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Owens & Millsaps is a highly experienced and well-respected general practice Tuscaloosa law firm that serves clients throughout Alabama. All of the firm’s attorneys are graduates of the University of Alabama School of Law, one of the top 25 law schools in the nation, and have well-established connections throughout West Alabama. Our four attorneys bring varied skills, varied experiences, and nearly one hundred years of experience to the firm. Owens & Millsaps employs an experienced staff and many of the most talented law students at the University of Alabama School of Law. Owens & Millsaps is set up to provide the personal attention of a small Tuscaloosa law firm and the full range of services and aggressive litigation capabilities of a large firm. We have represented individuals and businesses in the North, West, and Central Alabama region.

Our years of experience before judges and juries have given us a foundation in courtroom excellence that puts us at the forefront of the legal community. We use state-of-the-art technology to keep up with relevant changes of law and to present your case in the courtroom. Our unwaivering advocacy on behalf of our clients and our courtroom experience frequently enables us to help our clients reach a successful resolution with the opposing lawyer through negotiation and settlement. We will always look out for the best interest of our client whether it be proceeding through to a trial, reaching a settlement through mediation or direct negotiation or occasionally agreeing to binding arbitration instead of a trial for certain types of cases.

Our approach to estate planning is to evaluate our clients’ personal goals and financial situation, and to develop a customized plan for each client. We utilize both traditional estate planning vehicles and innovative techniques that integrate personal estate planning goals with a client’s business and financial plans. We represent our clients on a highly personal level and we take the time to understand issues and provide custom tailored solutions. Our goal is to support our clients in developing a sense of security for their families and themselves. 

We have proudly represented some of the leading businesses in the area, offering an entrepreneurial-minded, common sense approach to law. We offer a full range of legal services to businesses from the choice of entity through dissolution. Businesses rely on us to provide accurate and practical advice on employment law issues. Current and satisfied business clients are one of our greatest sources of new cases and clients.

We are committed to listening to our clients, discussing their business or personal needs, and then counseling and advising in a straightforward manner. We are available to travel to meet with clients and our clients appreciate that we keep them informed of the progress of the work we do on their behalf. We have purposely decided to keep our firm small so that we can provide the type of personal attention to our clients that is frequently unavailable from larger law firms.

We are fortunate to have the opportunity to try many civil jury cases representing the plaintiff and many representing the defendant. This is somewhat unique and gives us the advantage of understanding the problems and opportunities of both sides. 

Our history of commitment to our clients extends to our community. Our firm supports youth activities such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters and the Adopt-a-School program. We have been actively involved in Tuscaloosa’s Challenge 21 project and are supporters of the Arts Council and the Tuscaloosa Symphony. We are members of the Exchange Club and Tuscaloosa Rotary, and supporters of the United Way. Our attorneys are actively involved in our local church activities. Our firm is particularly proud of our commitment to the historic preservation of the Owens-Minor-Searcy House. Please click the menu button “Our Tuscaloosa Law Office” to learn about its storied past and its preservation.

We are also proud of our city and The University of Alabama, whose home is Tuscaloosa. We support our University and its programs.

Practice Overview

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Estate Planning & Probate

Owens & Millsaps handles all aspects of Probate and Estate Administration for estates. Probate is the legal process by which a person’s will is allowed by the Probate Court. The provisions of the will dictate how the individual’s debts are paid and assets are distributed upon death. Estate Administration includes the probate process as well as non-probate transfers of the deceased’s assets, such as life insurance, annuities, qualified plans, and trust assets and compliance with applicable estate tax requirements. We assist the personal representative of the estate in the gathering, valuation, accounting and distribution of the decedent’s assets. It is our responsibility to assure that all steps are properly taken in order to carry out the decedent’s intent in accordance with the law.

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Personal Injury & Civil Litigation

The attorneys at Owens & Millsaps have nearly 100 years experience prosecuting and defending personal injury claims. We use that experience to best serve the needs of each individual client, develop each client’s case, and, if necessary, take cases that cannot be resolved to trial. Our attorneys have extensive trial experience and will not hesitate to take cases to trial and handle those cases up through an appeal, especially when doing so is in the best interest of the client.

In addition to personal injury claims, Owens & Millsaps handles a wide variety of civil litigation including contract disputes, construction disputes, storm-water drainage problems, and zoning disputes.

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Business & Corporate Law

The form of business chosen for a business entity potentially affects every aspect of its operations. Our firm assists our clients in formation and business planning in deciding whether they want to operate as a closely held business, limited liability company, partnership, or corporation. We advise our clients about directors’ and officers’ liability, dissolution, franchising, reorganization, trade association membership and activity, joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, business successions, and shareholders’ rights. Our attorneys have years of experience in handling both transactional and litigation matters. In addition, we offer compliance and risk management advice on issues including HIPPA, sexual harassment, and employment discrimination

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Workplace & Employment Law

The attorneys at Owens & Millsaps have extensive experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in employment law cases. We find that handling both sides of employment law cases helps us better evaluate the issues facing our clients.

