YLS In Brief - Vol. 12, #2 Spring 2008
A Periodic Newsletter of the Young Lawyers Section of the Arkansas Bar Association.
YLS In brief A Periodic Newsletter of the Young Lawyers Section of the Vol. 12 #2 Spring 2008 Arkansas Bar Association 110th Annual Meeting joint meeting with the Arkansas Judicial Council Young Lawyers Section Hospitality Suite 9:15 p.m. Wednesday June 11th Suite 903 Mix and mingle in a casual atmosphere with fellow YLS members. Champagne, strawberries, and other refreshments will be served Young Lawyers Section Meeting 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Thursday June 12th Magnolia Room, Arlington Hotel Congratulation to YLS members serving on the Cordell Parvin is a nationally renowned speaker from Dallas, Texas. He has practiced law for 36 years now and has developed a highly successful national construction law practice. He will present â€œSecuring, Retaining, and Expanding Relationships with Your Clients.â€? Sponsored by the Young Lawyers Section and Dover Dixon Horne PLLC. 1 Arkansas Bar Association House of Delegates Charles E. Clawson, III C. Michael Daily Joel M. DiPippa Farrah L. Fielder Jennifer Williams Flinn Teresa M. Franklin Kimberly J. Frazier Jacob M. Hargraves Stephan M. Hawks Ka Tina R. Hodge Rita Howard Anthony W. Juneau Timothy R. Leonard Brendan T. Monaghan Brandon C. Robinson Stephen C. Smith Tasha Sossamon Taylor Vicki S. Vasser Anne Hughes White Troy L. Whitlow Jeffrey Dale Wood Arkansas Rule of Law Conference by J. Cliff McKinney American Bar Association President-Elect H. Thomas Wells, Arkansas Bar Association President Richard L. Ramsay and Governor Mike Beebe (Photo courtesy of Viet C. Tran) On April 4, 2008, the Law Day Committee of the Young Lawyers Section conducted the first-ever Arkansas Rule of Law Conference. The Rule of Law Conference is an initiative created by the American Bar Association through the World Justice Project. The goal of the conference is to assemble the leaders from every major discipline in one room to discuss the importance and meaning of the rule of law. We are very proud that Arkansas was one of the first states to host a Rule of Law Conference. The Rule of Law Conference was a resounding success and included the first-ever live video conference between Arkansas leaders and leaders in the nation of Ukraine. The genesis for the Arkansas Rule of Law Conference came in early October 2007 when Bill Allen, a delegate from Arkansas to the American Bar Association, and Arkansas Bar Association President Rick Ramsay asked the Law Day Committee to accept the challenge of planning and conducting the Conference. The Law Day Committee, composed of Chair Gwen Rucker, Co-Chair Cliff McKinney, Emily Runyon, Courtney Crouch, Grant Cox, David Curran, and Paul Bennett, accepted the challenge with initially no budget and very little precedent to follow. Fortunately, many wonderful and talented people graciously volunteered their time and ideas to make the Arkansas Rule of Law Conference a reality. From the academic world, the University of Arkansas School of Law, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law and the William Jefferson Clinton School of Public Service agreed to be co-sponsors of the Conference. From the legal community, the Arkansas Bar Association and the Arkansas Supreme Court both agreed to be co-sponsors. From the business community, Acxiom Corporation, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Riceland Foods, Inc. and Tyson Foods, Inc. agreed to be co-sponsors. The Committee also received the gracious financial support of the American Bar Association and the Arkansas Bar Association, including the following sections: Real Estate, Financial Institutions, Business Law, Probate and Trust, Government Practice Section, and Labor and Employment. In addition to the wonderful sponsors, the Law Day Committee received invaluable help and advice from Chief Justice Jim Hannah, President Rick Ramsay, President-Elect Rosalind Mouser, Dean 2 Law Day Committee members (Photo courtesy of Viet C. Tran) Skip Rutherford, Aaron Taylor, Joel DiPippa, Karen Hutchins and Tasha Henderson. However, three individuals provided particularly invaluable aid. Jerry Jones, Business Development/Legal Advisor and Assistant Secretary of Acxiom Corporation, secured the agreement of Acxiom Corporation to host the event at its corporate headquarters in Little Rock. Professor Don Judges and Professor Chris Kelley of the University of Arkansas made arrangements through the United States State Department for leaders in Kiev, Ukraine to participate in the conference through a live video conference feed. The Conference was well attended by the invitation-only guest list, which included Governor Mike Beebe and American Bar Association President-Elect H. Thomas Wells, Jr., despite a series of severe tornados that struck Little Rock and the surrounding area the night before. The Conference was attended by politicians, doctors, lawyers, engineers, surveyors, artists, academics, writers, business leaders and members of the armed forces, among many others. The Conference began with a welcome from Jerry Jones and introductory remarks from Associate Justice Annabelle Clinton Imber who set the tone by describing the importance of the Rule of Law to all professions. Associate Justice Imber also recognized the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and reminded attendees how crucial the rule of law was during the Civil Rights Movement and how important it remains today. President Ramsay served as the Master of Ceremonies. Following the introductory remarks, the Conference began with a session on â€œThe Rule of Law and Its Global Impact.