By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY— In a confidential communication with trial Judge Jacob Walker III, House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s criminal lawyer, J. Mark White, explained he had a scheduling conflict, and asked for a postponement of the March 28 trial.
White has known for seven months that he had a scheduling conflict, but failed to notify the Judge until now.
In a letter dated October 13, White informs Judge Walker that he has been elected Dean of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (IATL) and is scheduled to give a speech at the groups annual meeting at the The Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC, April 2-6, 2016. He also forwarded an October 1, letter from the organizations President Joseph M. Matthews congratulating White on his election as Dean and reminding him of his speech at the groups annual meeting.
The information was presented in a manner that made it appear it was a recent appointment, and new information that White didn’t have when he agreed to the March 28 trial date. However, this is not the case at all. White was elected Dean at the March 2015 Annual International Meeting held in Santa Barbara, CA, and as part of his election, was scheduled to give the keynote address at the convention, according to a spokes person for IATL executive office. White has served as Dean for over half a year, and knew that he was to be the keynote speaker at the convention in April.
According to IATL’s bylaws:
ARTICLE III, SECTION II: Method of Election: At the annual meeting, the Board of Directors shall elect all Officers for a term of one (1) year.
White was elected in March 2015.
ARTICLE III, SECTION III states: The Dean of the Academy shall address the annual meeting on a subject of his or her choosing relevant to advancing the rule of law and trial advocacy.
White’s stated propose as Dean, according to the bylaws, is to give the keynote speech.
The April meeting at the The Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC, was announced at the 2015 convention, seven months ago.
White has known since March, but did not notify Judge Walker so he could use it as a last minute postponement of Hubbard criminal trial.
The Hubbard trial is scheduled to last approximately 3 weeks. It is very difficult for a circuit court to reschedule a court date which could result in Hubbard’s trial being being postponed for 3 to 8 more months.
White is also the Alabama State chair for IATL, as is another of Hubbard’s attorneys, James R. Pratt, III. Hubbard Attorney August Dowd is also a member of the group.