Samuel A. Cherry
Samuel A. Cherry, Jr. was born and raised in Dothan, Alabama, and has been practicing law for the past 36 years. Mr. Cherry is nationally acclaimed for verdicts and settlements in products liability cases where, as the lead attorney for the plaintiff, he has obtained over $160 million for his clients. He has been very instrumental in the development of product liability claims against manufacturers of defective aerial lift devices. As a result of his efforts, new and better safety features have been incorporated within the aerial lift device industry.
Mr. Cherry’s life experiences have prepared him for representing those injured in accidents since, at the age of 11, he was involved in a horrible vehicle accident that cost him his left eye and seriously disfigured his face. He suffered numerous orthopedic injuries involving his spine, arms and legs, was unconscious for 3 weeks and endured over 20 surgeries in attempts to correct some of the damage. As such, Mr. Cherry understands the pain and suffering which his clients face.
In 1998, Mr. Cherry was one of the four founding partners in what became known as The Cochran Firm which grew into a National Law Firm with offices in over 20 cities across the country. Mr. Cherry continues to own 40% of the National Firm and remains very active in it on a National level.
Known and respected by his clients and his colleagues in the legal profession, Mr. Cherry has an AV rating in personal injury, litigation and products liability, given by his fellow lawyers and judges which is the highest rating which can be obtained. Mr. Cherry is licensed to practice law in Alabama, Tennessee and Washington, DC. Mr. Cherry is a sustaining member of the American Association for Justice, the Alabama Association for Justice, and the Million Dollar Advocate Forum.
Benjamin A. Irwin was born and raised in Ozark, Alabama. After graduating from Carroll High School, he served in the United States Army in Military Intelligence Operations. His military service allowed him to work and travel in South Korea, Germany and Italy. Ben was also elected to the Board of County Commissioners for Dale County, Alabama. He was the youngest commissioner ever elected for this position. Ben received his Juris Doctorate from the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law at Faulkner University.
Ben co-founded Cherry & Irwin with Samuel Cherry to fight for people suffering from an accident or injury, and to try to make differences in the lives of those facing these challenges all over the Wiregrass region. He currently serves as Cherry & Irwin’s Managing Partner. Ben is admitted to practice in all Alabama State Courts, as well as the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. He is a member of the Alabama State Bar Association, Houston County Bar Association, American Association for Justice, the Alabama Association for Justice and NOSSCR.
Ben also currently serves as the Managing Partner of The Cochran Firm Memphis and The Cochran Firm Disability and Bankruptcy national practices.
Christine was born and raised right here in Dothan, Alabama. She received her bachelor’s degree at the University of Alabama and her Juris Doctorate at the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law.
Christine has been practicing law since 2009 and is admitted to practice in all Alabama State Courts, as well as the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. She is a member of the Alabama State Bar Association.
Blaine Stevens was born and raised in Dale County, Alabama. After completing high school at Ariton High School, he attended Auburn University and received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1983. While in school at Auburn he was elected president of the Alpha Phi Sigma National Honor Society.
After completing his Bachelor of Science degree, Mr. Stevens enrolled in law school at Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. While in school, he was a member of the law review and authored a student article that was published in the Cumberland Law Review. Mr. Stevens received his Juris Doctor degree from Cumberland in 1989.
After law school, Mr. Stevens was appointed as a law clerk to the Honorable E.C. “Sonny” Hornsby, Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, and served in that capacity from 1989-90.
Mr. Stevens has been continuously involved in the practice of law since 1990. During that time he has successfully represented clients in all manner of plaintiff’s and defense litigation.
Mr. Stevens is admitted to practice law in Alabama, and in the Federal District Court of Alabama. Mr. Stevens is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit and before the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Stevens is also a member in good standing of the Alabama State Bar.
Cal Whaley was born and raised in Dothan, Alabama. After completing high school at Dothan High School, he attended the University of Alabama, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance in 2011, graduating summa cum laude.
After completing his Bachelor of Science degree, Mr. Whaley stayed in Tuscaloosa to enroll in the University of Alabama School of Law. While in law school, he worked with the Capital Defense Clinic, and focused his studies toward trial advocacy. Mr. Whaley received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2014. After law school, Mr. Whaley moved to Birmingham, Alabama, where began to work as a trial attorney. While in Birmingham, Mr. Whaley tried numerous jury trials, gaining valuable experience while obtaining justice for his clients.
Mr. Whaley is admitted to practice law in Alabama, and in all three Federal Districts of Alabama. Mr. Whaley is also a member in good standing of the Alabama State Bar.
