Late attorney John Caddell in hall of fame - Decatur man was ‘dean’ of state’s legal profession
By Ronnie Thomas, The Decatur Daily
May 3, 2013
Those who knew him best say John A. Caddell’s goal in life wasn’t to strive for personal glory and honor.
Awards just came his way as he sacrificed unselfishly for his beloved Decatur, Morgan County and the state of Alabama.
Now, more than seven years after his death, the man who practiced law in the River City for 73 years and was known as the “dean” of the state’s legal profession, is receiving another lofty achievement.
Today, he will be inducted into the Alabama Lawyers’ Hall of Fame along with four other legal stalwarts. Only lawyers who have been deceased for a minimum of two years are considered.
The ceremony will be in the rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court at 11:30 a.m. The state bar will unveil the plaques of Caddell, William James Samford (1844-1901), William Logan Martin Jr. (1883-1959), David J. Vann (1928-2000) and Edwin Cary Page Jr. (1906-1999), which will be placed in the Hall of Fame on the lower level of the Heflin-Torbert Judicial Building.
Caddell, born April 23, 1910, in Tuscumbia, left an imprint on numerous industries and thousands of local and area jobs.
A local school bears his name. Banks-Caddell Elementary, built in 2006, honors him and veteran Decatur educator Athelyne C. Banks. Both died Feb. 7, 2006. He was 95, she was 98.
Tom Caddell, 76, the oldest of John Caddell’s four children, still practices law with Harris, Caddell & Shanks P.C. Jack is a federal bankruptcy judge in Decatur and his twin, Hank, is a Mobile attorney in environmental law. Their sister, Lucinda Bell, resides in Mobile.
“He would have loved it,” Tom Caddell said of his father’s induction. “He liked participating in things like that, and he earned it. Having that recognition kind of puts him down a little better in the history books.”
Tom Caddell said his father was “reliable” and “gave good advice,” and “that’s what I miss most about him.”
Morgan County District Judge Charles Langham said John Caddell is the reason he has been in Decatur since 1977.
“He put in a good word for me right out of the University of Alabama to a mutual friend, and I got a job as an assistant in the district attorney’s office,” Langham said. “Mr. Caddell was a lawyer’s lawyer. He is the type of lawyer everyone aspires to be when they enter the profession.”
Glynn Tubb, an attorney with EysterKey, agreed.
“Every lawyer that came into the Morgan County Bar tried to emulate him,” Tubb said. “He set the bar very high for all of us who came in contact with him. He loved the community in which he lived and it has benefitted greatly from the countless hours of service he gave to Decatur.”
Caddell, who graduated from the University of Alabama Law School in 1933, served on the university’s board of trustees from 1959 to 1979. Legend has it Caddell masterminded the plan to lure his former college buddy, Bear Bryant, from Texas A&M in 1958.
As a trustee, Caddell phoned Byrant seeking his opinion about whether the board should hire Frank Rose as president. Bryant knew Rose from their college connections in Lexington, Ky.
The board hired Rose. And Rose turned around and hired Bryant.
- - -
5 inducted in the Alabama Lawyers' Hall of Fame
Written By Alvin Benn, The Montgomery Advertiser
May 3, 2013
The Alabama Lawyers’ Hall of Fame on Friday added five new members — men with backgrounds that touched on the Civil War, 20th-century industrial development, politics and civil rights.
One helped found one of Alabama’s largest law firms while another brought about a change that led to the political ouster of Eugene “Bull” Connor, Birmingham’s segregationist public safety commissioner.
Inducted were John A. Caddell, William Logan Martin Jr., Edwin Cary Page Jr., William James Samford and David Vann.
Phillip McCallum, president of the Alabama State Bar, told the large crowd assembled in the rotunda of the state Supreme Court that each of the inductees “made an incredible impact on our state, and I think you’ll really enjoy listening to their stories.”
Relatives of the inductees spoke about accomplishments of the five men who followed in the footsteps of such notable Alabama lawyers as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, U.S. District Judge Frank Johnson and U.S. Sen. John Sparkman.
Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who urged spectators to tour the facility, said the ceremony was being held “to honor some very important people.”
He mentioned their records during peacetime and periods of war, but, most of all, he cited “service to their fellow man.”
“I think it’s altogether fitting and proper that we should recognize them in this institution and install them into the hall of fame,” said Moore, who was pleased to note that Martin was a West Point graduate, as was he.
Caddell, who died in 2006, was active in a wide variety of activities and once served as interim president of the University of Alabama.
In addition to his military background, Martin became a founding partner of Balch & Bingham, one of Alabama’s largest law firms, and served for three years as Alabama’s attorney general.
