined by interest rates, the amount available this year was decreased from previous years due to the economic downturn: only 38% of grants are IOLTA monies. Understanding that the amount of available IOLTA funding is dependent on the fluctuation of interest rates was a large part of the inspiration behind Sam Franklin, Irving Silver, and John Owen founding the Atticus Finch Society, and thus securing the Alabama Law Foundation’s endowment. Thanks to their leadership, and the Alabama lawyers who showed their commitment to justice by making contributions, the endowment generated 24% of available grant revenue. In addition, 20% came from pro hac vice fees and 18% from all other contributions.

The volunteer lawyer programs depend on the foundation for funding and are an integral part of the delivery system. In these times, the grant committee strives to fund not only the volunteer lawyer programs, but as much of the delivery system as possible. This year’s grants are divided into two sections: Legal Aid and Administration of Justice.

Programs that provide legal services for the underserved collectively received IOLTA grants totaling $450,000.

Legal Services Alabama (LSA) provides legal aid to economically disadvantaged citizens throughout Alabama.LSA staff lawyers closed 12,682 cases in 2012. $62,000.

The Alabama State Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program refers cases directly to lawyers in 64 counties and coordinates over 1,998 volunteers. Volunteers closed 599 cases in 2012. $70,000.

The Birmingham Volunteer Lawyers Program refers cases to 1542 attorneys in the Birmingham area. Volunteers closed 1,385 cases in 2012. $100,000.

The Huntsville/ Madison County Volunteer Lawyers Program works with 290 lawyers. Volunteers closed 405 cases in 2012. $40,000.

The South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program refers cases directly to lawyers in Mobile, Baldwin, Clarke and Washington counties. Volunteers closed 784 cases in 2012. $68,000.

The YWCA of Central Alabama “Justice on Wheels” program for victims of domestic violence. $60,000 IOLTA.

The Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama provides low-cost, quality legal and immigration services to low-income immigrants. $50,000.

Programs that fall under “Administration of Justice” collectively received IOLTA grants totaling $50,000.

The Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama assists attorneys appointed to capital cases in the post-conviction stage and supplies some representation to indigent defendants: $30,000.

The Alabama CASA Network supports CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) who trains volunteers to serve as advocates for abused and neglected children in court: $15,000.

The Alabama Post-Conviction Relief Project (“APCRP”) recruits and supports lawyers volunteering to represent indigent capital defendants in state post-conviction proceedings. Support is crucial in assisting volunteer counsel with funds for retaining investigative and mental health experts: $5,000.

In these times of economic hardship, many families in Alabama find themselves in need of legal services they cannot afford; many volunteer lawyers need specific types of assistance to serve their client. Through the mandatory IOLTA program, the Atticus Finch Society, and the Fellows, the Alabama Law Foundation can continue to fund legal aid programs and help build a stronger, more democratic society by

making access to justice for all citizens in Alabama a reality.


On February 2, 2013, the Alabama Law Foundation hosted the annual “Fellows Dinner “to announce those lawyers and other professionals who had been selected to join the foundation’s Fellows Program, and those elevated to “Life Fellows” status. Those chosen to become Fellows are given the opportunity to increase their leadership roles through the Alabama Law Foundation. As leaders in the legal community, Fellows provide financial and personal support for the Alabama Law Foundation, the charitable arm of the Alabama State Bar.

This year, over 200 guests attended the event held at the Renaissance Hotel in Montgomery. The tables and chairs were draped in red and gold and centerpieces featuring lush yellow roses added to the ambiance. Attendees enjoyed cocktails, dinner, and visiting and honoring friends and colleagues.

Since no more than 1% of bar members who have demonstrated outstanding dedication to their profession and their community are invited into fellowship, the selection committee chooses new members from an exceptional group of lawyers.

Fellows Accepted Into Membership For 2012:

Leslie R. Barineau, Birmingham – Georgia Southern College, B.S.; Cumberland School of Law, J.D. Sole practitioner, Barineau & Barineau.

Robert R. Baugh, Birmingham – University of Alabama, B.S.; University of Alabama School of Law, J.D. Partner in Sirote & Permutt.

Michael F. Bolin, Birmingham – Samford University, B.S.; Cumberland School of Law, J.D. Associate Justice, Supreme Court of Alabama.

Donald M. Briskman, Mobile – University of Alabama, B.S.; University of Alabama School of Law, J.D. Partner in Briskman & Binion.

S. Greg Burge, Birmingham – Florida State University, B.S.; Cumberland School of Law, J.D. Partner in Burr & Forman.

R. Graham Esdale, Jr., Montgomery – Auburn University, B.S.; University of Alabama School of Law, J.D. Partner in Beasley Allen Crow Methvin Portis & Miles.

Henry H. Hutchinson, III, Montgomery – University of the South, L.L.B.; Cumberland School of Law, J.D. Partner in Capell & Howard.

Robert K. Jordan, Fort Payne – Auburn University; Cumberland School of Law, J.D. Sole Practitioner.

J. Thomas King, Jr., Birmingham – University of Alabama; Cumberland School of Law, J.D. Circuit Judge, 10th Judicial Circuit.

Othni J. Lathram, Tuscaloosa – Auburn University, B.S.; University of Alabama School of Law, J.D. Director of Alabama Law Institute.

Susan B. Livingston, Birmingham – Ithaca College, B.A.; University of Alabama School of Law, J.D. Partner in Balch & Bingham.

Rebekah K. McKinney, Huntsville – Vanderbilt University, B.S.; University of Alabama School of Law, J.D. Partner in Watson McKinney.

Robert G. Methvin, Jr., Birmingham – University of Alabama, B.S.; Cumberland School of Law, J.D. Partner in McCallum, Methvin & Terrell.

John E. Ott, Birmingham – University of Central Florida, B.A.; Cumberland School of Law, J.D. United States Magistrate Judge, Northern District of Alabama.

Philip H. Partridge, Mobile – Birmingham-Southern College, B.A.; University of Alabama School of Law, J.D. Partner in Partridge, Smith.

A. Inge Selden, III, Birmingham – University of Virginia, B.A.; University of Virginia School of Law, J.D. Partner in Maynard Cooper & Gale.

William H. Steele, Mobile — University of Southern Mississippi,B.A.; University of Alabama School of Law, J.D.; United States Judge, Southern District of Alabama.

Jacquelyn L. Stuart, Bay Minette – Auburn University, B.A.; University of Alabama School of Law, J.D. Associate Justice, Supreme Court of Alabama. Justice Stuart is married to George.

Annetta H. Verin, Bessemer – Howard University, B.B.A.; Howard University School of Law, J.D. Circuit Judge, 10th Judicial Circuit.

Jacob A. Walker, III, Opelika – University of the South; Cumberland School of Law, J.D. Circuit Judge, 37th Judicial Circuit.

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