By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
From the time Britley Leonard Brown was young, she always knew her career would involve helping people. Her top two career choices were medicine and law, and ultimately law won out. She met her husband, Jeremy when she was four years old, is blessed to have married her best friend, and they worship at Journey Church in Madison. Britley especially credits her mother, stepfather and grandparents with setting an example of commitment to community service, education, personal development, and faith. Britley is the daughter of Ginna Chittam- Jones of Athens and granddaughter of Martha Jo and Fred Leonard of Athens, and Hubert and Judy Chittam of Athens. Britley graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2015, is obviously an avid ‘Bama fan, and she loves animals.
Britley is an Athens native, attended Cowart Elementary, Athens Middle School, and graduated from Athens High School. Prior to getting a degree in law, she completed an undergrad degree in business and commerce at Alabama, and during college was active with student activities such as tutoring. She was a member of the Honors College. After graduation, for two years she worked at Compass Bank, and then returned to the University of Alabama.
Britley passed the bar exam the first time, and was accepted into both the Alabama Bar as well as the Limestone County Bar Associations. She became an attorney for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama in 2016. She has worked as an associate at Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC since 2016. The other members of the firm, including Athens City Attorney Shane Black, and his law partner, Anne Burrows are solidly behind her decision to run, and at the same time don’t relish the idea of losing her to the Limestone County bench.
Britley has served as a guardian ad litem, (GAL) which in the State of Alabama can only be done by a lawyer. GALs advocate for a child in cases such as dependency or termination of parental rights, and sometimes those which involve an incapacitated adult. The only duty of a guardian ad litem is to the child and the child alone, and Britley has always had a heart to protect and defend kids.
Britley is a member of Rotary International and has been involved at Athens High with getting the youth version of Rotary (known as the Interact Club) up and running. Because friends and family took the time to invest in her while serving the community themselves, Britley has done the same. She is also a part of the Athens Limestone Foundation on Aging, is on the board of United Way of Athens, is a member of the Limestone Area Community Foundation and is a strong supporter of veterans.
It is important to Britley that voters understand the kinds of things that take place in the Limestone County District Court. First of all, cases are heard by the judge only, and not a jury. Known as bench trials, there are slightly different terms used, such as judges issue findings rather than verdicts. If elected, the types of cases that Britley would hear would be misdemeanors, child support, juvenile delinquency, truancy, along with district civil cases and preliminary felony hearings.
In a bench trial, because there is no jury to hash out the merits of the case, everything falls on the judge’s shoulders. Any judge in this position must be an unusually good listener as well as have a thorough understanding of the law; Britley has both.
In the six years that Britley has been a member in good standing of the Alabama Bar Association as well as the Limestone County Bar Association, she has practiced law in several Alabama counties, including Limestone, Morgan, Madison, Lauderdale, Jefferson, Shelby, Mobile and Montgomery. She has dealt with the following types of cases: corporate, probate, real estate, juvenile (including dependency), civil, bankruptcy, estate planning, conservatorship, personal injury, eviction and formation of corporations.
Britley has represented hundreds of clients in circuit and district courts; Juvenile Court of Limestone County, Alabama; probate court; and the Bankruptcy Court of the Northern District of Alabama.
In terms of her personal mission, Britley wants to educate voters and help them to know and understand the Constitution as written. Her values are conservative, and she believes strongly in the rule of law. She has no problem being tough, and said, “I will hand down punishments on a case-by-case basis. I have no problem putting people in jail when that is the necessary thing to do.”
That being said, Britley will also work to see the current backlog of cases streamlined, and for non-violent first-time offenders, wants to explore options that will help get offenders back on track. She will be tough on child support offenders and will seek additional work release opportunities to ensure the child has proper care and maintenance throughout the possible jail sentence. Britley wants to make sure that interviewing techniques are consistent with guidelines set forth by the State of Alabama. This is especially important when it comes to working with youth. “I want to focus on working the Child Advocacy Center with respect to juvenile offenders,” she said.
Britley Leonard Brown is asking for your vote in the run-off election on June 21st, and pledges to be a fair and impartial judge who will serve the citizens of Limestone County honorably.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner