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Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin | Spring 2015

Special Interest Birmingham American Inn of Court Celebrates the Magna Carta Members of the Birmingham American Inn of Court will travel to London, England, to commemorate the 800th Anniversary of the enactment of the Magna Carta. Originally written in Latin and meaning “Great Charter,” the Magna Carta was issued and sealed by England’s King John on June 15, 1215, at Runnymede. Th e agreement plays an important role in the formation of our present legal system because it limited the King’s power to tax, arrest and imprison without due process of law. Further, it provided for trial by jury and speedy justice. After the English celebrations, Inn members will chunnel to Paris, France, to learn about France’s legal system. However, this is not the Birmingham American Inn’s fi rst foray onto foreign soil. In 2009, members traveled to Dublin, Ireland, to tour the King’s Inn and learn about the Irish legal system. Th ey also interacted with Irish barristers and judges and attended a hearing involving a terrorism trial. Th e American Inns of Court movement was founded in the mid- 1980s under the direction of United States Chief Justice Warren Burger. Modeled after the four London Inns to which English Barristers must belong, its mission is to “foster excellence in professionalism, ethics, civility, and legal skills.” Th ere are now over 400 chartered Inns throughout America with a membership exceeding 30,000. Inn membership is extended by invitation only. Th e Birmingham American Inn of Court was founded in 1996. Marion F. Walker served as the Inn’s fi rst President. Meetings are designed to promote professionalism, civility and ethical conduct and provide local judges and lawyers an informal environment within which to socialize. After cocktails, members eat dinner and enjoy various programs designed to entertain with the purpose of promoting the Inn’s mission. Judge Annetta H. Verin is the current President. Past Presidents include Marion F. Walker (1996 - 1999); Barry A. Ragsdale (1999 - 2001); Michael L. Edwards (2001 - 2003); Judge Caryl P. Privett (2003 - 2005); Judge J. Scott Vowell (2005 - 2007); Judge Eugene R. Verin (2007 - 2009); Judge Teresa T. Pulliam (2009 - 2011); and Judge Annetta H. Verin Judge Robert S. Vance, Jr. (2011 - 2013). LaBella Alvis will begin her two-year term as President this summer. More information about Inns of Court can be found at www.home. innsofcourt.org/ and www.innsofcourt. org/inns/birminghamalinn/. G 10 Birmingham Bar Association


Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin | Spring 2015
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