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Alabama Appellate Courts
Voter Guide 2008

A nonpartisan guide to information about the Alabama Courts of Appeal
and the candidates running in those elections in 2008

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Kimberly Harbison Drake jpg
Kimberly Harbison Drake
Judge, Court of Civil Appeals
General Election
November 4, 2008

Biographical Information
Place of Residence: 1645 Lakehill Street Northwest, Cullman, Alabama, 35055
Family: Thomas Edwin Drake, II Husband Married 18 years
Three children
Sara Beth Drake 14 years of age
Teddy 13 years of age
Herrin 11 years of age
Education: University of Alabama in Birmingham, Bachelor of Arts in History
University of Alabama in Huntsville Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Birmingham School of Law, Juris Doctor
Occupation: Attorney
Employer: Self- Employed, The Drake Law Firm, Cullman, AL
Bar Admission(s) &
Date(s) of Admission:
October 2004
Legal & Judicial
Active 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.
Other Experience: I have worked as a registered nurse for approximately 10 years in labor and delivery and as an
obstetrics and gynecological nurse.
Honors & Awards: Graduated Cum Laude from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
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Campaign Contact Information
Address 1: P. O. Box 457 Cullman AL 35055
Address 2: 419 Second Avenue Southwest Suite B
City: Cullman
State: Alabama
Zip Code: 35055
Voice Phone Number: 256-739-9445
Fax Phone Number: 256-734-7696
Website: drake4justice.com
Email Address:
(or Contact Webform Address)
Tomdrake @bellsouth.net
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Questions & Answers:
1.  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 gynecology.

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 justice system.

2.  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.

3.  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 Amendment.

4.  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 politically correct.

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

Simply 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.

6.  What part, if any, should public opinion play 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?

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.

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The League of Women Voters of Alabama Education Fund does not endorse any political candidate or party. The information presented here is intended solely for the education of Alabama voters. Responses are printed verbatim as submitted by the candidates up to the 250-word limit.

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