Montgomery, Alabama, April 23, 2012 – The lawyer who became the first Alabamian to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, a well-known civil rights lawyer, and a former member of the Birmingham City Council, are three of the five lawyers who will be inducted into the Alabama Lawyers Hall of Fame.
A special ceremony will be held at the Alabama Supreme Court on May 4 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.
Former State Bar President Samuel A. Rumore, Jr., Birmingham (Miglionico & Rumore)
said, “The Hall of Fame was established nine years ago in order 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’.”
Rumore 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.
The 2011 honorees are:
Roderick Beddow, Sr. (1889 – 1978)
Considered one of the best criminal defense attorneys of his time; mentor to several
generations of successful criminal attorneys; recognized by his peers for high ethical standards; a leader of the legal profession who served as president of the Birmingham Bar Association and Alabama State Bar; respected civic leader who served as president of Lions Club International.
John McKinley (1780 – 1852)
Moved to Alabama and began the practice of law in 1818; elected to the Alabama Legislature (1820, 1831, 1836); represented Alabama in U.S. Senate (1826-1831, 1837) and House of Representatives (1833-1835); became the first Alabamian on the U.S. Supreme Court with his appointment in 1838 and served as the first circuit justice to the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
Nina Miglionico (1913 – 2009)
Recognized as a scholar, activist, attorney, politician, and benefactor; crusader for legal reforms, particularly for women’s issues; a courageous lawyer who worked for positive change in race relations; president, National Association of Women Lawyers (1958-1959); member, Birmingham City Council (1963-1985); Margaret Brent Award recipient conferred by the American Bar Association, 1996; active law practice for 73 years and role model for many women lawyers.
Charles Morgan, Jr. (1930 – 2009)
Skilled legal advocate embodying the highest ideals of the profession; courageous social reformer during Alabama’s and the South’s tumultuous civil rights era; used innovative legal arguments and applications of the U.S. Constitution to persuade federal courts to dismantle de jure segregation that changed the social and political landscape of the South; served as a role model for many civil rights lawyers.
William D. Scruggs, Jr. (1943 – 2001)
Quintessential small town lawyer whose legal acumen was sought by local citizens as well as multinational corporations; president of the Alabama State Bar; tireless worker to improve the self-regulation of the legal profession; honored posthumously for his unparalleled service to the Alabama State Bar by the Board of Bar Commissioners with the creation of the “William D. Scruggs, Jr., Service to the Bar Award” as a permanent memorial to his service and recognition of the future service of others.
Rumore, who also 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.
This year’s group of inductees will join such notable legal figures as: Judge Frank M. Johnson, Edgar Thomas Albritton, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, Ala. Supreme Court Chief Justice and U.S. Sen. Howell Heflin, attorneys Arthur Davis Shores and Vernon C. Crawford, among others.
The 17,000-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.