■ JUDICIAL AWARD OF MERIT
(Presented at the Bench & Bar Luncheon on Thursday) 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.
Judge Harold V. Hughston, Jr. of Tuscumbia practiced with Harold V. Hughston and James D. Hughston in the firm of Hughston, Hughston & Hughston until being appointed to the circuit bench in 1998. He became presiding judge in 2001 and has served in that position to the present.
He has served on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Circuit Judges Association for many years and has held several offices, including serving as the 2016-17 president. He has also served on numerous committees, most notably the Scholarship Committee.
Judge Hughston has been a significant leader in his community for many years, including serving the Tuscumbia Kiwanis Club as club president and division lieutenant governor. Additionally, Judge Hughston is a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church in Tuscumbia, where he has served as an elder, deacon and Sunday school teacher.
Judge Hughston obtained his bachelor's degree and his J.D. from the University of Alabama.
■ AWARD OF MERIT
This award recognizes outstanding constructive service to the legal profession in Alabama.
Daniel F. Johnson graduated from the University of the South, magna cum laude, in 1982, with a B.A. in political science. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He graduated from the University of Georgia's School of Law, cum laude, in 1985. While in law school, he was the notes editor of the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law. Dan has been licensed to practice law in Tennessee since 1985 and in Alabama since 1996. He has served on the State of Alabama's Board of Bar Examiners since 2004, and he is the board's current chair. He has also served as a member of the Special Committee on the Uniform Bar Examination of the National Conference of Bar Examiners. Dan has been a partner in the Dothan firm of Lewis, Brackin, Flowers, Johnson & Sawyer since 2000. He has been married to Julia Gillespie Johnson for 25 years, and they have two children, Ellen (22) and Collier (19).
■ WILLIAM D. "BILL" SCRUGGS, JR., AWARD
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.
Justice Michael F. Bolin is a lifelong resident of Jefferson County. He received his bachelor's degree in business administration from Sam-ford University and his J.D. from Cumberland School of Law, graduating cum laude. While at Cumberland, he served as associate editor of the Cumberland Law Review. After graduation, he was inducted into Curia Honoris, Cumberland's leadership and honor society.
Justice Bolin practiced in Birmingham for 16 years, first with retired Circuit Judge Art Hanes, Jr. at Hanes, Hanes & Bolin, and later with David P. Rogers, Jr. at Frey, Rogers & Bolin. As a practicing attorney, Justice Bolin was active in the Birmingham Bar Association, serving on numerous committees, including the bar association's Executive Committee and as president of its Young Lawyers' Section.
Justice Bolin was elected probate judge of Jefferson County in 1988 and he served for 16 years. He was first elected to the Alabama Supreme Court in 2004 and was reelected to the court in 2010 and 2016. He is currently the senior associate justice on the court. He serves as the supreme court's liaison to the Alabama State Bar, the Alabama Law Institute and the Access to Justice Committee.
As probate judge, Justice Bolin was active in the Alabama Probate Judges Association, with service on many committees, including as chair of the Judges Continuing Education Committee. He was elected by his peers to serve at various times as president, secretary and treasurer of the Alabama Probate Judges Association. As a member of the Alabama Law Institute's Children's Code Committee, the Probate Procedures Committee and the Paternity Committee, Justice Bolin assisted the Law Institute in writing new laws. He authored Alabama's Putative Father Registry to protect the rights of all parties in adoption proceedings. In 2000, Justice Bolin was given a national award from the "Angels of Adoption" organization in Washington, D.C. for his work in adoptions.
Justice Bolin continues his commitment to families and children as a member of the Board of Directors of Glen-wood, a nonprofit organization that provides treatment and educational services for individuals diagnosed with autism, emotional disturbances and mental illnesses. He has also served on the Board of Directors of Heart Gallery of Alabama, a non-profit organization that finds permanent adoptive homes for DHR foster care children.
Justice Bolin has been married to Rosemary for 33 years. He has one daughter, Leigh Anne, and two stepdaughters, Vivian LeMaster and Andrea Fraser. Justice Bolin and his wife (and three dogs) live in Vestavia Hills and are members of St. Peter the Apostle Church.
■ J. ANTHONY "TONY" MCLAIN PROFESSIONALISM AWARD
This award is given to recognize members for distinguished service in the advancement of professionalism.
Billy C. Bedsole is a graduate of the University of Alabama, where he received his bachelor's degree in business and commerce, and his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law.
Immediately following his admittance to the bar, Bedsole began his career in private practice. Bedsole is chair of the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission, and has served on the commission since 2011. He was a member of the Alabama State Bar Disciplinary Board from 1995-2014 and served as a hearing officer. Bedsole is a past vice president of the Alabama State Bar (2010), served on the bar's Executive Committee (2007, 2008 and 2010) and was a member of the Alabama State Bar Board of Bar Commissioners (2003-2013). He was awarded the Howell Heflin Award for Honesty and Integrity in 2011 by the Mobile and Baldwin County bar associations, recognized in 2013 by the Alabama State Bar and the Mobile Bar Association for 50 years of service and inducted into the Murphy High School Hall of Fame in 2014.
■ COMMISSIONERS' AWARD
This award was created in 1998 by the Board of Bar Commissioners to recognize individuals who have had a long-standing commitment to the improvement of the administration of justice in Alabama.
LaBella S. Alvis...