ATLA Salutes...
 
November's Champion
 
Buck Watson
 
 
 
Huntsville Attorney Herman “Buck” Watson has a storied career as a coach, father, hunter, arm-chair politico, and just an all around good and funny guy.
 
Watson first wanted to be a college coach but changed his mind after listening to his father talk about the lawyers he knew at the courthouse in Ashville, Alabama. He started his practice as a sole practitioner in Lafayette, Alabama in 1961.  Watson became friends with Billy Walton, who Watson described as a “straight country lawyer”.  He professes as having learned more from Walton and Lafayette than any other influence in his career.
 
He later moved on to Huntsville, where he began building a career representing plaintiffs and practicing criminal defense law.
 
“The practice of law has been good to me,” said Watson. “I have made lots of friends who are not big shots.”
 
“The people who I represent have taken good care of me, they have treated me well,” Watson said. “I have not given nearly as much to this community as it has given to me.”
 
Watson’s firm recently took on a true “community” project when it renovated the city’s downtown historic YMCA.
 
“It was like a fortress, built in 1910, and it had a lot of plumbing leaks and had been abused,” Watson said. “But, it fit our needs.”
 
“Was it a good deal financially, probably not,” he added. “But the community has really supported our renovation of it.”
 
“I seldom have a week go by that someone doesn’t compliment what we have done.” Watson said.
 
When he is not practicing law, Watson loves to hunt. “I got some dogs, I wish they were bird dogs,” he says laughingly. He also dabbles in politics and has used his friendships in Montgomery to help improve the Huntsville community and aid in the area’s economic development efforts. He taught Sunday school at Huntsville’s Epworth United Methodist Church on and off for some 20 years and served in different capacities on the church board as well as chairman. He has served as director and is presently director emeritus of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and served 5 years as chairman of the board of St. Andrews School in Sewanee, Tennessee.  He is a member of the of the board of directors and secretary of Legal Services Alabama, chairman of the Alabama Access to Justice Commission, a member of the Chief Justice’s Commission on Indigent Criminal Defense, a member of the International Relations and International Democracy Committees for the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and a Fellow of the Alabama Law Foundation.
 
But, what is he the most proud of ---his wife, Janet, and his seven children.
 
His children all have their own storied careers and his wife Janet has received numerous awards in her professional career.
 
His children are: Chuck Watson, a criminal lawyer in Montana; Cornelia Watson, a Senior Systems Analyst in Huntsville; Lee Anna Plane, a New York City high school history teacher and author; James Watson, a Spanish and English teacher in Seattle; Rebekah McKinney, a trial lawyer in Huntsville; Jake Watson, a Huntsville lawyer who practices all types of trial law; and Jack Watson, a Huntsville fire fighter and an accomplished farrier. Watson has 18 grandchildren.
 
“The single biggest contribution I have made to this community is my wife, Janet,” Watson said, without hesitation. “She was named Alabama’s outstanding club woman of the year for her civic and community service.  She has served on the board of the local, state and national homebuilders associations and served as president of the Huntsville-Madison County Homebuilders Association. She is an active member and former president of the Huntsville Art Museum, works in a number of civic projects, including the Big Springs Jam and Panoply, and has received state honors for her overall civic work.  She also serves on the Huntsville Board of Zoning Adjustment.”
 
Buck Watson, as he is known to his fellow lawyers, neighbors, and politicians truly is a “Champion of Justice.”