Friday, September 07, 2007

070907 Friday Focus - Judge Pamela Willis Bashab

Judge Bashab has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, her Lord and Savior. She is a born again Roman Catholic with a wonderful gift of story telling and practical advice for all Christians. Her memories of her grandmother sweeping the front yard with a hand made yard-broom tells of her grounded faith and common sense understanding of how we are called to keep our lives clean while moving on to a more holy and righteous life with God.

Born in Mobile on July 26, 1947, Judge Baschab is the third of six daughters of the late Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Russell Willis and Sybil E. Willis of Baldwin County. Growing up in the Air Force, Judge Baschab attended schools in Alabama, South Dakota, North and South Carolina, and Bermuda, and graduated with the first senior class of Chafa HS in Japan. In 1965 she enrolled in the University of North Alabama in Florence, Alabama, where she met and married her husband Roger in 1967. While raising children and accompanying her husband during the frequent moves of his military career, Judge Baschab attended college courses at night and in 1974 became the first in her family to graduate from college. The University of South Alabama in Mobile awarded her the Criminal Justice Academic Excellence Award as top graduate in the Criminal Justice Administration program.

The Judge received her Juris Doctorate from St. Mary's University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas, in 1982 where she earned the American Jurisprudence Award for Constitutional Law. She was listed as an outstanding Young Woman in American Colleges in 1980. After graduation, Judge Baschab was an assistant district attorney in Mobile County and was in private law practice in Foley and Elberta, Alabama.

In 1988, the Judge entered her first political campaign and Baldwin County voters elected her to the district court. As presiding district court judge, Judge Baschab reduced a backlog of thousands of traffic cases and civil cases to zero. In 1992, Judge Baschab unseated the incumbent circuit judge to become the first Republican woman to be elected an Alabama circuit court judge. Working in one of the two fastest growing counties in the State, Judge Baschab had one of the heaviest dockets of any circuit judge in Alabama. During her eight years as trial court judge, she handled a criminal docket with cases ranging from traffic to capital murder, as well as civil and domestic relations cases.

Judge Baschab has served on the Alabama State Bar, Committee on Substance Abuse and Committee on Alternate Dispute Resolution, the Circuit Court Judges' Legislative Committee, and the Alabama Administrative Office of Courts Education Committee, and has taught Continuing Legal Education classes.

The Judge is a former member of the Circuit Court Judges' Association and a member of the American Judges' Association, the Alabama State Bar, the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliaries, the Optimist Club, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Christian Legal Society. The Judge was Co-Chair of the Alabama Task Force on Law Enforcement Education in Domestic Violence. She helped found the Baldwin County Domestic Violence Shelter. The American Business Women Association (ABWA) selected Judge Baschab from its 90,000 members as a 1996 Top Ten Woman of the Year at the annual ABWA convention in Portland, Oregon.

Judge Baschab was elected to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals in November 1996.

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