Bill Weathington clerked for Hill before finishing law school, and credits Hill with helping him get off on the right foot in the legal profession as his law partner more than 30 years ago. Gov. Robert Bentley recently appointed Weathington to fill Hill’s unexpired term.
Bringing things full-circle, the County Commission has appointed Hill’s son, James III, to replace Weathington as the county’s attorney.
St. Clair County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the state. Weathington has been involved in some of the commission’s agreements to help that growth along, such as the agreements that helped bring Bass Pro Shops and the Grand River shopping center to reality.
Hill plans to practice law with his son, and is considering running for an office at the state level.
He has welcomed changes in the county during his time on the bench geared more toward helping people make positive changes in their lives rather than simply locking them up. Having the right judges in place to use discretion is key to making those alternatives work, and Hill has been a key player in making them successful. Drug courts offer rehabilitation as an alternative to incarceration. The county’s Day Program set up for juveniles helps children get back on the right path. And Hill got attention during Alabama’s debate over a state lottery when he ordered local bookies to pay thousands of dollars to local school systems as their penalty for being involved in gambling.
Hill has served the county well as district judge, circuit judge and presiding court judge for the county, and has done an admirable job presiding over thousands of cases over the years.
Weathington looks like a good choice to complete his term.