Kendall grew up in LaGrange, Ga., and graduated with honors from LaGrange High School in 1989, after serving his senior class as president. He was awarded a full scholarship throughout his matriculation at the University of Georgia. Kendall earned a degree in Corporate Finance from UGA. Among a host of UGA honors, Kendall says one of his most treasured honors was being elected President of the Zeta Iota chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.
Kendall says he was inspired to law from two sources. One was a legal television serious popular in the 1980s called “L.A. Law,” which initially piqued his interest in the legal field. As he began to explore the field, Kendall says he realized the importance of the court system to the Civil Rights movement. Landmark court cases decided by the Courts in that fight were a major inspiration to his pursuing a legal career.
A recipient of the Calloway Scholarship, Kendall is a graduate of the University of Alabama School Of Law and is licensed to practice in both Alabama and Georgia. He has participated in numerous legal and community organizations, including a task force charged with reconfiguring Alabama’s method of rendering legal services to the State’s underprivileged population. Kendall is a charter member of the 100 Black Men of Birmingham.
Before coming to work at Beasley Allen, Kendall worked in the litigation section of a prominent defense firm for two and a half years. At Beasley Allen, Kendall practices in the areas of Product Liability, General Personal Injury, and Workers’ Compensation cases involving defective industrial machinery. Kendall has worked on numerous cases with goals of compensating clients for their losses and influencing corporations to design and manufacture safer products. Kendall was a member of the trial team that handled a wrongful death case against a corporate defendant resulting in the largest jury verdict ever in Selma, Ala. That suit also influenced the corporate defendant to outfit its entire fleet of trucks with audible backup alarms. Kendall handled the bus collision case in Huntsville, Ala., that resulted in the death of four students and numerous injuries. The suit resulted in the cancellation of the contract between the County and the Defendant, which had the duty to safely transport students to school in Madison County.
Most recently, Kendall has been involved in several multimillion dollar lawsuits, including a $24.75 million dollar verdict in a premises liability case; an $18.79 million dollar verdict in a commercial truck product liability case; a $5.75 million verdict for the children who lost their father in a maritime lawsuit; and a $4.7 million dollar verdict in a seat belt failure case. About his practice, Kendall says:
I am most proud of my ability to help people, especially those people who have been injured through the fault of product manufacturers. A catastrophic injury can dramatically change a person and their family’s lives. It is good to know that we can help people with at least one aspect of their recovery. You can’t replace a body part of a loved one, but you can ease the burden by explaining what happened, obtaining a financial recovery to facilitate their ‘new normal’ and by influencing change for safety through litigation. I often find that clients are more satisfied when they know their litigation was instrumental in fostering safety changes so they will know that another innocent person won’t have to suffer as they are.
Kendall says he believes Beasley Allen’s goals and purpose sets it apart from other law firms, in that the firm’s mission statement of “Helping those who need it most” is not just a slogan, it’s who we are and what we do. He says he thinks it is most interesting that Beasley Allen consists of a group of lawyers who could easily be independently successful in other places, but stay together by choice. Kendall believes Beasley Allen is a strong firm because the lawyers lean on each other, help each other, and support each other as they all strive for a greater good.
Kendall has served as the president of both the Alabama Lawyers Association and the Capital City Bar Association. He recently completed a term as a Board Member for the National Bar Association. He served on the Board of the Montgomery County Bar Association until he was elected to the Executive Committee. Kendall is Past President of the Montgomery County Bar Association having the distinct honor of being the first African-American President. He is a member of the Alabama State Bar and serves on the Diversity Committee. He serves on the Alabama Curriculum Committee for the Board of Examiners, where he is authoring the new Tort section. Additionally, he authored the Torts section and videotaped the presentation to be viewed by all taking the Alabama Bar Exam.
Kendall was selected as Beasley Allen’s Litigator of the Year in 2013. In 2014, Kendall was recognized as our firm’s Personal Injury Section Lawyer of the Year.
Kendall is married to Samarria Munnerlyn Dunson. Samarria, a lawyer, is Director of the Office of Compliance and Ethics for the Alabama Department of Public Health. Kendall and Samarria have three children. The Dunsons worship at both First Baptist Church and Resurrection Catholic Church. In his spare time, Kendall is an avid golfer and reader. He loves science fiction TV shows and movies. Kendall says he is also forced to watch more Nick Junior and Disney Junior than he cares to admit at the behest of his daughters. But he confesses that he and his son enjoy watching and discussing professional wrestling.
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