The hallmarks of Clarence’s life in the law have been professionalism and service. His professionalism has been recognized by his induction as a fellow of the American College Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the American Bar Foundation. His service has been acknowledged by his work as President of the Birmingham Bar Association and the Alabama State Bar.
Clarence has a broad range of experience as the trial lawyer for a diverse clientele. He has tried a myriad of cases from representing national financial institutions and manufacturers in complex transactional disputes and multi-party litigation to assisting individuals in personal injury disputes. He has tried cases in every county in Alabama and in all of Alabama’s Federal courts as well as other jurisdictions around the county.
Clarence’s most memorable event was his admission to the bar of the United States Supreme Court. More years ago than he now cares to remember, he and his senior partner at the time, Al Rives, traveled to Washington for the ceremony. Back then, a formal introduction to the Court was required by another member of the Supreme Court Bar. Following his introduction to the Court by Mr. Rives and his taking of the oath, a clerk of the court sent word to Mr. Rives that one of the justices would like for him to come to his chambers for a visit. Clarence enjoyed a visit in the chamber of Mr. Justice Hugo Black, a long time friend of Mr. Rives. Clarence remembers he was reluctant to say much, but was enthralled with the stories shared that afternoon by Justice Black and Al Rives.
His broad range of trial experience, his genuine friendship with other members of the bar, his patience and his ability to quickly and thoroughly grasp the most important points of any legal issue or dispute, place Clarence in high demand as a mediator and arbitrator.
Professional and Community Involvement
- National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals
- American College of Trial Lawyers: Fellow
- International Academy of Trial Lawyers: Fellow
- American Bar Foundation (ABF): Fellow
- Alabama State Bar: President, 1992
- Birmingham Bar Association: President, 1979
- American Bar Association (ABA): Member, House of Delegates, 1983-1990
- American Board of Trial Advocates: Member
- Alabama Defense Lawyers Association (ADLA): Member
- Alabama Appellate Rules Committee: Member
- Jefferson County Judicial Commission: Member
- Tort Reform Summit: Member
PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
- Author, How the ‘Curbstone Lawyers’ Became Christian & Small, Christian & Small Nonstop Insights Blog (January 2014)
Awards and Recognition
- AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell*
- Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2011 in the field of alternative dispute resolution; 2011-2018 in the field of Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants; 2012-2018 in the fields of Arbitration and Mediation
- Selected for inclusion in Alabama Super Lawyers® 2008-2010 in the fields of alternative dispute resolution and civil litigation defense
- Selected for inclusion in Benchmark Litigation’s list of Alabama Litigation Stars in the field of commercial litigation (2010-2015)