MEMORIALS, 0313 ALBJ, 74 The Alabama Lawyer 124 (2013)

AuthorA.J. Coleman


Vol. 74 No. 2 Pg. 124

Alabama Bar Lawyer

March 2013


\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0 A.J. Coleman

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0A pillar has fallen. Abraham Jordan "A.J." Coleman, III, a 50-year-plus member of the Alabama State Bar, passed away November 8, 2012. A.J. was born in Huntsville on January 22, 1928 and came to Decatur in 1936, remaining there until his death.

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0A.J., not surprisingly, was an Eagle Scout. He was co-captain of the football team and was in the band at the old

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0Decatur High School, also known as Riverside. Upon graduation, he served in the U.S. Army for 18 months, the major portion of which was in Seoul, where he was a member of the 282"'^ Army Band. After discharge, he attended Auburn University where he played with the Auburn Knights Orchestra. Upon graduating from Auburn, he enrolled in the University of Alabama School of Law. He graduated in 1953 and began the practice of law in Decatur. In short order, he was named a bankruptcy referee in the days before that position was a formal judgeship, and served the City of Decatur as city attorney until the hiring of a full-time counselor in the late 1970s. His advice was sought statewide on issues of municipal law, and he gave many lectures and seminars on that subject.

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0Although somewhat trite, the phrase "lawyer's lawyer" fit A.J. perfectly He men-tored under John A. Caddell and Phillip Shanks, giants of the Morgan County Bar, and, in turn, was always available to any young lawyer to discuss, without promise of recompense, any issue where his vast level of experience could prove helpful. The undersigned in particular, who practiced with him for some 20 years, specifically learned the virtue of holding a "mad" letter for at least 24 hours so as to allow a cooling-off period, after which the letter was invariably rewritten to be more professional and, indeed, more effective.

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0A.J. always treated every person with whom he had contact, whether attorney or lay person, with the utmost courtesy and respect, even if he were in opposition to that person. He would often bend over backwards not to take advantage of a pro se opponent, to the degree that it would almost seem as though he were representing that party He was that concerned with not using his superior position to intimidate or coerce.

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0And, no person ever outworked him on any case, win or lose. He was meticulous in his preparation and legal research, and if anybody ever had a title examination done by A.J. Coleman, he or she could be absolutely certain that there was no defect missed, however minor.

\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0\xA0A.J. was an active member of the Decatur Kiwanis Club from 1953 until his death, serving as president in 1961 and being honored with the Kiwanis Lifetime Award in 2008. He was elected to the Alabama State Bar Board of Bar Commissioners for multiple terms, was a member of the American Bar Association and the Morgan County Bar and was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. He also served as a trustee of the Eleventh Circuit Historical Society for many years, being named trustee...

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