â€? This session was a panel discussion moderated by Professor Melissa Waters from Washington and Lee University School of Law. The panel consisted on the Arkansas side of Professor Don Judges, Secretary Richard Bell of the Arkansas Agriculture Department, Professor Sarah Howard Jenkins of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law and Bill Teeter, the Senior Director of International Business Development for Tyson Foods. The Arkansas panel was joined by participants from Ukraine, including the moderator Dr. Valentyna Pidlisnyuk, Professor and Director of the Sustainable Development & Ecological Education Center and panelists Mykhaylo Borysyuk, Head Rule of Law Continued from Page 2 of the Secretariat of the Committee on Environmental Policy; Andriy Dakhovskyi, Chief Executive Officer of Ukrainian Records; Olesia Hulchiy, Vice-Rector of the National Medical Bohomolets University; Ihor Osyka, Project Manager of the ABA-CEELI Law Enforcement Reform; Ruslan Marutovsky, Chief Advisor of the Committee on Environmental Policy; Tetyana Stefanovska, Associate Professor of the National Agricultural University; Serhiy Vykhryst, Deputy Dean of the Law Department of KROK University of Economics and Law; and Anatoliy Yaselskyi, Judge of the Svyatoshyn District Court, Kyiv (“Kiev”). This panel had a lively discussion that included a discussion of American foreign policy and the way that justice is conducted in America. After gaining an international perspective, the Conference turned introspective and held a session on “Why the Rule of Law Matters in Our State.” Dean Cynthia Nance of the University of Arkansas School of Law moderated the panel, which included as panelists Associate Justice Paul Danielson of the Arkansas Supreme Court, Dr. Nan Plummer of the Arkansas Arts Center; Grif Stockley of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies; Vice-President Mike Bennett from WalMart Stores, Inc.; Fayetteville Mayor Dan Coody; and Kevin Ryan Choose Law: A Profession for All from the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement. This panel gave participants a deep insight on the issue of the rule of law in Arkansas and helped to compare and contrast some of the common issues shared by Arkansas and the Ukraine. Following the panel sessions, American Bar Association PresidentElect Wells provided a national perspective on the issues discussed during the conference. After his discussion, the attendees broke into small groups to discuss the meaning and importance of the rule of law to their individual professions. Finally, Governor Mike Beebe concluded the Conference and gave the participants some parting thoughts. The Law Day Committee and the Young Lawyers Section were honored to be a part of this amazing and unprecedented conference. While there are currently no plans to repeat the Conference in future years, the experience helped to strengthen relationships between various disciplines, gave the participants a renewed respect for the importance and meaning of the rule of law and helped to establish a connection with the people of Ukraine that will hopefully grow through the years. J. Cliff McKinney practices real estate law with Quattlebaum, Grooms, Tull & Burrow PLLC in Little Rock. He is Co-Chair of the YLS Law Day Committee. Hats Off Kim Brown and her husband Mark welcomed a handsome baby boy, Logan Wilder, into their family on October 26, 2007. He weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces, and has blonde hair and blue eyes. Andrew Faulkner and his wife Jenny welcomed their second daughter, Ava, into their family on April 25, 2008. Ava’s big sister, Libby, is three-and-a-half years old. Johnnie Copeland and her husband Scott had a baby boy on January 15, 2008. Colin Abbott Copeland weighed 8 pounds and 4 ounces and was 21 inches long. On May 3, 2008, Franki Heenan married Christoper R. Coulter, who is the Attorney Network Director for Hosto and Buchan, Prater, & Lawrence PLLC. On Saturday, April 19, the Young Lawyers Section hosted a half-day program for junior high, high school and college students in the Pine Bluff area to teach them about the importance of lawyers of color in America, to encourage them to consider a career in the law and to offer tips on how to prepare for college, law school and beyond. The program, called “Choose Law: A Profession for All,” was held at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. The program is open to non-minority students as well as minority students. Choose Law was part of the Arkansas Bar Association’s Law Day 2008 activities, marking the 50th Anniversary of President Dwight Eisenhower’s proclamation of Law Day on May 1, 1958. 