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Leila Watson has practiced with Ernie Cory, co-founder of Cory Watson Attorneys, for 32 years. She has worked on precedent-setting cases with state and national implications. Leila represented Jett Williams and proved that Jett is the natural daughter of famous singer and songwriter, Hank Williams, Sr., and in the process updated Alabama law so no other heir would have to shoulder the burden of finding their inheritance on their own. Leila also obtained the first double-digit million-dollar wrongful death verdict in Alabama—$15,000,000.
Not only has Leila worked on big cases, she is also well-known for taking time to negotiate car accident cases, probate issues, municipal cases, and talking to people about whatever is disrupting their daily lives and finding solutions for them.
Ernie Cory convinced her as a young lawyer to handle cases on subjects she knew nothing about: “it’s not what you don’t know, it’s all about what you can learn.” So, she learned things like how to drive a tractor-trailer truck, set up a fuse box, maintain a hospital record, sell life insurance, and a host of other skills to present her cases at trial.
Leila’s legal skills and passion for studying the law are recognized by her colleagues. She was appointed by the Alabama Supreme Court to the Alabama Pattern Jury Instructions Committee—Civil in 1998. This Committee is rewriting the civil jury instructions in plain language to make the instructions understandable to lay persons. She has been appointed the chair of the Alabama Association for Justice Amicus Curiae Brief Committee for years, responsible for steering the committee that selects and writes appellate briefs on issues of importance to ALAJ members. In 2015, Leila was elected President-Elect of the Birmingham Bar Association.
While Leila is a passionate and dedicated lawyer, she is also a family-oriented woman who loves to volunteer. She and her family are very involved in the Birmingham community, supporting local charities that focus on children’s education and health and making Birmingham a great place to raise a family. Leila loves to cook and is always looking forward to her weekly Sunday night dinner with friends and family.
Leila approaches her life at home and at the office with this simple quote:
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” -Dr. Seuss
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