Mr. Cook joined the firm in February, 2001, after serving 24 years as a District Judge, Circuit Judge and an Associate Justice on the Alabama Supreme Court. He was appointed Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of Alabama in November, 1993 and was elected to this position November 8, 1994. He served on the Supreme Court until January 15, 2001. In 1981, he was appointed Circuit Judge in the Bessemer Division of the Tenth Judicial Circuit and was subsequently, twice elected. He served in the domestic relations division of the court until 1984 and served in the civil division of the court until November 1, 1993. Prior to his appointment to the circuit court, he was elected District Court Judge and served for four and one-half years in the Family Court of Jefferson County, Bessemer Division. He is a native of Jefferson County, Alabama, married and has three children, two daughters and a son.
Mr. Cook served as Dean of Miles Law School from August 1976 until May 1990. He served as a law professor in the law school from 1975 through 1999. He has also taught at San Jose State University and Cabrillo College in California. He has also served as an assistant district attorney in Bessemer and engaged in the private practice of law prior to joining the firm.
He was educated in the public schools of Jefferson County, Alabama, earned a bachelor of science degree at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee, and a juris doctorate degree from Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the Alabama and California State Bar Associations.
During his 40 years of bar admission, he has tried as a judge more than 200 jury trials and heard several thousand non-jury trials. He has handled jury trials as a lawyer as diverse as personal injury/wrongful death to business and commercial litigation.
He is the recipient of the Alabama State Bar Judicial Award of Merit for 1996. He is a member of the National Bar Association, Birmingham Bar Association, and a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. He served as President as the Alabama Lawyers Association from 1992 to 1993 and President of the Alabama Association for Justice from 2006 to 2007. He is also an elected member of the American Law Institute.
Mr. Cook is actively involved in his community through his service on the board of directors of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, Alabama Civil Justice Foundation, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Alabama Power Company and St. Vincent’s Foundation. He currently serves as Chairman of The Board of Trustees for The Birmingham Museum of Art. He has also served as charter president and a member of the board of directors of the West Jefferson Kiwanis Club, a board member of the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham, The Salvation Army, Bessemer Hall of History and the Bessemer YMCA.