John C. Hall
Hall & Hall, LLC/Perry Dampf Kingrea Dispute Solutions
University of Georgia, Cumberland School of Law
Years Practicing: 31 years
How have you been involved in the Birmingham Bar?
My involvement with the Birmingham Bar Association began many years ago as a member of the Young Lawyers Section. While a member of the section, I joined a group of about ten other young lawyers to form an “all-lawyer” rock band called The Soul Practioners. The band performed at benefits and other fundraising functions sponsored by various BBA sections to raise money for causes we supported.
Over the years, I have presented many CLE programs for members of the Birmingham Bar and have served as a volunteer mediator for the Jefferson County Mediation Project for two years. Most recently, I have been a member of the BBA Section on Alternative Dispute Resolution, serving on its Executive Committee since 2010 and now serving as Chair of the section.
What do you like most about the Birmingham Bar?
Many people don’t realize what an active, progressive and fun-loving Bar we have. The Birmingham Bar provides a constant flow of valuable information and quality and affordable CLE opportunities on virtually every topic. The Birmingham Bar staff is always available to offer friendly advice or assistance to its members. Perhaps most important is the vibrant BBA committee structure that not only provides assistance to its members, but also to those in need in our community, enhancing the public image of our profession.
What is the most rewarding experience in your practice of law?
My most rewarding experience occurred in 1987. A friend and secretary who worked at the firm where I was employed had an adorable 2-year old named Marc. Unfortunately, Marc was diagnosed with Leukemia. He and his family flew to Seattle so Marc could receive a bone marrow transplant. Following his surgery, Marc was forced to live “in a bubble” during his long and often painful recovery. His parents had absolutely no means to pay for the medical care he needed to survive.
Several members of the band to which I referenced earlier, The Soul Practioners, as well as members of the Legal Secretaries Association, members of the Birmingham Bar Association and area law firms planned an event to raise funds to help with Marc’s medical care. The band, ballroom, beverages and tickets were all donated and the three local television stations covered the event live - making the Marc Jones Benefit an unprecedented success. Within two weeks the Birmingham Bar Association and other members of the legal community had raised $28,000 to help Marc and his family. Sadly, Marc did not survive his illness, but I vividly remember the wave of emotion I felt for Marc and his family and the pride I had for my fine colleagues in the legal community who gave so selflessly for this little boy as our band played “With a Little Help From My Friends” during the Benefit.
What makes you proud to be a lawyer?
Lawyers have the ability to help people in many ways. By employing our knowledge, education, expertise and adhering to our strict ethical obligations, lawyers uphold our country’s greatest treasure, the U.S. Constitution.
What advice would you give to new lawyers just beginning practice?
Work hard and keep in mind that as a young lawyer it is not all about making money. Be honest, treat clients with kindness, work hard and spend time with your family. The rest will fall into place.
This interview would not be complete without mentioning that my favorite spot on earth is Jenny Lake Lodge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming; my favorite accomplishment is having climbed The Matterhorn in Zermatt, SW.; I am most proud of being the father of eight children and two grandchildren; my favorite person is my wonderful wife, Jane; and finally, that none of this would be possible without my faith.