If you have lived in North Alabama for any length of time, you certainly know the name “Mojo!” Mojo is an institution in our community and he has done the 104.3 WZYP morning show with Ricky and Dee Dee for almost 20 years. Mojo does a lot of work for our community on the side as well. For instance, he will soon do his 100 hours plus charity event, Bikes or Bust, part of the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots, on South Parkway the week before Thanksgiving. During the event, Mojo is outside hoisted up on a scissor lift. And when I say “100 hours,” I mean 100 straight hours! Last year, he remained on the lift for some five days. "The first night he was up there, I went up in the morning, probably around 5:30 a.m. I looked over at where he was sleeping. It was just full of ice. I think it was 27 degrees that day," U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Robert Ruiz said. On average, this charity provides 1500 or so new bikes each year to children in our community who wouldn’t have much of a Christmas otherwise. As Mojo mentions on this podcast, 100 plus hours fifty feet in the air is guaranteed to make him sick at some point! And, having started in 2003, this will be the seventeenth straight year that he has done this event! Mojo has had an interesting and varied career prior to his arrival in North Alabama. He grew up in Detroit and then served as a mechanic in the U.S. Army, followed by an abbreviated country music career before he found himself on the radio. I have always been fascinated by radio, as all kids my age were who grew up in Chicago and listened to WLUP. Mojo has been kind enough to have me on his show on Friday mornings to talk about consumer law and help for people with their financial issues so I was happy to turn the tables on him and learn about his history. I hope you enjoy his story as much as I did.
Talk about someone who has packed a long and varied career into a fairly short period of time! Mary Scott Hunter has a bachelor's degree (1995), a law degree (1998) and a MBA (2017), all from the University of Alabama. She didn’t stray far from her roots as her father, Scott Hunter, played quarterback for the Crimson Tide under the legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant before embarking on an NFL career. Mary Scott began her career as a lawyer in 1998 as an active-duty Air Force Judge Advocate officer and, while in the service, met her husband, Jon Shultz, who served as an Air Force fighter pilot. Mary Scott now works at Intuitive Research and Technology mixing her legal and business skills in the areas of governance, compliance, ethics, and risk. She jokes that she serves as "in house" counsel for her entrepreneur husband's company, Resolution LLC, one of Huntsville's many fast-growing small businesses. Along the way, Mary Scott was also elected to and served two terms (2011 - 2019) on the Alabama State Board of Education, and we have a little fun on this show debating politics. In her “free time,” Mary Scott co-hosts a podcast called Belle Curve. I enjoyed getting to know her on this episode.
This podcast features Huntsville, Alabama family law attorney Rebekah Graham. Rebekah is a very talented lawyer who has spent pretty much her entire legal career focusing on family law and divorce. Her law firm, Rebekah L. Graham and Associates, is conveniently located just off Memorial Parkway near Huntsville High School. Rebekah was an excellent student and excelled in law school. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law, served as Writing Editor of the Cumberland Law Review and was its Outstanding Senior Member. She has brought the same focus and drive to her law practice. Having hosted her brother, attorney Frank Ward, on an earlier podcast, I was happy to be able to get to know Rebekah on this one.
Any attorney who has practiced law in the State of Alabama for any length of time knows of the law firm of Rosen Harwood. It is well known and highly respected throughout the state. While in Tuscaloosa recently, I was able to sit down and spend some time talking to Bernard Harwood, one of the founders of this law firm. During his long and illustrious legal career, Mr. Harwood took various “sabbaticals” from his law firm to serve as a Circuit Court Judge of Tuscaloosa County and also as an Associate Justice on the Alabama Supreme Court. When he was back in Tuscaloosa with his law firm, he used some of his “free” time to teach on the subjects of trial advocacy and evidence at his alma mater, the University of Alabama School of Law. These days, Mr. Harwood can still be found daily doing what he has done his entire professional life, deep in the practice of law, at the Rosen Harwood offices. I enjoyed getting to know more about this legal legend on this podcast.