Chloe Hart is originally from Laurel Hill, Florida. She attended the University of West Florida where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 2017. After completing her undergraduate degree, Mrs. Hart moved to New Orleans and enrolled in law school at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. While in law school, she was a Substance and Citation Editor for the Loyola Maritime Law Journal. She was also a member of the Phi Delta Phi Black Inn and the Maritime Law Society. Mrs. Hart received her Juris Doctorate from Loyola in 2022. Mrs. Hart is admitted to practice law in Alabama and is a member in good standing of the Alabama State Bar.
Tom was raised in Enterprise, Alabama where he graduated from Enterprise High School in 1996 with honors. Tom went on to attend Birmingham-Southern College and graduated with a B.S. Degree in Finance in 2000, also with honors.
Subsequently, Tom attended the University of Alabama School of Law, where he obtained a J.D. degree in law in 2003.
Tom began his legal career in 2003, returning home to Coffee County as an associate attorney with the Cannon and Vaughan firm in Elba, AL. In 2004, Tom began employment with the Twelfth Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office(Coffee and Pike Counties), where he served as an Assistant District Attorney for almost seven years. Tom was elected District Attorney in 2010 and was sworn in to office on January 17, 2011. Tom served two terms of office and was elected to a third term but he decided to seek appointment from the Governor as Supernumerary District Attorney so that he may pursue the practice of civil law while maintaining the ability to prosecute cases when called upon by the Governor, Attorney General or Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
During his tenure as District Attorney and time preceding, Tom prosecuted thousands of felony cases and tried more than 90 cases to jury verdict, losing only 5 of those. While elected as District Attorney, Tom served as the President of the Alabama District Attorneys Association, member of the Alabama Sentencing Commission, member of the Alabama Criminal Pattern Jury Instructions Committee and as a board member with the Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center and the Wiregrass Angel House.
Tom is a member in good standing of the Alabama State Bar and also a member of the Coffee County Bar Association and the Pike County Bar Association. Tom is also admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.
Bo Collins has a very diverse background, once serving as a Dothan Police Officer and later as a Sr. Director with Movie Gallery. During his time with Movie Gallery he served as a Regional Manager, Director, and Sr. Director.
Bo currently holds the position of Vice President of Operations, focusing on the day-to-day management of the firm’s business operations and marketing efforts. Bo has a passion for operations and prides himself as being a problem solver.
Bo has resided in the Wiregrass for nearly 20 years. He married a Wiregrass native and has two wonderful children. Bo devotes much of his free time to working in the community and spending time with his family.
Josh Wadkins was born right here in Dothan, AL, but mainly grew up in the small town of Brewton, AL. Population: 8,000. Josh graduated from T.R. Miller High School and was voted “Most Friendly” in his senior class’s “Who’s Who.” After graduating from high school, Josh earned his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a Minor in Art History at Birmingham-Southern College, where he was also active in the Sigma Nu fraternity.
At Cherry & Irwin, Josh wears many hats. He coordinates the day-to-day activities of Ben Irwin and lends a hand to our other departments in any way he can.
Chekita is a native of Dothan. She is a graphic artist and photographer whose work has been displayed in the Wiregrass Museum of Art and the Johnson Center For the Arts museums. As one who is customer service oriented, she is friendly and always greets you with a smile.
Chekita earned a degree from the University of Troy in Graphic Design. She uses her talents to help Cherry & Irwin create and implement a multi-prong marketing strategy. The results of her efforts can be seen on Wiregrass television, billboards, and other print materials. Chekita is instrumental in the firms continued marketing success.
Maria is a native of Dothan and a graduate of Northview High School. Maria attended the University of Alabama where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political and Computer Sciences. Shortly after graduation, she moved to Birmingham where she worked for more than 5 years as a paralegal for two prominent law firms. In 2018, Maria decided to move back to Dothan where she continued her legal career. Maria has a wealth of legal experience and is a key contributor to our firm.
Maria is also very active in the community serving in various roles for the Dothan Service League, Dothan Area Young Professionals, and Thalian Mardi Gras Society.
Charles Holloway is the technology advisor for the law firm. He attended college at the University of Auburn and currently manages the network infrastructure for Cherry & Irwin. Charles is unique in the IT field because he possesses the ability to write programs, complete hardware repairs, manage the firm’s internal PBX platform, and maintain the firms internal network.
Charles also spends a great deal of time developing financial models, reporting, and automating manual processes.
Merry is originally from Bonifay, Florida and attended the University of North Florida where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance. Merry, later obtained her Master Degree in Accounting from the University of Troy. Prior to joining Cherry & Irwin Merry served in many different leadership capacities including the position of Controller at her last employer.