The Honorable J. Scott Vowell is the Presiding Circuit Judge of the Tenth Circuit, housed in Jefferson County. Judge Vowell has served as a Circuit Court Judge since 1995. Prior to his Judgeship, he practiced law for the firm of Beddow, Embry & Beddow (1961 - 1987) and Vowell & Meelheim (1987 - 1994). Judge Vowell is a graduate of Auburn University (B.A. 1959) and the University of Virginia (J.D. 1961).
He is an active member of the American Bar Association, American Bar Institute, American Judicature Society, Alabama Law Institute and Birmingham Inn of Court.
Uniform Scheduling Order: All 11th Circuit Judges are under the same Case Management Plan (available for download above).
Judge Vowell does not have any sample forms for motions. He directs attorneys to the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure.
Preference regarding requests for hearings: If the matter is complex, the attorney should call the Judge's office to set a hearing. The attorney should show that hearing date on the face of the motion. If the matter is routine, such as a Motion for Summary Judgment or a Motion to Dismiss, the motion does not need to be set for hearing before it is filed.
Advice for attorney/party drafting a motion: Be succinct. If it is a question of law, accompany the motion with a short brief or memorandum of authorities.
Advice for attorney/party appearing at a hearing: Be prepared.
Advice for attorney/party trying a case: Be prepared. Don't overtry the case. Don't think the jury is dumb, they get it the first time.
Judge Vowell does not have a preference regarding specific font or size for court documents.
Frequency of status conferences: Perhaps three (3): 1) an initial status conference; 2) a pretrial or settlement conference if either party requests one; and 3) about a week before the trial Judge Vowell's office may call to see if they can facilitate a settlement.
Availability of juror information in advance of the trial date: No Court in Jefferson County releases juror information prior to the date of trial.
Preference regarding submission of jury charges: Judge Vowell prefers jury charges be submitted electronically and the pattern numbers be used.
Availability of audio/video equipment: The Court does have its own audio/video equipment available for use.
Availability of court reporter: Parties must pay for their own court reporter. Approximately a week before trial, the Court will ask the attorneys if they have one or if they would like the Court to arrange one.
Preference regarding courtesy copies: Judge Vowell does want to receive courtesy copies of settlement documents prior to settlement hearings, especially in Workers' Compensation and Pro Ami cases. The documents should be filed in Judge Vowell's office.