Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Ins. Co., v. Buettner Brothers Lumber Company, Inc.

Filing 10

MEMORANDUM OPINION and ORDER that this court rejects all ofthe parties' proposals, and ORDERS that Mr. Wilbur P. Fowler, MAl, the owner of Fowler Bedwell & Associates, Real Estate Appraisal and Consultant Services in Arab, Alabama, shall serve a s umpire ofthe parties' dispute, the parties are further ORDERED to mail, forthwith, copies of all materials necessary for Mr. Fowler to begin the process of assessing the loss in controversy,together with the names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, and resumes of the parties' respective appraisers; as more fully set out in order. Signed by Judge C Lynwood Smith, Jr on 5/11/2012. (AHI, )

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FILED 2012 May-11 PM 03:27 U.S. DISTRICT COURT N.D. OF ALABAMA F ILED UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA . lUll MAY I f P 3: 20 NORTHEASTERN DIVISION U.S. DISTRIST CO:';PT P fi.{lNOINAJSU.~r£. V A N I A LUMBERMENS MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff, vs. BUETTNER BROTHERS LUMBER COMPANY, INC., Defendant. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Civil Action No. CV-12-S-865-NE MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER This diversity jurisdiction case is before the court on the petition of plaintiff, Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance, asking the court to appoint a neutral to umpire a dispute between the parties' respective appraisers over the amount of a covered loss, the counterclaim of defendant, Buettner Brothers Lumber Company, Inc., seeking the same relief, and defendant's motion for oral argument. l Defendant holds a commercial property insurance policy issued by plaintiffand insuring a building owned by defendant located at 700 7th Avenue in Cullman, 1 See doc. no. 1 (Petition for Appointment of a Neutral Umpire); doc. no. 3 (Answer and Response to Petition for Appointment of Umpire), at 5-6; and doc. no. 4 (defendant's Motion for Oral Argument). This court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Plaintiff is a Pennsylvania corporation and its principal place of business is Pennsylvania, and defendant is an Alabama corporation and its principal place of business is Alabama. Id. at 1-2. The amount in controversy is well in excess of $75,000. See id. at 4 ("Buettner contends that its losses are approximately $700,000 more than [plaintiff] has identified and paid ...."). Alabama. 2 The action arises from an insurance claim filed by defendant following damage suffered by an EF -4 tornado on or about April 27, 2011. 3 Plaintiff engaged an independent adjuster who determined that the covered losses totaled $630,300.3 7, and plaintiff subsequently paid defendant that amount. 4 Defendant contends that it suffered covered losses greater than those identified by plaintiffs adjuster, however,5 and invoked the appraisal provision ofthe insurance policy.6 The policy provisions controlling that process read as follows: Ifwe and you disagree on the value ofthe property or the amount of loss, either may make a written demand for an appraisal of the loss. In this event, each party will select a competent and impartial appraiser. The two appraisers will select an umpire. If they cannot agree, either may request that selection be made by a judge of a court having jurisdiction. The appraisers will state separately the value of the property and amount of loss. Ifthey fail to agree, they will submit their differences to the umpire. A decision agreed to by any two will be binding. Each party will: a. Pay its chosen appraiser; and b. Bear the other expenses of the appraisal and umpire equally. See doc. no. 1 (Petition for Appointment of a Neutral Umpire) ~ 3. 3 See id. ~~ 6-7; doc. no. 3 (Answer and Response to Petition for Appointment of Umpire) 2 ~~ 6-7. 4 See doc. no. 1 (Petition for Appointment of a Neutral Umpire) ~ 9; doc. no. 3 (Answer and Response to Petition for Appointment of Umpire) ~ 9. 5 See doc. no. 1 (Petition for Appointment of a Neutral Umpire) ~ 10; doc. no. 3 (Answer and Response to Petition for Appointment of Umpire) ~ 10. 6 See doc. no. 1 (Petition for Appointment ofa Neutral Umpire) ~ 11; doc. no. 3 (Answer and Response to Petition for Appointment of Umpire) ~ 11. 2 If there is an appraisal, we still retain our right to deny the claim. 7 Defendant engaged an appraiser to represent its interests, and the appraiser valued the physical damage to the covered property at $1,309,667.80. 8 The parties' appraisers could not agree on the choice ofan umpire, and plaintiff filed the subject petition on March 19, 2012,9 and simultaneously submitted the names of three potential umpires.1O Defendant answered the petition on April 6, 2012, asserted a counterclaim requesting the court to appoint a neutral umpire under the policy provisions quoted above, 11 and proposed two additional umpires. 