William M. Bowen, Jr.Shareholder


Mr. Bowen has extensive experience in the practice of criminal law. He has served as prosecutor, defense counsel, and judge. He was the only Alabama member of the capital defense team who represented Eric Robert Rudolph, the abortion clinic bomber, from start to finish. He has represented the Alabama Business Council before the Alabama Supreme Court as amicus curiae (friend of the court) on direct appeal in a landmark case limiting the definition of corporate criminal liability. Mr. Bowen is the current chairman of Alabama Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure and the reporter for the Alabama Criminal Code Revision Committee of the Alabama Law Institute.

Prior to White Arnold & Dowd:

Before joining the firm, Mr. Bowen was a judge on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals from 1977 to 1995. When first elected in 1977 at the age of 29, he was the youngest appellate judge in the nation. He served as presiding judge for eight of the 18 years he was on the court. At the time of his retirement, Mr. Bowen was the senior judge on the Court and had written more published opinions than any other appellate judge in the history of the State of Alabama. He has also served as a special justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Mr. Bowen was on the Judicial Inquiry Commission for nine years, serving as its Chairman for six years. He was a visiting instructor at the Alabama State Troopers’ Academy and the Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Center in Selma, Alabama, from 1982 to 1995. Prior to his judgeship, Mr. Bowen served as an Assistant Attorney General.


  • Alabama Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure, Chairman (2000–Present)
  • Criminal Code Committee, Alabama Law Institute, Reporter
  • Alabama Law Institute, Member


  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
  • Alabama Bar Association
  • Birmingham Bar Association


  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rating
  • October 1998, Honored as a Knight of the Papal Order of Saint Gregory the Great by his Holiness Pope John Paul II upon recommendation of Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb, D.D., Ph.D., Diocese of Mobile, Alabama, in recognition of service to the Catholic Church
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers (2016)
  • Alabama Super Lawyers (2009-2013)



  • Alabama DUI, Traffic, and Driver License Law Handbook, William M. Bowen and Patrick Mahaney, December 2006.
  • “The Magnificence of the Law,” 41 Alabama Lawyer 290, Commencement address at Cumberland School of Law, 1980.
  • “A Judicial Perspective: Reimbursement of Appointed Counsel and Effective Assistance of Counsel,” 46 Alabama Lawyer 202, 1985.
  • “The Judge as a Professional,” 30 Court Review 4, American Judges Association, Summer 1993.
  • Summary of DUI Cases 1970-1994, published annually for approximately five years by Alabama Department of Public Safety and distributed to every State Trooper and Municipal Judge in Alabama.

Representative Cases

  • State v. Hankins, 155 So. 3d 1043 (Ala. Crim. App. 2013), reh'g denied (Feb. 7, 2014), cert. denied (May 23, 2014) – Defendant physician was facing potential sentence of life without parole for drug trafficking. The Shelby Circuit Court granted defendant’s motion to dismiss the three counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances and the three counts of trafficking in illegal drugs. The state appealed. On appeal, the Court of Criminal Appeals, held that the terms “sells, furnishes, gives away, delivers or distributes” in drug distribution and drug trafficking statutes were not applicable to a licensed physician writing a prescription, and thus, dismissal of charges against defendant physician were warranted. The Alabama Supreme Court denied certiorari.
  • State v. Gregory Aziz, Colbert County Case No. CC-2013-00624 – Retained in 2013 by the Alabama Securities Commission and appointed a Special Assistant District Attorney of Colbert County to assist in the prosecution of the case. Case dismissed on State’s motion in 2014 after Aziz, the CEO of a Canadian company, agreed to pay $21 million in damages to the Retirement Systems of Alabama, which had invested in the company's plans to build a railcar plant in Colbert County. In addition to the $21 million to RSA, Aziz also agreed to reimburse the Securities Commission and the Colbert County District Attorney's Office for their investigative costs associated with the case.
  • United States v. Eric Robert Rudolph, Appointed co-counsel (along with Judy Clarke and Michael Burt) to represent Eric Robert Rudolph in June of 2003 – The government sought the death penalty for the bombing of an abortion clinic in Birmingham. Rudolph was also charged with the bombing of the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta Ga. Both cases ended with global guilty pleas in both Alabama and Georgia and sentences of life without parole.
  • State v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 835 So. 2d 230 (Ala. Crim. App. 2000), aff’d, 835 So. 2d 234 (Ala. 2002) – Corporate criminal liability — Alabama’s perjury statutes did not expressly provide for corporate liability.
  • United States v. Dollar, 25 F. Supp. 2d 1320, 1326 (N.D. Ala. 1998) – Defining “strawman” in connection with the sale of firearms and dismissing the prosecution due to the government’s failure to timely produce impeaching evidence.
  • Johnson v. Bd. of Control of the Employees’ Retirement Sys. of Alabama, 740 So. 2d 999 (Ala. 1999) – A state circuit judge who meets the eligibility requirements for state retirement does not lose the right to those benefits upon his or her appointment as a United States district judge.