I enjoyed getting to know attorney Tyler Mann on this podcast. Tyler is a former insurance adjuster who now practices plaintiff’s personal injury law with his law firm, Tyler Mann Injury Law, LLC. As a benefit of his background, Tyler really learned the ins and outs of the insurance industry so he has keen insight as he represents his clients, mostly against the insurance companies that he knows so well. I have seen Tyler’s TV commercials and he always struck me as genuine and sincere, along with having a real professional desire to help the people that he represents. Now that I have met him in person, I found that he is exactly that type of individual. I enjoyed getting to know him and I think you will like hearing his story on this episode.
David Puckett is a highly respected attorney in his hometown of Athens, Alabama. He practices extensively in all counties in North Alabama. Over the years, as you will hear, David has re-invented his law practice a number of times. He has served as legal counsel for the UAW Legal Services and as a Deputy District Attorney with the Limestone County District Attorney’s Office. David and I first met as adversaries in a number of cases we handled against one another. I quickly learned that, while congenial and affable, David knows exactly what he is doing. He is a very skillful lawyer and is a master at handling evidence. We have grown to be friends over the years and I was happy to be able to catch up with him on this podcast. One thing I didn’t realize was that, in addition to knowing the rules of evidence, David is also an accomplished grill master!
I recently attended the 54th Annual Seminar of the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees (NACTT), held in Indianapolis, Indiana, where I spoke on the topic of Security Clearances and Bankruptcy. While there, I was fortunate to be able to sit down with Judge (Ret.) William Houston Brown. Judge Brown served for many years as a Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Tennessee. He is a preeminent expert in the field of bankruptcy law and continues to regularly write and speak on this topic throughout the country. In fact, Judge Brown had recently finished a multi-year project with the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy which researched and has recommended improvements to the consumer bankruptcy system. I found Judge Brown to be humble, kind and gracious, and my colleagues who practiced before him relate that he exemplified these same attributes while on the bench. He is clearly a master of his craft who, even while in retirement, continues to share his knowledge. The bankruptcy bar and community in our country is fortunate to have such a noble and wise person offering advice and commentary on a topic that affects so many consumers and businesses on a daily basis. I enjoyed getting to know Judge Brown on this podcast and think that you will like hearing about his life in the law.
I spent some time recently in Indianapolis, Indiana at the 54th Annual Seminar of the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees (NACTT) where I spoke on the topic of Security Clearances and Bankruptcy. While there, I was fortunate to meet John Steinkamp, an attorney who practices bankruptcy and consumer law there in Indianapolis. We have a mutual friend and colleague, attorney Dave Philipps, who suggested that we get together. John practices law in Indy where he has a thriving practice helping consumers with consumer bankruptcy, collection harassment under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and credit reporting issues under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). I am glad that I was able to sit down with John as it is always interesting to talk to attorneys from other parts of the country who have practices similar to mine. He represents his clients well and does a thorough job helping and protecting them, not only during the bankruptcy process itself, but afterwards as well. It was good to sit down and spend some time talking to John on this podcast.
This past decade has seen a dramatic increase in the aging of our population. Additionally, with our bankruptcy and consumer practice, we have seen a tremendous increase in the number of our senior citizens struggling with debt. Against that backdrop, attorney Connie Glass has devoted the majority of her professional life helping and assisting our elder citizens. In fact, her law firm is named, appropriately enough, the Elder Law Firm of Connie Glass. Connie is an expert in her field and she is highly respected throughout the state of Alabama. She is a charter member of the Alabama State Bar Elder Law Section and she is a member of the National Elder Law Foundation and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Connie regularly speaks throughout Alabama to senior citizens and professional groups on the subject of elder law. Connie is really considered to be the “go-to” attorney for this area of law and I was happy to be able to spend a little bit of time with her on this podcast and learn about her life in the law.
Chris Hinson is considered one of the top estate planning attorneys in the state of Alabama. Originally from Texas, Chris is also a Certified Public Accountant (“C.P.A.”). She obtained her Juris Doctor (JD) degree at St. Mary’s School of Law and then made a pitstop in New York City to get a LLM degree (Master of Law) in tax from New York University. There, she met her husband (and also long time law partner!), James “Bob” Hinson. Chris and Bob have been practicing law together for many years here in Bob’s hometown of Huntsville, Alabama. Their firm, Hinson and Hinson, is highly respected throughout the state. I enjoyed catching up with Chris as I haven’t talked to her in a long time. You’ll hear us talk about youth swimming for reasons that will become apparent, in addition to her life in the law. I think you will like hearing her story.