12 Thereafter, the parties submitted briefs outlining their arguments in favor of their proffered umpires and objections to the names submitted by the opposing party.I3 Finally, defendant "requests a scheduling order and/or reasonable time designation within which an Umpire shall take evidence and render a deicision," and "requests the Court to retain jurisdiction of the matter pending complete and final 7 See doc. no. 1 (Petition for Appointment of a Neutral Umpire), Ex. B (Insurance Policy), at 9. Id. ~ 13; doc. no. 3 (Answer and Response to Petition for Appointment of Umpire) ~ 13. 9 See doc. no. 1 (Petition for Appointment of a Neutral Umpire), at 5. 10 Id ~ 17. 8 See doc. no. 3 (Answer and Response to Petition for Appointment of Umpire), at 5-6. 12Id at 4-5. l\ 13 See doc. no. 7 (Defendant's Memorandum in Support of Proffered Umpires); doc. no. 8 (Petitioner's Position Statement for Court Appointed Umpires). 3 resolution of the claims of the parties.,,14 I. UMPIRE CANDIDATES The policy does not outline any criteria to be used in the umpire selection processY "[G]enerally accepted insurance principles dictate only that 'an umpire selected to arbitrate a loss should be disinterested, unprejudiced, honest and competent. '" Brothers v. Generali Us. Branch, No. CIV.A. 1:97-CV-798-MHS, 1997 WL 578681, at *3 (N.D. Ga. July 11, 1997) (quoting 6 Appleman, Insurance Law and Practice § 3928, at 554 (1972». The umpire "should be impartial, honest, and competent, and should not live an unreasonable distance from the scene of the loss." Corpus Juris Secundum, Insurance § 1897 (2011). A. Umpires Proffered by Plaintiff Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company 1. A. H. "Nick" Gaede, Jr. Nick Gaede is an attorney with the firm ofBainbridge, Mims, Rogers & Smith in Birmingham, Alabama. 16 The biographical information provided by plaintiff from the website of Gaede's firm states that he "practices in the areas of construction law, 14 See doc. no. 3 (Answer and Response to Petition for Appointment of Umpire), at 6. 15 See generally Insurance Policy. See doc. no. 8 (Petitioner's Position Statement for Court Appointed Umpires), Ex. A (Background of Umpires Proffered by Pennsylvania Lumbermens), at 9. 16 4 alternative dispute resolution, international litigation, and business litigation.,,17 He received a Bachelor of Science from Yale University and a Bachelor of Laws from Duke University.Is 2. Arthur J. Hanes, Jr. Arthur Hanes is an attorney with the firm ofUpchurch, Watson, White & Max in Birmingham, Alabama. 19 According to the information submitted by plaintiff from Hanes's profile on the website of The National Academy ofDistinguished Neutrals, Hanes "served as a Circuit Judge, Civil Division for the 10th Judicial Circuit of Alabama from 1984 until his retirement in 2002, when he launched his ADR practice, specializing in arbitration, ...,,20 The firm website also states that he has experience in the areas, among others, of "commercial/business," "construction," "contract disputes," and "insurance.,,21 He received a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama. 22 3. William A. Ratliff William Ratliff is an attorney with the firm of Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff & 17Id. 18 !d. 19Id. at 6. 2°Id. 21Id. 22 See doc. no. 8 (Petitioner's Position Statement for Court Appointed Umpires), Ex. A (Background of Umpires Proffered by Pennsylvania Lumbermens), at 7. 5 Brandt in Birmingham, Alabama. 23 According to the information submitted by plaintiff from Ratliff s profile on the website of The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, the focus ofhis legal practice is his service as a mediator and arbitrator, and he serves as a federal court neutra1. 24 He also has experience in the areas of commercial litigation and insurance defense. 25 He received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alabama and a Juris Doctor from the Cumberland School of Law?6 B. Umpires Proffered by Defendant Buettner Brothers Lumber Company, Inc. 1. John A. Voelpel III Since 1998, John Voelpel has worked at Voelpel Claim Service, Inc., in Orlando, Florida. 27 Prior to 1998, he worked at American States Insurance and Nationwide Insurance. 28 At those companies, he held several positions, including "Claims Examiner," "Claims Coordinator," "Claims Representative," "Branch Claims 23 fd. 24 fd. fd. at 8. 26 fd. 25 27 See doc. no. 5 (Curriculum Vitae of John A. Voelpel III), and Ex. 3 (Resume of John A. Voelpel III, CPCU, AIC, and description ofVoelpel Claim Service, Inc.). 