Herbert W. Peterson, longtime professor at Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, died Aug. 2, 2013, at age 96. 

A memorial service will be Tuesday, Aug. 6, at 11 a.m. at Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church. Visitation will follow in the church parlor.

He graduated from Birmingham School of Law at age 19, and served with the U.S. Army JAG Corps in England in World War II. He remained an active reservist for 30 years, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

He was a co-founder of the Birmingham law firm of Rives & Peterson, LLC.  In 1981, he joined the Cumberland faculty, where he taught trial advocacy, coached trial competition teams, directed intra-school competitions and was faculty advisor to the Trial Advocacy Board. He retired in 1998 as professor emeritus.  Cumberland's Herbert W. Peterson National Trial Team Competition is named in his honor.

During his legal career, he was a president of the Birmingham Bar Association and an Emeritus Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was a longtime municipal judge for the City of Vestavia Hills.

He is survived by his wife, Anne Hughes Peterson, three sons, five stepsons, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to Cumberland's Herbert W. Peterson Endowed Scholarship Fund.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.