Capell & Howard P.C. Attorneys At Law Montgomery & Auburn/Opelika, AL

Firm Announces New Administrator

We are pleased to announce the addition of Gina Franklin to our staff as Firm Administrator. Gina resides in Troy, Alabama and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Troy University. She joins the firm after serving as Chief Financial Officer in the construction and contracting industry for the last 15 years.

Courtney Williams, Managing Director of Capell & Howard, stated, “Gina’s combined knowledge and experience will serve the firm well. Her role as Firm Administrator is integral to the firm’s success and operations.” Gina’s responsibilities will include oversight of accounting, human resources, technology, and operations.

Gina is a member of the Association of Legal Administrators and the International Legal Technology Association.

The firm recently honored its previous administrator, Rachel Harris, who retired after 18 years of service with Capell & Howard.

Firm Welcomes Three New Associates

The firm has welcomed three outstanding associates to join its roster of attorneys: Tara H. Chambliss, Kazia J. Hale, and J. Mitchell Sikes. Although they are new attorneys, they’ve felt right at home at Capell & Howard, having served as summer clerks with the firm.

Tara Chambliss graduated, summa cum laude, from the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, where she served as Managing Editor of the Law Review and was a member of the National Moot Court Team. Prior to pursuing a career in law, Tara had a successful career working as an engineer.

Kazia Hale, a graduate of Samford University Cumberland School of Law, was recognized with the Alva C. Caine National Trial Team Award, the Heninger Garrison Davis Closing Argument Award, and the South Texas Mock Trial Challenge Outstanding Advocate Award, among several other honors.

Mitchell Sikes graduated, magna cum laude, from the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Faulkner Law Review. Mitchell was also a Walter J. Knabe Scholar and received the Dean’s Award for his scholarship and contributions to the law school.

To view their full bios, honors and awards, please visit their profile pages by clicking on their names, linked above.

Firm Named as Finalist for River Region Ethics in Business (Medium Business Category)

Capell & Howard, P.C. was honored to be named as a finalist in the medium business category for the 2023 River Region Ethics in Business and Public Service Awards.

The River Region Ethics in Business and Public Service Awards is a program of The Samaritan Counseling Center in collaboration with Auburn University at Montgomery. The purpose of the program is to bring the importance of business and public service ethics to the forefront of communities throughout the River Region and to honor those individuals and companies that practice and believe in good ethics. As such, businesses and agencies throughout the community aspire to be considered for this award.

In the medium business category, the firm was proud to be in the company of finalist Alabama Klassic Designs and award recipient Alabama Artificial Limb and Prosthetic Services. Congratulations to the award recipients in the other categories and to Pastor Ken Austin, recipient of the Maury Smith Ethics Award.

The awards program is the signature event of The Samaritan Counseling Center, which provides mental health services, educational programming and consultative services to all in need in the River Region.

Pictured above are Capell & Howard attorneys at the awards program. (Front row, L to R): Tim Gallagher, Tara Chambliss, Caitlin Cobb, and Bob Northcutt. (Back row, L to R): Bobby Rives, Raley Wiggins, Mitchell Sikes, Kazia Hale, and Courtney Williams.

M&A Advisor Awards: Transaction is Finalist for Industrials Deal of the Year ($10M-$25M)

The firm is pleased to share that Capell & Howard shareholder Michael Dalton successfully represented a long-time client in a transaction which was recently named as a finalist for “Industrials Deal of the Year” for transactions between $10 million and $25 million as part of the 22nd Annual M&A Advisor Awards. Dalton represented a well-established corporation and certain affiliates in connection with the sale of a majority interest in the privately-held electrical contracting, communications, and security companies to Crete Mechanical. Other parties involved in facilitating the transaction include Benchmark International, Bern Butler Capilouto & Massey, and Crete Mechanical Group.

According to the M&A Advisor, these awards, widely respected as a pinnacle of achievement in the mergers and acquisitions practice space, recognize excellence in deal-making, restructuring, and financing, and celebrate the contributions and achievements of leading firms and professionals in the area.

 

October is Pro Bono Month

October is Pro Bono Month! Attorney & Shareholder Tim Gallagher (pictured far left) serves on the Atlanta State Bar Pro Bono Celebration Task Force as well as the Section Involvement Subcommittee Chair for the Task Force. On Monday, October 2, 2023, Governor Kay Ivey signed a Proclamation, publicly declaring October as Pro Bono Month in Alabama.

Tim has served on the Pro Bono Celebration Task Force for over 10 years. In 2018, he served as Chair of the Task Force and has continued to serve as a Subcommittee Chair since then. In 2022, Tim was awarded the Alabama State Bar Harold Albritton Pro Bono Leadership Award for his statewide pro bono efforts. To learn more about Tim’s leadership and extensive background in pro bono volunteering, visit his profile page.

