MONTGOMERY, July 22, 2003 - Birmingham attorney William N. Clark, a retired Army Reserve Major General, officially received the gavel of the presidency of the Alabama State Bar Saturday from out-going president Fred D. Gray of Tuskegee, as the 125th annual meeting of the Alabama State Bar came to a close in Mobile this past weekend. Over 14,000 Alabama attorneys are members of the state bar.
In his induction remarks, President Clark, of the Birmingham law firm Redden, Mills & Clark, recognized the members of the Bar currently serving in the armed services and committed the bar to continue with the theme of President Gray - "Lawyers Render Service". Clark proposed that the theme be adopted as the motto of the Alabama State Bar. Clark's objective this year will be to focus on fulfilling the bar's mission statement to "promote the administration of justice and to increase the public understanding of and respect for the law." He challenged the lawyers of the state to help educate citizens about the law and, in particular, Gov. Riley's tax plan. Clark urged all citizens to cast an informed vote for the right reason - what is best for Alabama.
Saturday morning's Grand Convocation included an address by Millard Fuller, an Alabama lawyer and founder/president of Habitat for Humanity, International, and the presentation of the first William D. Scruggs, Jr. Award created in honor of the late Bill Scruggs, a former state bar president from Fort Payne. The award was presented to Birmingham attorney, E.T. Brown, in recognition of outstanding and dedicated service to the Alabama State Bar. The Honorable Charles R. Butler, Jr., U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Alabama, received the Alabama State Bar 2003 Judicial Award of Merit. New officers were also announced. J. Douglas McElvy, Montgomery, is president-elect of the ASB, with Fred D. Gray serving as immediate past president. Keith B. Norman, Montgomery, was re-elected secretary. Vice-president is Cecelia J. Collins, Mobile, and executive committee members are Jerry L. Batts, Athens; Anthony A. Joseph, Birmingham and Robert D. Segall, Montgomery