Page, a lawyer for 71 years in Conecuh County, served in the Navy during World War II and was described as an “iconic image of the small-town lawyer.”
Samford was inducted as part of the Alabama State Bar’s “100 year” criteria. He was born in 1844 and served during the Civil War. At one point, he was captured and spent more than a year in a prisoner of war camp.
In addition to his law career, Vann was a political and civil rights activist who helped to change Birmingham’s form of government from a three-member commission to one with a mayor and council.
The transformation sent Connor, the city’s public safety commissioner who unleashed police dogs and fire hoses on peaceful protesters, into virtual political retirement.
Vann later was elected mayor of Birmingham, but lost a bid for a second term to Richard Arrington, who became the city’s first black mayor.
- - -
Kids honored at Law Day program - Essays, posters earn students recognition
Written by Alvin Benn, Montgomery Advertiser
May 2, 2013
Students from across Alabama were honored this week for their essays, posters and social media designs as part of the annual Law Day program.
Sponsored by the Alabama State Bar and held at the state Judicial Building, the Wednesday event spotlighted the best of a record 750 entries from 55 schools.
Winners used their writing skills and artistic talents to focus their attention on the Law Day theme: “Realizing the Dream: Equality for All.”
Alabama State Bar President Phillip McCallum said Law Day provides an opportunity “to celebrate the rule of law and how important it is in our society.”
McCallum said “Realizing the Dream” is a theme “that has as much significance today as it has any time in the history of our state and country.”
Proud parents and teachers joined the young winners during a program in the ornate room that houses the state Supreme Court.
Southern Poverty Law Center co-founder Morris Dees traced his personal history from a farm family to leader of an organization that focuses on terrorist and hate groups.
Dees said his journey toward a career in law was pushed by one of his teachers who suggested that he pursue that profession.
Most of all, he said, his teacher “wanted us to grow up to be good citizens” and let it be known that no one should consider taking up smoking.
Dees said in the 1940s “there wasn’t much she could do about the segregated society we lived in, but she did stress equality for everyone.”
“It all goes back to one thing in our country and that is something called the rule of law,” Dees said. “We live in a country that the law governs and not necessarily men and women.
“Sometimes they don’t apply it fairly and equally to all people, but because we have a constitution of the United States and the state of Alabama, it’s up to the lawyers to bring cases to protect the rights of citizens.”
Attorney David Rains, who directed this year’s program, said Law Day was formed in 1958 by President Dwight Eisenhower, designating May 1 as a day “to strengthen our heritage of liberty and justice under the law.”
Rains said he helped to judge some of the entries “and I can truly say how amazed I was personally of the creativity, of the hard work that each of you have put in, and you are to be commended.”
- - -
Seniors participate in Law Day
By Sherry Digmon, Atmorenews.com
May 8, 2013
The jury and alternates, from left, front, Derrick Demond Brown, Morgan Danielle Waguespack, Anthony Morris, Thomas Austin Brown, Brendon Juanae Jackson, Tyrell Da’shun Ford, Josh Peebles; back, Hannah Fountain, Nicholas Tray Sutton, Chanydra Maria Campbell, Margaret Caroline Thomas, Tiffany Samone McReynolds, Christina Marie Gohagan, Jacinda Stahley.
Law Day is a annual event that gives seniors in the area’s six high schools the opportunity to participate in the trial of actual court cases in the Circuit Court of Escambia County, Alabama.
According to attorney Charles Godwin, who has coordinated Law Day for 36 years, “These are not mock trials. These are actual trials involving official prosecutions defended by persons who are actually charged with the offenses tried.”
Seniors attended over two days: May 2 – Flomaton High School, Escambia Academy, Escambia County High School, and Atmore Christian School / homeschool; May 3 – T.R. Miller High School, W.S. Neal High School.
Daniel White, President, Escambia County Bar, introduced the program, judges, attorneys and guest speakers both days.
The guest speaker Thursday, May 2, was the Honorable Lyn Stuart, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of Alabama. Friday, May 3, the speaker was Clay Hornsby, Esquire, President, Alabama Association for Justice.
Members of the jury and the two alternates were Derrick Demond Brown, Escambia County High School (ECHS); Thomas Austin Brown, Flomaton High School (FHS); Chanydra Maria Campbell, ECHS; Tyrell Da’shun Ford, ECHS; Hannah Fountain, Escambia Academy (EA); Christina Marie Gohagan, FHS; Brendon Juanae Jackson, ECHS; Tiffany Samone McReynolds, ECHS; Anthony Morris, ECHS; Josh Peebles, EA; Jacinda Stahley, Atmore Christian School; Nicholas Tray Sutton, FHS; Margaret Caroline Thomas, FHS; Morgan Danielle Waguespack, FHS.
