About Me

I am passionate about alternative dispute resolution. Most of my time is spent as a mediator but I also serve regularly as an arbitrator.

I first trained to become a mediator some 25 years ago through a faith-based program serving others in my church. That role evolved into a fulltime calling as a mediator, helping lawyers and parties settle civil disputes.

From 2009 through 2020, I taught mediation as an adjunct professor at the University of Alabama Law School. During that time, I became a student of mediation myself. It is my belief that mediation is more of an art than a science – and there is no one way, or best way to do it.

As a 25+ year litigator, I believe one must be a litigator, or experienced in litigation, before one can effectively serve as a mediator. It is only through the battles that one learns the costs, risks and rewards of the litigation process.

My style is a combination of facilitative and evaluative. I believe parties and attorneys realize the value and benefits of reaching a settlement through mediation rather than trial. I never assume that I know more about your case than you do. You have lived with it, I am merely parachuting in. However, I believe that another set of eyes looking at the law and the facts provides real value to your clients and the process. My hope and expectation is that I can provide that real value and hopefully assist the parties in reaching a resolution.

I would welcome the opportunity to serve you and your clients as a mediator.

Professional Biography

Bill Ratliff’s law practice has been principally in the area of commercial litigation and insurance defense. He now focuses exclusively on alternative dispute resolution, both as a mediator and an arbitrator. Bill was one of the first attorneys in the state of Alabama to be approved for appellate mediation appointments. Bill is a certified mediator with the American Arbitration Association, and he is on the roster for the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution.

A wide variety of trial experience serves Bill well as a mediator and arbitrator. He has represented individuals, financial institutions, automobile dealerships, manufacturers, construction companies, insurance companies, and other types of corporate clients, as both plaintiffs and defendants, in both state and federal court. He also has extensive experience representing creditors in workouts and in bankruptcy proceedings under Chapters 7 and 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Bill was born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1956. He attended the University of Alabama, and in 1978, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in corporate finance. Bill attended Cumberland School of Law at Samford University and graduated in 1981. He worked with the Birmingham firm of Cabaniss, Johnston, Gardner, Dumas & O’Neal until 1988. At that time, he joined Dale Wallace and Bert Jordan to practice law. They have been partners or members of the same firm for over 30 years.

Bill is admitted to practice law before all Alabama federal district courts and all Alabama state courts. He is a member of the Alabama State Bar, the Birmingham Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. He is also a member of The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals and Fellow, American College of Civil Trial Mediators.

Practice Areas

Areas of Concentration

Bar Admissions

  • S. District Court Middle District of Alabama, 1981
  • S. District Court Northern District of Alabama, 1981
  • S. District Court Southern District of Alabama, 1981
  • Alabama, 1981


  • Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, Birmingham, AL, J.D., 1981
  • The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, B.S, Corporate Finance, 1978

Arbitration Panel Affiliations

  • Agency for Dispute Resolution, Inc.
  • American Arbitration Association
  • EEOC
  • ICC
  • National Arbitration Forum
  • National Health Lawyers Association

Professional Affiliations

  • Fellow, American College of Civil Trial Mediators
  • Member, The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals
  • Adjunct Professor of Mediation at the University of Alabama School of Law (2010 to present)
  • Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution
  • Alabama State Bar
  • American Bar Association
  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • Christian Legal Society
  • Federal Court Neutral

Previous Positions

  • Cabaniss, Johnston, Gardner, Dumas & O’Neal, Associate, 1984-1988
  • Corley, Moncus, Bynum, and DeBuys, Associate, 1981-1984

Additional Info

Adjunct Professor of Mediation
University of Alabama School of Law (2010 – present)

Contact Information

Phone: (205) 874-0306
Fax: (205) 874-3260
Email Bill

P.O. Box 530910
Birmingham, AL 35253

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Legal Assistant:

Jennifer L. Burch

Mediation Coordinator/Paralegal
Phone: (205) 874-0364
Email Jennifer