Board of Directors
Lee R. Benton
Chairman of the Board
Lee Benton is a member of the firm of Benton and Centeno, LLP, and practices in the areas of Business Litigation, Bankruptcy, and Secured Transactions. He is a graduate of Cumberland School of Law and was admitted to practice law in Alabama in 1977 and in Tennessee in 2001. Lee was the President of the Birmingham Bar Association in 2009 and also served on its Executive Committee from 2009 to 2011. He is a member of the Litigation Section of the Federal and American Bar Associations, a member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Lee has been a member of AIM's Board of Directors since 2008 and was appointed Chairman of the Board in 2019.
Why Lee Serves AIM
“I like/appreciate the way AIM handles claims and makes me feel like I have a backstop for my practice. I like the Board and staff, collectively and, more importantly, individually.”
Raymond L. Bell, Jr.
Raymond Bell is a member of the law firm of Maynard, Cooper & Gale, P.C. in their Mobile office. He was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1998. He holds a B.S. from the University of Montevallo and received his J.D. from the Jones School of Law. Raymond began his professional career as the Special Assistant to the President Pro Tem of the Alabama Senate and then worked as Special Assistant to the Lt. Governor and Appointment Secretary to the Governor. Over the last 20 years, his practice has involved litigation, public finance, affordable housing, public entity representation, and governmental relations. Raymond is formerly licensed as an investment banker and is a former Chair of the State Ethics Commission. He serves as an Alabama State Bar Commissioner and a Fellow of the Alabama Law Foundation. Raymond is a graduate of Leadership Alabama and is active in the Mobile Bar Association and the Southern District of Alabama CLA Panel Mediators.
Raymond has been a member of AIM's Board of Directors since 2019.
Why Raymond Serves AIM
“I joined the team at AIM because I wanted to be a part of a respected organization that provides valuable services to lawyers, our profession, and the public. The AIM products are a perfect fit for small to medium-size law firms and provide great insurance coverage options for lawyers. It’s a win-win!”
Lee Copeland is a partner at the Montgomery firm of Copeland Franco, where his practice involves a wide variety of business, insurance, and general litigation. Lee received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Alabama. Following law school, he clerked for United States District Judge Truman M. Hobbs, Sr. Lee served as President of the Alabama State Bar in 2015-16, is a past member of the Alabama State Bar Executive Committee, the Board of Bar Commissioners, and is a past President of Montgomery County Bar Association. Lee is actively involved in numerous bar and court committees including serving as Chair of the Alabama State Bar Committee on Character and Fitness. He is a Trustee for Huntington College and a Director of the Montgomery Academy. Lee is a Fellow of the Alabama Law Foundation and the American Bar Association.
Lee has been a member of AIM's Board of Directors since 2020.
Claire Alexander Black
Claire Black is a graduate of the University of Alabama (B.A. and J.D.) and was admitted to practice in Alabama in 1979. Claire was a member of the firm of Dishuck, LaCoste & Black, P.C. from 1987 until April 1991 and a member of the firm of Crownover & Black, P.C., from 1982 until 1987, both of which were located in Tuscaloosa.
Claire has been a member of AIM's Board of Directors since AIM's inception.
Why Claire Serves AIM
“Before AIM, Alabama lawyers were subject to sudden and drastic changes in premiums and in some cases were denied coverage by commercial insurance companies. AIM is an attorney-owned and -operated company which brings stability to the market and personal service to our insureds by experienced professionals who know our state practice of law.”
L. Tennent Lee, III
Tennent Lee, now retired from practice, was a shareholder in the firm of Wilmer & Lee, P.A. He also practiced with the firm of Cleary, Lee, Morris, Smith, Evans & Rowe, P.C. from 1977 until July 1988, and was a partner in the Huntsville office of Burr & Forman, L.L.P. from 1988 to August 2000. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama (B.S. and LL.B.) and was admitted to practice in Alabama in 1960. Lee is a former Chairman of the Alabama State Bar Board of Bar Examiners and is a past president of the Huntsville - Madison County Bar Association.
Tennent has been a member of AIM's Board of Directors since AIM's inception.
Why Tennent Serves AIM
“My work with AIM gives me the pleasure of interacting with my fellow lawyers.”
William L. Lee, IV
William Lee is a member in the law firm of Lee, Livingston, Lee, Nichols & Barron, P.C. in Dothan, a firm that can trace its origins to the late 1800s in Alabama and where he has practiced his entire career. His practice includes personal injury litigation, general insurance defense, worker's compensation, product liability, and insurance litigation. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama (B.S. and J.D.) and was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1995. William is active in the Houston County Bar Association, where he has served as President, and the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association, where he has served as a Director, Young Lawyers Section President, and a member of the ADLA Journal Editorial Board. He is a Trustee of the Farrah Law Society and a Barrister in the American Inns of Court.
