James R. Pratt, III, has become president of the 16,600-member Alabama State Bar. He assumed office following the state bar’s annual meeting July 13-16, 2011, in Point Clear, Alabama.
Pratt received his undergraduate degree from Auburn University and earned his law degree from Cumberland School of Law (1978). He law practice is concentrated in the areas of personal injury litigation, products liability, and complex commercial litigation.
He has served as president of the Alabama Association for Justice and was a member of the board of the American Association of Justice. He served two terms as a member of the Board of Bar Commissioners, the state bar’s decision and policymaking body, and served as a member of a state bar Disciplinary Panel.
He is credited with creating a novel, bi-partisan plan for the state bar called the “Panel of Neutrals.” The panel, which includes such prominent individuals as former Gov. Albert Brewer and former Congressman Jack Edwards, among others, was created to assist the legislature in seeking consensus; in working through discord; and in resolving barriers to progress. The panelists do not seek to advance any piece of legislation, but each of them is available to any legislator who requests assistance in sorting out the pros and cons of legislation. Pratt also revitalized the state bar’s legislative advocacy program to monitor all legislative, judicial, and administrative developments that impact the legal profession and the justice system.
Other professional affiliations include: membership in the exclusive Inner Circle of Advocates (a group limited to 100 attorneys nationwide), and being named a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the International Society of Barristers. He was selected as one of the Top 500 Plaintiffs Lawyers in the U.S. by Law Dragon, has been named one of the Best Lawyers in America for 20 years, and designated a Super Lawyer in Alabama. He is also a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, the American Law Institute, Alabama Law Foundation, and is a Diplomate of the National College of Advocacy (an achievement recognition program).
Jim Pratt is the third attorney from Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton to serve as the president of the Alabama State Bar.