ADLA Elects 2022-2025 Officers, Directors, and Young Lawyers Board at Annual Meeting


Media Contact:
Jennifer Hayes
ADLA Executive Director

AUBURN, ALABAMA (JULY 12, 2022) – The Alabama Defense Lawyers Association (ADLA) held its 58TH Annual Membership Meeting and Elections on June 18, 2022, confirming a new slate of Officers and Directors at the close of the business meeting. The Annual Meeting was held at the Lodge at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Alabama on June 16-19, 2022. Birmingham attorney Stephen Still, Jr. of Starnes Davis Florie, LLP has begun his term as President of the ADLA. “Thank you again for the opportunity to serve ADLA, an organization that means so much to me.  I am pleased and excited to work with this outstanding Board.  A special thanks to outgoing President Gerald Swann for his years of service to ADLA.  As I mentioned at the Annual Meeting, I would like to see a special emphasis on our Young Lawyers and Women in the Law Sections.  More information to come,” said Still.

President ADLA Elects STEPHEN W. STILL, JR. was confirmed as the 2022-2023 President of the Association. 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 2020, followed by President-Elect in 2021.

JONATHAN M. HOOKS assumes the position of President-Elect. Hooks is a partner at Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial in Birmingham. He is a 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 skilled nursing facilities, 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), has served on the ADLA Board of Directors, and chaired ADLA’s legislative committee. He was elected to serve as Secretary-Treasurer in 2021, followed by President-Elect in 2022. 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.

MEGAN K. MCCARTHY was recently elected as Secretary-Treasurer.  Ms. McCarthy is a partner at Ball Ball Matthews & Novak, PA.  She practices in the Montgomery office.  She primarily handles litigation in the areas of auto accident defense, insurance defense, insurance bad faith, construction law, and personal injury defense.  Ms. McCarthy is well versed in the practice of civil defense. Over the last 17 years, she has taken over 1,700 depositions and tried over 48 jury trials to verdict in a number of different types of venues across the State of Alabama. Many of these verdicts resulted in defense verdicts or verdicts significantly below the amount offered prior to trial. Ms. McCarthy’s clients value her experience and ability to try cases to verdict when a resolution cannot be reached prior to trial.  Ms. McCarthy is an active member of ADLA.  She served one three-year term on the ADLA Board of Directors from 2018-2021 and was elected again to serve another three-year term in 2021.  Ms. McCarthy was elected to serve as Secretary-Treasurer during the 2022-2023 calendar year. From 2010 to 2018, she also served on the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association’s Young Lawyers Board. In 2018, Ms. McCarthy was President of the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association’s Young Lawyers Board.  Ms. McCarthy also is a regular faculty member at the Deposition Boot Camp that ADLA hosts every spring.

GERALD C. SWANN, JR. is immediate Past President. 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.

The ADLA Elects welcomed the following new members of the Board of Directors to serve a three-year term ending in 2025:

District 1 Director: Gerri L. Plain of Gaines Gault Hendrix PC, Huntsville

District 2 Director: Martha L. Thompson of Balch & Bingham LLP, Birmingham

District 3 Director: Jarred Kaplan of Holtsford Gilliland Higgins Hitson & Howard PC, Montgomery

District 4 Director: Jay N. Robinson of Frazer Greene LLC, Mobile

Additionally, the ADLA Elects welcomed a new slate of Young Lawyers Section Chairs and District Directors. Birmingham associate Ashley C. Scarpetta of Watkins and Eager has begun her term Chair of the Young Lawyers Section. “I am thrilled to be elected as Chair of ADLA’s Young Lawyers Section. In this role, I will have the opportunity to work with a talented group of young lawyers throughout the state of Alabama. As ADLA has been instrumental in my professional development and career, I am excited to implement efforts to boost membership, growth, and diversification within our Section that will positively benefit ADLA for years to come,” said Scarpetta.

ASHLEY C. SCARPETTA was elected 2022-2023 Chair of the Young Lawyers Section. Scarpetta is an associate in Watkins & Eager’s Birmingham, Alabama office where she maintains a varied litigation practice focusing on product liability and other complex matters. Scarpetta is immediate past Secretary of the YLS and currently serves as Chair of ADLA’s Education Committee, as well as Marketing Chair and Young Lawyer Liaison to ADLA’s Women in the Law Section. Scarpetta is also an active member of the Defense Research Institute (DRI) where she serves on the Young Lawyers and Women in the Law steering committees.

The ADLA Elects YLS also welcomed the following Chairs and District Directors:

2022-2023 Second Vice Chair

Hannah Stokes of Carr Allison, Birmingham

2022-2023 Third Vice Chair

Andrew Townsley of Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne PC, Huntsville

2022-2023 Immediate Past Chair

Hannah Torbert Kennedy of Lloyd Gray Whitehead & Monroe PC, Birmingham

 2022-2024 District 1 Directors

Amanda Coolidge of Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne PC, Huntsville

Nathan Hill of Grace Matthews & Debro LLC, Huntsville

Patrick Sebesta of F&B Law Firm PC, Huntsville

2022-2024 District 2 Directors

Will Hoffman of Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial, Birmingham

Grace Ann Azar of Starnes Davis Florie LLP, Birmingham

Jack Gray of Smith Spires Peddy Hamilton & Coleman PC, Birmingham

2022-2024 District 3 Directors

Kevin Bufford of Samford & Denson LLP, Opelika

Chalankis Brown of Ball Ball Matthews & Novak PA, Montgomery

Jordan Jenkins of Hill Hill Carter, Montgomery

2022-2024 District 4 Directors

Ranse Hare of McDowell Knight Roedder & Sledge LLC, Mobile

Edward Hines of Starnes Davis Florie LLP, Mobile

Brandon Lawson of Luther Collier Hodges & Cash 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 or our ADLA Elects, 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