Montgomery, Ala., April 24, 2013 – A well-known former mayor who was a both a social activist and political reformer, the founding partner of one of the largest law firms in the state, the governor who created the Dept. of Archives & History and the “dean” of the state’s legal profession are four of the five lawyers who will be inducted into the Alabama Lawyers’ Hall of Fame.
A special ceremony will be held in the rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court on May 3 at 11:30 a.m. when the state bar will unveil the plaques which will be placed in the Hall of Fame located on the lower level of the Heflin-Torbert Judicial Building.
State Bar President Phillip W. McCallum, Birmingham (McCallum Methvin & Terrell PC) said, “The Hall of Fame was established a decade ago to spotlight significant contributions lawyers have made to the state throughout its history. These individuals have demonstrated a lifetime of achievement that exemplifies the bar’s motto, ‘Lawyers Render Service’.”
He explained all of the inductees epitomize the bar’s most basic goal: to apply the knowledge and experience of the profession to promote the public good.
William James Samford (1844–1901)
Successful Opelika attorney who practiced in surrounding counties of Alabama and Georgia; licensed Methodist Episcopal minister; gifted orator; elected city alderman (1872); elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (1879-1881); served in the Alabama House of Representatives (1882) and Alabama Senate (1884-1888 and 1892-1896); senate president pro tem (1886-1887); elected Governor (1900); the Alabama Department of Archives and History was created during his term.
William Logan Martin, Jr. (1883 – 1959)
Graduate of the U.S. Military Academy; constitutional scholar and skilled advocate who helped develop Alabama’s early industry; founding partner of what would become one of the state’s largest law firms, Balch & Bingham LLP; Attorney General (1914-1917); circuit judge (1919-1920); served on the American Bar Association’s Board of Governors and was a long-time member of its House of Delegates; president of the Alabama State Bar (1946-1947).
David J. Vann (1928 – 2000)
Lawyer; social activist; political reformer who was instrumental in helping change Birmingham’s racially oppressive form of government; elected to the Birmingham City Council (1971-1975); elected mayor of Birmingham (1975-1979); was guided by the principle of doing “what is right and what is just…without regard to political consequences.”
Edwin Cary Page, Jr. (1906 – 1999)
Practiced for 71 years in Conecuh County (Evergreen); was a leader in the local community who epitomized the iconic image of the small town lawyer; served with distinction in the U.S. Navy during World War II; county solicitor for many years and served as a long-time member of the Alabama State Bar Board of Bar Commissioners.
John A. Caddell (1910 – 2006)
Practiced law for 73 years and, at the time of his death, recognized as the dean of Alabama’s legal profession; played an effective and wide-ranging public service role in his community and statewide for more than 50 years; member of numerous civic and professional organizations; served as chair of the Board of Trustees for the University of Alabama and briefly as interim university president; president of the University of Alabama National Alumni Association; founding member of the Farrah Law Society; member of the Alabama State Bar Board of Bar Commissioners, Board of Bar Examiners and president of the Alabama State Bar (1951-1952).
Birmingham attorney Samuel A. Rumore, Jr., (Miglionico & Rumore), who chairs the bar’s Hall of Fame selection committee, said honorees must be Alabama lawyers who have made extraordinary contributions through the law at the state, national or international level.
Nominees must meet the award criteria which includes having a breadth of achievement in their lifetime, demonstrating a profound respect for professional ethics, being recognized as a leader in their community, and leading, inspiring or mentoring others in the pursuit of justice. Only lawyers who have been deceased for a minimum of two years are considered.
The 17,300-member Alabama State Bar is dedicated to promoting the professional responsibility, competence and satisfaction of its members, improving the administration of justice and increasing public understanding and respect for the law.