To learn about how you can get involved in Pro Bono Month, click here.

Pat Sefton presents legal update to Alabama Manufactured Housing Association

Pat Sefton, attorney and shareholder at Capell & Howard, P.C., presented a legal update at the recently concluded Alabama Manufactured Housing Association General Membership meeting.

Pat concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial litigation, employment law and trade association representation. Pat briefed the members about developing trends in the law affecting businesses, including recent court decisions related to non-compete agreements, employee handbooks and religious discrimination in the workplace.

As legal counsel for the Alabama Manufactured Housing Association, Pat is routinely called up to provide general business counsel and updates to its members concerning legal issues impacting the industry. As Pat likes to say, “One of the reasons I became a lawyer was to be a resource to my clients in navigating complex legal issues. I love working on a team, so being included as a trusted confidant to my client’s team is always rewarding.”

Allen Sheehan registered on Alabama State Court Mediator Roster

Allen Sheehan, attorney and shareholder at Capell & Howard, is now registered on the Alabama State Court Mediator Roster. He recently completed 80 hours of training in both mediation and domestic mediation at the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution.

Allen joined Capell & Howard in 2007 and is an active member in both Montgomery and Lee County professional communities. He began managing the firm’s Auburn Division in 2021 to help promote the future growth of the firm in Lee County.

Allen specializes in complex litigation matters for individual and business clients in both state and federal courts. He has a diverse range of practice areas including civil rights, construction, custody/divorce, probate, labor and employment, wills and trusts, LLC disputes and tax litigation. Allen has experience representing state agencies, small businesses and corporate clients. He also represents clients in administrative law cases, probate matters, and domestic relations.

For more about Allen Sheehan, click here.

25 Attorneys Recognized by Best Lawyers

Capell & Howard, P.C. is proud to have 25 lawyers recognized in the 2024 editions of The Best Lawyers in America® and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America. In addition, four of the firm’s attorneys were named the Best Lawyers® 2024 “Lawyer of the Year” in Montgomery for four different practice areas.

Courtney Williams, Attorney and Managing Director of Capell & Howard, said, “We are pleased to share this recognition by Best Lawyers for 2024 and proud to have 25 of our attorneys selected by their peers for these honors.”

THE BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA

According to Best Lawyers, only the top 5% of all practicing lawyers in the country were selected by their peers for inclusion in the 30th edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Listed below are attorneys at Capell & Howard who are recognized in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America:

  • Shapard D. Ashley (Of Counsel) – Real Estate Law
  • Michael P. Dalton – Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships); Tax Law
  • Bruce J. Downey, III (Of Counsel) – Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment
  • Ashley H. Freeman – Litigation – Insurance
  • Richard Hill, Jr. – Administrative / Regulatory Law; Litigation – Insurance
  • Lister Hubbard – Construction Law; Litigation – Construction
  • David B. Hughes – Real Estate Law
  • Henry H. Hutchinson (Of Counsel) – Corporate Law; Litigation and Controversy – Tax; Tax Law
  • Mai Lan F. Isler – Litigation – Labor and Employment
  • Kyle Johnson – Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law; Tax Law; Trusts and Estates
  • Brooke Lawson, III – Commercial Litigation; Construction Law; Litigation – Construction
  • William K. Martin (Of Counsel) – Mortgage Banking Foreclosure Law
  • Robert T. Meadows, III (Of Counsel) – Commercial Litigation; Family Law
  • Robert F. Northcutt – Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law
  • Carla Cole Penton – Employment Law – Individuals; Employment Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment
  • Caty H. Richardson – Trusts and Estates
  • Robert D. Rives – Corporate Law; Real Estate Law
  • Lee M. Russell – Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships); Real Estate Law
  • William Allen Sheehan – Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Insurance
  • Palmer Smith (Of Counsel) – Real Estate Law
  • Debra D. Spain – Litigation – Trusts and Estates; Tax Law; Trusts and Estates
  • James N. Walter, Jr. – Arbitration; Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Banking and Finance; Litigation – Insurance; Litigation – Securities; Mediation
  • Christopher W. Weller, Sr. – Appellate Practice; Civil Rights Law; Employment Law – Individuals; Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment
  • Courtney Williams – Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships); Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law; Litigation and Controversy – Tax; Tax Law

BEST LAWYERS 2024 “LAWYER OF THE YEAR” IN MONTGOMERY

Capell & Howard, P.C. would also like to congratulate four of its attorneys who were recognized by Best Lawyers for the 2024 “Lawyer of the Year” in Montgomery in four practice areas. “Lawyer of the Year” honors are awarded annually to only one lawyer per practice area in each region with extremely high overall feedback from their peers, making it an exceptional distinction. According to a recent press release submitted by Best Lawyers, “only 5,392 lawyers were bestowed the ‘Lawyer of the Year’ distinction, representative of only 0.4% of those in private practice in America.”

