News: The Alabama Lawyer Articles

FROM THE ALABAMA LAWYER- Alabama Qualified Dispositions in Trust Act

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Historically, grantors of trusts have had little asset protection afforded them where they name themselves as a beneficiary of a trust, even an irrevocable trust. Section 505(a)(2) of the Uniform Trust Code and its Alabama counterpart, § 19-3B-505(a)(2), Code of Alabama (1975), provide that “[w]ith respect to an irrevocable trust, a creditor or assignee of the grantor may reach the maximum amount that can be distributed to or for the grantor’s benefit.”

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FROM THE ALABAMA LAWYER- Who Do We Think We Are?

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In the final scenes of the movie “A Few Good Men” – one of the great classics of legal cinema – under dramatic, but extremely risky cross-examination by Lt. Daniel Kaffee (played by Tom Cruise), Col. Nathan Jessup (played by Jack Nicholson) admitted to directing the kind of “Code Red” discipline which led to the unintentional death of a Marine stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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FROM THE ALABAMA LAWYER- Says Who? Why Good Citation Matters (and Why It’s Easier Than You Think)

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A lawyer is a professional writer, but a lawyer’s purpose is not self-expression. A lawyer speaks (and writes) for someone else, to achieve a certain outcome, in a system governed by rules upon rules upon rules. It is technical, detailed work. Its hallmarks are clarity and precision. The purpose of legal writing is not principally to stir the soul but to satisfy a skeptical mind. A lawyer hoping to persuade another lawyer or judge to accept some position must write in a way that answers obvious questions.

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FROM THE ALABAMA LAWYER – Birmingham School of Law: Prominent Female Graduates

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In 1915, Judge Hugh A. Locke had a vision for a non-traditional law school that would serve men and women who wanted to pursue a legal education, but had neither the time nor money that a full-time law school required. Birmingham School of Law was born out of that vison with classes originally being held at Birmingham-Southern College.

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FROM THE ALABAMA LAWYER – Mixed Signals

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Introductory signals, according to The Bluebook, help legal writers “organiz[e] authorities and show how authorities support or relate to a proposition given in the text.” In a perfect world, The Bluebook would be easy to follow, all lawyers would use it uniformly, and there would always be a case on point. But the practice of law is rarely perfect.

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FROM THE ALABAMA LAWYER – Alabama Online Dispute Resolution

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On January 18, 2022, the Supreme Court of Alabama issued an order establishing the Online Dispute Resolution for Small Claims Cases pilot project and included the Rules Regarding the Online Dispute Resolution for Small Claims Cases.[1] Morgan County will be the first pilot county.[2] Other counties that want to be added to the pilot project may be at the discretion of the Administrative Director of Courts.[3] As of May 2022, it is also live in Autauga, Baldwin, Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Colbert, Etowah, Geneva, Greene, Lee, Madison, Montgomery, Perry, Pike, Shelby, Talladega, Tuscaloosa, and Washington counties.

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FROM THE ALABAMA LAWYER – Lessons of the Boll Weevil: A Story of Prosperity from Bugs to Flying Machines

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This article discusses the founding and development of Fort Rucker, Alabama and its contribution to the prosperity of Enterprise and the entire Wiregrass region. It recognizes the vision of local, state, and national leaders who championed the development of a military base in southeast Alabama, which is now known as the United States Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker.

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FROM THE ALABAMA LAWYER: The Ukrainian Orphan Crisis and Refugee Adoption

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By Susan M. Brown

The war between Russia and Ukraine presents a crisis for many children. This article, while written almost entirely before the onset of Russia’s war against Ukraine, may have life-saving application for clients to partner with orphan-care advocates seeking to bring these orphans into stable and safe American homes.

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FROM THE ALABAMA LAWYER: Stepparent Adoptions

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By Joshua B. Horn

Stepparent adoptions are the most common form of adoption filed in Alabama. With divorce rates at more than 50 percent, it is common for adults to help raise their spouse’s children. The Alabama adoption code streamlines stepparent adoptions. These stepparent adoptions are governed by Ala. Code § 26-10A-27, and with a little research, they can be handled easily by attorneys who do not specialize in family adoption law.

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FROM THE ALABAMA LAWYER: Representing Foster Parents in Adoptions

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By Samuel J. McLure

Many foster parents lack the tools and knowledge to advocate for the best interests of the child in their care. All foster parents have to go through a Trauma Informed Parenting for Permanency and Safety class (TIPS) where they learn that their role is to provide a temporary safe home for a child while the Department of Human Resources (DHR) works with parents to alleviate the underlying causes of dependency.
So, when a lawyer is consulted by foster parents who feel at odds with the system, what does that lawyer do?

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