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OUR FIRM

Sole Practitioner concentrating on criminal defense.

Mr. May was licensed to practice law in Alabama in 1965. He practiced in Birmingham, Alabama until 1984 when he relocated to Gulf Shores in Baldwin County, Alabama on Alabama’s beautiful Gulf Coast.

Always a member of the Alabama State Bar Association, he is a member of the Baldwin County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, of which he was a founding member and the organization’s first president. He was recently honored by that association when he was presented with the first "James W. May Golden Hammer Award." This award will be presented in the future to those members of the association who demonstrate dedication and competence in the field of criminal defense.

He is a member of the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, (ACDLA) and in 1995 received that association’s highest honor, the Roderick Beddow award for lifelong dedication to the field of criminal defense. He is a past president of that association.

He is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, (NACDL), and a founding member of the National College for D.U.I. Defense, (NCDD).

Mr. May represented Rueben Max Malone who in l988 was charged with D.U.I. and convicted after the trial court admitted evidence of a field test known as horizontal gaze nystagmus, (HGN). In 1990 after an unsuccessful appeal to the intermediate appellate court the Alabama Supreme Court accepted Mr. May’s argument that the test should not have been admitted in evidence. The court held, for the first time, that the HGN test was not admissible in Alabama until a proper scientific predicate had been laid and that police officers were not trained so as to be able to testify to the results of the test. The HGN test has not been admitted in the trials of people charged with the offense of D.U.I. since that time.

Also, in 1990 Mr. May was charged with and convicted of interfering with judicial proceedings, an indirect contempt of court for his refusal to go forward with the representation of an indigent defendant unless the State was required to pay office overhead expenses in addition to the paltry rates paid lawyers for that work. In 1994 the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals reversed his conviction in an opinion which reshaped the funding of indigent defense in Alabama. Since that decision was rendered the State has been required to pay a lawyer’s office overhead expenses (normal operating expenses) in addition to the statutory rates provided for indigent work.

Mr. May practices in all State and local courts in the State of Alabama as well as the Federal District Courts. He is a member in good standing of the bar of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.

His practice today includes the representation of people accused of crime including major felony offenses, misdemeanor offenses and traffic offenses. He practices in every trial court in the county including municipal courts, state courts and federal courts. He has handled over seventy cases in the appellate courts of this state as well as federal appeals courts.

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