William has been a member of AIM's Board of Directors since 2019.
Why William Serves AIM
“I have been with AIM my entire legal career. AIM provides a fantastic product and excellent service. I highly recommend AIM to all lawyers.”
Walter E. McGowan
Walter McGowan is a partner in the Tuskegee, Alabama firm of Gray, Langford, Sapp, McGowan, Gray, Gray & Nathanson, where his practice focuses on civil litigation for both plaintiffs and defendants. He is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Fisk University and received his law degree from Temple University School of Law. He was admitted to the Alabama Bar in 1981. Walter has been recognized in numerous ways for his extensive experience as a trial lawyer. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a Member of the American Board of Trial Advocacy. He is a Fellow of the Alabama Law Foundation and a Member of the Alabama Judicial Oversight Commission and has served as Vice President of the Federal Bar Association. Walter has a long history of community service, from being an Eagle Scout to serving on the Boards of the Tuskegee-Macon County YMCA, Resurrection Catholic Mission, and Amerifirst Bank.
Walter has been a member of AIM's Board of Directors since 2022.
Charles H. Moses, III
Charles Moses is engaged in the practice of law with the firm of Moses & Moses, P.C., in Birmingham. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama (B.S., J.D. and LL.M. Taxation) and was admitted to practice in Alabama in 1968. Charlie is a former member and former Chairman of the Insurance Programs Committee of the Alabama State Bar and former Chairman of the Alabama State Bar Lawyer Referral Service. He has also served as a member of the Alabama State Bar Board of Bar Examiners.
Charlie has been the Secretary of AIM since May 1988 and the Treasurer since July 1989.
Why Charlie Serves AIM
“I like that as an insured I am a part owner of AIM and that it is dedicated to providing the best insurance available in the market.”
Sharon D. Stuart
Sharon Stuart is a partner in the law firm of Christian & Small, L.L.P. in Birmingham, Alabama. She is a graduate of Samford University (B.S.) and Cumberland School of Law (J.D.). Sharon
was admitted to practice in Texas in 1990 and in Alabama in 1992. She served as law clerk to the Honorable Sharon Lovelace Blackburn, U.S. District Judge, Northern District, Alabama. Sharon is also a Trustee of Samford University.
Sharon has been a member of AIM's Board of Directors since 2001. She has served as Chair of the Marketing Committee and a member of the Investment/Audit, Underwriting, Personnel and Executive Committees.
In 2019, Sharon was appointed President & Claims Counsel for AIM.
Why Sharon Serves AIM
“I love that AIM's management, staff and board really care about our insureds, our owners, and that we are constantly striving to offer the best product and service.”
Gaynor St. John
Gaynor St. John has been a partner at St. John and St. John for over 28 years. Gaynor’s practice has been devoted to civil litigation to include healthcare litigation, professional medical liability, and business litigation. In her 30 years of practice, she has tried in excess of 55 civil cases to a jury verdict in North Alabama. Honored by her peers for her litigation skills, Gaynor has been inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. She currently serves as the Alabama State Chair of the American College of Trial Lawyers. She has also been inducted as an associate of the American Board of Trial Advocates. She is a frequent lecturer on trial skills and trial preparation. Gaynor is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Denison University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She received her law degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1987.
Gaynor has been a member of AIM's Board of Directors since 2021.
Why Gaynor Serves AIM
"I have been involved in claims handling with AIM and have seen first hand the commitment AIM makes to defend our insured attorneys."
In Memoriam of P. Richard Hartley
"There is a reason Richard Hartley was selected as a Super Lawyer. He was a small-town lawyer with big-city knowledge on both sides of the courtroom aisle. He was distinctly caring about disadvantaged people and could comfortably relate to all people, but he was also a highly effective and professionally sophisticated advocate for business and governmental clients. He lived a life of gentlemanly manners but didn’t pull any punches when he needed to be heard. An incisive judge of character, he was able to identify duplicity and made no excuses for others in whom he saw it. His straightforward horse sense enabled him to approach problems and with wise advice, to pinpoint issues and then to solve them efficiently. As a revered and well-respected member of the Bar, he served his profession with honor, dedication, and a generous spirit of giving. He was a well-connected, powerful, and strategic ally who also believed in honesty, equality, and furthering the common good.
Richard loved not only his profession but also his life outside of it. His wife, Marion, was his truest love and companion, and he had pride talking about his family. Witty and with an incisive sense of humor, he was charming in conversation and liked to share things he enjoyed with others. He loved life at the beach and delicious food, as long as it wasn’t too fancy. His family was part of the fabric of his historical Episcopal church. He had a myriad of friends from all walks of life, and he will be loved, remembered, and quoted by many. His heart was good, and his influence left the world, from Greenville, Alabama to far beyond, a better place."
- Memoriam written by fellow AIM Board member Claire Alexander Black