28 fd. 6 Manager," and "Division Claims Supervisor.,,29 Voelpel has been a member of the Umpire Committee ofthe Windstorm Insurance Network, Inc. since the inception of the committee, and he has taught "Umpire Certification at every conference and symposium. ,,30 Additionally, defendant submitted a list ofthe 853 appraisal matters in which Voelpel has been involved. 31 Ofthose 853 appraisal matters, Voelpel served as the appointed umpire in 801, on behalf ofthe insured in 2, and on behalf ofthe insurance carrier in 50,32 In 24 of those appraisal matters, a court appointed Voelpel as an umpire. 33 2. Douglas J. McColl Jr. Douglas McColl is a contractor and adjuster from Mobile, Alabama. 34 He performs insurance claims adjusting, appraisals, and serves as an umpire through DSM & Associates, Inc. 35 Since 1985, he performed claims adjusting following 25 29 fd. 30 fd. Doc. no. 5 (Curriculum Vitae of John A. Voelpel III), and Ex. 1 (List of Voelpel's Appraisal Experience). 32 fd. 31 33 fd., Ex. 3 (Statement ofVoelpel's Experience). 34 Doc. no. 5, Ex. 4 (Resume of Douglas J. McColl Jr.). 35 fd. at 2. 7 hurricanes and tropical storms. 36 He has been selected as an umpire for at least 40 appraisals since 1996.37 Finally, he has handled wind storm claims, and attended the Windstorm Insurance Network conference. 38 II. ANALYSIS A. Bias Plaintiff argues that both ofthe umpire candidates offered by defendant would show bias in favor ofdefendant, the insured. Plaintiff states that both of defendant's proposed umpires "make their living in the insurance claim industry and have close affiliations with public adjusters who advocate for insureds."39 Plaintiff further alleges that "[b]ased on inquiries with attorneys in Florida and other sources, [it] believes prior rulings by both Voelpel and McColl have been skewed in favor of public adjusters and insureds."40 Plaintiff provides no support for this claim. Defendant asserts that its proposed umpires are "professionals with reputations for unbiased estimations ....,,41 Additionally, defendant implicitly attacks any claim ofa bias by McColl against insurers by stating that he "has worked for Allstate, State Id. Ex. 5 (List of Hurricane and Tropical Storm Adjusting Work Performed by McColl). 37Id. 36 38 Resume of Douglas McColl, at 2. 39 Doc. no. 8 (Petitioner's Position Statement for Court Appointed Umpires), at 1. 4°Id. 41 Doc. no. 7 (Defendant's Memorandum in Support of Proffered Umpires), at 9. 8 Farm, Farmers Insurance Company, Liberty National, Bankers, and various other insurance companies," and that from "2007 to 2010 Mr. McColl worked on more than 100 appraisals for several insurance carriers in the Florida panhandle, South Florida, and Alabama."42 Insurers presumably would not hire as an appraiser an individual who was biased against them. Defendant does not question the impartiality of plaintiff s proposed umpires. B. Competence The real crux ofthe dispute between the parties over the selection ofan umpire is what qualifications make an individual a proper umpire. Plaintiff asserts that a proper umpire is a neutral individual who can make a decision between the estimates made by the parties' appraisers free of background knowledge or opinions. Defendant asserts that a proper umpire is an individual with experience and training as an umpire and in the construction and insurance appraisal fields. Plaintiff asserts that the umpire should be "an independent and neutral trier of fact" who will "consider each party's evidence and make determinations ofthe scope and amount of claimed property damages and alleged loss of business income.,,43 Plaintiff believes that the issues to be resolved do not require "the umpire to be an 42Id at 8. 43 Doc. no. 8 (Petitioner's Position Statement for Court Appointed Umpires), at 1. 9 expert or have significant experience in wind damage claims or construction costS."44 Rather, plaintiff conceptualizes the function ofthe umpire as making "determinations of fact and rulings" on "the information from respective engineers and estimators" submitted by the parties and, thus, asserts that the "umpire need not be more experienced than a judge or jury who would decide the issues had the matter been filed as a lawsuit.,,45 Plaintiff characterizes defendant's position as demanding "an umpire capable of disregarding the information to be submitted by the parties and willing to substitute his own opinion for those of the engineer reports.,,46 Defendant claims that it is certainly the standard in the industry for the two . . . appraisers, when they can agree on an umpire, to select a qualified professional with construction, architectural, engineering or casualty insurance claims adjusting experience. Qualified appraisers very rarely, if ever, select an umpire with no experience in the claims adjusting or construction field. 