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ALABAMA'S SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICES

Samuel D. Weakley

A native of Morgan County, Samuel Davies Weakley, Jr. attended a prep school in Florence and graduated from Florence State Normal School in 1879. After teaching school in Lauderdale County for a few months, he read law and was admitted to the Alabama Bar in 1880.

 

That same year Weakley moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he practiced law and served a four-year term as assistant attorney general for Shelby County. He returned to Alabama in 1887 and practiced law in Birmingham. From 1889 to 1906, he was associated with E. H. Cabaniss in the firm of Cabaniss & Weakley.

 

In 1889, while serving as city attorney of Birmingham, Weakley compiled a code of city ordinances.

Upon the death of Chief Justice McClellan in February, 1906, Governor William D. Jelks appointed Weakley to finish McClellan's term. Weakley served until November of that year, when he returned to Birmingham to practice law in partnership with his brother, John B. Weakley. Weakley played a significant role in the prohibition movement in Alabama; he authored the first state-wide prohibition bill in 1907.

 

Between 1907 and 1914, Weakley represented the state as special counsel in the protracted litigation over railroad rate reduction, vigorously pursuing his cause for seven years.

Samuel Davies Weakley, Jr., married Ellen Newton, of Birmingham in 1884. They had two daughters.

 

Source: Alabama Judicial System website.