History of the Lanier Ford Law Firm

Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne P.C. is the result of a 1988 merger between two of Huntsville's oldest law firms.

At the time of merger, the two firms were named—;xNLx;;xNLx;• Lanier, Shaver & Herring;xNLx;;xNLx;• Ford, Caldwell, Ford & Payne;xNLx;;xNLx;Lanier, Shaver & Herring traces its heritage to 1899 when Milton H. Lanier, Sr., began a solo practice. Ford, Caldwell, Ford & Payne traces its heritage to 1915 when Earle Ford began practice in partnership with William H. Blanton. As separate entities, these two firms and their predecessors provided effective representation to their clients and were active leaders of the legal community in Madison County throughout the 20th century. ;xNLx;;xNLx;In the 21st century, the firm has grown into a full-service law practice that is fully prepared to meet the needs of its individual, business, corporate, and government agency clients. Lanier Ford attorneys assist the residents of Huntsville in setting up their businesses, protecting their intellectual property, establishing comprehensive employee benefit plans, and financing their startups or expansions. The firm's real-estate lawyers help individuals and businesses with facility acquisition and leases, while its litigators help enforce contracts and, when necessary, defend against workers’ compensation claims, among many other issues. When the business matures, the firm guides business owners through the sales process or helps them find the right financial sponsor to take the business to the next level. ;xNLx;;xNLx;With attorneys recognized throughout Alabama, the Huntsville-based law firm of Lanier Ford provides the sophisticated advice and advocacy expected of a much larger firm with the personal attention and responsiveness of a smaller firm.

1899-01-01 01:00:00

Milton H. Lanier, Sr., begins practicing law.

Mr. Lanier studied under U.S. Circuit Judge David Shelby.

1911-01-01 00:00:00

Betts v. Ballentine

In this case, the Lanier & Pride law firm represented one of the two judges in a dispute over the possession of the key to the jury box for Madison County.

1914-12-01 00:00:00

Kyser v. Hertzler

Mr. Lanier represented the stable owner in this nuisance case.

1915-01-01 01:00:00

Earl Ford begins practicing law

1922-01-01 01:00:00

McBride & McMillan v. Kyle

In this case, Lanier & Pride represented the plaintiff Geneva Kyle, who had bought a mule on the square in Huntsville.

1929-12-01 00:00:00

Sisco v. City of Huntsville

In this case, Lanier & Pride represented the city of Huntsville.

1932-12-01 00:00:00

Westenhaver v. Dunnavant

Both the Lanier, Price & Shaver firm and the Griffin & Ford firm were on the same side (representing the defendants) in this securities case involving blue sky laws.

1933-01-01 01:00:00

Western Union Telegraph Company v. Hill

The Griffin & Ford firm represented the plaintiff in this case, which often appears in law school textbooks to define the tort of assault.

1936-12-01 00:00:00

American Bakeries Company v. City of Huntsville

This is the first case to ever go to the U.S. Supreme Court involving the city of Huntsville (as a city).

1937-01-01 01:00:00

Harbin v. Moore

The Lanier and Ford firms cooperated in the defense of a truck driver, truck owner, and the owner’s insurance carrier in the wrongful-death case involving a pedestrian on the side of a highway being struck by a truck at night.

1942-12-01 00:00:00

Hall v. Proctor

Both the Lanier firm and the Ford firm represented the defendants in this will contest.

1949-01-01 01:00:00

Jones v. McCown

Lanier, Price, Shaver & Lanier defended a homeowner who had signed a “blank” contract to sell a house.

1954-12-01 00:00:00

Roberts v. Monroe

In this case, the Lanier firm and the Ford firm represented opposing parties in a suit about obstruction and interference with the use and enjoyment of an alleyway.

1957-12-01 00:00:00

Bluth v. State

This colorful case attracted national press coverage by numerous detective magazines of the day, as well as widespread newspaper coverage.

1957-12-01 00:00:00

Harwell v. Morris

Griffin, Ford, Caldwell & Ford defended Sheriff Claude M. Harwell of Madison County in a suit for the alleged wrongful shooting of the plaintiff by a deputy sheriff.

1959-12-01 00:00:00

Mitchell v. Huntsville Wholesale Nurseries

The Lanier, Price, Shaver & Lanier firm represented a Huntsville nursery accused of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

1963-12-01 00:00:00

Broyles v. Brown Engineering Company

Lanier, Price, Shaver & Lanier represented a civil engineering firm in a breach-of-contract suit related to preparing plans for a subdivision’s drainage system.

1966-12-01 00:00:00

Reynolds v. Vulcan Materials Company

Lanier, Price, Shaver & Lanier represented a rock-crusher plant in a suit against the Huntsville city building inspector.

1968-12-01 00:00:00

Anonymous v. Anonymous

Ford, Caldwell, Ford & Payne represented one of the parties who wanted a divorce from a common-law marriage.

1968-12-01 00:00:00

State v. Thomas

In this case, the Lanier, Shaver & Herring firm represented David Thomas, the district attorney of Madison County, in an impeachment hearing before the Alabama Supreme Court.

1976-12-01 00:00:00

Atkins v. American Motors Corp.

The Lanier, Shaver & Herring firm defended American Motors in this case involving a wrongful death of the driver of a Gremlin automobile.

1977-12-01 00:00:00

Herston v. Whitesell

Ford, Caldwell, Ford & Payne represented an attorney sued for giving his client unskillful advice, negligently giving improper notice to the city of Troy (which the client wanted to sue), and negligently failing to file a claim for damages.

