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The 2015 winner of the Roderick Beddow award is Gary L. Blume, aka, Gar.

Gar was born in Chicago, Illinois, and emigrated to Tuscaloosa to attend the University of Alabama in 1970 where he graduated in 1974 with a B.S. degree in Biology. He worked in the biology department for one year and took the LSAT on a whim in 1975. His score was so high that he was accepted by the University of Alabama Law School for that August admitting class. He graduated in May of 1978, passed the Bar and was admitted in September, 1978. He worked for the University Attorney’s office for two year s and then went to Southern Natural Gas Co. in Birmingham for 4 years. He is married to Nettie Cohen Blume. Gar & Nettie have two children, Zack, and Rachel, one daughter-in-law, Tiffany, and one granddaughter, Emma.

In 1984, Gar opened his own office in the Alberta city area of Tuscaloosa. He was joined in the practice of law by his wife, Nettie Cohen Blume, the Treasurer of ACDLA in 1988 and they have practiced together ever since. Their law office was destroyed by the 2011 Tuscaloosa tornado with both of them inside the building. They have since rebuilt their practice in Northport, AL.

During his career, Gar has tirelessly represented criminal defendants. He has always treated each and every one with dignity and respect and done exceptional work.   In the past three jury sessions in Tuscaloosa, he has had 3 not guilty verdicts. He had one stretch of over 4 years where he regularly tried at least 4 jury cases a year and had only “not guilty” verdicts.

Gar joined ACDLA as soon as he left the corporate sector and has been an active member ever since. He has been a speaker several times at CLE programs over the years. As recently as 2011, he wrote and presented the ethics hour at different 4-corners seminars. He has voluntarily lectured many different groups on had to navigate the OIDS computer system.

Gar has tried every type of criminal case that exists in Alabama, from speeding to Capital Murder. He has never shirked his duty to zealously defend everyone he has represented. He is continuously called upon by the local judiciary to represent defendants when other lawyers have been unable or unwilling to represent them.

He also is devoted to the defense of juvenile delinquents. He has developed a CLE program for the Juvenile Defense Bar in Tuscaloosa County that is the only CLE of its type in the State of Alabama. He does this for no compensation and conducts the seminars 4 times a year.

He is on the Bar committee for Indigent Defense services of Tuscaloosa County. He has served on the Executive Committee of the Tuscaloosa County Bar for several terms and has chaired the Juvenile Defense Committee for many years.

Gar is a vigorous champion of the underdog and all of the ideals that ACDLA espouses. He is a worthy recipient of this year’s Roderick Beddow Award for Excellence in Criminal Defense representation.

ANNISTON, TUSCALOOSA AND ENTERPRISE 4 CORNERS WELL ATTENDED

The 4 Corners Seminars in Anniston, Tuscaloosa and Enterprise were well attended this past Friday December 6, 2013.  Attendees were the recipient of a wealth of helpful information regarding the most current issues in criminal defense.  Special thanks to the site coordinators:  Nettie Blume in Tuscaloosa, Bill Broome in Anniston, and Carmen Howell in Enterprise.  I am proud to report that the turnout at the seminars was higher this year than in years past.  There is still time to register for the remaining two seminars in Huntsville and Mobile.  Both are slated for December 13, 2013.