Alabama Law Student Wins Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition

Gonzalo E. Rodriguez pic
Gonzalo E. Rodriguez

Since 1992, attorney Edgar (“Ed”) Gentle has served as partner at Gentle Turner Sexton & Harbison, LLC, in Birmingham, Alabama. Ed Gentle graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law, which recently announced that one of its students has won the Ninth Annual Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition.

Every year, the American Association of Law Libraries’ (AALL’s) Legal History and Rare Books Special Interest Section holds the Ninth Annual Morris L. Cohen Student Essay Competition. The goals of the competition are to promote scholarship and expose students to AALL and the field of law librarianship.

A rising third-year Alabama Law student, this year’s winner was Gonzalo E. Rodriguez, who wrote Protecting Inland Waterways, from the Institutes of Gaius to Magna Carta. In the essay, he discusses how ancient Rome, England, and the Visigothic Kingdom managed water resources. The essay required extensive research of climatic and political aspects of these civilizations to examine how they protected their waterways.

In recognition of his achievement, Mr. Rodriguez received a cash prize of $500 and up to $1,000 for travel-related expenses to present his essay at the AALL’s annual meeting.


Looking for Alaska – John Green’s Classic Coming-of-Age Novel

Looking for Alaska pic
Looking for Alaska

Ed Gentle is a well established Birmingham, Alabama, attorney who serves as court neutral. Engaging as special master and administrator, he has facilitated several major mass tort settlements over the decades. An avid reader, Ed Gentle is currently working his way through the novels of John Green, from Paper Towns to Looking for Alaska.

Published in 2005, the latter novel cleverly bridges genres and features a protagonist Miles Halter who finds meaning in the deathbed sayings of famous figures. Leaving home to attend boarding school, Miles is in search of the Great Perhaps, a deathbed term that poet Francois Rabelais used for what might follow life. He is soon joined in this quest by Alaska Young and his roommate Takumi, as the narrative portrays the passion and anxiety of high school life, as well as its small triumphs.

Critically acclaimed upon publication, Looking for Alaska earned the American Library Association’s Michael L. Printz Award. Among the other novels that Edgar Gentle recently read was Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman.

Understanding Class Action Lawsuits and Mass Torts

Class Action Lawsuits and Mass Torts pic
Class Action Lawsuits and Mass Torts

Birmingham, Alabama, attorney Edgar “Ed” Gentle has held appointed positions in a variety of multi-district litigation cases, including the MDL Blue Cross Antitrust Litigation (MDL 2406). A thought leader in his field, Ed Gentle has presented on a number of mass tort topics, from the administration of local settlements to strategies of selecting lead counsel.

Mass torts are related to class action lawsuits, which involve a group of people affected by a common issue, from vehicle safety defects to customer over-billing. Through consolidating a wide range of claims into a single claim, what would otherwise be a raft of similar cases are efficiently handled within a unified court process. Class action suits usually arise when the circumstance or injury-related compensation is not worth the expense and time of hiring an individual attorney for each plaintiff.

The mass torts handled by Edgar Gentle encompass class actions and a variety of additional legal situations. The most common type of mass tort involves consumers who have been harmed by defective drugs or products on a large scale. These cases tend to be complex and don’t follow a predictable, standardized procedure in court of law, due to the sheer number of claims and factors involved.

A Few Tips for Becoming a Successful Court Appointed Master

Academy of Court Appointed Masters pic
Academy of Court Appointed Masters

Edgar Gentle has served as a partner at Gentle Turner Sexton and Harbison, LLC, in Birmingham, Alabama, since 1992. In 1998, he took on a director and chairman of the board role at Custom Cable Services, Inc., while continuing is legal activities. Edgar Gentle additionally engages with several industry organizations, including the Academy of Court Appointed Masters (ACAM).

An organization comprising the nation’s top attorneys, judges, parties, and other masters, ACAM provides members with a number of helpful resources, including insight into serving as an effective special master.

One of the most important steps a professional can take in their journey to becoming a renowned and successful master involves establishing a workplace culture of respect. The role of a special master is not always familiar to clients, and rather than relying on the title alone to evoke knowledge and trust, masters must demonstrate respect and understanding to all parties involved in a suit. Furthermore, special masters do not often practice in a traditional courtroom setting and must be capable of carrying this respectful culture wherever they go.

