Alabama Defense Lawyers Association Elects 2024-2027 Officers, District Directors, and Young Lawyers Section Leadership


Media Contact:
Jennifer Hayes
ADLA Executive Director

Alabama Defense Lawyers Association Elects 2024-2027 Officers, District Directors, and Young Lawyers Section Leadership

AUBURN, ALABAMA (JUNE 25, 2024) – The Alabama Defense Lawyers Association (ADLA) held its 59TH Annual Membership Meeting and Elections on June 15, 2024, confirming a new slate of officers and directors at the close of the business meeting.  The Annual Meeting was held at Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, Alabama.  Montgomery attorney Megan K. McCarthy of Ball Ball Matthews & Novak, PA has begun her term as President of the ADLA.  “I am deeply honored and thrilled to take on the role of President of ADLA. This esteemed organization epitomizes the pinnacle of the defense bar in Alabama. Over the past twenty years, it has provided me with immense support and the opportunity to serve my peers. I am eager to embrace the challenges ahead and look forward to what the upcoming year holds for our group. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the outgoing President, Jonathan Hooks, for his steady leadership and years of dedicated service. We have an ambitious and engaging agenda lined up for the next year that includes increased benefits to our members,” said McCarthy.


MEGAN K. MCCARTHY was installed as the 2024-2025 President of the Association. McCarthy is a partner at Ball, Ball, Matthews & Novak’s Montgomery office.  Ms. McCarthy has a vigorous litigation practice in the fields of auto liability, bad faith defense, personal injury defense, general insurance, and construction law. In her 20 years of experience, Megan has tried over 180 cases in District, Circuit, and Federal courts throughout the state of Alabama with great success.  Ms. McCarthy has served as President of the Young Lawyers Section Board of the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association, on the Board of the General Section of the Association, in 2022-2023 as the Secretary/Treasurer and now as president of the Organization. Despite her busy schedule, she finds time to mentor young lawyers and serves as a faculty member on ADLA’s Deposition Bootcamp.


BAINS FLEMING of Norman Wood Kendrick & Turner assumes the position of President-Elect. Fleming has an active trial practice and is at home in the courtroom.  His practice includes the defense of medical malpractice claims, catastrophic person injury and wrongful death claims along with toxic and mass tort litigation. He also handles product liability, premises liability, transportation, and construction litigation matters. He is an active member of numerous defense lawyer organizations including the IADC and DRI.  He is a past president of the ADLA Young Lawyers’ Section and has served on the ADLA’s Trial Academy Faculty for many years. Fleming previously served a three-year term on the ADLA Board of Directors and was elected secretary-treasurer and now as the president-elect.


MARK DEBRO of Grace Matthews and Debro in Huntsville was elected as Secretary-Treasurer. His practice focuses on civil litigation to include personal injury, general liability defense, insurance litigation and construction litigation matters.  Debro serves on the Alabama State Bar, Board of Bar Commissioners. He is active in the Huntsville-Madison County Bar Association, where he has served as President.  Debro previously served two different terms on the ADLA Board of Directors.  Debro is actively involved on numerous other bar and court committees and has served on other community boards.


JONATHAN M. HOOKS is Immediate Past President. Hooks is a partner at Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial, LLC in Birmingham. He has represented an array of clients throughout the southeast, including manufacturers and distributors of a wide variety of products, 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 has chaired ADLA’s legislative committee for several years. He was elected to serve as Secretary-Treasurer in 2021, followed by President-Elect in 2022 and President in 2023. 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 ADLA’s Deposition Boot Camp. Hooks is a 2003 graduate of Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law.


The ADLA welcomed the following new members of the Board of Directors to serve a three-year term ending in 2027:


District 1 Director: TRAVIS JACKSON is a partner at Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne in Huntsville. Travis focuses on litigation and practices primarily in the areas of the defense of employers in workers’ compensation claims, retaliatory discharge and employment discrimination claims against employers, willful misconduct claims against supervisors and managers, catastrophic personal injury claims, local governmental liability, commercial disputes, premises liability, contract disputes, labor and employment issues, personnel issues, and creditors’ rights. He represents and defends numerous governmental entities and employers in workers’ compensation lawsuits. Travis is a proud member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel. He has previously served on the Board of Directors for ADLA’s Young Lawyers Section and the Board of Directors for the Huntsville-Madison County Bar Association. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama, and the University of Alabama School of Law, and he is licensed in all state and federal courts in Alabama. He enjoys being a husband to Emily and father to Griffin (9) and Graham (1) and deer hunting.


