for Associate Justice, Place 2
|Place of Residence:
Debbie; Children, Scott, Matthew, and
College, 1972 (magna cum laude);
J.D. University of Virginia School of Law, 1975.
Justice, Alabama Supreme Court
|Bar Admission(s) &
State Bar 1975
|Legal & Judicial
in law school, I was an editor involved in revising or updating several
legal publications. From 1975 to 1996, I practiced law in Birmingham,
focusing on civil litigation in state and federal trial and appellate
courts. In 1996, Governor Fob James appointed me a circuit judge
in Jefferson County and I was elected to that position without primary
or general election opposition in 1998. In 2000, I was elected
Associate Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and took office in
have been active in many professional activities, including bar
association committees, Alabama Supreme Court committees, and
continuing legal education presentations. Also, I have been
involved in numerous community and church activities, with leadership
roles in many of them.
|Honors & Awards:
In college I was inducted into several honorary societies, including
Omicron Delta Kappa (leadership), Eta Sigma (scholarship) and Phi Alpha
Theta (history). Also, I was recognized by Who's Who in American
Colleges and Universities.
In 1989, I was recognized by the Birmingham Business Journal as one of its "Top 40 Under 40."
In recent years, the Alabama Law Foundation
recognized my accomplishments by inducting me as a Fellow. Also,
in recognition of my extensive trial court experience, my contributions
to the promotion of the art of advocacy, and my devotion to the
constitutional right of trial by jury, I have been inducted as a member
of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
|Campaign Contact Information
O. Box 2366
(or Contact Webform Address)
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How have your
training, professional experience, and interests prepared you to serve
on the Alabama Supreme Court?
a lawyer, I participated in hundreds of cases. As a trial
and appellate court judge, I have worked hard and maintained current
dockets. As a Supreme Court Justice, I have used my
and writing ability to prepare hundreds of well-reasoned opinions and
to cast thousands of well-informed votes, demonstrating a record of
impartiality and independence.
What do you consider to be the three most important
attributes of a judge?
three most important attributes of a judge are honesty, fairness, and
the willingness to work hard.
What is your judicial philosophy?
believe the role of a judge
is to respect and comply with the law and to act
in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity
and impartiality of the judiciary. My judicial philosophy
allow any personal or political agenda. Quite simply, my
is one of fairness.
How do you define “judicial independence,” and how
important is it to our judicial system?
define "judicial independence" as freedom from the pressures of public
opinion or political influence, serving without any personal or
political agenda. Judicial independence is of critical
importance to the integrity and impartiality of our judicial system.
What is the greatest area of need in the Alabama justice system, and
how should the Supreme Court respond, if at all?
greatest need in the Alabama justice system is to ensure that our trial
courts are adequately funded and staffed. Under the
leadership of the Chief Justice, the Supreme Court should encourage
adequate funding, as well as technological progress.
What part, if any, should public opinion play in the decision of a
good judge, following the
law, may not be politically popular. However,
public opinion should play no part in the decision of a judge.
In a case before the court, how should a judge handle a conflict
between his/her personal beliefs and the law?
judge must follow the law,
even if the law conflicts with his or her
personal beliefs. If the judge is unable to follow the law,
she should not participate in the case, and should allow it to be
decided by those who are able to follow the law.
the League of Women Voters of Alabama Education Fund nor the Alabama
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information presented here is intended solely for the education of
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