Firm History

In 1988 Ralph W. Hornsby saw an opportunity to have a long held vision come to life. Ralph had been a trial attorney, a plaintiff’s lawyer, for years. But the firm he was in did other things. To Ralph, it depleted energies and detracted from his ability to devote fully to people who were hurting.

S.A. “Bud” Watson, Jr., a Circuit Judge, had just retired, and he too saw a need for a pure litigation firm. Bud had been a prosecuting attorney before ascending the bench. He was anxious to get back to the courtroom.

David Meginniss joined with Ralph and Bud to form Hornsby, Watson and Meginniss.

From its inception, this was a team-approach law firm. Naturally people bring different and unique talents and skills to the table. David Meginniss (who several years later left the law practice and became an Episcopal Priest) was a brilliant legal scholar and a great appellate lawyer. Ralph Hornsby, former President of the Alabama Trial Lawyer’s Association, was known for his skill in depositions and the courtroom. Bud Watson, after more than six hundred trials as a prosecutor and Judge, knew his way around a courtroom. There never was, and to this day never is, a question about to whom the case belonged. All the lawyers represent all the clients and the professional most suited to the task is sent to perform it. The approach began immediately to bear fruit.

New members of the firm were selected. Ralph Hornsby, Jr. worked as a runner then law clerk for the firm during his school years. He was an excellent student of the law and was hired by the firm upon graduation. His trial skills have assisted clients in achieving seven figure results in three jury trials. His negotiation techniques have generated many more making him the “go to” guy when a mediation is on the calendar.

The team approach means maximum lawyer involvement. It’s a labor-intensive approach but we believe past clients, and results, will confirm the wisdom of this unique approach to case development and presentation. Since 1994 the firm has been listed in Martindale-Hubbell’s Bar Registry of Preeminent Lawyers in the areas of Civil Trials and Personal Injury Practice.

From offices in Huntsville, Alabama, the attorneys of Hornsby, Watson & Hornsby represent clients in the communities of Athens, Decatur, Guntersville, Scottsboro, and throughout the state.