Retired state supreme court justice, Florala native, dies

Published 10:40 am Wednesday, December 16, 2020

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Retired Alabama Supreme Court Justice, and Covington County native, Hugh Maddox died at his home on Friday, Dec.  11 at the age of 90.

A longtime attorney and judge, Alva Hugh Maddox was born in Florala on April 17, 1930 to Christopher and Audie (Freeman) Maddox. He attended Florala High School and was a member of the Class of 1947.

He attended the University of Alabama, graduating in 1952, and went on to receive his law degree from the university’s law school. He was admitted to the Alabama Bar in 1957. During his time in college, Maddox worked as a journalist, including writing for the Florala News.

Maddox served in the Air Force during the Korean War and was a member of the Air Force Reserve until retiring as a colonel in 1982.

In 1958, Maddox married Virginia Roberts and they would have two children.

Early in his law career, he served as a clerk for the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals followed by serving in the same role for the U.S. District Court of Alabama. In 1959, he started working as an attorney in Montgomery. From 1961 to 1963, he served as a circuit judge for the 15th Judicial Circuit and then became legal adviser to Governor George Wallace in 1965, also serving in that role for governors Lurleen Wallace and Albert Brewer.

In 1969, Maddox was appointed Associate Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court by Governor Brewer. He would go on to win five terms on the court, serving until his retirement as senior associate justice in 2001. During his 31 years on the court, he wrote 1,650 majority opinions. He also authored the treatise “Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure,” which is featured in two scenes of the 1992 film, “My Cousin Vinny.”

Maddox is survived by his wife of 62 years, Virginia Roberts Maddox, one son, one daughter, and a grandchild. A private graveside service is planned due to the coronavirus pandemic. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date.