Our Team

Attorney at LawJoel E. Dillard

Joel Dillard has practiced law, initially as Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alabama, since 1975.  He represented many state administrative boards and commissions during his state service, and was frequently called to defend them, and their members, in federal and state trial courts, and in appellate proceedings. After entering private practice in 1977, with the Montgomery firm, Steiner, Crum & Baker, Joel began representing private parties in administrative proceedings and in trials throughout Alabama.

In 1979, he became a founding partner of the Birmingham firm that is now Dillard, McKnight, James & McElroy.  Here, he represents a substantial array of individuals and companies in litigation, and enjoys continuously diversifying his practice to include representing plaintiffs as well as  defendants, and representing elected and appointed public officials, as well as private parties.


Attorney at LawDavid McKnight

David McKnight has successfully represented clients in state and federal courts throughout Alabama and the Southeast. David’s clients have included Fortune 500 officers, elected officials and private citizens. He graduated cum laude from Cumberland School of Law in 1986 and has been trying cases for over 30 years.

David is committed to truly understanding the needs of each client and tailoring an investigation and litigation plan to meet these needs. These attributes have allowed David to obtain million dollar civil judgments and numerous not guilty verdicts on behalf of his clients while avoiding prosecution altogether for others. In addition, David represents professionals before their state licensing boards.

Attorney at LawRandy James

Randy James, a partner in the firm, is an experienced litigator who has been regularly trying cases throughout Alabama for more than twenty-fire years. He maintains a general civil, criminal and appellate practice representing individuals and companies in all state, federal and appellate courts in Alabama and many other jurisdictions. He has obtained multi-million dollar results for his clients in claims involving medical malpractice, civil rights violations and fraud and bad faith actions. He has likewise successfully defended corporations and closely held businesses in complex commercial litigation, employment discrimination, intellectual property disputes and other general litigation matters. Randy’s experience is broad and diversified and as a result, he is relied upon by clients to handle matters ranging from complex multi-district litigation to probate proceedings to criminal defense. Randy has also successfully argued before the Alabama Supreme Court and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.


Attorney at LawElizabeth W. McElroy

Beth McElroy is a partner in the firm and currently serves as the County Administrator for Jefferson County. She was appointed to fill that position in December of 2009 by the Probate Court of Jefferson County, Alabama. In her role as County Administrator, Beth handles estates of all sizes and complexity. She is responsible for gathering assets, pursuing litigation on behalf of these estates, including wrongful death actions, managing estate funds and property, and disbursing assets to the heirs.

Prior to becoming the County Administrator, Beth’s practice primarily involved insurance defense, with a special focus on life and health insurance litigation in contractual, fraud and bad faith contexts. She continues to actively maintain this aspect of her practice. She has successfully defended shareholder derivative suits, class actions, and a variety of insurance based claims. Her practice has routinely involved complex insurance programs and the resolution of corporate disputes. She also assists insurance clients with claims evaluation and compliance issues.