Alabama Supreme Court Associate Justice Champ Lyons Jr. will discuss his legal career and the issue of judicial selection in Alabama as part of the Spring Lecture Series at the University of South Alabama at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 22, in the USA Library Auditorium. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is being sponsored by USA’s Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice.
Earlier that afternoon, Lyons will meet with USA students interested in legal careers. That meeting is scheduled from 4 to 5 p.m. in Room 208 of the Humanities Building at USA.
“The Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice is very pleased that Justice Lyons, an eminent jurist with vast legal experience, has accepted our invitation to share with us his insight on the important topic of judicial selection in Alabama,” said Dr. Nader Entessar, chairman of the department.
Lyons was appointed to the Alabama Supreme Court by then-Gov. Fob James in 1998. He was elected to full terms in 2000 and 2006.
Lyons graduated from Harvard University in 1962 with a bachelor’s degree in American Government. He then attended the University of Alabama School of Law, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Alabama Law Review. After graduating from law school in 1965, he served as a clerk to a federal judge. He then became an associate, and later partner, in the Montgomery firm of Capell, Howard, Knabe and Cobbs.
In the early 1970s, Lyons worked with the Alabama Supreme Court on a committee proposing rules of civil procedure. He was later named to the Alabama Supreme Court’s advisory committee on the newly created district courts.
Lyons moved to Mobile in 1976, where he joined the law firm of Helmsing, Lyons, Sims & Leach. He served as president of the Mobile Bar Association in 1991. Before leaving private practice in 1998, he participated in over 60 appeals to state and federal courts.
As an associate justice, Lyons chairs the committee that led to the adoption of the Alabama Appellate Mediation Rules. These guidelines encourage parties to resolve their differences through settlement rather than adversarial proceedings. Lyons also has taken an active role in improving appellate advocacy through amendments to the Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure.