Birmingham Attorney J. Mark White Elected President of the Alabama State Bar for 2008-2009July 12, 2008
Sandestin, FL – J. Mark White, a founding partner in the Birmingham law firm of White Arnold & Dowd P.C., was installed as the 132nd president of the Alabama State Bar for 2008-2009 at the Bar’s annual meeting this weekend.
As President, White will serve as head of the 15,700 member organization. He said the goals of this administration would be, “to remove barriers to justice for Alabama’s poor, to embark on an immediate course to change the nature of state judicial elections, and to champion efforts that increase the public’s confidence in our system of justice. In talking with Alabama attorneys from Phenix City to Demopolis, I’ve learned that these issues resonate with all of us…we are bound and determined to improve judicial campaigns in Alabama and to make justice accessible to all.” Key projects will include:
- Increasing resources to help Alabama’s poor and disadvantaged receive affordable legal assistance
- Advocating for adequate funding of the state’s indigent defense system
- Improving Alabama’s system for the selection of its judiciary
- Assisting the bench and bar in improving civility and professionalism
White received his undergraduate degree from Auburn University (1969), served in the United States Navy (1970-72), and earned his law degree from Samford University Cumberland School of Law (1974). He currently serves as president of the law school’s 7000 member national alumni association. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, a listing widely regarded within the legal profession as a high honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers.
White comes to the task of president with a proven record of dedication to the justice system and the lawyers and judges who comprise the Alabama State Bar. He has been recognized for his early work both in Alabama and across the nation to improve the public’s confidence in the judiciary. In 1999, White created Alabama’s first Judicial Campaign Oversight Committee. Since 2001, he has served as the co-chair of the National Center for State Courts’ Committee on Judicial Campaign Conduct, making major presentations to the Conference of Chief Judges, providing advice to state supreme courts, and serving as lead faculty for workshops on state judicial campaign conduct committees. White’s work on behalf of that group was recognized in 2007 when he was chosen to receive their Distinguished Service Award. White has also served as a member of the Alabama State Judicial Inquiry Commission (2001-2007).
As the 27th president from Birmingham in the state bar’s 85-year history, White brings over thirty years of experience as a trial litigator in matters covering a spectrum of civil and criminal practice, including white collar crime, mass tort, personal injury, environmental, antitrust, business and securities litigation. As lead counsel in a number of high profile cases, White has earned a reputation for building bridges as a winning strategy.
An active leader in the Bar, White has served as past president of the Birmingham Bar (2004), as State Bar Commissioner (1995-2004), and as a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association (1995-2001). He is also a Life Fellow of the Alabama Law Foundation. He maintains professional affiliations with the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the state and national Associations of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is the recipient of both the state bar’s Commissioner’s Award (given in recognition of lifelong dedication to improving the administration of justice) and the Award of Merit (recognized for outstanding constructive service to the legal profession). He is licensed to practice before the federal, state and appellate courts, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Alabama State Bar is dedicated to promoting the professional responsibility, competence and satisfaction of its members; improving the administration of justice, and increasing public understanding and respect for the law.