BRET R. SMITH
Bret R. Smith has a background and experience unique to the practice of law.
A 1991 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Bret served the United States as an Air Force officer and jet pilot before attending law school at the University of Alabama.
Although it would appear that the cockpit of a Boeing B-1 Lancer and a courtroom do not have much in common, Bret has found that professionalism, preparation, and attention to detail have been vital to success in both places.
Bret R. Smith is a member of the Alabama State Bar, Tuscaloosa County Bar Association, and is licensed to practice law in State and Federal Courts across Alabama.
In addition to obtaining the rank of Major while in the Air Force, Bret was appointed by Governor Robert Bentley as an Honorary Admiral in the State of Alabama.
State and Counties served: All of West Alabama including Tuscaloosa, Pickens, Hale, Marion, Lamar, and Fayette Counties
AREAS OF PRACTICE
- High Asset Divorce
- Uncontested Divorce
- Child Custody
- Alimony/Spousal Support
- Child Support
- Visitation/Co-Parenting Plan
- Estate Planning
- Advanced Directive for Healthcare
- Power of Attorney
- Estate Cases
DANIEL F. PRUET
My name is Daniel Pruet and I am an attorney based in Tuscaloosa, AL. Though I was raised in Tuscaloosa, I have lived all over the country. I earned my undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama and I spent seven years working in the restaurant business. In 2005, I obtained my Juris Doctor from Thomas Goode Jones School of Law. In addition to graduating first in my class, I won multiple trial competitions and competed against other law students from across the country.
After graduating from law school, I worked as an appellate law clerk for the Honorable William C. Thompson, Presiding Judge, at the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. Working for the Court allowed me to hone my research skills and, most importantly, gain a better understanding of the “big picture” in regard to how the appellate system works.
This insight has helped me better serve my clients by allowing to me understand the importance of preserving objections for the record in order to ensure that my clients do not win at trial only to lose on appeal because something was not done correctly. My time working in the appellate system has made me a better litigator because I have experience in both levels of Alabama’s legal system – the trial level and the appellate level.
In 2006, I returned to Tuscaloosa to work at the Tuscaloosa County District Attorney’s Office. In my five years at the DA’s Office, I tried approximately 30 cases to a jury verdict and I managed a case load of approximately 800 cases. I prosecuted misdemeanors such as Domestic Violence and DUI, and I spent one year prosecuting nothing but drug cases. For almost three years, I served as one of four attorneys assigned to the Violent Crimes Unit. During my time with the Violent Crimes Unit, I prosecuted all types of violent felonies, from Rape to Capital Murder.
My time at the DA Office has helped me in several ways. First, it gave me the opportunity to learn how to try a case. Simply put, I know my way around a courtroom. It also enabled me to hone my negotiating skills because I had the opportunity to work with attorneys and judges on hundreds of cases. Working at the DA’s Office also allowed me to develop personal relationships with prosecutors, private attorneys, judges, and police officers.
Knowing the people working in the legal system helps me help my clients because I know how the people have handled situations in the past, thereby reducing the guesswork inherent in any litigious situation.
In 2011, I opened my own firm with the desire to focus solely on litigation in a setting that allows me to provide sound counsel and individualized representation to my clients. To achieve that goal, I keep a relatively low number of active cases so that I can better serve my clients by having the time to meet with them and understand their unique situation. My diverse background, coupled with hard work and a desire to focus only on litigation has enabled me to serve my clients well.
In 2017, I helped found the Browne House Law Group, LLC. Being at BHLG has allowed me to continue working closely with my clients while getting the benefit of being able to draw from the experience and resources of the other member firms.
When not practicing law, I enjoy working on my family’s farm, coaching youth baseball, and traveling. I am a elder at Trinity Presbyterian Church, PCA. I am married to Caryn Pruet, and we have three wonderful children.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
Tuscaloosa Criminal Law
- Civil Law
- Criminal Law
- DUI Law
- Domestic Violence Law
- Drug Crime Law
- Litigation Law
- Juvenile Crime Law
- Sex Offenses
- Alcohol Offenses
- White Collar Crimes
- Domestic Violence
- Violent Crimes
- Criminal Record Expungement
- Vehicular Homicide / Vehicular Manslaughter / Vehicular Murder
- Federal and State Drug Charges
- Firearms Possession / Weapons Violations
Hudson Cheshire is from Dothan, Alabama.
