R. Bernard Harwood, Jr.
Cindy Dunn, Paralegal
Robert Bernard Harwood, Jr. attended the University of the South-Sewanee and then completed a B.S. in commerce and business administration at The University of Alabama. He then attended The University of Alabama School of Law, receiving an L.L.B. in 1963. In 1967, he joined with Gordon Rosen to form the law firm of Rosen and Harwood. During his years in private practice, he also served as Deputy City Judge of Tuscaloosa, as a member of the Tuscaloosa County Civil Service Board, as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alabama and as a Lecturer in Law at The University of Alabama School of Law, teaching courses in trial advocacy. He was elected President of the Tuscaloosa County Bar Association, President of the Farrah Law Society/Order of the Coif of The University of Alabama School of Law, President of the Tuscaloosa Inn of Court and Chairman of the Litigation Section of the Alabama State Bar.
In 1991, he was appointed by the governor to fill a vacancy on the Circuit Court of Tuscaloosa County. He was elected to a full six-year term in 1992, and re-elected in 1998. In November 2000, he was elected an Associate Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and served in that position from January 2001 to January 2007, when he voluntarily retired to return to Tuscaloosa. Judge Harwood rejoined his former law firm, then known as Rosen, Cook, Sledge, Davis, Shattuck & Oldshue, P.A., and the firm resumed its original name of Rosen Harwood, P.A. For over 40 years he taught courses as an adjunct professor at The University of Alabama School of Law, teaching trial advocacy, evidence, and advanced evidence. He discontinued that endeavor in 2015, due to the time demands of his law practice. He serves as Chair of the State-wide Committee on the Alabama Rules of Evidence, by appointment of the Supreme Court of Alabama; and as a member of the Committee on Civil Pattern Jury Instructions. The Court has on a number of occasions subsequent to January 2007 "recommissioned" him to serve as a special justice on the Court. From 2012 to 2020, he served as Chair of the 13-member Appeal Panel appointed by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana to decide appeals of decisions of the Claims Administrator under the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damages Settlement (Gulf Oil Spill). He also served as Special Master appointed by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division, to rule on evidence disputes relating to sealed documents and documents withheld as privileged, in the Multi-District Antitrust Litigation pending as Case No. 2-13-cv-20000-RDP, MDL No. 2406.
Judge Harwood is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a Fellow of the Alabama Bar Foundation, a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, and is a “Diplomat” of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He continues as a member of the American, Alabama and Tuscaloosa County Bar Associations. In addition to his active trial practice, he serves as a mediator and an AAA approved arbitrator and is a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. He is included in the 2010-2022 editions of Alabama Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America. Active in many civic, community, religious and local organizations, Judge Harwood is a member of the Executive Board of the Black Warrior Council of the Boy Scouts of America and has served as Council President and President of the Council’s Heritage Society. In 1993, he was awarded the Council's Silver Beaver Award. He served as President of the Exchange Club of Greater Tuscaloosa and currently is a member of the Exchange Club of Tuscaloosa. He is a member of the Leadership Association of The United Way of Tuscaloosa County, and Gideons International. In 2001, he was selected as Alabama Elected Public Official of the Year by the Alabama Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.
Executive Board of the Black Warrior Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Member
Council’s Heritage Society, Former Council President and President
Exchange Club of Greater Tuscaloosa, Member and Former President
Leadership Association of The United Way of Tuscaloosa County, Member
Gideons International, Member
Awards & Honors
Recipient of the 2020 Sam W. Pipes Distinguished Alumnus Award, The University of Alabama School of Law
Silver Beaver Award, 1993, Council’s Heritage Society
Alabama Elected Public Official of the Year, 2001, selected by the Alabama Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers
Alabama Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America, 2010 - 2018