Samford University's Cumberland School of Law recognized two distinguished alumni and a special friend during its 2013 Reunion Weekend in April.

Honorees were Rodney A. Max, Distinguished Alumnus of the Year; Jacob A. Brown, Young Alumnus of the Year;   and Harlan I. Prater IV, Friend of the Law School. Cumberland dean John L. Carroll presented the awards at a special ceremony.

Max, a 1975 Cumberland graduate and former commercial litigation attorney, is a veteran mediator of injuries and damages, as well as mass and class actions. A principal with Upchurch, Watson, White and Max, he has mediated more than 14,000 cases in 33 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

 A former adjunct professor at Cumberland, Max created the school's first mediation course curriculum. In 2005, the south Florida resident established the Rodney A. Max Mediation Fellowship at Cumberland to recognize student achievement in the area of mediation.

Brown, a 1998 Cumberland graduate, is a full equity shareholder with Akerman Senterfitt in Jacksonville, Fla.  A specialist in bankruptcy, commercial litigation and business law, Brown frequently writes and lectures on bankruptcy related topics.

He is chair of the Florida Bar's Business Law Section's Bankruptcy/UCC Committee, and in June will become co-chair of the statewide Bankruptcy Judicial Liaison Committee.

Prater was cited for his generosity and tireless volunteer efforts, including his commitment to the Jere F. White, Jr. Fellows Program, Cumberland's premier scholarship.

A partner with Birmingham's Lightfoot Franklin LLC, Prater is an honors graduate of Duke University School of Law. His civil trial work focuses on product liability, pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, as well as business litigation.



About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.