District 2 Director: JACK GRAY is a partner at Smith, Spires, Peddy in Birmingham.He has a broad defense practice, representing companies and individuals in trucking cases, premises liability, products liability, construction defect, and general personal injury claims. He is a Birmingham native and earned his B.A. from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. After college, Jack spent three years as a high school teacher in the Atlanta Public Schools through Teach for America. Jack received his J.D. from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 2013 graduating cum laude. He was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 2013.

District 3 Director: JORDAN SPEAKE JENKINS joined Hill Hill Carter Franco Cole and Black in 2017.  Her practice focuses on a broad range of civil litigation matters, with an emphasis on insurance defense.  Mrs. Jenkins also regularly represents employers at unemployment compensation hearings.  She is the Past President of the Montgomery County Bar Women’s Section.  Mrs. Jenkins has also served as chair for the Alabama State Bar’s Legal Food Frenzy task force and Board Member for the Montgomery County Bar Association and Montgomery Volunteer Lawyers Program Board Member. This is Mrs. Jenkins second term as district director for the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association.

District 4 Director: GABY REEVES of Christian & Small, LLP is serving her second term as District Director. She is located in Christian & Small’s Mobile/Baldwin County office and focuses her practice on general civil litigation with a concentration in first-party insurance, personal injury, construction and premises liability defense litigation. Reeves has been active in the South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program (SAVLP) throughout her career and was the 2007 recipient of the Ben Kilborn Mobile Bar Association Volunteer Lawyer of the Year Award. She served on the SAVLP Board of Directors for more than 15 years, serving as its President from 2020-2022. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Mobile Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Mobile Bar Association. Reeves is the Editor of ADLA’s Journal and has served in the role since 2019. This is Reeves’s second term as district director.


Additionally, the ADLA welcomed 2024-2026 Young Lawyers Section Officers


ANDREW TOWNSLEY assumes the position of Chair of the Young Lawyers Section. Andrew is a shareholder at Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne in Huntsville. He regularly represents municipalities, businesses, and individuals in the defense of automobile and premises liability cases. He also defends numerous hospitals, doctors, nurses, and other providers in medical malpractice cases. Andrew is actively involved in the Madison County Volunteer Lawyers program and serves on the Board of Directors of United Cerebral Palsy of Huntsville and Tennessee Valley. He previously served as the YLS 1st and 2nd Vice Chair.


STEPHEN PALMER was elected 1st Vice Chair. Steve is an Attorney at Hickcox, Robertson, & Stunda in Birmingham, Alabama where his practice focuses entirely on workers’ compensation defense here in Alabama. Steve did his undergraduate studies at Birmingham-Southern College, earned his Masters at Duke University, and attended law school at the University of Alabama. In his free time, Steve enjoys spending time with his young family, walking his dog early in the morning, and watching Alabama football.


KEVIN BUFFORD was elected 2nd Vice Chair of the Young Lawyers Section. Kevin is a partner at Samford & Denson, LLP in Opelika, AL where he practices medical malpractice defense and other civil defense litigation. Kevin attended Auburn University and Cumberland School of Law. He maintains close ties as an alumni with both institutions. Namely, Kevin volunteers as an assistant coach to Cumberland School of Law’s National Negotiation Team as well as its other ADR teams. Outside of work, Kevin enjoys spending time outdoors or traveling with his wife, Valerie, and their young daughter.


HANNAH H. STOKES is the Immediate Past Chair of the Young Lawyers Section. Stokes is Corporate Counsel in the legal department of NaphCare, headquartered in Birmingham.  She currently lives in Vestavia with her husband and daughter. She earned her law degree in May 2016 from the University of Alabama School of Law in Tuscaloosa. Hannah looks forward to serving with ADLA again this year. She looks forward to helping further YLS’s mission with emphasis on publications, programming, and social events.


About the ADLA: Alabama Defense Lawyers Association (ADLA) is a professional organization of over 900 attorneys dedicated to defending civil actions and promoting 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