Owens & Millsaps has significant experience in interpreting and construing state and federal statutes and case law in areas such as employment discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, retaliatory discharge, employment contracts, the Americans With Disabilities Act, and the Family Medical Leave Act.

Employment law often involves complicated legal issues and high-stakes for both employees and employers. Our attorneys understand how to develop employment law cases form both the employer’s and employee’s perspective and how to manage the risk involved in this area.

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Medical Malpractice Defense

Owens & Millsaps has decades of experience handling medical malpractice cases throughout Alabama and Mississippi. Our firm exclusively handles the defense side of medical malpractice actions. We are very proud of our work on behalf of local doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers. Owens & Millsaps seeks to resolve medical malpractice actions effectively and efficiently. The firm understands that accusations of negligence weigh heavily on healthcare providers and need to be addressed aggressively and quickly.

Attorney Profiles

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Apsilah (Appie) Owens Millsaps (Partner)

Appie Millsaps was born and raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama by John A. Owens and Dorothy Terry Owens. Appie and her husband Leland Edward Millsaps have three daughters.

Appie Millsaps graduated from Dartmouth College in 1988 and the University of Alabama School of Law in 1992.  She received numerous honors  as a law student including being selected as a Hugo L. Black Scholar, being elected an Editor of the Alabama Law Review, receiving the Editor in Chief’s Award, receiving multiple best paper awards, and being named as a member of the Bench & Bar Honor Society. She has continued to receive accolades as an attorney — serving as President of the Women’s Section of the State of Alabama Bar Association, and serving on the Young Lawyer’s Executive Committee. Appie has been rated as an AV Preeminent® attorney by Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review process, its highest rating for ethical standards and legal ability.

Mrs. Millsaps is an active member of the Tuscaloosa community. She has served many local organizations including the Tuscaloosa Rotary Club, Zonta Club of Tuscaloosa, Big Brothers/Big Sisters Board of Directors, the Boy Scouts of America, and the First United Methodist Church of Tuscaloosa. Appie is currently the Advisor for Delta Gamma at the University of Alabama.

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John A. Owens (Senior Partner)

John A. Owens was raised in Gordo, Alabama. He is married to Dorothy Terry of Red Level, Alabama. They have two children who are: Apsilah (Appie) Geer Owens Millsaps and Terry Owens Alvarez.

Mr. Owens graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor of science degree in Commerce and Business Administration and a major in Accounting. After graduation, he served three years on active duty for the United States Navy. Mr. Owens remained in the United States Navy Reserves for eleven years and attained the rank of Lieutenant.

Upon completion of his activity duty military obligations, John A. Owens enrolled in the University of Alabama School of Law. He graduated as valedictorian of his law school class. Mr. Owens was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in April 1967 and has practiced law in Tuscaloosa, continuously, since that date.

Throughout his legal career, John A. Owens has devoted significant time and effort to serving his fellow attorneys. He has consistently been an active member of the Tuscaloosa County and Alabama State Bar Associations. Mr. Owens served as the President of the Alabama State Bar from July 1995 to July 1996.

Mr. Owens understands the importance of giving back to Tuscaloosa and has remained very active in local community organizations. He has served in countless capacities including President of the Tuscaloosa Rotary Club, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of First United Methodist Church of Tuscaloosa, President of the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, and United Way Chairman – Professional Division.

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Susie Taylor Carver (Partner)

Susie Taylor Carver received a B.A. in English from the University of Alabama in 1971 and is a 1986 graduate of The University of Alabama School of Law. She was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1986, and is authorized to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Northern and Middle Districts of Alabama, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth and the Eleventh Circuits, and the U.S. Supreme Court. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Trial Lawyers Association, the Alabama State Bar Association, and the Tuscaloosa County Bar Association.

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Rebecca Young (Associate)

Rebecca Young has worked for Owens & Millsaps, LLP since graduating from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2009. She is licensed to practice before Alabama’s United States District Courts in the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts and before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Rebecca has extensive experience representing a wide variety of clients in both state and federal courts. She has specific trial practice in matters involving personal injury and employment cases, mass torts, and environmental and product liability cases.

Rebecca is a 2014 graduate of Leadership Tuscaloosa and serves her community through involvement in her church and a number of civic organizations. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Arts and Humanities Council of Tuscaloosa, the Druid City Garden Project, and First Presbyterian Preschool. Rebecca and her husband, Jonathan, enjoy spending time on Lake Tuscaloosa with their young son Jack.

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