Brinkley & Chestnut
PO Box 2026
Huntsville, AL 35804
(256)533-3333 / firstname.lastname@example.org
John graduated from Miles College Law in 200. He also graduated with a B.A. degree in Business Administration from Athens State University in 2000.
John was Salutatorian at Miles College of Law and has been an associate lawyer since 2005 with areas of practice being person injury, criminal and some domestic. He has been associated with Emerging Leader since 2005 and Lawyers Helping Lawyers since 2006. John is involved with Rocket City Democrats and was president in 2010. John is a member of the Alabama State Bar both as a committee and board member of the Board of Bar Commissioners (23rd Judicial Circuit).
The person who recommended John said, “John has served on the Madison County Volunteer Lawyers Program )”MCVLP”) Board of Directors since mid-2009, as well as on the Alabama State Bar Task Force appointed to drastically revitalize the MCVLP. John is directly responsible for much of the MCVLP’s progress since 2009. He has worked tirelessly to find creative new ways to recruit and engage volunteers and provide more client service. During this time John also served as an exemplary Huntsville/Madison County Young Lawyers President. Under John’s leadership, the Young Lawyers committee drastically increased opportunities for young lawyers. In addition to his professional accomplishments, John is extremely personable and well-known throughout the legal community and all of Huntsville. He is never afraid to express his thoughts or bring a creative new idea to the table. John is the type of board member that I know I could call with anything from a complex governance question to help making copies. John is smart, caring, and passionate about improving our local bar association, access to justice, our community, and our state. He is already a leader and will be an incredible asset to the Leadership Forum.”
In his own words, John said, “I really enjoy helping others. Someone told me that in order to receive happiness, you have to give happiness. And another said, if you see someone who needs a smile, give them yours. Practicing law is like that for me. I relish in the benefits that I receive. My life up until early adulthood has been characterized by me “taking” and not “giving.” This has been embarrassing for me to admit. But in 1997, I was given a new lease on life. Now, through God’s help, I am able to give to others, and I have a lot of ‘debt’ to repay. As a member of this bar, I am uniquely positioned to more easily give back what has so freely been given to me. I work in a small boutique-style law firm, in downtown Huntsville, where nepotism is at its finest – Brinkley & Chestnut. After completing law school at Miles, my mother found me a job working for my father, with his partner and with my first cousin. My father practices personal injury law and his two partners share a real estate/transactional practice, featuring litigation and loan closings. My practice is like a smorgasbord. I do a little of everything – criminal defense, car wrecks, and as little domestic litigation as possible. I was married in 2005, and our family of two was growing, or, at least, my wife, Kristen, was expanding, while I studied for the bar. The pressure to pass the bar was incredible, since the law school I graduated from has one of the worst bar passage ratings in the nation. Kristen was pregnant with our first child, Wini, when we moved home to Huntsville in 2005. I received the good news from the bar that I passed. It is a good thing too. I did not know how I was going to afford my family. Shortly thereafter, my father was nominated and elected to the next local bar president in 2006. He was always very involved in the Huntsville-Madison County Bar Association, and he really enjoyed attending the luncheons and visiting with his friends at the monthly meetings. I also noticed that resolutions to cases were made over informal luncheons, so, I wanted to be active uniting lawyers, including judges, to social get-togethers as often as I could. I was appointed to several positions, in the local bar, by the next several local bar presidents and board members. My dad encouraged my involvement. My neighborhood’s swimming pool was looking for an “at-large” board member in 2007. I volunteered for the position because I was once employed as a lifeguard at Disney World and worked as the “pool deck coordinator,” at SportsFirst gym in Mountain Brook. (The title sounds fancy. I was merely the head lifeguard.) Since my joining of my neighborhood’s pool board, I helped it obtain traditional financing, located legal assistance to organize the pool properly, and recruited new board members. Now, I am the president until 2013. This next year I will begin a capital improvement project that will span five years and upgrade the facility. During this time, my own family continued to grow. Our son John was delivered via “emergency” cesarean section. There was nothing wrong or sick with my wife. We set-out to ensure a normal delivery for our third and fourth children (Lyn and Andy) with the assistance of a certified professional midwife. Yes, we are off-the-grid, and it seems as if we have been pregnant for years. (We are not pregnant at this time. Phew.) Kristen and I are border-line activists in the child birth arena. She is especially fond of attempting to de-criminalize midwifery. We contribute financially and march in the small grass roots movement throughout the state. She is a doula and has her Bachelor’s degree in nursing. We push for additional delivery options, outside of the hospital or without requiring OB/GYN’s, for mothers in Alabama. There are too many “unnec-cesareans,” which increase the cost on families and place the mommy and the baby at risk. I was tapped to coordinate and facilitate the Huntsville-Madison County Bar Association’s composite in 2010. Have you ever attempted to herd cats? Nearly five hundred of them? I contact local photographers, and finally found one tough enough to take on this challenge. He is absolutely fascinated with the egos, demands and quirks of the local bar members. The photographer identified some of us with the King Baby syndrome. I was appointed to the Local Indigent Defense Advisory Board for the circuit. We determined the most efficient and effective method of handling cases for the indigent parties in Madison County. Our board created a modified version of the court-appointed system to raise the bar to improve the quality of representation received by those who need help. It was well-received in the area and other circuits have requested our plan. I was asked to run for local bar commissioner. My formidable opponent was very dynamic and respected in the area. In fact, he is the in-coming local bar president. I was flattered by the outcome and honored by the Twenty-Third Judicial electing me as commissioner. My term ends in 2015. As you can see, I am pretty involved in my community and legal profession, but I cannot place my finger on a most important contribution to either. I just want to help. The Alabama State Bar’s Leadership Forum would improve my ability to do more.