The Alabama State Bar on Saturday, June 25, 2016, swore in Montgomery attorney J. Cole Portis of the Beasley Allen Law Firm as the 141st president of the 17,900-member organization.
“I am blessed to have the opportunity to lead our state bar, which has been entrusted with the obligation to serve our profession, seek improvements in our judicial system and serve the public,” said Alabama State Bar President J. Cole Portis of the Beasley Allen Law Firm. “We are committed to a new era of engagement with lawyers to ensure that they have resources available to help them in their practice. We are also committed to standing alongside our courts to ensure that the rule of law is enforced and dedicated to serving the public through pro bono work, charitable stewardship and involvement in everyday affairs that impact the communities where we practice law.”
Portis has served on multiple committees and task forces within the Alabama State Bar including the Finance and Audit Committee, Client Security Fund Committee and various others. He has also served on the Alabama State Bar Board of Bar Commissioners for the 15th judicial circuit since 2007.
Portis received his J.D. from The University of Alabama School of Law in 1990 and joined the Beasley Allen Law Firm in 1991, where he is now a principal. Portis represents people and families who are injured or killed by defective products. In addition to handling litigation matters at Beasley Allen, he manages the firm’s product liability/personal injury section.
He is a board member of the Alabama Law Foundation where he is also a fellow and a member of the Atticus Finch Society. He supports the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation through its Pioneers of Justice Society and is a Montgomery County Bar Association volunteer lawyer. He is past president of the Alabama State Bar Young Lawyers’ Section, the Montgomery County Bar Association and the Montgomery County Trial Lawyers Association.
Portis was recognized as a finalist for Public Justice’s 2014 Trial Lawyer of the Year. He is also an AV-rated lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell.
Above all, Portis is a husband and a father to nine children. He is married to Joy and they have four daughters and five sons. He and Joy are strong advocates for adoption. They have adopted six of their nine children. The couple also serves as foster parents, having fostered 18 children in the last four years. Cole and his wife are the founders of Love 100 Ministry, which assists Alabama families with adoption costs.
He has been an active member of Morningview Baptist Church for more than 40 years and previously served as lay elder and as chair of the deacons. In addition, he teaches a Sunday school class as a way to invest in the lives of young adults.
Cole is past president of the Jimmy Hitchcock Memorial Award, a prestigious award honoring Christian student athletes in Montgomery. He serves on the Board of Directors of Trinity Presbyterian School and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and is a YMCA basketball coach.
During the ceremony, Augusta S. Dowd of White Arnold & Dowd, PC, (Birmingham) was installed as the bar’s president-elect. Dowd will serve one year in this role before assuming the presidency in July 2017.
The Alabama State Bar Communications Office can be reached at 334-517-2212 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To schedule an interview with Cole Portis, contact Helen Taylor, Public Relations Coordinator for Beasley Allen, at 334-495-1169 or Helen.Taylor@beasleyallen.com.