J. Cole Portis

Principal & Personal Injury Section Head | Personal Injury and Product Liability

Cole serves as section head of Beasley Allen Law Firm's Personal Injury and Product Liability Section. He represents mothers and fathers who lost their children, spouses who lost their life-long mates, and severely injured children who will be unable to care for themselves due to unreasonably dangerous and defective products.

Cole's hope is that manufacturers of consumer products will safely engineer and produce products instead of placing profits over safety so that innocent victims won't be hurt or killed.

Notable Cases

In order to encourage the engineering and manufacture of safe consumer products, Cole will continue to prosecute companies that manufacture defective automobiles, aircraft, ATVs, farm equipment, logging equipment, textile machines and other products. Cole and his staff have successfully handled more than 100 cases that were tried or resolved for more than one million dollars. More importantly, Cole and his staff are blessed to be able to counsel and care for their clients.

Awards and Ratings

An AV-rated lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell, Cole is selected annually as an Alabama Super Lawyer, and to the Best Lawyers in America list. He also has been selected to LawDragon 3000, which represents the top 3,000 attorneys in the United States. In December 2010, he was named one of Beasley Allen's two Litigators of the Year.

In addition, he was selected as a finalist for Public Justice’s 2014 Trial Lawyer of the Year, along with the other members of the trial team, for his work in the verdict against Toyota in Bookout, et al v. Toyota that was tried in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in October 2013. This award is given by Public Justice to the lawyer or trial team who makes the most outstanding contribution to the public through precedent-setting litigation each year. Cole also was featured on the 2015 National Law Journal Plaintiffs Hot List for his work on the Toyota sudden unintended acceleration case in Oklahoma.

Professional Associations

Cole believes it is important to use the gifts God has given him in the community. Thus, as an attorney, he has used his gifts to participate in legal organizations. Currently, Cole is president of the Alabama State Bar. He is past president of the Montgomery County Bar Association (2002), past president of the Alabama Young Lawyers Association (2000-2001), past president of the Montgomery County Trial Lawyers Association (1999) and past president of the Auburn University Bar Association (1999).

Community Involvement

Cole has been an active member of Morningview Baptist Church for more than 40 years. He previously served as chairman of the Deacons. He recently completed service as a lay elder. In addition, he teaches the Adult 2 Sunday School class.

He has served as president of the Jimmy Hitchcock Award, a prestigious award honoring Christian student athletes in Montgomery. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and previously served on the Board of Directors for Trinity Presbyterian School.


Cole's mother is originally from Laurel, Mississippi, and his father was raised in Lowndes County, Alabama. Cole is married to the former Joy Mikell of Millbrook, Alabama, and they have four daughters and five sons. Cole and his wife are strong advocates for adoption and foster care. They have adopted six of their nine children. The couple also are foster parents.

More important than his legal accomplishments, church involvement, community involvement or even his family, Cole recognizes that apart from Christ, he is absolutely nothing.

  • Alabama and U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama (1990)
  • Alabama State Bar (President, 2016-17)
  • Montgomery County Bar Association (President, 2002)
  • American Bar Association
  • Alabama State Bar Young Lawyers (President, 2000-2001)
  • Montgomery County Trial Lawyers Association (President, 1998-1999)
  • American Association for Justice
  • Alabama Trial Lawyers Association (Board of Governors and Executive Committee)
  • Montgomery County Young Lawyers (President, 1993)
  • Auburn University Bar Association (President, 1999)
  • Christian Legal Society
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
  • Board of Bar Commissioners
  • Public Justice Foundation
  • Super Lawyers
  • AV Rated
  • Best Lawyers

  • University of Alabama (J.D., 1990)
  • Auburn University (B.A., 1986)

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