R.A. “Sonny” Ferguson Jr

Jane Edgerton


  • Auburn University, 1970, B.A. (Who's Who Among American Colleges and Universities; Omicron Delta Kappa Honorary; Four-Year Letterman, Auburn University Football Team; National Lineman of the Week and Southeastern Conference Lineman, Sports Illustrated and AP, 1969)
  • Samford University Cumberland School of Law, 1973, J.D.
  • Judicial Education Certified, 1999, (400 hours)
  • Divorce/Domestic Relations Training, (40 hours),
  • Alabama Supreme Court Special Appellate Mediation Course, 2011,
  • Client relationships have always been the backbone of Sonny Ferguson’s law practice. He says clients respond to someone who will listen to their issues and provide them with a truthful evaluation of the facts. Once a client engages the firm’s services, Sonny believes they deserve 100% of his attention to their representation.

    Sonny joined Christian & Small after serving as a judge for 15 years in the Domestic Relations Division of Alabama’s Tenth Judicial Circuit. His experiences as an attorney and a circuit court judge prepared him to help the firm’s mediation and arbitration clients. Sonny also credits his strong belief system – the way his parents raised him, his teachers taught him and his athletics coaches led him – with having a tremendous impact on his career and ability to serve. His family has always been supportive of his professional decisions.

    Professional Experience

    • Circuit Judge, 10th Judicial Circuit, Domestic Relations Division (1995- 2011)
    • 21 years in private practice in Birmingham, Ala.
    • Approved Private Judge (2012): Assets, Estate Litigation, Contempt, Contracts, Domestic Relations, Personal Injury, Property, Relocation, Retirement
    Professional and Community involvement
    • Alabama Academy of Attorney Mediators (membership by invitation only)
    • Alabama Power Rivals Unite for Recovery to benefit the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund
    • Alabama State Bar: Charter Member; Family Law Section; Probate and Real Property Section
    • Birmingham Bar Association: Chairperson (2012) and Member; Family, Domestic & Juvenile Court Committee – Chair, 1993-present; Co-Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution CLE Committee, 2012; Entertainment Committee, 2001 – present; Executive Committee, 1995-1998
    • American Academy of Adoption Attorneys: Member, 1992-1995
    • Birmingham Bar Foundation: Member, 1998
    • Alabama Circuit Judges Association: Member, Speaker and Chair, Family Law Section, 2000-2010
    • Fellowship of Christian Athletes: Adult Member
    • John Carroll High School: Booster Club Member; Search Committee, 1992
    • St. Francis Xavier Church: Member; Basketball Coach, 1990-2000
    • Monday Morning Quarterback Club (1989-present)
    • YMCA: Member, Century Club; Board Member
    • John Croyle Big Oak Ranch: Patron
    • Auburn University Football Letterman Club: Member
    • Jefferson County Auburn Club: Member
    Awards and Recognition
    • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in 2018 in the fields of Family Law Arbitration; Family Law Mediation
    • Tried the first Private Judging case in Alabama (Aug. 2012)
    • 2007 Judge of the Year, Alabama State Bar, Family Law Section
    publications and presentations
    • Author, Your Day in Court – Sooner or Later?, Christian & Small Nonstop Insights Blog (April 2015)
    • Author, Private Judging Administrative Directives Rescinded, Christian & Small Nonstop Insights Blog (July 2014)
    • Author, Private Judging: New Kid on the Block (May 2012, updated in 2015)
    • Author, Are You Ready for Private Judging? (Updated in 2015)
    • Author, Things You Want to Know About Your Judge but are Afraid to Ask (April 2013)
    • Moderator, Selecting a Mediator… Gamesmanship, Birmingham Bar Association (November 2012)
    • Presenter, Private Judging, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (December 2012)
    • Presenter, Contempt Issues in Domestic Relations Courts, Alabama Bar Institute for Continuing Legal Education Seminar (March 26, 2010).
    • Presenter, Protection from Abuse Act vs. Temporary Restraining Orders, Birmingham Bar Association Domestic Law Update Seminar (2001).
    • Presenter, Substantive Legal Issues: A Hodgepodge, Birmingham Bar Association CLE Seminar (2000).
    • Presenter, Things that Irritate a Court During a Pending Domestic Case, Birmingham Bar Association New Lawyers Seminar (2006).
    • Presenter, Things that Irritate a Court During a Pending Domestic Case, Alabama Bar Institute for Continuing Legal Education Seminar (1998).
    • Presenter, Family and Domestic Relations, Birmingham Bench and Bar Retreat Seminar (2003).
    • Presenter, Relocation Act: Before and After Divorce, University of Alabama School of Law Seminar on the Fundamentals of Domestic Practice (2006).
    • Presenter, Domestic Relations and Family Law Issues, Birmingham Bar Association Seminar (1998).
    • Presenter, Practice in Domestic Court: Perspectives of a New Judge, Alabama Bar Institute for Continuing Legal Education Seminar (1996).
    • Presenter, Visitation Issues, Birmingham Bar Association Seminar (1996).
  • Alabama, 1974
  • United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Alabama, Criminal, Civil & Bankruptcy
  • United States District Court, Middle District of Alabama, Criminal, Civil & Bankruptcy
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Alabama, Criminal, Civil & Bankruptcy