47 Defendant believes that the umpire needs to have a background in construction and insurance appraisal because "[i]t is expected that the real disputes between the parties will come down to the scope of work which has to be completed to provide the insured its replacement costs entitlement under the policy," and it will be difficult for 44Id at 1-2. 45Id. at 2. 46Id 47 Doc. no. 7 (Defendant's Memorandum in Support of Proffered Umpires), at 5. 10 an individual without such a background to resolve this dispute. 48 The court finds that defendant presents an overly complicated view of the umpire position and the appraisal process, and an overly simplified view of the qualifications of plaintiff s proposed umpires. An umpire essentially serves in the same role as that of a judge or jury tasked with deciding which of two damages calculations is correct. Judges and juries are entrusted with the ability to make such decisions despite their general lack ofspecialized knowledge. The umpire need only consider the evidence presented by each party in order to reach its decision. Thus, there is no reason that an attorney is not qualified to serve as an umpire. Defendant also discounts the fact that while the attorneys proffered as potential umpires by plaintiff are not engineers or construction professionals, they each list construction law as one of the focuses of their practices. Throughout a career focusing, at least in part, on construction law, an attorney can accumulate a working knowledge of the construction industry. Thus, while not experts in construction or industry appraisal, plaintiff s proposed umpires possess a working knowledge sufficient to resolve the dispute between the parties. Additionally, each of the attorneys proposed by plaintiffhave experience in arbitration, which essentially is the task the umpire must perform. 48Id 11 C. Distance from the Loss Defendant's proposed umpires reside in Mobile, Alabama, and Orlando, Florida, and both locations are significantly distant from the scene of the loss in Cullman, Alabama. Plaintiffs proposed umpires reside in Birmingham, Alabama, which obviously is much closer to the scene of the loss. Thus, plaintiff's proposed umpires would minimize the expenses for the parties due to the reduced travel costs to serve as umpire. III. CONCLUSION AND ORDERS A close reading of the pleadings filed in this case reveals the deep level of distrust that exists between the parties and their respective attorneys. Selection ofany of the persons proffered as potential umpires would be misconstrued by the parties as a vindication of the fiscal interests of one at the expense of the other. Accordingly, invoking the inherent supervisory powers of this court, and mindful of the fundamental proposition that an umpire should be impartial, honest, competent, and not reside an unreasonable distance from the scene ofthe loss,49 this court rejects all of the parties' proposals, and ORDERS that Mr. Wilbur P. Fowler, MAl, the owner of Fowler Bedwell & Associates, Real Estate Appraisal and 49 See, e.g., 6 Appleman, Insurance Law and Practice § 3928, at 554 (1972); Corpus Juris Secundum, Insurance § 1897 (2011). 12 Consultant Services in Arab, Alabama, shall serve as umpire ofthe parties' dispute. 50 A summary of Mr. Fowler's qualifications is attached. The parties are further ORDERED to mail,forthwith, copies of all materials necessary for Mr. Fowler to begin the process of assessing the loss in controversy,51 together with the names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, and resumes of the parties' respective appraisers. Other than those mailings - complete copies ofwhich shall be furnished to opposing counsel and to this court there must be no contact by any representative of plaintiff or defendant with Mr. Fowler. 52 All discussions and conferences between and among Mr. Fowler and the parties' respective appraisers shall be initiated by Mr. Fowler. No representative of either party may be present during any of such discussions or meetings, except such as may be explicitly requested by Mr. Fowler. Mr. Fowler's fees and expenses shall be paid in equal shares by the parties, within five business days of presentation. Once a decision is agreed to by any two members of the triumvirate (i.e., the parties' 50 Cf Romeo and Juliet, act 3, scene 1, line 91 (a passage that often is misquoted as "a pox on both your houses." The line attributed to the character ""Mercutio" in the play, however, actually reads depending upon the edition of the play that one consults - either "A plague on both your houses!," or "A plague a' both your houses!"). 