Judge William C. (Bill) Thompson has announced his intention to retire from his position as Presiding Judge of the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals effective February 1, 2024. Upon his retirement, Judge Thompson will have served for 27 years as a judge on the court including 17 years as the court’s presiding judge. He made the following statement with his announcement:
“It has been an absolute honor to serve the people of this state for the past 27 years as a judge on the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. I will miss the job and all the wonderful people I have met during my tenure on the court and while campaigning across the state.”
“I hope that my work has had a positive impact on the litigants who have come before the court and the body of law of the State of Alabama.”
“As a court, we have constantly striven to make decisions that are fair, consistent, and based solely on the application of the law to the facts of the case before us. I think we have achieved these goals.”
“Over the years, I have had the privilege of working alongside some very astute, hard-working, and scholarly judges of both parties. I am confident that when I leave, the Court of Civil Appeals will be in very good hands.”
Judge Thompson is currently the longest serving appellate judge in Alabama, as well as the longest serving judge and the longest serving presiding judge in the history of the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. He was first elected in 1996, and he was re-elected in 2002, 2008, 2014, and 2020.
While on the court, Judge Thompson served for 10 years as the Chief Judge of the Court of the Judiciary. He currently serves as vice chairman of the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission, is a member of the Council of Chief Judges of the State Courts of Appeal, and a fellow of the Alabama Law Foundation. He has served on the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, the Advisory Committee on Child Support Guidelines, the Appellate Rules Committee, the Judicial Study Commission, the Alabama Court Improvement Project, the Alabama Juvenile Code Revision Committee, the Committee for the Future of the Juvenile Justice System, and the Alabama State Bar’s Bench and Bar Relations Task Force. He is a former member of the board of directors of Children First.
Judge Thompson grew up in Autauga and Elmore counties and was elected from Homewood. He is a graduate of The University of Alabama and Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law. Prior to joining the court, Judge Thompson practiced law in Montgomery and Birmingham, including serving as the Assistant Legal Advisor to the Governor of Alabama. He is married to author Melinda Rainey Thompson, formerly of Greenville. They have three children.