CM/ECF Helpdesk for Civil Cases:
Proposed Orders to Chambers:
Docket Clerk(205) 278-1720
Courtroom Deputy(205) 278-1744
Law Clerk (even number cases)(205) 278-1903
Law Clerk (odd number cases)(205) 278-1902
Chambers Telephone number(205) 278-1900
Parties should call Docket Clerk or Courtroom Deputy before calling chambers.
Staff are prohibited from giving legal advice.
Magistrate Judge T. Michael Putnam is the longest serving magistrate judge in the history of the Northern District of Alabama, having been on the bench since February 9, 1987. At the time of his appointment, he was the youngest magistrate judge in the country at age 32. Judge Putnam received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alabama in 1976, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Sigma Alpha (political science honorary society). He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1979, finishing in the top 5% of his class. He was a Hugo L. Black Scholar and a member of Order of the Coif, the Bench and Bar Legal Honor Society, and the Farrah Law Society. Judge Putnam served on the editorial board of the Alabama Law Review, publishing a student note, “Warrantless Seizures - The Plain View Doctrine in Alabama,” 30 Alabama Law Review 449 (Winter, 1979). Following graduation, Judge Putnam practiced law in Florence, Alabama, first as an associate and then a partner in the firm of Potts, Young, & Blasingame. He represented clients from all walks of life, both plaintiffs and defendants. At the time of his appointment in 1987, representative clients included the University of North Alabama and Humana Inc. As a magistrate judge, Judge Putnam has handled a wide range of civil and criminal matters, including pretrial management of such high-profile cases as the Eric Rudolph bombing case and the Richard Scrushy prosecution. He has been assigned pretrial management and discovery management in the HealthSouth securities class-action litigation and the Blue Cross/Blue Shield multi-district antitrust cases. With consent jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), Judge Putnam has tried many cases to verdict, including products-liability litigation involving the drug Parlodel. He currently is vice chair of the Northern District’s Criminal Justice Act Administrative Committee and a member of the Court’s CM/ECF Committee and the Court’s Tech Team. Judge Putnam is a member of the Alabama State Bar, the Birmingham Bar Association, and the Federal Magistrate Judges Association, where he served as the Eleventh Circuit Director for four years between 2004 and 2008. He has been an adjunct professor at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law since 2006, teaching Pretrial Practice and Procedure. He also has published an article on the utilization of magistrate judges, “The Utilization of Magistrate Judges in the Federal District Courts of Alabama,” 28 Cumberland Law Review 635 (1997-1998), and is a frequent writer and speaker at CLE meetings.