Legislative Wrap-Up, 0719 ALBJ, 80 The Alabama Lawyer 302 (2019)

AuthorOthni J. Lathram Director, Legislative Services Agency, Buddy Rushing Staff Attorney, Alabama Law Institute.
PositionVol. 80 4 Pg. 302


Vol. 80 No. 4 Pg. 302

Alabama Bar Lawyer

July, 2019


Othni J. Lathram Director, Legislative Services Agency, Buddy Rushing Staff Attorney, Alabama Law Institute.

As of the writing of this column, the Alabama Legislature has completed 24 of its possible 30 session days; however, by the time you are reading this column, the 2019 Legislative Session will be well behind us. This means the first regular session of the quadrennium will be complete. It has been a session that has been fast and furious. As is typical, this first year saw the legislature take on many major issues and tackle legislation dealing with many of them. This current group has proven themselves willing to debate difficult and complicated issues. Like last year, this wrap-up will be split into two installments with Law Institute Legislation being addressed in this edition and all other legislation covered in the next.

Under the leadership of the legislative members of our executive committee-Senators Cam Ward (ALI president), Arthur Orr and Rodger Smitherman and Representatives Chris England (ALI vice president), Mike Jones and Bill Poole-and the guidance of Clay Hornsby, the Law Institute had another remarkable session. While their hard work saw passage of these important improvements to Alabama law, it is only possible thanks to the hundreds of attorneys who volunteer their time to work on our drafting committees. These lawyers work hard to make sure that each proposal that is advanced by the Law Institute is well developed, balanced, fair and serves to improve the state of our law.

Judicial Article Study Committee

In 1973, Alabama approved a complete overhaul of Article VI of the state Constitution, the Judicial Article. A ground-up redesign of the state's judiciary, the article established the Unified Judicial System. Since that time, several issues requiring attention have arisen in the judicial system. This year, the legislature passed a package of bills to address those issues that were the result of a tremendous amount of work by the Law Institute's Article VI Revision Committee.1

Judicial Administration and Discipline: Act 2019-187

Senator Arthur Orr

Representative Prince Chestnut

This proposed Constitutional amendment to be voted in 2020 will make a number of changes throughout Article VI:

A. Minor Changes

Section 143-A provision of this section requiring district courts to physically hold court in municipalities of 1,000 people or more which lack municipal courts will be deleted as archaic.

Section 160-This section applies Amendment 280 to constables, while also excepting them from the meaningful requirements of that amendment will be deleted as archaic.

Section 161-This section continued existing courts at the time of the 1973 Judicial Article's passage and will be deleted as archaic since that article has long been in effect.

Section 162-This section designates "circuit solicitors" as "district attorneys." As the term "district attorney" has now supplanted "circuit solicitor" in Alabama, this section will be deleted as archaic.

Section 153-This section includes a list of counties which may implement judicial nominating commissions...

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