J. Gorman Houston, Jr.

J. Gorman Houston, Jr.




(205) 581-0788




(205) 581-0799


Birmingham, AL

Save VCard


  • LL.B., University of Alabama School of Law, 1956
  • LL.B., University of Alabama School of Law, 1956


  • Alabama, 1956

J. Gorman Houston, Jr. has practiced law with Lightfoot, Franklin & White, LLC, 400 20th Street North, Birmingham, AL 35203-3200 since March 2005. Prior to that, he served as a justice on the Supreme Court of Alabama from 1985 to 2005, serving for 10 months as Chief Justice. From 1960 to 1985, he practiced law in his home town of Eufaula, Alabama. From 1957 to 1960, he served as an officer in the Air Force J.A.G. From 1956 to 1957, he was a law clerk for Chief Justice J. Ed Livingston. While practicing law in Eufaula, Houston was a Bar Examiner (Business Organizations and Wills, Trusts and Estates); a Bar commissioner; and a member of the State Bar Disciplinary Commission. He served as Mayor Pro Tem of Eufaula and as president of the following organizations: Chamber of Commerce, Barbour County Hospital Association, Water Works and Sewer Board, Heritage Association, Kiwanis Club, Rotary Club, Country Club, Quarterback Club and the local Bar association. He was a trustee of the Carnegie Library Association, Chairman of the Eufaula Sesquicentennial Committee, and was named Eufaula Citizen of the Year in 1979. Houston attended law school at the University of Alabama, where he was selected as the Outstanding Freshman Law Student by the Faculty, was an Editor of the Law Review, ODK, judge on Student Court, Farrah Order of Jurisprudence/Order of the Coif, and President of the Law School Senior Class. He graduated first in his class. Houston attended Auburn University (then API). He was president of the Freshman Class of A.P.I., served as Lt. Commander of Sigma Nu, and was a member of Squires, Phi Eta Sigma, and Phi Delta Phi. He has been awarded the Auburn University Humanities Award. After three calendar years, he was admitted to law school at University of Alabama.

Houston is a life member of the Fellows of the American and Alabama Bar Foundations. In 2000, he was designated a Distinguished Eagle Scout by the Boy Scouts of America. In 2004, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law by Huntington College.  A gold watch was presented to Houston on July 27, 2004, by the Alabama Trial Judges inscribed “For Exemplary Service as Acting Chief Justice.”  He received a certificate of Recognition for Meritorious Service from the Alabama Association of Circuit Clerks (2004).  The Staff of the Supreme Court of Alabama presented Houston with a framed copy of his first opinion (which was released 11 days after he took the oath of office) with these inscribed remarks, “With gratitude for your dedicated and loving service to the people of the State of Alabama during your years as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama.” (2005)  In 2005, he also received the Alabama State Bar Commissioner’s Award for contributions to the administration of justice and legal profession and was awarded the Mobile/Baldwin County Bar Association’s Howell T. Heflin Award with this inscription, “Who has brought Honor and Integrity to the Legal Profession” and the AUM Douglass Cater Public Service Award. He served as president of the University of Alabama Alumni Order of the Coif. He has served for more than 17 years as an Alabama Commissioner on the Uniform State Law Commission. He was an original trustee of The American Village at Montevallo.

In 2007, he served as Honorary Chairman of the Beta Theta Chapter of Sigma Nu Capital Campaign. In 2008, he received the 2008 Alabama Appleseed Albert Brewer/Bo Torbert Public Service Award and taught Appellate Advocacy at his alma mater, the University of Alabama School of Law.  In 2009, he received the Chief Justice Professionalism Award and the ACCR Foundation Bailey Thomson Award.  He is a frequent lecturer at Continuing Legal Education Courses. He serves on the Board of the Directors of the ACCR Foundation.

He has been married to Martha Martin Houston for 57 years, and they have two children, Mildred Vance Houston, J.D., and Dr. J. Gorman Houston III, and three grandchildren: Katherine (Katie) A. Sasser, Martha H. Sasser, and J. Gorman Houston IV.

Houston is a member of First United Methodist Church of Montgomery and has served as a Trustee of the Church Property. While in Eufaula, he was a member of the First United Methodist Church and served as Lay Leader and Chairman of the Administrative Board.  He taught Senior High, the Men’s Class, and a couple’s class Sunday school for 25 years.

He has been active in advocating merit selection of Appellate Court Justices and Judges, Constitutional Reform, and adequate legal representation in criminal and civil matters for the poor.

NEWS about J.