Jeff Beaverstock – Nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama

Jeff Beaverstock brings an unusual background to the federal bench, having served not only as a civil litigator, but as an Army Reserve lawyer practicing in the military legal system.

Background

Jeffrey Uhlman Beaverstock was born in Waterbury, CT on November 29, 1968.  Beaverstock attended The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, overlapping with another Trump nominee, Judge Tripp Self.  After graduating in 1991, Beaverstock spent four years as an active duty Airborne Ranger Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army.

In 1995, Beaverstock joined the University of Alabama Law School alongside fellow Trump nominee Emily Coody Marks.[1]  Graduating in 1998, Beaverstock joined the Mobile law firm Pierce, Ledyard, Latta, Wasden & Bowron, PC.  In 2003, the firm split and Beaverstock joined Bowron, Latta & Wasden, PC as a partner.  In 2008, Beaverstock joined Burr & Forman, LLP. as a partner.  He currently practices at the firm.

Alongside his private practice, Beaverstock also served as an army lawyer, representing Army Reserve soldiers in judicial and non-judicial proceedings.  From 2010-12, Beaverstock served as an operations officer, training Army Reserve lawyers.  Beaverstock currently serves as Chief of Contract & Administrative Law for the 377th Theater Sustainment Command.

History of the Seat

Beaverstock has been nominated for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama.  This seat opened on March 7, 2016, when Judge Callie Granade moved to senior status.  While the seat opened in President Obama’s second term, negotiations between the Administration and Alabama’s Republican senators fell apart and no nomination was ever made to fill the seat.[2]

In February 2017, Beaverstock contacted Sen. Richard Shelby as well as then-Sen. Jeff Sessions to be considered for the vacancy.  Sessions recommended Beaverstock for the vacancy on February 7, 2017.  President Trump announced Beaverstock’s nomination to the vacancy on September 7, 2017.[3]

Legal Experience

Beaverstock primarily practices as a civil litigator in Alabama state and federal courts.  More specifically, Beaverstock specializes in construction law and maritime law, as well as mortgage foreclosure actions.  For example, while at Bowron Latta, Beaverstock represented the manufacturer of mobile homes in a breach of home warranty and personal injury action arising from the intrusion of water into a mobile home.[4]  Additionally, at Burr & Forman, Beaverstock represented a general contractor sued by their subcontractor in a contract dispute.[5]  Despite an adverse verdict at the trial court, Beaverstock was able to overturn the verdict at the Alabama Supreme Court.[6]

Additionally, as an Army Reserve lawyer, Beaverstock handles the legal review of procurement actions and supervises all administrative matters for 37,000 troops in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Overall Assessment

All indications point to a smooth confirmation for Beaverstock.  He does not have a paper trail of controversial statements, or a partisan political history, or any ethical issues.  Further, his long history of military service will make it difficult for senators to drum up opposition.  If and when Beaverstock is confirmed, the Southern District of Alabama, which is already down to only one active judge out of three authorized judgeships, should expect a new conservative voice.


[1] Annemarie Axon, another Trump nominee to the federal bench in Alabama joined the following year.

[2] Compare Pema Levy, Jeff Sessions has a History of Blocking Black Judges, Mother Jones, Jan. 9, 2017, http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/01/jeff-sessions-blocked-black-judges-alabama/ with Mary Troyan, Judicial Vacancies in Alabama Pile Up, Montgomery Advertiser, April 22, 2015, http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/local/alabama/2015/04/22/judicial-vacancies-alabama-pile/26166537/.  

[3] Press Release, White House, President Donald J. Trump Announces Seventh Wave of Judicial Candidates (Sept. 7, 2017) (on file at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/09/07/president-donald-j-trump-announces-seventh-wave-judicial-candidates).    

[4] Johnson v. Southern Energy Homes, Inc., 391 F. Supp. 2d 1118 (S.D. Ala. 2006).

[5] White-Spunner Construction, Inc. v. Construction Completion Co., 103 So.3d 781 (Ala. 2012).  

[6] See id.