Gregory Varner

Senior Attorney

Email: gvarner@gregvarnerlaw.com

Education

  • Regent University School of Law; Virginia, Juris Doctor, May 1999 
  • Georgia Institute of Technology; Atlanta, GA. Bachelor of Science in International Affairs, Certificates in City Planning, Economics. September 1995 

Greg earned his undergraduate degree from Georgia Tech, where he received training in economics, international policy, and city planning. After clerking with the Atlanta law firm, Alston & Bird, he obtained his law degree from Regent University School of Law, in Virginia.

Thereafter, Greg married his wife, Kelly, and started as an associate attorney in Randolph County, with a firm in Roanoke. A year later, he opened his own law firm in Ashland, AL, in 2000, where he has since represented thousands of individuals, small businesses, family farms, and local governments throughout east Alabama. Greg has developed a reputation within the legal community for his integrity, work-ethic, preparedness and knowledge of the law. Over the last twenty years, the firm has grown from a sole practitioner in rural, east Alabama (with only his wife as secretary), to its most recent size of two offices, five attorneys, and six staff members, serving clients around the entire state of Alabama.

Greg’s clients now benefit from his 20+ years of experience and knowledge, garnered from thousands of multi-practice matters and cases. Greg has represented individuals from all walks of life and all types of social, cultural, and financial backgrounds. Greg has made thousands of court appearances in circuit, district, municipal, and juvenile courts throughout Alabama.

He is admitted to practice law in Alabama and the United States District Court for the Middle and Northern Districts of Alabama. Greg serves as President of the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Greg has also served as a Bar Commissioner on the Alabama State Bar Board of Bar Commissioners, the governing body in Alabama for lawyers, for nine years.

Greg and his wife Kelly reside in Clay County with their three daughters. While raising three teenagers keeps them busy, Greg enjoys kayaking, water skiing, and watching movies. (Favorites include: Shawshank Redemption, Dead Poets Society, A Beautiful Mind, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark,  Malcolm X, Chariots of Fire & Schindler’s List) 

REPRESENTATIVE CRIMINAL DEFENSE CASES

  • State of Alabama v. K.M. (Capital Murder; Coosa County Circuit Court): Obtained a Not Guilty
    verdict in a multi-week capital murder trial. Case revolved around specialized forensic evidence and
    co-defendant testimony.
  • State of Alabama v. D.L (Capital Murder; Madison County); Litigated a dismissal of all charges. Case involved investigation, development and presentation of an alibi defense.
  • State of Alabama vs. C.K.S (Rape, Clay County); Obtained Not Guilty verdicts on two counts of rape, Dimissal of other count of Rape.
  • State of Alabama v. J.D. (Clay County Circuit, Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals and Supreme Court): Successfully challenged and caused reversal of an illegal sentence. Case involved improper application of the Alabama Sentencing Guidelines. 277 So. 3d 995 (Ala. 2018)
  • State of Alabama v. S. A. (Capital Murder; Calhoun County Circuit Court): Negotiated a plea to manslaughter. Negotiations achieved life sentence with possibility of parole. Case involved extensive discovery and litigation of prior sexual assaults committed by the victim-decedent on the defendant and multiple other victims.
  • State of Alabama vs. A.J.S. (Sodomy, 1st Degree; Cleburne County Circuit Court, Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals): Challenged the constitutionality of the mandatory application of lifetime sex offender registration for juvenile offenders.
  • State of Alabama vs K.I. & B.B. (Drug Possession; Clay County Circuit Court) Challenged and successfully ended the practice of regularly conducted road blocks in Clay County as being violation of the Fourth Amendment.
  • State of Alabama vs. T.H. (Capital Murder; Randolph County Circuit Court) Successfully invoked the Alabama Stand-your-Ground immunity defense in a capital murder case. Obtained his immediate release on plea to manslaughter. This litigation and legal research therefrom was ultimately adopted statewide.
  • State of Alabama vs. A.G. (Murder; Coosa County Circuit Court): Successfully litigated post-conviction causing a sentence reduction from Life without Possibility of Parole to Life, enabling release onto parole.
  • State of Alabama vs. R.S. (Rape, Clay County Circuit Court) Successfully litigated post-conviction causing conviction to be set aside, enabling immediate release.

