The Alabama State Bar has inducted five new members into the Alabama Lawyers Hall of Fame.
“These five attorneys spent their lives dedicated to improving the lives of others and the legal profession,” said Alabama State Bar President Christy Crow. “We are pleased to recognize these new inductees of the Lawyers’ Hall of Fame, Class of 2019.”
The five lawyers inducted into the 2019 Alabama Lawyers Hall of Fame are:
- Clifford J. Durr (1899 – 1975) – Respected nationally as a defender of civil liberties during the post-WW II Red Scare; a supporter of the civil rights movement; born in Montgomery, Alabama where his family owned Durr Drug Company; educated at the University of Alabama where he was elected president of his class; won a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University in England and graduated in 1922; a member of the Alabama and Wisconsin bars; worked at the Reconstruction Finance Corporation in Washington, D. C. and was later nominated to the Federal Communications Commission; resigned from the FCC because he refused to sign Harry Truman’s Federal Loyalty Oath; later returned to Alabama and worked with Fred Gray in defending Rosa Parks.
- Broox G. Garrett (1915 – 1991) – Born in Grove Hill, Alabama (1915); attended the University of Alabama; admitted to the Alabama State Bar (1939); a member of Phi Beta Kappa; Omicion Delta Kappa; Farrah Order of Jurisprudence; entered the private practice of law in 1939 in Brewton, Alabama; entered the United States Navy in 1941 and discharged as a Lieutenant in 1945; a member of the Alabama State Bar Board of Bar Commissioners (1966); elected vice president of the Alabama State Bar in July 1981 and succeeded as President in November 1981 when preceding President died; served on the Alabama Law Institute, as County Solicitor of Escambia County, as a member of the Brewton Board of Education, and as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
- Henry W. Hilliard (1808 – 1892) – A lawyer, professor, Methodist preacher, diplomat, and statesman; born in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 1808 and attended South Carolina College; admitted to practice in 1829; moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1831 and served as a professor of literature; in 1834 he moved to Montgomery to open a law practice; served in Alabama House of Representatives (1838); elected to Congress for three terms; served as a regent for the Smithsonian Institute; supported the Compromise of 1850; fought to maintain the Union until Alabama seceded; served Alabama as a brigadier general and fought with General Bragg in the west; returned to diplomatic service in 1877 and appointed United States Minister to Brazil by President Hayes.
- Richard T. Rives (1895 – 1982) – Born in Montgomery, Alabama; lawyer; judge; politician; military leader; educated at Tulane University and passed the bar examination when he was 19 years old; served in the United States Army during WW I; president of the Montgomery Bar Association and president of the Alabama State Bar (1939-1940); established his own law firm; named to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and later the newly created U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals; repeatedly ruled against segregation laws and wrote opinions on significant cases involving public transportation, education, housing, voting rights, and legislative reapportionment; received honorary degrees from Notre Dame University and Cumberland School of Law.
- Ellene G. Winn (1911 – 1986) – Born in Clayton, Alabama; earned degrees from Agnes Scott College (BA, 1931) and Radcliffe College (MA, 1932); earned law degree from Birmingham School of Law (1941); became an associate at Bradley, Baldwin, All & White (now Bradley) in 1944 and is believed to be the first woman to present an oral argument before the Supreme Court of Alabama; made partner at firm in 1958 becoming one of the first women partners at a major law firm in Alabama or the Southeast. The Winn Initiative was established in her honor for her contributions to the practice of law and the community and continues to encourage the successful development and mentoring of women in the legal profession.
The Alabama Lawyers Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 2004 and to date has inducted 75 Alabama lawyers, including this year’s inductees. Inductees must have a distinguished career in law and each inductee must be deceased at least two years at the time of their selection. In addition, at least one of the inductees must be deceased a minimum of 100 years.
Each inductee has a plaque in their honor, which is displayed in the Alabama Lawyers Hall of Fame located on the lower level of the Heflin-Torbert Judicial Building. More information on the Lawyers’ Hall of Fame classes can be found here.