Probate Court Of Jefferson County, Alabama

Meet Our Judges

James Naftel

Judge of Probate, Place 1

Judge Naftel was appointed to serve as Place 1 Probate Judge by Governor Kay Ivey on June 30, 2020.  Prior to his appointment, Judge Naftel practiced law in Birmingham for over twenty years, with a concentration in probate practice, estate administration, estate planning, and trust, estate and fiduciary litigation.  In private practice, Judge Naftel was elected as a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel in 2019, received the distinction of Accredited Estate Planner from the National Association of Estate Planners, and earned an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating on Martindale-Hubbell.  Judge Naftel served as Chairperson of the Probate Section of the Birmingham Bar Association in 2019.  Judge Naftel was also a frequent CLE presenter and was Co-Author and Editor of the Alabama Law Institute handbook Alabama Probate Law and Procedure: the Administration of Decedent’s Estates.  Judge Naftel is a 1994 graduate of the University of Mississippi and a 1998 graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law.

judge sherri c friday

Sherri C. Friday

Judge of Probate, Place 2

Sherri Coleman Friday graduated from the University of Alabama and Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. Judge Friday practiced law in Jefferson County, Alabama for 18 years prior to her election as Jefferson County Probate Judge, Place 2 in November, 2006, and re-election in 2012.

 Judge Friday hears cases involving adult involuntary commitments, adoptions, probate of wills, guardianships and conservatorships, estate and conservator settlements, condemnations, claims against estates, legitimations, name changes and petitions for sale of real estate.

She has dockets at both the Birmingham and Bessemer courthouses. 

Judge Friday is a member of the Alabama Bar Association, Birmingham Bar Association, the Alabama Probate Judges Association, and the National College of Probate Judges.

 Judge Friday received the State of Alabama NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Judicial Award in 2010 and completed the Law for Probate Judges Course in 2010 at the University of Alabama Law Center through the Alabama Law Institute.

judge elizabeth north

Elizabeth North

Deputy Probate Judge, Bessemer Division

Elizabeth Treadway North has an undergraduate degree from Samford University and earned a Masters at the University of Alabama. Judge North hears cases in the Bessemer Division involving adoptions, probate of wills, condemnations, legitimations, land redemptions and name changes. Judge North is a member of the Alabama Probate Judges Association, and the National College of Probate Judges.