My very good friend Oakley Melton, Jr., died recently. Oakley was the founder of the highly successful and well-respected Montgomery law firm Melton, Espy & Williams, P.C. He was a highly respected lawyer and had a distinguished career. But Oakley may be better known among sports fans in Alabama for another organization he started – the Alabama-Auburn Perfect Attendance Club. While still a student at the University of Alabama and President of the Student Government Association, Oakley played a role in reviving the Alabama-Auburn football rivalry in 1948. It’s hard for today’s fans to imagine an SEC football season without the Iron Bowl. But actually, the two teams did not play each other for 41 years following a dispute between the two schools. When the rivalry was revived, Oakley attended 63 consecutive Iron Bowls. He began keeping track of others who faithfully attended the games, creating the Alabama-Auburn Perfect Attendance Club. Oakley’s perfect attendance streak ended in 2011 because of his declining health.
Oakley’s firm, Melton, Espy & Williams, represented other lawyers and judges, quite often, earning Oakley the designation as “the lawyer’s lawyer.” Oakley was a tremendous courtroom lawyer and enjoyed a great career. He was elected President of the Montgomery County Bar in 1974 and as President of the Alabama State Bar in 1978. His major accomplishment as Bar President was to successfully propose mandatory continuing legal education for Alabama lawyers, a program that is still in place today. During his career, Oakley also served as Chairman of the Supreme Court Advisory committee, which created and adopted the current Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure. He was a trusted advisor to five Alabama governors and several lieutenant governors, as well as legislators and members of trial and appellate courts.
Oakley was truly a “giant” in the legal profession. He was also a good man in every respect and is a man who will be sorely missed. Oakley is survived by his wife of 62 years, Melba Studdard Melton, and by his children, daughter Ree Smith (Sage); son Oakley Melton III (Diane); daughter Marcia Hudson (Adams); daughter Lee Hayes; and son Ben Melton. He also had eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.