Lawrence "Larry" T. King
Larry King has been recognized by judges and by other lawyers such that he has been awarded SuperLawyers membership for over 15 straight years, and such that he has notched perfect scores in both legal ability and adherence to professional standards of conduct from Martindale-Hubbell for nearly 25 straight years. Three separate times he has been recognized by SuperLawyers as one of the Top 50 lawyers in the entire state of Alabama, and in 2017 he was selected by lawyers from all over the nation as the winner of the Beacon Award from the Work Injury Law & Advocacy Group. He has been admitted to the prestigious National College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, and to the state Bar Associations in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.
Larry was born and raised in Leesburg, Florida, near where the swamp sits between the orange grove and the cow pasture. He graduated from Florida State University (B.A., English-Business Administration, 1984), after being admitted on a National Merit Scholarship, and from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University (J.D. 1988). After law school, he enjoyed the unique experience of serving as a law clerk to two Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of Alabama: Chief Justice C.C. “Bo” Torbert, Jr. (for whom the Supreme Court building is now named), and Chief Justice E.C. “Sonny” Hornsby. Then, in Orlando, Florida, for a brief time thereafter, his law practice involved representing major manufacturers and insurance companies. Mr. King returned to Birmingham, practicing briefly on behalf of manufacturers and insurance companies, but representing people from the plaintiff’s side since 1993. He says, “Orlando is a good place to visit, but it’s too flat and they never off the lights there; Birmingham is just a wonderful place to call home.” His wife agrees with him.
A lifelong Methodist, Larry and his family are members of Asbury United Methodist Church, where he has served on or chaired a number of committees. His service there has included the introduction of God’s Garage Sale, an annual event where donated items all are given away for free – the same cost as God’s grace. A few years ago, he and his wife gave up his retirement fund and established the Hands of Christ Fund at Asbury, a ministry that provides financial assistance to those in need, helping them to break from poverty by furthering educational or employment goals; several participants in that program have been able to graduate from college with aid from the Fund. His wife and two of his 4 children were baptized at Asbury, and his two other children were confirmed there. Larry credits former Asbury pastor, Rev. Dr. Mark Lacey, with being the most positively influential person on his adult life, and continues growing his faith under the incredible and dynamic wisdom of his present pastoral team. Larry will tell you, “I am a sinner, saved only by grace I can never deserve. And what I continue working on is this: Loving God and your neighbors – all of them, and maybe particularly the ones that aren’t just like me – is the most important thing there is, because God in the flesh of Jesus Christ said so. And until me and everybody else gets that right, there are an awful lot of social problems that just really don’t matter.”
Professionally, Larry is proudest of his service on behalf of the injured people of Alabama. Having secured over $5,000,000 in verdicts just on behalf of workers fired for having exercised their rights to workers’ compensation benefits – including record jury verdicts in at least 4 Alabama counties, and having published several articles in leading legal publications in that area of the law, he has been one of Alabama’s leaders in protecting the rights of those hurt during the course of their work. Two of his scholarly articles, Fired in Retaliation for Claiming Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Alabama, 24 American Journal of Trial Advocacy 539 (2001), and What Triggers the Application of Alabama Code §25-5-11.1?, 33 American Journal of Trial Advocacy 1 379 (2010) (with Christina Van Der Hulst), are included as listed resources in the Alabama Pattern Jury Instructions given by judges to juries throughout Alabama. One time, he got so mad at how unfair the workers’ comp laws are too injured workers in Alabama that he successfully argued that the entire Workers’ Compensation Act was unconstitutional! He has likewise championed the rights of those injured outside the workplace, as well, as landing tens of millions of dollars in jury verdicts and settlements for accident victims, helping ensure that they are adequately and properly compensated for the losses that accompany devastating injuries or the loss of life.
Larry also gives professional and personal time to several causes he believes in. For years, he has given countless hours at no charge by speaking to high schools and church youth groups on the variety of consequences that drunk drivers will face, both criminally and civilly. This work has been in conjunction with his founding of Lawyers Against Drunk Driving; that organization is on the web at LawyersAgainstDrunkDriving.com. He also piloted the beginning of the Asbury Lawyers’ Forum, a group of lawyers that periodically meets as a group to offer free legal advice to the public at Asbury United Methodist Church. In 2017, for his committed effort in working for peace, across religious and social lines, Larry was humbled to receive the first-ever “Champion for Justice” recognition conferred by the Alabama chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. And in his spare time, he has long served on the board of directors for Birmingham-based Grace Klein Community, an organization that has made all of our world a better place by feeding, teaching, soothing, remembering, and uplifting “the least of these” in Alabama and beyond.
Beyond any of that, though, Larry is the proudest of his 4 children. “I have never been and never will be ‘father of the year,’ I’ve messed up a lot, and a lot of people deserve far more credit than I do for it, but my life is blessed far beyond measure with 4 kids who are honest, hard-working, reliable people whom all work to help others. I sometimes literally cry with joy about them all. They are just wonderful, giving, compassionate people. I’m prouder of nothing more in my whole world than my pride of them.”
A sought-after speaker at continuing education events for lawyers and judges (and even as an invited speaker for claims adjusters!), Larry also has published scholarly articles extensively, including:
Larry has also published extensively. A selected bibliography of his publications includes:
King, A Tort Defense in Crisis? The Defense That Is the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act, Alabama Lawyer (March 2020);
King, Testing the Exclusivity Provision of the Alabama Workmen’s Compensation Act, 11 Am. J. Trial Advoc. 121 (1987) (cited with approval, Busby v. Truswal Sys., Inc., 551 So.2d 322 (Ala.1989)(majority opinion), and Lowman v. Piedmont Exec. Shirt Mfg., 547 So.2d 90 (Ala.1989)(majority opinion)).
King, Re-Testing the Exclusivity Provision of the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act: Where We Are Now, 18 Am. J. Trial Advoc. 295 (1994) (cited with approval, Morris v. Merritt Oil Co., 686 So.2d 1139 (Ala.1996)(concurring opinion).
King, On Civil Punishment and Tort Reform in Alabama, 20 Cumb. L. Rev. 47 (1989) (cited with approval, Charter Hosp. of Mobile, Inc. v. Weinberg, 558 So.2d 909 (Ala.1990)(concurring opinion); Alabama Power Co. v. Turner, 575 So.2d 551 (Ala.1991)(dissenting opinion); Roberts v. State, 863 So.2d 1149 (Ala.Crim.App.2002)(majority opinion).
King, Fired in Retaliation for Claiming Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Alabama, 24 Am. J. Trial Advoc. 539 (2001) (cited as authoritative, Alabama Pattern Jury Instruction 41.00 (3d ed. 2016))
King & Van Der Hulst, What Triggers the Application of Alabama Code Section 25-5-11.1, 33 Am. J. Trial Advoc. 379 (2009) (cited as authoritative, Alabama Pattern Jury Instruction 41.00(3d ed. 2016))
King & Miodrag, “I Feel Your Pain”: Visible Evidence of Invisible Phenomena and Other Tales of Round Pegs and Square Holes, 32 Am. J. Trial Advoc. 235 (2008) (lead article)