The primary elections are over, but some highly sought spots still remain open due to the primary races resulting in runoffs. One of those races is for the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals Place 1.
Three candidates stepped up to the plate seeking election in the June 5 primary, and Judge Christy Edwards and Judge Michelle Thomason both garnered enough support to tip the race into a a runoff election set for July 17.
With that in mind, here are the five things you need to know about Michelle Thomason:
1. She has one of the busiest dockets in the state.
She has handled over 13,000 circuit court family law cases (of those she has only had FIVE reversals/remands) and over 88,000 district court cases (civil, criminal and traffic) since taking the bench in 2006.
2. She got her first degree in business.
Before she went and got her Juris Doctor from Tulane Law School in 1995, she first went to Mobile College (now the University of Mobile) and received a Bachelor of Science in Business in 1992. She was a banker for over ten years before she decided to change her career to the law.
Prior to becoming a judge, she was a partner in the law firm of Pearson, Cummins & Hart, where she practiced civil defense litigation as well as family law for over eleven years before taking the bench.
3. She believes in continuing her education.
While no continuing education is required for judges, Judge Thomason recently received an award by the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for receiving over 700 hours of continuing education since taking the bench.
4. She was endorsed by the outgoing judge for the seat.
Thomason is seeking to fill the seat that is currently held by Judge Craig Pittman. Judge Pittman, who will be retiring at the end of his term, officially endorsed Judge Thomason as his replacement.
“Judge Pittman is an outstanding jurist. I am truly honored to have received his endorsement to fill this position upon his retirement,” Thomason said.
5. She founded the Baldwin County Veterans Court.
She founded the Baldwin County Veterans Court in Feb. 2014, with a vision to provide “genuine people who genuinely care about your well being and want you to succeed,” to veterans who have been involved with the court system.
“While I have enjoyed every aspect of my position, my work to establish a Veterans’ Treatment Court in South Alabama has been by far the most rewarding thing I have ever done,” Thomason said. “If I am elected, I intend to make sure the work of the Court continues to provide assistance to the veterans in our community that need and deserve our help.”