By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, former Jefferson County Circuit Judge Peyton C. “Pat” Thetford announced his candidacy for Place 1 on the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals.
Thetford has qualified for the seat currently held by Judge Craig Pittman. Pittman has announced he will not seek re-election.
“I believe that my background of having over 27 years of experience as a civil lawyer and Civil Circuit Judge makes me uniquely qualified to serve as an Appellate Judge on the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals,” Thetford said. “If elected, I will bring vast experience and conservative values to the court. I will work hard to administer justice fairly and equitably, but always grounded in the rule of law.”
Thetford was previously a Circuit Court judge in Jefferson County. In 2015, the non-partisan Jefferson County Judicial Commission selected Thetford as a top-three candidate for Jefferson County Circuit judge of the Civil Division; he was later selected and appointed as the top candidate by then Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley. In Oct. 2016, the Birmingham Bar Association voted Judge Thetford the most highly qualified judicial candidate out of 14 Jefferson County judicial races in its Judicial Qualifications poll.
Thetford practiced civil litigation in Mobile, Ala., with the firm of Crosby Saad and Beebe, and then in Birmingham from 1994 to 2015. He is currently with Wade S. Anderson and Associates, a staff counsel firm of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. Thetford has tried and won more jury trials for this firm than any other lawyer in its history, having handled over a thousand cases and having tried over 80 civil jury trials.
Thetford is a native of Montgomery but has resided in the greater Birmingham area for the past 27 years. Thetford is married to Mary Frances Thetford and is a proud father of two sons. They are members of Canterbury United Methodist Church.
He has a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and Business Administration from the University of Alabama. He also has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Thetford has a law degree from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in 1988.
Thetford followed his father’s footsteps into law. His father, the late William Thetford, served 17 years as Circuit Court judge for Montgomery County.