51 Wilbur P. C"Phil") Fowler, Fowler Bedwell & Associates, Real Estate Appraisal and Consultant Services, Post Office Box 488, Arab, Alabama 35016. 52 This prohibition is not inclusive, but extends to each party's agents, servants, employees, attorneys, paralegals, investigators, or any other person regardless ofdescription ofthe nature ofthe relationship with either party or their respective attorneys. 13 respective appraIsers and Mr. Fowler as umpire), that decision shall be simultaneously reported, in writing, to this court and counsel for each party DONE and ORDERED this 11th day of May, 2012. Attachment (Qualification of Wilbur P. Fowler, MAl) 14 QUALIFICATIONS Wilbur P. Fowler, MAl ===================================================== Alabama State Certified General Real Estate Appraiser, No. CG00035 ========================================================== EDUCATION: Graduated from the University of Alabama, June 1966, receivmg a B.S. degree in Business Administration, with a major in finance and major emphasis on real estate. Completed Courses, I, II, III, IV and VI sponsored by the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers. Attended Income Analysis Seminar of the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers and successfully completed the R-2 Seminar and examination sponsored by the Society of Real Estate Appraisers prior to 1980, and was awarded the MAl designation in 1981. Continuing specialized education from 1980 to the present included completion of the AIREA Standards of Professional Practice course and periodic updates. Other continuing education involved an average of 20 hours per year amounting to more than 500 credit hours in valuation/evaluation curriculum. The Appraisal Institute conducts a voluntary program of continuing education for its designated members. Designated members who meet the minimum standards of this program are awarded periodic educational certification. I (Fowler - MAl 6197) am currently certified under this program. Completed all requirements requisite to General Real Estate Appraiser certification by states of Alabama (CG-00035) and Tennessee (CG-1179). EXPERIENCE: 1976 to Present - Independent fee appraiser, appraIsmg residential, agricultural, industrial, and commercial properties, easement, and Urban Renewal Projects. Owner and principal appraiser for Fowler Bedwell & Associates (formerly Fowler Appraisal), located in Arab, Alabama, and president and managing partner of AVE Real Estate Consultants, with offices in Arab and Huntsville, Alabama. Provide advisory and consultant services to investment, environmental, accounting, legal, engineering, and property management clients with respect to use, development, redevelopment, or valuation of commercial and/or industrial real estate. 1966 to 1976 - Employed by the Tennessee Valley Authority as appraiser and review appraiser, completing and reviewing fee and easement appraisals for lake impoundment, railroad, transmission line and road right-of-way, as well as appraisal for fee purchase or sale of rural, urban, business, and industrial properties. Serves as Federal Land Commissioner for the United States District Court, Alabama Northern Division. ================================================== ORGANIZATIONS: Member: Member: Member: Member: The Appraisal Institute (MAl) American Right-of-Way Association American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers Alabama Real Estate Appraiser Board (District Four) =================================================== COURT TESTIMONY: Qualified as expert in the Federal District Courts in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee, testifying in approximately 250 Federal condemnation litigation proceedings prior to 1976. More recent appearances involve testimony in the Circuit Courts of Alabama, and Federal Bankruptcy Courts in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Testimony in real estate related litigation proceedings exceeds 400 cases. COMMERCIAL CLIENTS INDUSTRIAL CLIENTS (continued) Associated Commercial Investors, Arab, Alabama Big 10 Tire Stores, Cullman, Alabama Bobo Engineering, Arab, Alabama Bonner Construction Company, Huntsville, Alabama Bray Pharmacy, Albertville, Alabama Brindley Construction Company, Pulaski, Tennessee Brindlee Mt. Properties, LLC Britt Medical Center, Scottsboro, Alabama Burger King Corporation, Baton Rouge, Louisiana Campbell Oil Company, Huntsville, Alabama Carraway Burdick West Medical Center, Haleyville Clark College, Atlanta, Georgia Chevron Oil Company Circle K Corporation, Phoenix, Arizona Colormasters, LLC, Albertville, Alabama Crosson Dannis, Inc., Dallas, Texas Disraeli, LLC, Huntsville, Alabama Dr. William English, Huntsville, Alabama Duell, Yearout & Spina, P.e., Birmingham, Alabama FPK Commercial, 1414 