J. Michael Joiner is a lifetime resident of Shelby County, Alabama. He is the son of Hubert and Christine Joiner of Columbiana. His father, Hubert, retired after 35 years of service with Alabama Power. His mother, Christine, worked with the U.S. Postal Service, serving at various offices in Shelby County. His only brother is a physician practicing in Birmingham.
In 1975, Judge Joiner graduated from Indian Springs High School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Samford University in 1979. In 1982, he graduated from Cumberland School of Law where he served as Research Editor of the Cumberland Law Review and was a member of the Cumberland Moot Court Board.
After graduating from Cumberland School of Law, Judge Joiner practiced law in Shelby County for ten years. While practicing law, he served as Secretary of the Shelby County Republican party, and President of the Alabaster/Pelham Rotary Club, and was a member of the Shelby County Economic Development Council and the North Shelby Chamber of Commerce. In 1992, he was elected as a Circuit Judge. In November 2005, Judge Joiner was elected by his fellow Shelby County Judges as Presiding Circuit Judge.
As a Circuit Judge, Judge Joiner has handled thousands of civil, criminal, and domestic cases. As a result of handling criminal cases, especially death-penalty cases involving drug-abusing teenage defendants, he saw the dire need for a change in the way the criminal system deals with addiction. In 2002, he created the Shelby County Drug Court, which has become a model statewide. In 2007, he was appointed by Chief Justice Cobb as co-chair of a statewide Drug Court Task Force to implement Drug Courts in all 67 counties in Alabama. While in that role, he was responsible for training all Drug Court judges and staff around the State. The Shelby County Drug Court program has over 1,000 graduates and 200 current participants.
Judge Joiner was a member of the Executive Committee of the Circuit Judges Association and the Alabama Public Safety and Sentencing Coalition. He is also a member of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) and is the current Vice President/President-Elect of the Alabama Association of Drug Court Professionals (AADCP).
In February 2011, Judge Joiner was named by Governor Robert Bentley to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, filling the office left vacant by the appointment of Justice James Allen Main to the Alabama Supreme Court. In July 2011, Judge Joiner was honored as Republican of the Year by the Shelby County Republican Party.
He is an active member of The Church at Brookhills where he teaches a Bible study class. He previously served as Deacon and Chairman of the Shelby Baptist Association Credentials Committee.
Judge Joiner is married to Cathy Smith Joiner. Cathy is an RN and works in a local physician's practice. They have one daughter, Christy, who is a full-time college student. In his spare time, Judge Joiner enjoys running and golf.