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Alabama Supreme Court
Voter Guide 2006

Nonpartisan information about the Alabama Supreme Court and the
2006 general election candidates running for seats on that court

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Tom Woodall
for Associate Justice, Place 2

Biographical Information
Place of Residence: Birmingham, Alabama
Family: Wife, Debbie; Children, Scott, Matthew, and
Education: B.A.Millsaps College, 1972 (magna cum laude);
J.D. University of Virginia School of Law, 1975.
Occupation: Associate Justice, Alabama Supreme Court
Employer: State of Alabama
Bar Admission(s) &
Date(s) of Admission:
Alabama State Bar 1975
Legal & Judicial
     While 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 January 2001.
Other Experience:      I 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.
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Campaign Contact Information
Address 1: P. O. Box 2366
Address 2:
City: Birmingham
State: Alabama
Zip Code: 35201-2366
Voice Phone Number: 205-222-8144
Fax Phone Number: 662-823-2999
Website: www.tomwoodall.com
Email Address:
(or Contact Webform Address)
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Questions & Answers:
1.  How have your training, professional experience, and interests prepared you to serve on the Alabama Supreme Court?

As a lawyer, I participated in hundreds of cases.  As a trial court and appellate court judge, I have worked hard and maintained current dockets.  As a Supreme Court Justice, I have used my experience 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.

2.  What do you consider to be the three most important attributes of a judge?

The three most important attributes of a judge are honesty, fairness, and the willingness to work hard.

3.  What is your judicial philosophy?

I 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 does not allow any personal or political agenda.  Quite simply, my philosophy is one of fairness.

4.  How do you define “judicial independence,” and how important is it to our judicial system?

I 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.

5.  What is the greatest area of need in the Alabama justice system, and how should the Supreme Court respond, if at all?

The 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.

6.  What part, if any, should public opinion play in the decision of a judge?

A good judge, following the law, may not be politically popular. However, public opinion should play no part in the decision of a judge.

7.  In a case before the court, how should a judge handle a conflict between his/her personal beliefs and the law?

A 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, he or she should not participate in the case, and should allow it to be decided by those who are able to follow the law.

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Neither the League of Women Voters of Alabama Education Fund nor the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice endorses any political candidate or party. The information presented here is intended solely for the education of Alabama voters. Responses to the questionnaire are printed verbatim as submitted by the candidate.