The four attorneys with Capell & Howard who were recognized by Best Lawyers as the 2024 “Lawyer of the Year” award winners in Montgomery for their respective practice areas are as follows:

  • Carla Cole Penton – Employment Law – Individuals
  • James N. Walter, Jr. – Arbitration
  • Christopher W. Weller, Sr. – Labor Law – Management
  • Palmer Smith – Real Estate Law

BEST LAWYERS: ONES TO WATCH IN AMERICA

Capell & Howard would also like to congratulate associate attorney W. Jackson Britton, who is included in the 2024 edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for his work in Insurance Law, Administrative / Regulatory Law, Appellate Practice and Civil Rights Law. According to Best Lawyers, more than 2.4 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in more than 25,000 lawyers honored in the new edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America.

BEST LAWYERS METHODOLOGY

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers honors and celebrates the professional accomplishments of the top legal talent in the country who were selected by their peers through Best Lawyers’ exhaustive peer-review survey and selection process. For the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, more than 19.7 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in just over 76,000 leading lawyers honored in the new edition. Lawyers are not required nor allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.

 

In compliance with the Alabama State Bar Association, Capell & Howard states that “No representation is made that the quality of the legal service to be performed is greater than the quality of the legal services performed by other lawyers.”

Lister Hubbard Speaks to Auburn-Opelika Section of Associated General Contractors

J. Lister Hubbard, attorney and shareholder at Capell & Howard, P.C., will speak to the Auburn-Opelika Section of Alabama Associated General Contractors (AGC) at their upcoming meeting on May 17, 2023. Lister will share the “Latest Legal Developments in Alabama Construction.”

Lister concentrates his practice in the areas of construction law, public procurement law, environmental law, and commercial litigation.

As legal counsel for the Alabama AGC, Lister drafted and facilitated passage of comprehensive reform legislation for Alabama’s competitive bid law. He has attained statewide prominence in the field of public procurement law, counseling both business and government as well as shaping legislative and regulatory initiatives in the field.

James N. Walter, Jr. Inducted into National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals

James N. “Jimmy” Walter, Jr., Attorney and Shareholder at Capell & Howard, P.C., was recently inducted as a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals.

The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN) is an invitation-only professional association whose membership consists of mediators and arbitrators distinguished by their hands-on experience in the field of civil and commercial dispute resolution. Jimmy is one of only 32 members in the Alabama Chapter of NADN and only the second NADN member in Montgomery.

Jimmy is recognized in Best Lawyers® and Super Lawyers in the specialties of arbitration, mediation, business litigation, civil litigation and insurance litigation. Best Lawyers recently named Jimmy as Montgomery, Alabama’s “Lawyer of the Year” in both mediation and arbitration.

Jimmy is also a member of the Alabama Academy of Attorney Mediators. He serves on the Alabama Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution and is a certified mediator and arbitrator registered with the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution. Jimmy has been a member of the American Arbitration Association’s Roster of Neutrals since 2014 and has served as arbitrator in numerous commercial and consumer arbitrations.

For more about Jimmy Walter, or to reserve a mediation or arbitration date online, click here.

Capell & Howard Recognized in “Best Law Firms” Rankings

Best Lawyers® and U.S. News & World Report, for the 13th consecutive year, collaboratively announced the release of the U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings.

Capell & Howard P.C. was recognized as a “Best Law Firm” in the Metro Montgomery area and was regionally ranked in 21 practice areas, 16 of which received a Tier 1 ranking.

The U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in the field and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process.

According to Best Lawyers, “Achieving a tiered ranking in U.S. News – Best Lawyers ‘Best Law Firms’ signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.” Their press release, dated November 3, 2022, goes on to say, “Firms that received a tier designation reflect the highest level of respect a firm can earn among other leading lawyers and clients from the same communities and practice areas.”

This fall, 21 attorneys at Capell & Howard were selected for inclusion in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®, six of whom were recognized in seven practice areas as “Lawyer of the Year” in the Metro Montgomery area. Another of the firm’s attorneys was selected for The Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America™.

______

In compliance with the Alabama State Bar, Capell & Howard states, “No representation is made that the quality of the legal service to be performed is greater than the quality of the legal services performed by other lawyers.”

Governor Kay Ivey’s Proclamation – Mediation Week

The Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution joined with the Alabama State Bar in recognizing the contributions of mediators during the third week of October. Governor Kay Ivey proclaimed the week of October 17-21, 2022 as “Mediation Week.”

Alabama recognizes the great need to promote mediation as a means for litigants to resolve their cases by agreement rather than requiring the court’s resources for a resolution and highlights the contributions of the Alabama Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution, the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution, the Dispute Resolution Section of the Alabama State Bar, state agencies, community-based mediation programs and pro bono mediation programs.

