Alabama State Bar
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Joshua B. White

Stephens Millirons PC
PO Box 307
Huntsville, AL 35804
(256)382-5511 / jwhite@smpclaw.com

Joshua is a 2003 graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law and a 2000 graduate of Birmingham Southern College where he received a B.S. in History. He began his legal career as a solo practitioner where he developed a referral-based real estate litigation-focused practice handling domestic cases, worker’s compensation, personal injury, and probate matters. He is currently a partner at Stephens Millirons PC where he practices litigation with a focus on real estate and mortgage default issues. Joshua is admitted in Tennessee and Alabama.

Joshua is co-chair of the Huntsville/Madison County Bar Committee on Fee Disputes and Unauthorized Practice of Law. He is involved with the Madison County VLP, a participant with the Muscular Dystrophy Association Lock Up Fundraiser, and has organized a Jingle Bell Run and Food Pantry of Huntsville. He is also an active member of Cove United Methodist Church.

The attorney and Leadership Forum graduate who recommended Joshua said, “I have known Josh since I began practicing law in Huntsville over six years ago. Josh has established a reputation as an astute lawyer, consummate professional, and perhaps most importantly, a passionate advocate for the community and Bar. Outside the courtroom, Josh is known as a loving and dedicated husband and father of two beautiful girls. During my recent term as Secretary of the Huntsville-Madison County Bar Association, I had the opportunity to call on Josh to assist with several projects to improve our Bar and community. Josh is always willing to serve where there is a need and does so with a cheerful attitude and a great deal of determination. Josh has, for several years, promoted access to justice by giving of his time through the Madison County VLP. Josh already has a great deal of meaningful experience in promoting our professions and the betterment of the community at the local level. Josh has also begun to cultivate relationships around the State through his participation in State Bar activities, and I believe that he will benefit from the exposure to other participants in the Forum who have the same passion for servant leadership that Josh does. ”

In his own words Joshua said, “There are two main reasons that I should be selected as a member of Class 9. First, I think the evolution of my practice from a solo-practitioner to a partner at a firm that employs almost fifty staff allows me to see issues confronting attorneys from multiple perspectives, i.e., I can easily identify with solo attorneys and small firms as well as attorneys working at medium size firms. Second, I think my view of the legal profession is different than that of many people due to my parents and extended family being working-class people in a rural county. These two attributes would add diversity to the class that it might otherwise lack. In law school, I knew that I would be a defense attorney at a large Birmingham law firm. Instead, I found myself juggling the duties of runner, receptionist and attorney. In hindsight, it was a good way for me to learn how to practice law. I was exposed quickly to a broad swath of the law and gained practical experience that some of my peers at larger firms still do not have. My personality, as it turns out, responds well to challenges. After building a relatively successful solo practice for four years, I was offered a position as a lateral hire at Stephens Millirons PC. There, I found ample opportunity to apply what I had learned on a local level to my duties in the firm’s statewide mortgage default practice. Two years later, I was made a partner and found myself submerged back in the business of practicing law. Somewhat surprising to me at the time, I found that the lessons about running a business that I had learned when I was a solo were quite valuable. Even more than my professional experiences, my background of growing up in a blue-collar family provided invaluable perspective that helps me be a better attorney daily. First and foremost, I know how ridiculous my hourly rate sound to the average citizen of our state. Less than ten people from my high school class of 110 went to a four-year college or university immediately following graduation. Neither of my parents attended college before I was born, and, in fact, I was the first member of my extended family to successfully make it through college. Several of my cousins had unsuccessfully enrolled in community colleges near my hometown. The point of relating this is not to lift myself up, but to show that my home environment was quite different from many of my college and law school classmates. I did not know any attorneys growing up. So, when I not only graduated college but also enrolled in law school, my extended family was fiercely proud of me and I felt the weight of their expectations keenly while I was in law school. My working –class background has made me profoundly aware of how fortunate I am and also instilled in my mind a clear picture of what our communities should expect, and do expect, of us as attorneys. My personal background also gives me a more specific vision for the role of an attorney. Whether I am advising in house counsel at a national bank or sitting across from a group of siblings holding their parent’s last will and testament, I am ultimately a servant. The specialized knowledge and skill that I was privileged to study in law school is, at the end of the day, nothing more than a tool that allows me to help others. My clients look to me for help with a problem that they do not know how to handle on their own. The first time I went to court is the best example of this principle I can think of. In law school during trial advocacy or moot court tryouts, it was a coin toss whether I would be so nervous that I could not speak or come across with confidence bordering on cockiness. The night before I went to court for the first time in 2003, I wondered as I tried to go to sleep which Josh would show up in court the next day – the confident one or the terrified one. As it turns out, it was neither. The only thing on my mind as I approached the bench to argue that my client’s bank account should not have been garnished, and it struck me almost physically, was that I was his only hope. I was his voice. If I failed, he would lose a good deal of money. It was not about the thrill of argument or the fear of being embarrassed. It was all about making sure that my client’s voice was heard. I work to keep that feeling of responsibility. One of my favorite quotes, that I think of almost daily, is: ‘It is our responsibilies, not ourselves, that we should take seriously.’ I do not know anything about Peter Ustinov, to whom the quote is attributed, but it sums up how I try to govern myself daily – not just in the practice of law, but in my communications with clients, attorneys and judges. Attorneys, I believe, have a lot of responsibilities. Another respect of my family background that influenced me was the camaraderie that I witnessed between my father and my uncles and the other workers at the manufacturing plants where they worked. From these role models, I saw firsthand the importance of integrity and work-ethic in the small groups of industrial workers. I would often hear stories about co-workers that were not pulling their weight or were dishonest to their teammates or bosses. I see how my role models reacted to these people and how negative actions accumulated over the years. These lessons congealed into a philosophy of how to practice law. I see the courthouse as the manufacturing plant. The attorneys there with me, especially my opponents, are my co-workers. Our job is to work hard for our clients in a truthful, civil manner with an awareness that we are part of the same community and ultimately have a similar goal; for the truth of the dispute to be decided by the judge or jury. In order for the judicial system to work, I have to play my part and work hard much like my uncles who work on assembly line or in maintenance.  If I am selected, I will work hard to use my vision for our profession to benefit the class. I also look forward to meeting and working closely with a group of young attorneys who are just as passionate and opinionated about our profession as I am. I think my perspective on my profession’s role in society would only improve with the exchange of ideas that would come from this class.”