Alabama State Bar
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State Bar Appoints Task Force To Examine Interest In
Creating New Section To Focus On Federal Court Practice

Montgomery, Ala., November 3, 2009 – State Bar President Thomas J. Methvin, Montgomery (Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.) has appointed a blue-ribbon task force comprised of federal judges and practitioners to determine the feasibility of forming a new Federal Court Practice Section.

"A Federal Court Practice Section would serve as the bar's liaison to the federal courts, the standing committees of the Federal Judicial Conference, Federal Bar Association chapters throughout Alabama, and those members of the state bar interested in federal court practice," Methvin said.

Task Force Chair David B. Byrne, III, Montgomery (Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.) said the section would strive to foster communications between lawyers and federal judges on matters pertaining to federal court practice; review and offer comment on proposed changes to federal court rules, including local federal court rules; and, offer educational programs and publications designed to improve the federal court practice experience of state bar members.

"Our main goal is to assist Alabama lawyers in federal court practice and to aid the federal judiciary in its mission to administer justice. The organized bar has a pivotal role to play," Methvin said.

The members of the task force are:

  • CHAIR: David B. Byrne, III, Montgomery (Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.)
  • Chief Judge Sharon L. Blackburn, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama
  • Delores R. Boyd, Montgomery, former U.S. Magistrate Judge
  • Henry H. Brewster, Jr., Mobile (Stein Brewster & Pilcher)
  • Judge John L. Carroll, Birmingham, Dean, Cumberland School of Law
  • Judge L. Scott Coogler, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama
  • Judge Kristi K. DuBose, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama
  • Jeffrey E. Friedman, Birmingham (Friedman, Leak, Dazzio, Zalunas & Bowling)
  • Chief Judge Mark E. Fuller, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama
  • R. Austin Huffaker, Jr., Montgomery (Rushton, Stakely, Johnston & Garrett)
  • Bob Methvin, Jr., Birmingham (McCallum, Methvin & Terrell)
  • Harold Stephens, Huntsville (Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, L.L.P.)

If the criteria for creating a new section is met (conduct a survey to determine member interest and meet the threshold of at least 50 members indicating they would join such an entity and pay annual dues), then ASB would have 23 substantive law sections, not including the Young Lawyers Section.

Sections operate much like "mini bar associations" with their own officers, dues schedule and committees. They address professional development, improvement of laws and continuing education in a variety of substantive law fields. The sections can and do have sub-committees which tackle specialized single legal issues that may be part of their overall section jurisdiction. 

The 16,300-member Alabama State Bar is dedicated improving the administration of justice and increasing public understanding and respect for the law.