ADLA Elects 2021-2024 Officers and Board of Directors


Media Contact:
Jennifer Hayes
ADLA Executive Director

AUBURN, ALABAMA (JUNE 25, 2021) – The Alabama Defense Lawyers Association (ADLA) held its 57TH Annual Membership Meeting and Elections on June 19, 2021, confirming a new slate of Officers and Directors at the close of the business meeting. The Annual Meeting was held at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, FL, June 17-20, 2021.

ADLA Elects 2021-2024GERALD C. SWANN, JR. was confirmed as the 2021-2022 President of the Association. Mr. Swann is a partner at Ball Ball Matthews & Novak, PA in Montgomery. He practices in the areas of Construction Litigation, Products Liability, serious personal injury and wrongful death. He has represented both commercial and residential contractors in disputes over construction quality and job site injuries. Additionally, personal injury claims arising out of the use of products in both the private sector and industrial settings have been a large focus of his practice. With over 35 years of litigation experience, he has taken numerous cases to verdict and/or arbitration decision. Mr. Swann is a 1983 graduate of the University of Alabama and 1986 graduate of Samford University Cumberland School of Law.  He previously served two three-year terms on the ADLA Board of Directors when he was elected to serve as an officer in 2019 and served as Secretary-Treasurer, President-Elect in 2020, followed by President in 2021.

STEPHEN W. STILL, JR. assumes the position of President-Elect. Still is a 2005 graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law and has practiced with Starnes Davis Florie LLP in Birmingham since graduating from law school, where he currently serves as General Counsel.  Still’s practice is devoted primarily to defending long term care providers in medical malpractice lawsuits and regulatory/investigation matters, defending legal malpractice suits, defending insurers and third party administrators in bad faith, fraud, and tort of outrage matters, and general civil litigation defense. He has been involved with ADLA since 2013 and has served on the Deposition Boot Camp faculty since that time. Still previously served two three-year terms on the ADLA Board of Directors when he was elected to serve as Secretary-Treasurer in 2019, followed by President-Elect in 2021.

Jonathan M. Hooks was elected as Secretary-Treasurer. Hooks is a products liability litigator who has represented an array of clients throughout the southeast. He has defended manufacturers and distributors of products such as heavy and light machinery, consumer electronics, chemicals, nutraceuticals, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals. In addition, he has represented windstorm insurers, premises owners, transportation companies, energy companies, and professionals such as engineers, home inspectors, and real estate agents. He is a member of the Defense Research Institute (DRI), served one three-year term on the ADLA Board of Directors and chaired ADLA’s legislative committee. Hooks is a frequent author of amicus curiae briefs to the Supreme Court of Alabama on behalf of ADLA.  He is also a long time faculty member of Deposition Boot Camp. Hooks is a 2003 graduate of Samford University Cumberland School of Law.

ANDREW J. RUTENS is immediate Past President. He is the managing partner for Galloway, Wettermark and Rutens, LLP in Mobile. Additionally, he serves as the City Attorney for Saraland. His practice areas are employment and labor law, government entity liability, law enforcement excessive force defense and general defense litigation. Mr. Rutens previously served four years on the ADLA Board of Directors. He was elected as an officer in 2018 and served as Secretary-Treasurer, President-Elect in 2019 followed by President in 2020.   Mr. Rutens is a 1988 graduate of Florida State University and a 1992 graduate of Samford University Cumberland School of Law.

Hannah Torbert Kennedy was elected as Young Lawyers Section (YLS) President.

Kennedy serves as Claims Litigation Counsel for Wade S. Anderson & Associates State Farm Mutual Automobile in Birmingham. She previously served as District II Director of the YLS. Kennedy was elected as a YLS officer in 2018, and served as Treasurer, Secretary in 2019, President-Elect in 2020 followed by President in 2021. She is a native of Gadsden, Alabama and earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama and her Juris Doctor degree from the Cumberland School of Law.

The ADLA welcomed the following new members of the Board of Directors to serve a three-year term ending in 2024:

J. Mark Debro, District 1, Grace Matthews & Debro LLC, Huntsville
M. Jansen Voss, District 2, Christian & Small LLP, Birmingham
Megan K. McCarthy, District 3, Ball Ball Matthews & Novak PA, Montgomery
John P. Browning, District 4, Burr & Forman LLP, Mobile

About the ADLA: Alabama Defense Lawyers Association (ADLA) is a professional organization of over 900 attorneys dedicated to the defense of civil actions and the promotion of fairness and integrity in the civil justice system. For more information about the ADLA, please contact (334) 395-4455 or visit

This year, in committing to ADLA, 900 members strengthened the foundation of the association and became part of the groundwork for our future members to continue advancing and innovating the practice of civil defense litigation. Join or Renew