Ashby Pate Selected for 2018 Class of Alabama State Bar’s Leadership Forum

January 11, 2018

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (January 11, 2018) — Lightfoot, Franklin & White LLC of counsel R. Ashby Pate has been chosen to participate in this year’s Alabama State Bar Leadership Forum. There are 28 members in the 2018 class who were selected after a competitive and rigorous application process. Now in its 14th year, the program trains the next generation of leaders in the Alabama legal community.

“This is a well-deserved honor for Ashby and we are proud of him for being accepted into the Leadership Forum,” said Lightfoot managing partner Melody Eagan. “Ashby has already proven himself as a leader, both in our firm and the wider legal community, and this program will only further develop his existing skills and talents.”

Leadership Forum participants must display a dedication to service before selection, and commit to attending seven days of mandatory sessions over five months. This amounts to nearly 60 hours.

As noted in a recent Alabama Lawyer article, the program offers an opportunity for lawyers to “cultivate leadership skills moving from theory to practice, participation in self-discovery, and forcing participants to be contemplative and learn from the inside out.” The aim of the Leadership Forum is to build the next generation of leaders for the Alabama legal profession who are “innovative, critical thinkers equipped to respond to disruptive change.” In 2013, the Leadership Forum received the American Bar Association’s E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award, the highest honor given by the organization for professionalism programs.

Pate has also been appointed Vice Chair of the Alabama State Bar’s Senior Lawyer-New Lawyer Task Force, which is focused on passing the leadership roles within a law firm to the next generation and pairing young lawyers with more experienced lawyers throughout the state. He will also chair the Access to Justice sub-committee which reviews the legal needs and challenges in the rural areas of Alabama.

Pate’s own career has already been marked by leadership in the profession and a dedication to giving back. He served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Palau, where he helped design the island nation’s first-ever jury trial system. Since then, Pate has been invited to speak to organizations across the country and the state, including giving the keynote address, alongside Justice Anthony Kennedy of the United States Supreme Court, at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ Law Clerk Orientation in San Francisco. He also was a featured speaker at the 2016 American College of Trial Lawyers’ spring meeting in Maui.

Pate’s practice focuses on international disputes, appellate work, and commercial and medical device litigation. He routinely takes on some of the firm’s most controversial matters, including prosecuting a high-profile case that led to the suspension of former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore.