Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2014-11-05


The Alabama Supreme Court and the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals will hear oral arguments at Samford University Thursday, Nov. 6, in Wright Center.

The event, sponsored by Samford’s Cumberland School of Law and the Birmingham Bar Foundation, is open to the public. Many students from area high schools will attend.  Call to order will be at 9:10 a.m.

The nine-member Alabama Supreme Court of Alabama will hear arguments in Bynum v. City of Oneonta,, beginning at 9:30 a.m.  Alabama Supreme Court chief justice Roy S. Moore will preside.  The case deals with the constitutionality of an Alabama statute that authorizes municipalities of more than 1,000 citizens in most counties to hold an “option election” about whether to allow sale of alcoholic beverages but denies that authority to municipalities in three counties.

The five-member Court of Civil Appeals will hear arguments in Houston v. City of Bessemer, beginning at 11 a.m.  William C. Thompson is presiding judge.  The case raises issues regarding whether Bessemer’s abandoned vehicle ordinance is constitutional, and whether the city is at any rate liable for the vehicle owners’ losses because of circumstances surrounding the city’s seizure and sale of the vehicles pursuant to the ordinance.

The courts will adjourn at 12 noon.

Students from 11 schools and some home school programs will attend. To prepare the students for the experience, Birmingham Bar Foundation board members have visited the schools in recent weeks to discuss the cases that will be heard and to explain oral arguments and appellate procedure.

Participating schools are Central Park Christian, Holy Family Cristo Rey, Homewood High, Huffman High, Indian Springs School, McAdory High School, Oneonta High, Pelham High, Providence Classical School, Tarrant High and Wenonah High.


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. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 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 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.