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Department Chair and Professor, Graduate Coordinator and Advising Supervisor
Department Chair and Professor, Graduate Coordinator and Advising Supervisor | College of Education
Senior Lecturer | College of Business
Bio Information and Philosophy-
I have been a practicing lawyer in the Montgomery area for over forty years. My experience working in various legal offices extends beyond those forty years. I began my legal career working in Washington, D.C. for United States Senator Howell Heflin on the Senate Judiciary Committee and then as a staff attorney for the Hon. H. Randall Thomas, Circuit Judge for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit. I opened my private law office in May 1982 and formed partnerships with other lawyers beginning in 1983. I handled all types of litigation and appeals in state and federal court. For more than six years I served as the General Counsel for the Alabama Department of Education as Deputy Attorney General. I left the Department of Education to become Chief Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for Education for the State of Alabama within the Attorney General’s office. I have been trained as a Mediator and Arbitrator as well as a certified Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) for Alabama courts.
I graduated from Cumberland School of Law and the Brock School of Business, Samford University with simultaneously earned degrees, Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.). Since 1983, I have taught various courses at AUM within the College of Business. Yes, I was teaching business law long before many of you were born. I joined the faculty full time in 2015 as Senior Lecturer of Business Law. For five summers (2015-2019), I was honored to be invited to travel to and teach in the People’s Republic of China at the Hubei University of Economics. It is in the city of Wuhan (population over 10 million) with which everyone is now familiar. I presented a course very similar to the one all business students take, but with some comparisons of the Chinese and U.S. legal systems. During recent summer terms (2020 – 2022) I taught the course entirely online to students in Wuhan. Some of these students are now here in the United States taking courses at AUM and other universities completing undergraduate and graduate degrees. This experience has been most rewarding and enlightening for a country boy from Alabama.
I teach because I enjoy sharing the challenges of the law and want my students to gain greater confidence and practical knowledge to navigate many legal areas without catastrophe. My philosophy is that if we can remove some of the mystery surrounding legal issues and the corresponding stress of ignorance, then solutions will often present themselves. One thing I have learned over my long career as a practicing attorney is that court rulings and laws will definitely change over time. Some court decisions will be difficult to understand. Having knowledge of the processes and methods of our legal system is often the greatest strength for a person when life’s circumstances and the legal system collide. I further believe this knowledge of the system is an essential characteristic of many successful business leaders.
Clearly, many things have dramatically changed in the legal world during my career, including the way we provide classroom instruction and offer resources in these endeavors. I never considered that a cyber environment, called the “internet”, would allow for the virtual presentation of the materials in the courses I was asked to teach, but here we are. This is a continuing adventure and I am excited about the many possibilities to innovate and learn. When I consider how the internet and technology have changed the way I practice law, conduct research and deliver even the most simple of documents to our courts, it is only natural that we fully embrace the opportunities to expand the classroom experience and capture the incredible power of this technology. The internet clearly offers students and instructors opportunities to find and utilize more resources with greater flexibility in learning.
I will end my career at AUM and cherish every group of students I have been privileged to challenge. If something we have discussed in class helps them avoid a situation that could have been a major distraction in their lives, then one of my primary goals is achieved.