Hawaii Building, Honolulu, Hawaii First Federal Savings and Loan, Augusta, Georgia First Federal Savings and Loan, Ft Payne, Alabama Hammond-Bunch Motor Company, Arab, Alabama Handley Construction Company, Arab, Alabama Hays Oil Company, Cullman, Alabama Hollis White Properties, Albertville, Alabama Kayo Oil Company, Chattanooga, Tennessee Kirby Ford Co., Ft. Payne, Alabama McDonald's Corporation, Nashville, Tennessee McLain Properties, Huntsville, Alabama Morgan Oil Company, Cullman, Alabama Novogradac & Company, Limited, Rockville, Maryland Oldfield Construction Company, Huntsville, Alabama Peoples Tire Store, Huntsville, Alabama Rax Restaurant, Huntsville, Alabama RDJ Development, Inc. , Centre, Alabama Royal Group Technologies, Quebec, Canada Sarah Plunkett, CPA, Arab, Alabama Smith Medical Center, Athens, Alabama Spencer Oil Company, Huntsville, Alabama Taco Bell Company, Irvine, California Trammell Crow Company, Huntsville, Alabama Van Schaack Company, Denver, Colorado Wallace State College, Hanceville, Alabama Wendy's Restaurants Wenco, Atlanta, Georgia Williams Petroleum Inc., Arab, Alabama Hannah Industries, Albertville, Alabama Heath-Latham Properties, Huntsville, Alabama ITEC Corporation, Huntsville, Alabama Independent Stave Co., Lebanon, Missouri Kappler Company, Guntersville, Alabama Lala Ellen Mills, Ft. Payne, Alabama Liberty Trouser, Birmingham, Alabama McLain Real Estate, Huntsville, Alabama M.LT. Industries, Guntersville, Alabama Mueller Company, Albertville, Alabama National Door, Inc., California Norfolk Southern Railroad, Atlanta, Georgia Redstone Federal Credit Union, Huntsville, Alabama Research Park Advisory Board, Huntsville, Alabama J. T. Schrimsher Construction Company, Huntsville, AL SCI, Inc., Huntsville, Alabama Seaboard Coastal Railroad System Sierra Capital Corporation, San Francisco, California Small Business Administration Southerland Associates, Guntersville, Alabama Steel Processing Services, Albertville, Alabama Teledyne-Brown Engineers, Huntsville, Alabama Tidwell Industries, Haleyville, Alabama Universal Data Systems - Motorola, Inc., Huntsville, AL Waddell Mechanical, Decatur, Alabama Wells Fargo Realty Advisors, Atlanta, Georgia INDUSTRIAL CLIENTS Applied Research, Inc., Huntsville, Alabama Arab Interior Trim, LLC, Arab, Alabama Blue Bell, Inc. John Blue Company, Huntsville, Alabama Borden Dairy Company Bowling Industries Metal Plating, Arab, Alabama Bryant Manufacturing, Albertville, Alabama Bryson Hill & Associates, Huntsville, Alabama Burnett-Nickelson Investments, Huntsville, Alabama Carter Freeman Company, Honolulu, Hawaii Cee Jays of Arkansas, Inc., Van Buren, Arkansas City of Albertville, Alabama Colsa, Inc., Huntsville, Alabama Cordova Mills, Inc., Jasper, Alabama Chrysler Corporation, Huntsville, Alabama Chrysler UAW, Detroit, Michigan Easy Trail Manufacturing Company, Huntsville, Alabama Edison Company, Inc., Cullman, Alabama Gold Kist, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia Goza Mills, Ft. Payne, Alabama FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AmSouth Bank Bancorp South The Bank, Alabama Bank of Pensacola Branch Banking & Trust Co., Raleigh, NC & Alpharetta, GA Bridgeview Capital, Solutions, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia C.I.T. Finance Company Charter Mortgage Company Citizens Bank of Alabama Central Bank of the South Coastal Bank and Trust, Florida Colonial Bank, Huntsville, Alabama Community Bank of Blountsville, Blountsville, Alabama Commerce Bank Compass Bank Finance America, Huntsville, Alabama First Alabama Bank First American Bank, Huntsville, Alabama First American Federal Savings and Loan, Huntsville, Alabama First Commercial Bank, Albertville and Huntsville, Alabama First Federal Savings and Loan, Arab, Alabama First Federal Savings and Loan, Huntsville, Alabama First National Bank, Birmingham, Alabama First National Bank, Florence, Alabama First Southern Mortgage Corporation, Huntsville, Alabama Heller Financial, Chicago, IL Heritage Bank, Huntsville, Alabama The Home Bank of Guntersville, Guntersville, Alabama Hometown Bank, Oneonta, Alabama Jefferson Federal Savings and Loan, Birmingham, Alabama Kissell Mortgage Company Merrill Lynch Mortgage America, Decatur, Alabama Mortgage Corporation of the South NationsBank Corporation, Atlanta, GA People's Bank, Boaz, Alabama People's Bank, Holly Pond, Alabama Peoples Bank of North Alabama RBC Centura Bank, Tampa, Florida Real Estate Finance FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS (Continued) APARTMENT COMPLEX CLIENTS (Continued) Redstone Federal Credit Union, Huntsville, Alabama Regions Bank of Alabama Regions Morgan Keegan, Binningharn, Alabama Southeast Capital Investment, Inc. SouthTrust Bank Southeast Toyota