Montgomery, July 25, 2005 – Montgomery attorney Robert D. "Bobby" Segall became the 128th president of the Alabama State Bar at the bar's annual meeting in Point Clear this weekend. The 2004-05 ASB president, J. Douglas McElvy of Montgomery, passed the gavel to McElvy at the meeting's Grande Convocation on Saturday, July 23.
The bar presented annual awards to honor outstanding members of the legal profession in Alabama. This year's recipients included Hon. J. Scott Vowell of Birmingham, Hon. J. Gorman Houston, Jr. from Montgomery and Judge Phyllis Nesbitt of Baldwin County. Vowell received the prestigious Judicial Award of Merit. Houston, who served as acting chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and as a member of the Court was honored with the Commissioners' Award, which is presented for exceptional service to the legal community. Nesbitt, the first elected female trial court judge in Alabama, is this year's winner of the Maud McLure Kelly Award, presented by the Women's Section of the bar.
The Local Bar Achievement awards, based on participation by the local bar in advancing programs to benefit the community, and enhancement to the bar's image in the community, were presented to three local bar associations.
The large bar category winner is the Huntsville-Madison County Bar Association under the leadership of bar president, Frederick L. Fohrell. This bar association was involved in 10 projects offering community service opportunities, networking opportunities and educational opportunities for its members. The Huntsville bar had 50 - 75% participation in any project. Of special note was the Veterans Day program honoring veterans of WW II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
The winner in the medium size bar category is the Shelby County Bar Association under the leadership of Bill Bostick and Lee Clanton. This award is given for the outstanding Law Day 2004 and Law Day 2005 programs held at the unique American Village in Shelby County. Lara M. Ryals, treasurer of the Shelby County Bar Association, accepted the award.
The small bar association category winner is the Marshall County Bar Association under the leadership of President Tom Woodall. Since 2004, this bar has served the citizens of the 27th Judicial Circuit, and surrounding areas, by providing pro bono legal assistance to deployed military servicemen and servicewomen and the families of National Guard and Reservists. Guard units from Arab, Albertville, Guntersville, and other places have been deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom. The program has expanded to soldiers, sailors, marines and air force personnel deployed world-wide whose families need legal assistance. Over 200 families and individuals have been served to date. The program is on-going. Accepting the award was Honorable Tim Riley, District Judge in Marshall County who is also a National Guard JAG officer, and was instrumental in starting and now maintaining this project.
In addition, the Volunteer Lawyer Program (VLP) of the bar honored Franklin L. Shuford, Jr. of Mobile as the outstanding Pro Bono volunteer of the year.