The Thursday jury tried the case of State of Alabama vs. James Marlon Smith Jr., who was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Honorable Bert W. Rice, Circuit Judge, presided.
Prosecuting attorneys were Jeffrey Todd Stearns, Esquire, Assistant District Attorney; and Katelynn Jones, Esquire.
Attorney for the defendant was Thomas B. Brown, Esquire.
Following deliberations, the jury found the defendant not guilty.
- - -
3 high school seniors win college scholarships in Birmingham Bar Association essay contest
By Kelsey Stein, al.com
May 02, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Half a century after many attorneys joined the fight for civil rights in Alabama, Birmingham high school students wrote essays to address changes that are needed still.
An essay competition, open to all high school seniors in the Birmingham City school system, was organized by the Birmingham Bar Association's community education committee. Students wrote responses to the phrase: "Fight for your right to ________."
The winner and two runners-up received scholarships sponsored by local law firms and were honored Wednesday at a Law Day luncheon.
The committee received essays on various topics, including equal education, segregation that remains in schools, human trafficking, gay marriage and bullying, said committee member Conrad Anderson.
Cinnamon Callins, a senior at Carver High School, won first place and a $1,500 scholarship with her essay on fighting for "the right to be who you are."
"Regardless of weight, sexual orientation, or social classes, everyone has the right to not be harassed," she wrote. "Fight for your right to not be bullied."
Callins will attend Berea College in Kentucky, where she plans to study engineering to further her goal of becoming a patent attorney.
"I would love to be a lawyer," she said. "Since I was 10 years old, I've always loved to debate."
The runners-up, Aysatis Harris and Jhana Plump, are seniors at Ramsay High School. Both will receive $750 college scholarships.
Harris, who wrote about bullying, plans to study finance at Tuskegee University and then attend law school.
"This scholarship kind of sparked the interest (in law)," he said. "I've gotten to meet a lot of people in law who I can look up to."
Plump wrote an essay about promoting peace among her peers and combating gang violence.
"The essay contest was a good way for me to get my point across," she said. "I asked God to put the power in the pen, and I guess it worked."
Plump plans to study chemistry and math at Tennessee State University and ultimately become a pharmacist.
The 15 attorneys on the committee promote public education about the legal system through schools and community organizations, including organizing annual Law Day events, according to the bar association's website.
Law Day has been celebrated since 1958, when then-President Dwight Eisenhower established May 1 as the day to mark the nation's commitment to the rule of law, according to the American Bar Association.
Law Day teaches students equality
By Ashley Johnson, Selma Times-Journal
May 1, 2013
Law Day is a national day of observance dedicated to teach people the young and old about the entire legal system. For some, it is to inspire youth to enter into the legal profession and for others it is an education about what life is like once entering into the legal system as a criminal.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley signed Law Day 2013 Proclamation in March for it to be celebrated Wednesday, May 1.
Several Judges and other members of the Dallas County Bar traveled to Morgan Academy and Selma High School Wednesday for an assembly to present the students with the theme of this year’s law day — equality for all.
“I know there are some of you sitting here today who will be the future lawyers, judges, probation officers and work in law enforcement,” District Judge Bob Armstrong said to the students in the Selma High auditorium along with speakers 4th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Marvin Wiggins, 4th Judicial Circuit District Attorney Michael Jackson, Judge Collins Pettaway and members of the local bar association Woody Jones and Jana Garner. “I want some of you who are out here who are thinking about the legal profession to go for it go and be lawyers, go to law school, go to law enforcement academy do whatever you need to and have the heart to treat people fairly and with equality.”
The theme of the 2013 Law Day, “Realizing the Dream: Equality for All” is based on the speech, “I Have a Dream,” delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Garner, who helped organize the Law Day assembly told the students they should, “not let discrimination of others be a barrier to all of the progress we want to see in our community,” and read them lyrics from a Black-eyed Peas song, “Where is the Love.” She challenged them to put aside their differences and judgments about other races, religions and economic statuses so that the world would be a more just place.
Ozark Boy Wins First in State Law Day Contest
Southern Star, Ozark Ala.
May 1, 2013
An Ozark elementary schooler won first place in a statewide Law Day competition sponsored by the Alabama State Bar Association. Jelan Smith will be presented his first place honors at a special ceremony to be held today at 11 a.m. at the Alabama Supreme Court in Montgomery. Smith, a Mixon Elementary school second grader, won first place in the poster category (grades K-3) of the Ala. State Bar’s Law Day Competition.