Pictured with Governor Kay Ivey at the Proclamation Signing Ceremony for “Mediation Week” are Bradley Edmonds with the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals Mediation Office; James N. Walter Jr., Chair of the Alabama Supreme Court Commission on Dispute Resolution; Tom Corbett, Chair of the Dispute Resolution Section of the Alabama State Bar; and Eileen Harris, Executive Director of the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution.

Capell & Howard attorney Jimmy Walter is a certified arbitrator and mediator registered with the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution. He has been a member of the American Arbitration Association’s Roster of Neutrals since 2014. To view Jimmy’s full bio, click here.

Barbara J. Wells Speaks at Construction Industry Conference

Barbara J. Wells, Capell & Howard attorney and shareholder, made a presentation at the Inaugural Gulf Coast Construction Industry Conference in Mobile on July 13, 2022. Her presentation was entitled “Employment Law and Practices for Construction Companies: 10 Things Managers Say That Invite Workplace Problems.” Barbara also spoke at the 8th Annual Construction Industry Summit in Birmingham on December 1, 2021. Also about Employment Law, her presentation was entitled “What Do You Mean They Are My Employees? How to Avoid Employment Claims for Direct Hires, Leased Employees, and Borrowed Servants.”

Both events were hosted by the Construction Industry Section of the Alabama State Bar and Alabama Associated General Contractors. Capell & Howard was pleased to support both of these conferences as a Grand Patron Sponsor.

Firm Welcomes Second Group of Summer Clerks

We are pleased to welcome our second group of clerks to Capell & Howard this summer: Margaret Canary, Mitchell Sikes and Libby Wheeler.

Margaret Canary returns for her second clerkship with our firm. Originally from Montgomery, Margaret graduated from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland where she received her Master of Arts (Hons.) degree in Modern History.

Margaret recently completed her second year at The University of Alabama School of Law, where she served as Junior Editor of the Journal of the Legal Profession and has a note that will published in the Journal’s forthcoming edition. Margaret currently serves as Law Review Articles Editor.

Mitchell Sikes is a Montgomery native and not a stranger to Capell & Howard, having worked as a runner at our firm in recent years. Mitchell studied Finance at Auburn University before receiving his B.S.B.A. degree in Finance from Auburn University Montgomery.

He recently completed his second year at the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law at Faulkner University, where he serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Faulkner Law Review. Mitchell was a Most Outstanding First Year Student Award Nominee and a participant in the 2021 John Garman Moot Court Tournament.

Libby Wheeler hails from West Point, GA, and is a graduate of Duke University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy Studies. As part of the Duke Immerse Program, she participated in Human Rights Study there in Durham and in Mexico City.

Libby recently completed her first year at The University of Alabama School of Law, where she received the Fuller E. Callaway Hatton Lovejoy Scholarship, the University of Alabama Law School Merit Scholarship and was selected as a Legal Writing Fellow.

 

Capell & Howard Welcomes Summer Clerks

We are pleased to welcome our first group of clerks to Capell & Howard this summer: Kazie Hale, Tara Chambliss and Addison Franklin.

Kazia Hale currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama. She graduated from Faulkner University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies. Kazia recently completed her second year at Samford University Cumberland School of Law, where she served as a member of the National Trial Team and Co-chair of the Thurgood Marshall Symposium of the Black Law Student Association.

Kazia also served as Vice President of Community Service for the Sports and Entertainment Law Society, Public Interest Panel Co-chair for the Public Interest and Community Service Organization, as well as a Career Development Advisory Board Member. As a third-year law student, she will serve as a senior member of Cumberland’s Trial Advocacy Board.

Tara Chambliss is from Prattville, Alabama. Prior to pursuing a career in law, and with a background in Civil Engineering, Tara had a successful career working as an Alabama Licensed Professional Engineer and National Bridge Inspection Standards Certified Bridge Inspector.

More recently, Tara has completed her second year at the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, where she serves as Managing Editor of the Law Review (2022-23). She was a member of the National Moot Court Team (2021-22) and a 2021 Finalist for the John Garman Moot Court Tournament. Tara was also the recipient of the 2021 Most Outstanding First Year Student Award.

Addison Franklin is from Pelham, Alabama. She graduated from Huntingdon College with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, graduating summa cum laude, with numerous other awards and accolades; among them, the Willard D. Top Award, Margaret Read Scholarship Medal, Dean Fran Taylor Award, and Jane Williams Scholarship Award.

Prior to law school, Addison worked as a legal assistant and served as a legislative intern at local law firms. Addison recently completed her first year at The University of Alabama School of Law, where she is active in The Federalist Society, Raise the Bar, and the Dorbin Women’s Association.