Finance, Deerfield Beach, Florida Southern Bank of Commerce Stockton, Watley, Davin & Company, Cullman, Alabama Superior Bank Third National Bank, Nashville, Tennessee Union Planters Bank Wachovia James L Dawson, Huntsville, Alabama Melvin Hines, Huntsville, Alabama Hunnington Partners, Ltd., Houston, Texas Jefferson Federal Savings and Loan, Binningham, Alabama Key Mortgage Corporation, Decatur, Alabama NationsBank Corporation, Atlanta, Georgia Manu Patel, Huntsville, Alabama Rao Boorgu, Sheffield, Alabama Resolution Trust Corporation, Mobile, Alabama SouthTrust Bank of Alabama, Binningham, Alabama St Clair Federal Savings Bank, Pell City, Alabama Union Labor Life Insurance, Washington, D.C SHOPPING CENTER CLIENTS GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES Aronov Realty Co., Inc., Montgomery, Alabama Carbine Construction Co., Florence, Alabama Clowers Construction Company, Huntsville, Alabama James E. Conn, Nashville, Tennessee First American Corporation David Green Properties, Northridge California (Outlet Malls) Hamilton Shopping Center, Hamilton, Alabama Hazelfield Plaza, Hazel Green, Alabama Hunnington Properties, Temple, Texas Massachusetts Mutual McLain Properties Mookies, Inc., BOllZ, Alabama Morgan Oil Company, Cullman, Alabama Odenville Shopping Center, Odenville, Alabama Patel Properties Ranger Properties, Dallas, Texas (Outlet Malls) Retail Developers (Outlet Malls) United Companies Financial Alabama D.OT Alabama Forestry Commission City of Albertville, Alabama City of Arab, Alabama, D.CD. City of Binningbam, Alabama City of Boaz, Alabama City ofCullman, Alabama, D.CD. City of Gadsden City of Haleyville, Alabama City of Huntsville, Alabama, D.CD. City of Huntsville Utilities, Alabama City of Ider, Alabama City of Muscle Shoals, Alabama City of Oneonta, Alabama City of Price ville, Alabama City of Scottsboro, Alabama City of Sheffield, Alabama City of Tuscumbia, Alabama FDIC Federal Aviation Administration FmHA SUBDIVISION CLIENTS Barney Nickelson, Huntsville, Alabama Brindley Construction Company, Pulaski, Tennessee Central Bank, Huntsville, Alabama Clayton Brock, Huntsville, Alabama Clowers Investment, Inc., Huntsville, Alabama David Lanier, Huntsville, Alabama First American Federal Savings and Loan, Huntsville, AL John Dobbins, Huntsville, Alabama Jim Dunn Real Estate, Huntsville, Alabama Jerry Smith, Madison, Alabama Sorrell, Baker, Dotts, Huntsville, Alabama SouthTrust Bank, Huntsville, Alabama Third National Bank, Huntsville, Alabama HOTEL CLIENTS Barclay House Investors, Huntsville, Alabama Doug Owings, Owings Properties, Memphis, Tennessee First Federal Savings and Loan Association, Ft. Payne, AL KR Yedla, Huntsville, Alabama Wells Fargo Realty Advisors, Atlanta, Georgia Wenco Management Company, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia APARTMENT COMPLEX CLIENTS Alston and Bird, Atlanta, Georgia Altus Bank, Mobile, Alabama Brown Asset Management, Inc., Athens, Alabama Carroll Construction Company, Madison, Alabama Central Bank ofthe South, Binningham, Alabama Cornelius Shih, Huntsville, Alabama First Federal Savings and Loan, Huntsville, Alabama HU.D. Huntsville City Board of Education Huntsville Housing Authority Madison County, Alabama Marshall County, Alabama Commission Resolution Trust Corporation Small Business Administration Tennessee Valley Authority U.S. Postal Service Veteran's Administration LAW FIRMS Ables, Baxter, Parker & Hall, Huntsville, Alabama Beck, Beck & Beck, Ft Payne, Alabama Bell & McConatha, Sylacauga, AL John Bostwick, Binningbam, Alabama Blackburn, Maloney & Schuppert, Decatur, Alabama Bradley, Arant, Rose & White, Huntsville, Alabama Michael Bryan, Arab, Alabama Claud Burke, Arab, Alabama Burr and Fonnan, Huntsville, Alabama Clem Cartron, Huntsville, Alabama John D. Clement, Jr., Muscle Shoals, Alabama Cloud & Cloud, Huntsville Alabama David Evans, Boaz, Alabama Pitts, & Eckl, P.C., Florence, Alabama French, Robert B, Jr" Fort Payne, Alabama Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP, Columbus, Ohio Helmsing, Leach, Herlong, Newman & Rouse, Mobile, AL Higginbotham and Whitten, Florence, Alabama Clark E. Johnson, Arab, Alabama LAW FIRMS (Continued) SPECIAL PURPOSE CLIENTS (Continued) Keller and Pitts, Florence, Alabama Lange, Simpson, Robinson and Somerville, Huntsville, AL Lanier, Ford, Shaver, Payne, P.c., Huntsville, Alabama Long, Flanagan & McDonald, Guntersville, Alabama Morris, Smith, Siniard, Clouds, Fees and Conchin, Huntsville, AL Mooring, Schrimsher and Riley, Huntsville, Alabama Dalton Nesmith, Oneonta, Alabama Friedman, Leak & Bloom, Birmingham, Alabama Ogden, Jones, Guntersville, Alabama Travers W. Paine, III, Augusta, Georgia Patton, McCelvy and Kennemer, Tuscumbia, Alabama Alexander Smith, Oneonta, Alabama