REPRESENTATIVE CIVIL CASES

  • R.K. and C.K v. R.J.,  (Clay County Juvenile Court and Alabama Court of Civil Appeals): Litigated matter as trial counsel; as appellate counsel, caused reversal of the trial court judgment. Extended the rights of grandparents and third parties in disputed custody matters with absent parents. 843 So. 2d 774, 775 (Ala. Civ. App. 2002)
  • Shannon Robbins vs. Cleburne County Commission (Cleburne County Circuit Court and Alabama Supreme Court); Made oral arguments before the Alabama Supreme Court. 300 So. 3d 573, 574 (Ala. 2020)
  • In the re the matter of S.M.B, (Clay County Circuit) Litigated and successfully secured the adoption of a child. Case involved a child which had been adopted by two sets of families by separate courts.
  • Clay County Commission vs. Clay County Animal Shelter, et al (Clay County Circuit and Alabama Court of Civil Appeals): Litigated and successfully caused reversal concerning the constitutionality of local legislation passed by the Alabama Legislature concerning tax appropriation. Case involved legislative procedure and state constitutional law. 283 So. 3d 1218, 1220 (Ala. 2019)
  • First United Methodist Church vs. Metal Roofing Solutions, Inc. (Clay County Circuit) Represented a church in construction defects of the church building and roofing systems. Obtained complete satisfaction of church demands.
  • Randolph County Industrial Development Council v. Sen. Gerald Dial et al. (Randolph County Circuit Court) and Clay County Commission, et al v. Sen. Gerald Dial, et. al. (Clay County Circuit Court): Successfully challenged the constitutionality of two pieces of corresponding local legislation passed by the Alabama State Legislature. Cases involved issues of separation of powers, due process, and violation of certain sections of the Alabama State Constitution.
  • Frontier Bank v. Browne (Coosa County Circuit Court): Litigated dismissal of an eight-count lawsuit against the Frontier Bank Board of Directors by a former officer and member of the board of directors.
  • Buckhannon, et al. v. Graben (Clay County Circuit Court and United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Alabama): Represented heirs in litigation against the personal representative of an estate; obtained a judgment against the personal representative for breach of fiduciary responsibility. Subsequently, successfully caused judgment to be treated as non-dischargeable debt by the bankruptcy court.
  • Kimbrough v. Jones, et. al. (Coosa County Circuit Court and Alabama Court of Civil Appeals): Successfully litigated the professional malpractice by a home inspector at trial court level and on appeal. Ultimately reached a positive outcome for client through appellate mediation.
  • Touart v. Runyan (Clay County Circuit Court and Alabama Court of Civil Appeals): Prosecuted a complex boundary line dispute at trial and appeal involving multiple and separate boundaries between adjacent landowners. Trial court granted petitions at trial and appellate court affirmed the ruling.
  • Clay County Commission v. Gaston, et. al. (Clay County Probate Court): Successfully prosecuted complex condemnation action as sole counsel for municipality involving multiple parcels of real property with multiple defendants for expansion of county airport.
  • Fisher v. Best Western, et.al. (Randolph County Circuit Court): Obtained a money judgment by jury verdict against an employer by a former employee for invasion of privacy.
  • Lyle v. Bankston Motor Homes (Madison County Circuit Court): Litigated a UCC breach of warranty case for a purchaser for material defects in a travel trailer. Ultimately reached a positive conclusion through
    mediation. 

EXPERIENCE AND CORE COMPETENCIES

  • Criminal Defense. Represented over 1000 criminal defendants and juvenile delinquents in Alabama district, circuit and appellate courts including cases of capital murder, drug trafficking and possession, corporate embezzlement, sex offenses, other violent crimes, and DUI offences. Majority of these cases were performed as court-appointed counsel. From
    2011 until 2018, maintained one-of-three contracts for provision of all criminal indigent defense within the 40th Judicial Circuit.
  • Domestic Relations, Family and Juvenile. Represented various parties in over 300 Domestic Relations and Family Court matters including both contested and non-contested divorce and child custody proceedings. Acted as Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alabama by prosecuting over 500 dependency, child abuse, neglect, and termination of parental rights cases for Alabama Department of Human Resources in a five-county region. Appointed as Guardian ad Litem by various courts in over 100 matters to represent juveniles in dependency and adults in need of protective services cases.
  • Estate Planning and Elder Law. Counseled, prepared, and implemented over 450 estate plans for families across east central Alabama. Estates ranged in complexity but many included devices for protection of federal gift and estate tax credits, creation of special needs trusts, and appropriate techniques for Medicaid planning. Regularly conducted estate planning seminars for the public and private organizations.
  • Probate and Estate Administration. Represented various parties, mostly as estate counsel, in over 200 probate and estate administrations. Performed duties of drafting initiatory petitions, reviewing the administration of the estate, litigating contested matters, and insuring proper distribution of assets and closure of estate proceedings.
  • Local Government Law. Provided full-service representation and counsel to county governments, municipalities and local governmental agencies. General and trial counsel to Clay County Commission since 2001 and City of Ashland since 2020, wherein provision of counsel and participation in all aspects of the administration of county government including budget
    creation and management and human resources administration. Other prior and current clients: Sylacauga Public Housing Authority, Clay
    County Water Authority, Randolph County Industrial Development Council, Randolph County Water Board, Millerville Water Board, Town of Wadley, East Central Alabama Gas District, and Ashland-Goodwater-Lineville Solid Waste Authority.
  • Real Estate, Civil, and Appellate Litigation. Participated as sole counsel for plaintiffs and defendants in over 100 litigated real estate disputes, both at trial and on appeal, involving boundary lines, easements, evictions adverse possession and trespass. Successfully prosecuted, to verdict, multiple non-jury trials involving construction defects and other consumer-type
    actions. 
  • Real Estate and Corporate Transactions. Conducted over 150 residential real estate closings and transactions. Assisted in the legal design and formation of dozens of profit and non-profit corporations and companies. Counseled parties in contested small-business dissolutions and buy-outs.