By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—In a surprising turn of events, after almost two-years of trying to play the public and confuse the court, J. Mark White and his firm, White, Arnold and Dowd, filed a motion to withdraw from the felony criminal case against House Speaker Mike Hubbard, on December 31, 2015.
As White seeks to exit the case, he leaves behind a trail of at least two dozen motions unanswered. White has papered the court in a flurry of motions in an effort to slow the process, and find any procedural grounds for dismissal.
Court observers were stunned at White’s abrupt motion to withdraw. Speculation runs the gamut from Hubbard not being able to pay his legal fees, to this being another attempt to delay his trial which is set for March 28, to White wanting to cut-and-run from a high-profile loser.
Trial Judge Jacob Walker III has scheduled a hearing on the matter for January 8 at 1:30 pm.
Several lawyers speaking on background said, holding a hearing on a motion to withdraw is highly unusual. There is some speculation that Judge Walker may allow White’s law firm to withdraw, but compel White to continue as Hubbard’s lead attorney.
One attorney said White’s departure may be good for Hubbard, because White used the case to seek revenge on Matt Hart, Chief of the AG’s Special Prosecution Division.
For months, the legal community has been buzzing with rumors that Hubbard was not paying his costly legal bill. This has been one of the many reasons assigned to White’s desire to depart the case.
Lance Bell with Trussell, Funderburg, Rea & Bell, P.C., a Law Firm in Pell City, and Phil Adams with Adams White Oliver Short & Forbus, still represent Hubbard, as does Rob Riley, the son of former Gov. Bob Riley.
White has cut a wide path through Judge Walker’s court, jousting with Hart and Judge Walker. But mainly he has sought to confound the legal process, hoping to obscure the 23 felony charges against Hubbard in a blizzard of motions.