Spurrier and Rice, Huntsville, Alabama Patrick Tate, Ft. Payne, Alabama Patton, Latham, Legge & Cole, Athens, Alabama Thomas and Proctor, Scottsboro, Alabama Tingle and Morris, Huntsville, Alabama Nash Walker, Oneonta, Alabama Watson, Gammons and Fees, Huntsville, Alabama Stephens, Millirons, Harrison & Gammons, Huntsville, Alabama Poisson, Poisson, Bower & Clodfelter, Wadesboro, N.C. Lusk & Lusk, Guntersville, Alabama Rose Law Firm, Little Rock, Arkansas Wilmer & Lee, Decatur and Huntsville, Alabama Murphy Family Limited Partnership, Huntsville, Alabama North Alabama Fair Association, Florence, Alabama North Alabama Sports Center, Arab, Alabama Pryor Properties, Tanner, Alabama Pursell Farms, Talladega, Alabama Robinsong Ecological Resources, Inc. S & H Properties, Huntsville, Alabama Karen Wheaton Ministries, Hamilton, Alabama W. Y. Shugart & Sons, Inc., Fort Payne, Alabama Southeastern Sports Arena, Decatur, Alabama Stanmore, Dr. Roger, Madison, Madison County, Alabama Stoney Brook Golf Course, Jacksonville, Alabama Stoney Mountain Golf Course, Georgia Mountain, Alabama Tennessee Valley Recycling, Decatur, Sheffield, Alabama TK Lands, Gadsden, Alabama Morgan Weeks, Scottsboro, Alabama White Gin Company, Albertville, Alabama University of Alabama Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama University of North Alabama, Florence, Alabama Yeager & Boyd, Birmingham, Alabama RELOCAnON FIRMS Proskauer Rose, LLP, New York, New York Coldwell Bankers Employee Relocation Council Employee Transfer Corporation Executrans Lenders Service Merrill Lynch Sperry Univac TransAmerica SPECIAL PURPOSE CLIENTS A-I Mobile Homes, Decatur, Alabama Ashland, Inc., Lexington, Kentucky Charles Anderson, Florence, Alabama Big Cove Properties, LLC, Huntsville, Alabama Bragg Limited Partnership I, Huntsville, Alabama Business Reform Foundation, Perrysburg, Ohio Ronald Blue Company, Montgomery & Birmingham, AL Boy Scout of America, Birmingham, Alabama Cavalier Homes of Alabama, Inc., Addison, Alabama Cee Jays of Arkansas (Truck Stop Developers) Central Baptist Church, Decatur, Alabama EnviroMate, FLG, LLC, Moulton, Alabama Evergreen, Ltd, Killen, Alabama Ferguson Farms, Union Grove, Alabama First Methodist Church, Arab, Alabama Gilbert Baker Ford, Albertville, Alabama Goldsmith, Margaret Anne, Huntsville, Alabama The Great Combine (Granary) Bill Heard Enterprises, Columbia, Georgia Bob Hembree Buick/Chevrolet, Guntersville, Alabama Hillabee Brick Company, Alexander City, Alabama Hudson, James R.., Huntsville, Alabama Lovorn Gin and Warehouse Company, Haleyville, Alabama Jane Lowe Foundation, Huntsville, Alabama Madison County Commission, Huntsville, Alabama Madison County Executive Airport Authority, Alabama L. Miller & Sons, Huntsville, Alabama Lillie Mitchell, Germantown, Tennessee Money Machinery, Birmingham, Alabama Mountain Lakes Resorts, Inc., Guntersville, Alabama CONSULTANT CLIENTS AmSouth Bank ANCO, Florence, Alabama Bankers Trust. Huntsville, Alabama Barney Nichelson, Huntsville, Alabama Brindley Construction Company, Pulaski, Tennessee Bragg-Dabney Management, Birmingham, Alabama Brock-Latham Properties, Huntsville, Alabama Cecil Clowers, Huntsville, Alabama Central Bank ofthe South Chase Manhattan, Real Estate Division, Miami, Florida Chester West Construction Co., Huntsville, Alabama City of Albertville, Albertville, Alabama City of Arab, Arab, Alabama City of Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama City of Muscle Shoals, Muscle Shoals, Alabama City of Sheffield, Sheffield, Alabama City ofTuscumbia, Tuscumbia, Alabama Colonial Bank Emmett Coshatt, Tucson, Arizona Elizabeth M. Daniel, Memphis, Tennessee First Alabama Bank First Commercial Bank FPI Huntsville Partners 841, Ltd., Huntsville, Alabama Leggat McCall Advisors, Boston-Washington D.C. Long, Mary Margaret Lanier, Huntsville, Alabama Gene McLain Real Estate, Huntsville, Alabama Goldsmith Family Properties, Huntsville, Alabama Heath-Latham Company, Huntsville, Alabama Kyuka Spring, Attall~ Alabama Mason-Richfield, Huntsville, Alabama Clara McDonald, Huntsville, Alabama Warren Clark Moore, Huntsville, Alabama Morris, Smith, Siniard, Clouds, Fees and Conchin, Huntsville, AL Owings Properties, Memphis. Tennessee Patel Properties, Huntsville, Alabama Pillow Properties, Florence, Alabama Pursell Industries, Inc., Talladega, Alabama Randy Hairston, Pulaski, Tennessee Randy Schrimsher, Huntsville, Alabama Ray Bissell, Huntsville, Alabama Ray Buchmann, Cullman, Alabama Britt Sexton, Waterfront Development LLC, Decatur, Alabama Sierra Capital, San Francisco, California Southpace Properties, Birmingham, Alabama Trammell Crow Company, Huntsville, Alabama Tri-Star Developers, Dallas, Texas

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