1978-12-01 00:00:00

Hereford v. Huntsville Board of Education

In this race discrimination case related to desegregation of the Huntsville city schools, Joe Payne and Ralph Ford of Ford, Caldwell, Ford & Payne faced off against Solomon Seay, Jr. (renowned as Dr. Martin Luther King’s attorney) and U. W. Clemon (later to become U.S. District Judge U. W. Clemon).

1979-12-01 00:00:00

Sullivan v. Etheredge Manufacturing Company

This case was a diversity action arising from a fatal automobile accident.

1985-12-01 00:00:00

Lane v. Central Bank of Alabama

The Lanier, Shaver & Herring firm represented the bank in a case involving the anti-tying provisions of the Bank Holding Company Act.

1986-12-01 00:00:00

R&A Construction Products, Inc. v. First National Bank of Russellville

Lanier, Shaver & Herring represented the bank in this case, which sued R&A Construction Products, Inc., Owens Fabricating Company, Inc., and Robert E. Owens in a declaratory judgment action to determine the amount due to the bank under a contract.

1987-12-01 00:00:00

Mason v. Jack Daniel Distillery

The owner of a night club sued a whiskey distillery, its parent corporation, and its sales representative for misappropriation of a trade secret—namely, the owner’s recipe for a beverage known as Lynchburg Lemonade.

1987-12-01 00:00:00

Matkin v. Country Skillet Poultry Company

Lanier, Shaver & Herring represented a poultry company in this negligent-entrustment case.

1988-01-01 09:26:21

Lanier Ford Shaver & Payne P.C. begins

The law firms of Lanier, Shaver & Herring and Ford, Caldwell, Ford & Payne merged to become the fifteenth largest law firm in Alabama (then with 25 members).

1988-05-01 01:00:00

Lanier Ford defends Motley Crue rock band

In 1985, the heavy-metal rock band Motley Crue performed in Huntsville at the Von Braun Center.

1989-12-01 00:00:00

Davis v. Linville

Lanier Ford represented a school superintendent in a dispute over how the school superintendent was elected.

1989-12-01 00:00:00

Dixie Broadcasting, Inc. v. Barclays-American Business Credit, Inc.

This bankruptcy case involved a deal to buy a radio station.

1992-01-01 00:00:00

Irons v. Service Merchandise Co., Inc.

The Alabama Supreme Court affirmed a summary judgment in favor of the defendant employer.

1993-01-01 00:00:00

Harrington v. Guaranty National Ins. Co.

In this case, the Alabama Supreme Court answered a question of first impression.

1993-01-01 05:24:51

Hurst v. Nichols Research Corp.

In this case, a former corporate officer claimed that he had not been given stock options promised in the course of negotiations related to his employment contract.

1994-01-01 00:00:00

Saccuzzo v. Krystal Co.

The Alabama Supreme Court in this case held that a restaurant was not liable for a wrongful death on its premises.

1994-01-01 00:00:00

Miller v. Alabama Central Credit Union

In this action against a credit union based on alleged wrongful conduct in allowing property to be sold at a liquidation auction, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals affirmed a summary judgment on claims for conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud.

1994-01-01 00:00:00

Robinson v. Huntsville Hospital

In this workers' compensation case, the Court of Civil Appeals affirmed a judgment in the employer's favor.

1994-01-01 01:00:00

City of Huntsville v. City of Madison

This declaratory judgment action arose out of a dispute concerning a city's obligation to make tax-equivalent payments to other municipalities and counties to which the city supplied electricity purchased from the Tennessee Valley Authority.

1995-01-01 00:00:00

Smith v. Dunlop Tire Corp.

In this retaliatory discharge action, the Alabama Supreme Court answered a question of first impression.

1995-01-01 00:00:00

Peek v. State Auto Mutual Ins. Co.

After hearing oral argument, the Alabama Supreme Court answered a question of first impression.

1995-01-01 00:00:00

Mann v. Health Care Authority of the City of Huntsville

In this medical malpractice action, the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed a directed verdict in favor of the defendant hospital on claims for negligent training and supervision of a nurse.

1995-01-01 00:00:00

Steiger v. Huntsville City Board of Education

The Alabama Supreme Court affirmed a summary judgment entered in favor a city school board.

1995-01-01 00:00:00

Milligan v. Albertville City Board of Education

The Court of Civil Appeals affirmed a judgment in favor of a board of education.

1995-01-01 00:00:00

Johnson v. Huntsville Hospital

The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals in this case affirmed a summary judgment in favor of a hospital on a claim for services rendered to a patient.

1995-12-01 00:00:00

Huntsville Hospital v. Mortara Instrument

The Lanier Ford law firm represented Huntsville Hospital in a dispute with the manufacturer of a electrocardiogram management system.

1996-06-01 13:42:44

Crawford v. Sundback

In this action against co-employees arising out of the deaths of three workers in an on-the-job accident, the Supreme Court affirmed a summary judgment in favor of several co-employees.

1997-01-01 00:00:00

Ebrahimi v. City of Huntsville Board of Education

Lanier Ford defended a board of education, which had removed an elementary school principal from her position.

1997-03-01 13:42:44

Ex parte Dunlop Tire Corporation

The Alabama Supreme Court decided a question of first impression in this workers' compensation case.

1997-06-01 13:42:44

Alexander v. Pace Industries, Inc.

In this retaliatory discharge action, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals affirmed a summary judgment in favor of the employer.

History of the Lanier Ford Law Firm

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