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franklin county times
New Circuit Judge Brian Hamilton

State appoints new circuit judge

Russellville lawyer Brian Hamilton has been chosen as the 34th circuit judge, filling the position left vacant by Judge Terry Lee Dempsey’s passing Feb. 17.

“We received a call this morning from the Administrative Office of Courts that Brian Hamilton had been appointed as circuit judge,” explained Franklin County District Judge Paula McDowell.

Hamilton will have a public swearing in ceremony April 10 at 2 p.m. in the large courtroom at the Franklin County Courthouse.

During Dempsey’s illness and continuing since his passing, interim measures have included dividing Dempsey’s cases, as appointed by the AOC, between McDowell and Judge Leslie Johnson, a retired circuit judge from Lauderdale County.

Hamilton said he received the call from the governor’s office earlier today.

“I want to thank Gov. Ivey for the trust she has placed in me, and I will work tirelessly as your circuit judge to ensure equal treatment under the law for all that come before the Circuit Court of Franklin County,” said Hamilton

In a letter dated March 31, Ivey made the appointment effective immediately. The announcement reads, in part:

“As one of my appointees, you will be making important decisions that directly affect the citizens of Alabama. I have made honesty and integrity a priority in my administration, and I know that you will embody these two virtues while serving the people of Alabama.”

Hamilton has been with McDowell, Beason and Hamilton for 21 years. He is a 1993 graduate of Russellville High School. He earned an associate’s degree after two years of study at Northwest-Shoals Community College and continued to the University of North Alabama, where he earned his bachelor’s degree.

He is a graduate of the Jones School of Law in Montgomery. While in law school, he clerked for Attorney General William Pryor during his third year. After graduating from law school, he clerked for Morgan County Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson.

Hamilton and his wife, Amy Sibley Hamilton, also a graduate of Russellville and NW-SCC, have three boys – Tal, 17, Reed, 15, and Sam, 13. The family attends North Highlands Church of Christ.

Although he is looking forward to the new challenge, Hamilton said he also accepts the appointment with some sadness.

“While I am grateful and excited about the opportunity to serve the people of Franklin County,” Hamilton said, “this is a bittersweet occasion. Judge Dempsey was a good friend and an outstanding judge. As a community, we continue to honor and remember him.”