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Law Day

Godwin oversees 48th session for area high school seniors

Terri Lovell and Charles Godwin
The Jury

News Publisher

For 48 years, the Escambia County Bar Association has presented Law Day for high school seniors in the county. The program is the brainchild of attorney Charles Godwin.
Schools involved include Atmore Christian School, Escambia Academy, Escambia County High School, Flomaton High School, Homeschool, T.R. Miller High School, and W.S. Neal High School.
To accommodate everyone, Law Day is held over two days. This year, ACS, EA, ECHS and FHS seniors attended Thursday, May 2, with others Friday, May 3.
The session began with students receiving voter registration applications to complete.
Thursday, attorney Jim Hart, president of the Escambia County Bar, presided and recognized VIPs who contributed to Law Day. He also introduced attorney Earnest White who spoke on the drug crisis.
“I don’t know if there’s anything I can say about drugs you don’t already know,” White said, and he talked about his own family’s encounter with drugs.
“My oldest son is in prison because of drugs,” White said. “He has a 25-year sentence.”
White’s son had a bright future – made 32 on his ACT in high school, was accepted to the University of Alabama. Instead, he has been in 12 different jails and six different rehabs.
“Look where he is – in prison,” White said. “Drugs destroy dreams. Drugs erase dreams. Bad choices have bad consequences … It’s an old saying, but the best thing is ‘just say no to drugs.’”
The keynote speaker for the Thursday session was Terri Lovell, executive director of the Alabama State Bar.
Terri Bozeman Lovell began her tenure in June 2021 and is the first female executive director of the organization since its founding in 1879. She previously was the Presiding Circuit Judge in the Second Judicial Circuit. Prior to that, she served as the District Judge of Lowndes County.
Lovell is a graduate of Auburn University at Montgomery and Jones School of Law, where she earned her Juris Doctor in 1995 and was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1996. She also served as a law clerk to the Judges and Justices of the Appellate Courts of Alabama from 1996 to 1998.
[Lovell’s comments are published on Page 4A of this edition of Atmore News. Though she forgot her reading glasses, she stayed pretty much on script.]
Law Day provides a real courtroom setting, a real trial with real jurors chosen from the senior classes.
Jurors and alternates were as follows:
ACS – Elizabeth Terry
EA – Hannah Johnson, Tava Johnson, Scottlia, Williams, Quinton Odom
ECHS – Paul Martin, Na’Asia Reynolds, Tenya Brown Boyd, Luis Garcia
FHS – Nolan Godwin, Leah Rolin, Mary Beasley, Dawson Flowers, Aniyah Kyles
The case was the State of Alabama vs. Tanner Weaver, with Circuit Judge Jeff White presiding. Weaver was a passenger in a vehicle in which drugs were found by law enforcement.
Assistant District Attorney Joe Whitt presented the state’s case first, followed by attorney Gordon Godwin defending Weaver.
After deliberation, the jury found the defendant not guilty.
See related photo on Page 4A.