A special master should make themselves available for communication to both parties at all times. Issues between parties can arise at any moment, such as during a deposition, and the quicker a master can mediate the situation, the better. Similarly, special masters should frequently communicate with the presiding judge. Judges typically outline their preferred style and frequency of communication in an official order following the appointment of a special master, but masters should always be prepared to offer detailed, daily accounts.

Finally, special masters must develop a reputation for holding steadfast to their recognized capacity as a court appointee. Special masters often are granted elevated levels of authority, but must make sure that their actions are always within the scope of the presiding judge’s original order.

Three Bass Fishing Tips

Bass Fishing pic
Bass Fishing

As the director, chairman of the board, and one-third shareholder at Custom Cables Services, Inc., Edgar Gentle has helped the Fulton, Alabama-based company reach and maintain roughly $13 million in sales annually. Outside of work, one of Edgar Gentle’s passions is bass fishing, which he does both as a hobby and a sport, competing in roughly 12 bass tournaments each year.

Because of their challenge and size, bass are some of the most sought-after fish for both hobbyist fishermen and competitors looking for that trophy fish. If you are just getting started with fishing for bass, here are three bass-specific considerations to keep in mind.

1. Time of Year – Spring and fall are typically the best times to fish for bass. During these seasons, their metabolisms are in full gear, and they can be very aggressive, which makes them more likely to attack your hook and whatever you are dangling on it.

2. Lures and Bait – Fortunately, bass are not picky when it comes to food, taking nearly anything you throw at them. That said, some combinations do work better than others. Jigs with real or plastic worms work well, as do colorful crankbaits, spinners, and mimic minnows. The key thing to remember with bass is the larger your lure, the larger your catch is likely to be.

3. Wind – While it may seem counterintuitive to fish into the wind, this is the best strategy for bass. Bass like to swim with the current, so casting into the wind helps ensure they find your bait instead of your boat, which might startle them or guide them off course from your cast.

Auburn Tigers Hire New Secondary Coach

Greg Brown pic
Greg Brown

An experienced attorney and chairman of the board of Alabama’s Custom Cable Services, Edgar Gentle is also treasurer of the state’s Democratic Party. The recipient of a bachelor of science degree from Auburn University in 1975, Edgar Gentle continues to support the school’s football team.

After losing secondary coach Wesley McGriff to the Ole Miss Rebels in the 2016 offseason, the Auburn Tigers found an experienced replacement in Greg Brown. A 36-year veteran with coaching experience in both college and the National Football League (NFL), Brown recently served as cornerbacks coach for Missouri, a team which tied for first in interceptions in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in the 2016 regular season. He has also coached defensive backs at Louisville, Alabama, Arizona, and Colorado.

A former University of Texas at El Paso cornerback in his playing days, Brown has coached some of the most decorated defensive backs in college football. Both Deon Figures and Chris Hudson, whom he coached at Colorado, won the Jim Thorpe Award as the best defensive back in the nation. Gerod Holliman, whom he coached at Louisville, won the award in 2014 after tying a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) record with 14 interceptions.

Auburn Football Scores 23 Signees on National Signing Day

Auburn Football pic
Auburn Football

After obtaining a bachelor of science in biology from Auburn University, Edgar Gentle completed the juris doctor program at the University of Alabama School of Law. Outside of his work in the legal field, Edgar Gentle is a loyal fan of his alma mater’s Auburn Tigers football program.

On Wednesday, February 1, 2017, which was National College Signing Day, Auburn football head coach Gus Malzahn and his staff signed 23 new players for the upcoming football season, which will kick-off against Georgia Southern on Saturday, September 2, 2017.

A junior college transfer that started at quarterback for Baylor University in 2015, Jarrett Stidham is one of seven signees who chose to get a head start on the process and enroll early. Stidham, a five star quarterback, is rated the number-one junior college prospect by ESPN and holds all-district honors in basketball.

TD Moultry, a 6-foot-2-inch, 230 pound linebacker, played high school football for the Jackson-Olin Mustangs, only two hours northwest of Auburn. Moultry received high praise from Coach Malzahn as possibly the best player in the state.

Finally, the biggest surprise of the day for Coach Malzahn and his staff came when pass-rushing machine Markaviest “Big Cat” Bryant’s letter of intent arrived in Auburn. Bryant had been sought after by the program for quite some time, and his commitment to the Tigers was like “icing on the cake,” in Malzahn’s words.