in the practice of law handling numerous juvenile, divorce, DHR,
Workmen’s Compensation, Social Security & Disability claims and
also civil cases. I haveyears of experience researching and writing
briefs and appeals to the Civil Court of Appeals, Criminal Court of
Appeals, Alabama Supreme Court, 11th Circuit Court of Appeals; as well
as , the U. S. Supreme Court.
How have your
training, professional experience, and interests prepared you to serve
on the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals?
I have researched
and written numerous briefs on appeal before the Alabama Courts of
Civil and Criminal Appeals; the Alabama Supreme Court; the United
States Supreme Court; and more recently, the Eleventh Circuit Court of
Appeals (federal). Also, my husband and I have researched and written
briefs for extraordinary remedies; including petitions for writs of
Habeas Corpus and Mandamus. For 10 years, I worked as a registered
nurse (still licensed) at Cullman and Huntsville area hospitals. My
nursing experience is in labor and delivery; as well as, obstetrics and
Since passing the bar, I have primary worked
within the juvenile system; representing children who, because of their
prior circumstances in life, have found themselves before the juvenile
What do you consider to be the three most important
attributes of a judge?
Being fair, just and equitable; yet, even among these; and more importantly, compassion.
What is your judicial philosophy?
My philosophy is
simple: protect, defend and give due effect to: the Bill of Rights. I
believe that the constitutions of the United States; and the great
State of Alabama, were created as a restraining order-first and
foremost, to protect the liberty of our citizens and their children
from governmental encroachment and aggression upon those fundamental
rights. My reading of the Bill of Rights does not stop at the Second
How do you define “judicial independence,” and how
important is it to our judicial system?
I define “judicial
independence” as protecting liberty and privacy at all costs;
regardless of what may appear popular, in vogue, expedient, or
What is the greatest area of need in the Alabama civil justice
how should the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals respond, if at all?
put, our appellate judges should be elected by districts (and one may
use our current congressional districts as a reference). I give a
two-fold reason for this: first, local people know who will make the
best judges; and second, minorities need representation on the court.
One must be cognizant of the fact that only two black members have been
elected to the appellate courts since 1877; a sad commentary indeed.
Regardless, I do not believe in a merit system where the rights of
voters to pick judicial candidates are revoked.
What part, if any, should public opinion play in the decision of a
In a case before the court, how should a judge handle a conflict
between his/her personal beliefs and the law?
First, we must take
the influence of donations and money out of the Court system. My
campaign has received to date, less than $5000.00. However, some
candidates have received hundreds of thousands of dollars from bankers,
insurance companies, corporations and special interests groups; begging
the question: Is Justice for sale? Many of the parties before the court
of appeals are bankers, corporations and those self-same donors who
contributed to their respective campaigns. Judges are human beings and
while asserting a denial; are NOT ABOVE IT. If a donor is before the
court, I believe a judge is required and ethically obligated to recuse.
I know that if I were on the other side of a case, and the other party
had made substantial contributions; I would (and rightly so) feel
disadvantaged. This is the folly of our current campaign laws. Judges
should not be politicians effecting political policy; but rather,
judges who apply the facts to the law.