2017 Award Recipients, 0917 ALBJ, 78 The Alabama Lawyer 354 (2017)

Position:Vol. 78 5 Pg. 354

2017 Award Recipients

Vol. 78 No. 5 Pg. 354

Alabama Bar Lawyer

September, 2017


This award is presented to a judge who is not retired, whether state or federal court, trial or appellate, and is determined to have contributed significantly to the administration of justice in Alabama.

Hon. John E. Ott was appointed to the court in 1998 and now serves as the chief magistrate judge of the court. He has presided as a trial judge in more than 60 criminal or civil cases in a variety of subject areas, including employment discrimination, civil rights, contract disputes, antitrust, negligence and federal misdemeanor cases. He has also served as a settlement judge or mediator in more than 700 cases in nearly every type of federal litigation.

Prior to his appointment, Judge Ott served as an assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Alabama for 15 years. He began as a prosecutor in the criminal division of the office and held the positions of deputy chief and chief of the criminal division and executive assistant United States Attorney with oversight responsibility for litigation. Prior to his service with the United States Attorney, he was a law clerk for the United States Magistrate for the Northern District of Alabama.

Judge Ott serves on the adjunct faculty at Samford University's Cumberland School of Law teaching trial advocacy. He has also been an adjunct faculty member at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Miles School of Law teaching trial techniques and advocacy, criminal evidence, e-discovery and social media and L negotiation and mediation. He is a frequent writer and presenter at continuing education courses for attorneys on attorney ethics and professionalism, trial advocacy, evidence, mediation and employment law.

In 1977, Judge Ott earned his B.A. degree in criminal justice magna cum laude from the University of Central Florida and his J.D. degree from the Cumberland School of Law in 1981. He is a member of the Alabama, Florida and Birmingham bars. He is also a fellow of the Alabama Law Foundation and the Birmingham Bar Foundation.


This award recognizes outstanding constructive service to the legal profession in Alabama.

Pamela Bucy Pierson is the research professor of law at the University of Alabama School of Law. She has served on the law school's faculty for 30 years. Prior to entering teaching, Professor Pierson served as an AUSA, ED M0, criminal division, where she specialized in white-collar prosecutions. She has published seven books and more than 50 law review articles and published bar journals. She has testified before Congress three times and is active in the ABA and the Alabama State Bar. One of her former students, Ken Minturn, and the Honorable Philip Reich (retired, Alabama Circuit Court) join her as co-authors in their forthcoming book, Economics, Emotional Intelligence and Finance: Tools for Every Lawyer in the Twenty-First Century (West Academic, 2017).


This award was created in 2002 in honor of the late Bill Scruggs, former state bar president, to recognize outstanding and dedicated service to the Alabama State Bar.

A native of Demopolis, Alyce Manley Spruell received her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University in 1980 and her law degree from the University of Alabama in 1983.

For more than 34 years, she has practiced law primarily in the Tuscaloosa County area in governmental and regulatory matters, employment and business law and general civil litigation.

Alyce has served in a variety of roles within the bar, including as president from 2010-2011, a member of the Board of Bar Commissioners, the founding co-chair of the Leadership Forum, the chair of the National Pro Bono Celebration Committee and the initial leadership member of the Volunteer Lawyers Program. She also served as president of the Tuscaloosa County Bar, a member of the Alabama Law Foundation Board of Directors, a member of the Executive Committee of the National Conference of Bar Presidents and the president of the Southern Association of Bar Presidents when the bar hosted the meeting during her presidency.

She served as the director of the Administrative Office of Courts, as well as its Legal Division director, assistant dean and director of development for the University of Alabama School of Law and as counsel for the Alabama Senate's Committee on Transportation and Energy for the Alabama Law Institute. She teaches courses in trial advocacy and legislative drafting at the University of Alabama School of Law, and provides continuing education and training on topics related to leadership development and civic education.

Alyce received the W. Harold Albritton Award for her service to the VLP in 2013, and was recognized by the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce in 2014 for her community advocacy. She was also recognized by the Alabama Criminal Lawyers Association in 2011...

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