He received his Juris Doctorate from The University of Alabama School of Law, where he served as a published contributor and the Executive Articles Editor of the Law and Psychology Review.
Prior to law school, Hudson graduated summa cum laude from Auburn University with a bachelors degree in English and a business minor. While there he was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society.
Hudson is a member of the Alabama State Bar, the Tuscaloosa County Bar Association and the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association. He practices in criminal defense and juvenile law.
JASON P. BAILEY
Jason has enjoyed a career practicing, teaching, and writing about the law. Before moving to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Jason was a lawyer in Kentucky and Colorado. At home in Alabama, he has used his experience and knowledge of the law in different states and across several disciplines to build a legal practice dedicated to solving client problems effectively and efficiently.
The benefit of having been a lawyer in several states is that it allows Jason to draw upon those experiences to find unique solutions to local legal problems. Jason’s experience opens him to new solutions that others might not find, all while clients get the benefit of a traditional West Alabama law practice.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
Social Security Disability & SSI
The Social Security Administration has a robust and complex system for reviewing and deciding claims. A disability claim does not end with the first denial of a claim. If you are unable to work, you may eligible for benefits despite what the Social Security Administration initially tells you. See what Jason can offer disability claimants at www.disabilityalabama.com.
Probate, Wills, Trusts, & Estates
Every adult should have a will. Every family should have a plan. Through wills, trusts, and other devices you can and should plan ahead to protect your family and to protect your assets. Probate is the process through which the directions in a will are carried out, under court supervision. Contact Jason about preparing a will or to help you carry out your obligations as a personal representative in probate.
Small Business, Employment, & Overtime
Businesses go through several phases over their life cycle: the beginning and incorporation, the operation, and the sale or dissolution. In the beginning you need not only to file the right forms for the state to recognize your business, but you need to create the operating documents that direct how it should run as well. Once a business is running there are issues of employment, contracts, and collection to be dealt with. Eventually, or in parts a business might dissolve, split in two, or need to be sold or passed on to family. Jason has dealt with small businesses at all phases of their existence. Contact him to help you with yours.
After your trial or hearing has ended, a new phase of your case is just beginning, the appeal. Not all cases should be appealed, but if the trial or hearing didn’t go as planned contact Jason about the appeal, including post-conviction work in a criminal case. Jason has a particular interest in appeals and may be able to take you appeal on a fixed fee. He follows appellate decisions and writes about some of them on his Alabama Appeals blog.
Before moving to Tuscaloosa, Jason was a visiting assistant professor in the Legal Studies Program at Morehead State University where he taught a variety of classes including: Real Estate, Contracts, Family Law, Employment, Torts (personal injury), and Trial Skills.
Jason is a Colorado Bar Fellow and winner of the 2014 American Bar Association Journal’s Ross Writing Contest for Short Legal Fiction. He has served on the boards of several non-profits and is a Rotarian and Paul Harris Fellow. He has been active in and served bar organizations including the American Bar Association, the Colorado Bar Association, and the Mesa County Bar Association. Jason is a member of the Tuscaloosa Bar Association and is active in the Alabama State Bar’s Volunteer Lawyers Program. He is a member of the 2020 class of Leadership Tuscaloosa and a member of Class 15 of the prestigious Alabama State Bar Leadership Training program.
The following cases describe some of Jason’s experience:
- Various appeals of Social Security denials to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.
- May v. May, 292 So.3d 385, (Ala. Civ. App. 2019), Defended against ex-spouse’s appeal of divorce and received award of attorney fees on appeal.
- Schandel v. Siebert, 175 F.Supp.3d 1238 (D.Colo. 2016) Helped an ex-spouse keep retirement benefits against claim for reduction in benefits.
- Nodland v. Murphy, 2011 WL 5984863 (D.Colo. Nov. 30, 2011) and Nodland v. Murphy, 2011 WL 4843317 (D.Colo. June 30, 2011) In a dispute where homeowners defended against foreclosure on the basis of a valid modification, the cited cases show their successful fight to keep the case in local state court rather than a distant federal court.
- On appeal Jason successfully defended a creditor against a property developer’s alleged $900,000 mechanics lien claim.
- Authored motion for summary judgment against property developer that resulted in a judgment in excess of $1M.