John L.  Carroll
Professor of Law
Cumberland School of Law
237 Robinson Hall

Teaching and Research Interests: Mediation, Evidence, Trial Practice, Ethics & Professionalism and E-Discovery and Evidence

  • Joined as dean in 2001, now a full-time faculty  member, since 2015

Practice Experience

  • U.S. Magistrate Judge, Middle District of Alabama
  • Legal Director, Southern Poverty Law Center
  • Professor, Mercer University
  • Private Practice of Law

Judge John Carroll is professor of law at Cumberland School of Law where he teaches Mediation, Evidence, Trial Practice, Ethics and an online course in E-Discovery and Evidence. He received his undergraduate degree from Tufts University and holds law degrees from Cumberland School of Law (J.D.), where he graduated magna cum laude, and Harvard University (LL.M.).

Carroll served as a United States Magistrate Judge in the Middle District of Alabama for more than 14 years (1986-2001). He is a former member of the United States Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and is former chair of its Discovery Subcommittee. He was also the chair of the Magistrate Judges’ Education Committee of the Federal Judicial Center.

Prior to becoming a judge, Carroll was a professor of law at Mercer University School of Law in Macon, Georgia and was engaged in private practice (1985-86). Prior to entering academia, he was the legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama (1975-84). His trial experience includes major civil rights class-action litigation and complex criminal defense including a substantial number of death-penalty cases. He has twice argued before the United States Supreme Court. Carroll also has combat military service in the United States Marine Corps.

Carroll is a frequent lecturer and panel member at national and local seminars on the subject of the discovery of electronically stored information, mediation, ethics and other topics relating to federal courts. He was the reporter to the committees of the Uniform Law Commission that drafted the Uniform Rules Relating to the Discovery of Electronically Stored information and the Uniform Asset Preservation Order Act. He was also a member of the Uniform Law Commission committee that drafted amendments to the Uniform Athlete Agents Act. He is currently a member of a committee drafting a model veterans court act and a committee judging a model equal rights act.

Carroll is a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Inns of Court Foundation, a member of the Board of Directors of the Sedona Conference, and a member of the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation.  He is a fellow of the American, Alabama and Birmingham Bar Associations, an academic fellow of the International Society of Barristers and an elected member of the American Law Institute. He is also a member of Leadership Alabama Class XI. In 1996, he was selected as a Community Hero Olympic Torchbearer.

He was selected by the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama to be a member of the Alabama Access to Justice Commission and the Alabama Professionalism Commission. From Oct. 1, 2014, to April 15, 2015, he was the acting director of the Alabama State Ethics Commission.

Judge Carroll has been married to his wife, Susan, for 46 years. They have one daughter, Catherine Sanders, and two grandsons States Carroll Sanders and Forrest Weddell Sanders.

Degrees and Certifications

  • LL.M., Harvard University Law School
  • J.D., Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law, Magna Cum Laude
  • B.A., Tufts University

Awards and Honors

  • 2014 Alabama State Bar Award of Merit
  • 2011 Professionalism Award, Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism
  • 1996 Community Hero Olympic Torch Bearer
  • 1986 National Legal Aid & Defender Association Defender Services Award


  • Carroll, Proportionality in Discovery: A Cautionary Tale, 32 Campbell L. Rev. 455 (2010)
  • Carroll, Value-based Deaning, 40 U. Tol. L. Rev. 327 (2009)
  • Carroll, Preservation of Documents in the Electronic Age- What Should Courts Do ?, 2005   Federal Courts Law Review ( at 5.
  • Carroll, Words of Wisdom for Deans From Mick Jagger and Others, 36 U. Tol. L. Rev. 29 (2004)
  • Carroll, Developments in the Law of E-discovery, 27 Am. J. Tr. Advocacy 357 (2003)
  • Carroll, 11th Cir. Survey - Constitutional Criminal Procedure, 42 Mercer L. Rev. 1349 (1991)
  • Carroll, 11th Cir. Survey - Constitutional Criminal Procedure, 41 Mercer L. Rev. 1227 (1990)
  • Carroll, The Defense Lawyer’s Role in the Sentencing Process: You’ve Got to Accentuate the Positive and Eliminate the Negative, 37 Mercer L. Rev.981 (1986)
  • R. Johnson,  J. Carroll, Litigating Death Row Conditions: The Case for Reform in Prisoners and the Law (I. Robbins ed. 1985
  • Carroll, Speaking the Truth: Voir Dire in the Capital Case, 3 Am. J. Tr. Advocacy 199 (1979)
  • Carroll, Habeas Corpus Reform: Can Habeas Survive the Flood, 6 Cumb. L. Rev. 363 (1975)


  • American Bar Association
  • Alabama State Bar Association
  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Fellow, American Bar Association Foundation
  • Fellow, Alabama Law Foundation
  • Fellow, Birmingham Bar Association Foundation
  • Academic Fellow, International Society of Barristers
  • Elected Member, American Law Institute