Upcoming Conferences:

Probate Judges Conference, Tuscaloosa Alabama
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
Topic: Marriage Law Update

Election Conference, Tuscaloosa Alabama
Date: October 2015

Recent Conferences:

Alabama Sheriffs Orientation

The Alabama Sheriffs’ Orientation was held January 27 through January 30, 2015. Over 65 sheriffs and deputies attended, including each of the 18 new sheriffs. On the first day of the orientation, the speakers discussed the powers of the office of sheriff and crime scene management. Secretary Spencer Collier, head of the newly formed Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, spoke to the group along with other representatives from various state agencies with whom the sheriffs will be working.

On the second day of the orientation, Judge Scott Donaldson spoke on search warrants, Judge Joe Colquitt spoke on criminal procedure and sentencing and Judge John Carroll, Acting Director of the Alabama Ethics Commission spoke to the sheriffs on ethics.  There was also a discussion on current narcotic trends and immigration law. In the afternoon, Secretary of State John Merrill discussed the sheriff’s duties in the administration of elections. Information about service of process, repossessions and evictions was also provided.

On the third day of the orientation, Dr. Toppins, the Director of Psychology Services of Taylor Hardin Secure Medical Facility discussed criminal commitments. A supervisory Special Agent of the FBI presented a PowerPoint and video on counterterrorism. At the noon luncheon, agents from the U.S. Marshal’s office, DEA and FBI discussed their interaction with the sheriff’s office. Legal and employment issues were discussed in the afternoon.

On the final day of the orientation, representative from the State Comptroller’s Office discussed financial matters with the sheriffs. Judge Philip Lisenby talked about the detention and care of juveniles.  Other administrative matters were discussed including jail administration and transportation of prisoners.  The laws relating to the Registration and Community Notification of Sex Offenders statute was presented. Experts also presented information about computer forensics and cyber crimes.

Alabama Legislative Orientation

The Alabama Law Institute assisted the Legislative Orientation Committee in the planning of the 2014 Alabama Legislative Orientation.  The three-day orientation was held in Montgomery, with virtually every legislator in attendance.  During the course of the orientation, legislators heard from legislative staff on issues such as dealing with the press and State House security, received mandatory ethics training, and heard from Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey and Governor Robert Bentley.  Speakers also included representatives from that State Employee Insurance Board and Retirement Systems of Alabama.

Basic Judicial Training for Probate Judges

In conjunction with the election of the probate judges, the Law Institute began a three year course of study on the areas of law under the office of the Probate Judge.   The initial session began with an orientation that gave the newly elected judges an overview of each area of law.  In the next three years the course will continue with eight additional sessions that provides more in depth coverage of the laws.

A Basic Judicial Training conferences was held for Alabama Probate Judges and Chief Clerks on April 25th-26th, 2013. The conference concentrated on the Mental Health Laws.  The session included an overview of the commitment process, as well as information about the mental hearth liaisons. Commissioner Jim Reddoch spoke on the availability of treatment. Pam Harris, the Accounting Director of the Comptroller’s Office, spoke on funding for mental health.

On October 25th, 2013, a Basic Judicial Training conference was held on elections laws in conjunction with the Election Conference that was held for all election officials throughout the state.  The basic election course focused on the responsibilities of the probate office in state and local elections. The sessions included voter registration, candidate qualifying and how to conduct an election school. Preparing for an election and Election Day issues were discussed. The conference concluded with a session on the Fair Campaign Practice Act and the recent amendments to the act.

Guardianships and Conservatorships were the topics of the Basic Judicial Training conference conducted on April 16-17, 2014. The conference included sessions on the procedure for establishing a guardianship and conservatorship as well as the general duties of a guardian and conservator. A walk-through of a hearing for a joint petition for guardian and conservator was presented. Topics also included were durable power of attorney, health care directives and parental appointments.

On September 17-18, 2014 the Basic Judicial Training conference focused on Estates. The conference began with a walk-through of Probate of Estates including: filing petition, service of process, appointment of guardian ad litem, appointment of personal representative, notice to interested parties, bond, publication of notice, proof of will, hearing, and admitting estate to probate. Other topics presented at the conference included: intestate succession, trust, special administration ad colligendum, pretermitted heirs, issuing letter of administration and evidence in estate matters.

The training focused on adoption and marriage law on May 14-15 as the conference was held in Monroeville, Alabama at Alabama Southern Community College. Topics covered included legitimation, guardianships and conservators of minors, handling funds for children, special needs trust, vital records and probate courts, marriage law, pre-birth consent and implied consent, interlocutory decree, adoptions involving Native Americans, jurisdiction and transfers, adoptions across state lines, contested adoptions, grandparent visitation, adult adoption, and transitioning from foster care to adoption.