Prior to today's lawsuit against Donald Watkins, the Alabama lawyer was involved in a series of high-profile legal cases involving equally high-profile clients, which often included racial discrimination and bias.
Here's a look at Watkins Long and sometimes controversial story:
According to an online biography Watkins was born on September 8, 1948 in Parsons, Kansas. In 1966, he graduated from Alabama State University Laboratory School, before receiving his undergraduate degree in 1970 from Southern Illinois University. He returned to the state in 1973 to gain his law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law and became one of the few African-American lawyers in the state.
Watkins' father, Levi Watkins, was the president of the state of Alabama University and family have stressed the education. The siblings of Watkins include Levi Watkins, Jr., the first African American to graduate from Vanderbilt University, and in 1
Civil Rights Cases
Watkins' first job outside of law school was at the law offices of Fred Gray in Montgomery, the office that represented the civil rights symbolism of Rosa Park in her case against the Montgomery Bus Company. He opened his own office in Birmingham in 1979 when he worked at the Montgomery City Council. Later, from 1985 to 1999, Watkins served as a special councilor for Richard Arrington Jr., the first black mayor of Birmingham.
One of his early high-profile cases involved Clarence Norris, the last known surviving "Scottsboro Boys," nine African American youth who were falsely accused in 1931 of raping two white girls in Paint Rock, Alabama. Watkins won Norris from the state fully and unconditionally. Other high-profile cases followed – the case of the unlawful death of 1975, when a black man was shot dead by a Montgomery police officer; In 1991, Auburn University footballer Eric Ramsey alleged that he had been offered money to play football at the school; The investigation of 1996 against US District Judge U.W. Clemons, a trial that ended without charge against the judge in Birmingham.
The Auburn case was particularly hot and sporting and made Watkins' name in Alabama a household. This led to the resignation of longtime Auburn coach Pat Dye and led to the school was put on probation.
Watkins also successfully represented Arrington after filing complaints of corruption and bribery by the population. In 2003, he represented Richard Scrushy, CEO of HealthSouth, in a high-profile case in 85 cases of fraud-related crimes. Scrushy was released and Watkins was named by Fortune as "The Man Who Saved Richard Scrushy"
. Watkins attracted national attention in the early 2000s when he became the first African-American owner of a major league baseball team. He pursued the Montreal Expos, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the California Angels and the Minnesota Twins, all to no avail.
Watkins is involved in a range of companies ranging from energy investment companies, technology companies and banks. Its primary mission is to chair and CEO the Masada Resource Group, a global garbage ethanol fuel development company mentioned in the indictment.
In 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Watkins and its controlled companies with scams from professional athletes and other investors out of millions of dollars. Among those who claimed to have been cheated out of money fraud was NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, who said he had invested more than $ 4 million in the man he once thought was his friend. Watkins has denied the allegations. Watkins is a product of the future writer who frequently writes plays on Facebook and his website www.donaldwatkins.com and claims justice during the night before Thanksgiving at the Riverchase Galleria during the shooting of a black man.
He is the father of four sons and a daughter, all adults. One son, Donald Watkins Jr., was charged with his father.