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Tribute to Robert Franklin Prince

Prince Glover Hayes, currently celebrating our 45th year as a firm, announces the death of Robert Franklin Prince, our founding partner, leader, and friend. There will never be another Bob Prince and he will be forever missed. Bob lost his earthly battle to cancer on May 2, 2024, but his legacy of service will forever live on through his family, his firm, and the countless lawyers and clients who have benefited from his life of service.

Bob cared deeply for his family, his friends, his clients, and total strangers who later would become beneficiaries of his generosity. He was a consummate professional, a lawyer’s lawyer, and the kind of fighter that clients wanted in their corner. He was a devoted Christian, having accepted Jesus Christ as an adult at JH Ranch on August 2, 2001 – JH Ranch, Outback America and the Christian church remained at the forefront of Bob’s mind and actions each day since. He was a dedicated Sunday School teacher, and any who ever had him as a teacher marked him as among the best teachers of the Bible around. He used this knowledge of the Bible and his own personal experiences to help “build the Kingdom”, as he called it, leading many to a personal relationship with Jesus.

Originally from Franklin County, Bob received his education from the University of Alabama, earning both his undergraduate B.S. degree and his J.D. degree there. He was admitted to the Alabama and Florida State Bars. Bob was admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Alabama, as well as before the U.S. Supreme Court. Bob was an active trial attorney who tried cases all over Alabama. His verdicts, settlements, and results for his clients over his 50-year career are extraordinary and are too numerous to mention. Suffice it to say that both sides of a dispute often tried to hire Bob – it was a matter of who got to him first with a meritorious claim. Bob thrived in the courtroom and loved representing folks who needed a strong advocate.

Bob’s courtroom skills were legendary. Juries paid attention to every word he said, he commanded the attention of judges, and opposing counsel always knew they were in for a challenge. Bob gave of these talents also. He was an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at the University of Alabama Law School for over 40 years. During that time, he has successfully coached his teams to numerous regional championships, several national top-10 finishes, and a national championship. Over those 40 years, Bob taught trial advocacy skills to tens of thousands of law students from across the state and country, many of whom are also now noted for their courtroom prowess. To a person, each attributes a great deal of their success as a litigator to the instruction, coaching, encouragement, dedication and (sometimes tough) love of Bob Prince. That is a legacy that will endure.

Before limiting his practice to civil litigation, Bob tried numerous felony criminal trials, including multiple murder and capital murder cases. He was recognized throughout his career for his trial skills and devotion to the advancement of the legal profession. Among Bob’s many accomplishments, he consistently held an AV Martindale Hubbell rating for his professionalism and ethics, served as President of the Alabama Association for Justice and the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation, and obtained the ranking of Board-Certified Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He received the Bench and Bar Outstanding UA Law Alumnus Award and the Walter P. Gewin Award, and, in 2024, was inducted into the University of Alabama Law School’s Lawyer Hall of Honor. He was also distinguished as a Master Bencher with the Tuscaloosa Inn of Court. Bob was a sought-after speaker at legal seminars and conferences for many years on all aspects of trial practice. He was an active member of Christ Episcopal Church, and a former member of First United Methodist Church, a former Director of Outback America, among his many other community endeavors.

Bob Prince is survived by his wife of 35 years, Dena Drury Prince, his four adult children: Courtney Dacre, Mary Elizabeth Garvey, Will Prince, and Grace Prince, his 8 grandchildren: Kendall Walker, Reagan Walker, Patrick Walker, John Dacre, Eliza Garvey, Caroline Garvey, Ford Garvey, and Grace Garvey, his sister Linda Owens, his niece Jonna Lee, his great niece Macy Lee, and other family and countless friends. 

Bob was a devoted Christ-follower, son, father, brother, husband, leader, lawyer, fighter, reconciler, Sunday School teacher, mentor, coach, uncle, father-in-law, and friend.

He was known by many names - Robert F., Bob, Prince, Bobby, Dad, Bobcat, Daddy Bob. Whatever name you knew him by, you will never forget him, and your life is likely better because your path crossed his.

A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, May 6, 2024, at Christ Episcopal Church, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The Rev. Paul Pradat will officiate. Dr. Ford Simpson will serve as crucifer, and Ben Minto and Lewis Fitts will serve as torchbearers.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests consideration of contributions to Christ Episcopal Church Foundation, 605 Lurleen Wallace Boulevard North, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 or the Robert Franklin Prince Endowed Law Scholarship at the University of Alabama School of Law, Box 870382, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487.

Robert Prince
45 Years