3 Lyndsey Dilks recently joined the Brad Hendricks Law Firm as an Associate Attorney. She is heading up a new bankruptcy division for the firm, which is primarily known for personal injury, wrongful death, social security, and medical malpractice litigation work. Ms. Dilks is excited to continue working in the area of consumer bankruptcy law and looks forward to serving the people of central Arkansas. Tanya B. Spavins was recently elected to membership of Bridges, Young, Matthews and Drake. Ms. Spavins is now the managing member of the firm’s Hot Springs location. Ms. Spavins is admitted to the state bars of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. This year Bridges Law Firm is celebrating 120 years of continuous legal services. IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ON YLS MEMBERS WHO DESERVE A “HATS OFF” OR WOULD LIKE TO SUBMIT IDEAS FOR ARTICLE PUBLICATION PLEASE CONTACT THE EDITOR OF “IN BRIEF”, TASHA SOSSAMON TAYLOR, firstname.lastname@example.org or ASSISTANT EDITOR: VICKI S. VASSER, email@example.com HOW SERVING OTHERS IS THE OBLIGATION OF EVERY LAWYER By Lori L. Burrows In the 1590s, William Shakespeare penned Henry VI. Arguably the most famous line from the play is Dick the Butcher’s proclamation “[t]he first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” Type that quotation into any online search engine and see for yourself the extensive and sometimes heated debate regarding whether Shakespeare was lauding or lamenting our profession. Read in context, the line was delivered to a mob angry with the monarchy. The Butcher’s invitation to “kill all the lawyers” was said in response to rebel Cade’s plea for revolution. They wanted to overthrow their government and create a dictatorship led by lawlessness. Given the context, it is my belief that the Butcher was acknowledging the service lawyers provide the community at large. He was saying, in effect, that without lawyers society has no backbone or rule of law. Because we are in an election season, reflection on the origins of our country and the revolution that produced one of the only thriving democracies on Earth is natural. Though not perfect our legal and political framework, borne of the United States Constitutional Convention in 1787, has served us well for more than two centuries. When one considers that 35 of the 55 delegates willing to serve at the Constitutional Convention were either practicing lawyers or had legal training and well more than half of our Presidents have been lawyers as well, the inextricable link between the law, democracy, and public service is apparent. Although the motivations to attend law school and practice law are as varied as the members of our profession, it is my contention that service is the linchpin of the legal profession and each lawyer should strive to serve others. Public service, regardless of the gain, fuels our profession and our profession ensures our society’s underpinnings remain strong. This is as true of young lawyers in Arkansas as it was of the founding fathers. As part of our jobs we encounter clients during both trying times such as a divorce or personal injury, as well as exciting times such as the adoption of a child or the creation of a new corporate venture. On their behalf, we maneuver the legal landscape to protect or promote their interests. Lawyers ensure there is vindication against crime coupled with the protection of innocent people charged with a crime. We ensure there is orderly redress for most wrongdoing, and in the case of our beloved country, a functioning democracy. At the risk of becoming self-aggrandizing, it is important to remember that our calling to be attorneys comes with a commensurate calling to be diligent public servants. In order to honor those who came before us as well as advance our political and legal frameworks we must engage in activism for the benefit of our legal community as well as the community at large. I believe engaging in community service—however you define that for yourself—is part of our obligation to the rule of law and the privilege of practicing law. Consider this your call to use your skills, including the legal ones, to serve others. If you are not sure where to start, let me help. We are fortunate to have two law schools in this state, both of which could use volunteers. Professors and administrators are continually looking for attorneys to participate in moot court and other similar oncampus competitions as well as help with mock interviews to prepare students for law clerk interviews. In addition, the Arkansas Bar Association annually sponsors the mock trial competition, which needs judges, bailiffs and other support personnel. Arkansas Legal Services Partnership always needs lawyers to do pro bono work for families and individuals in need. Alumni associations need volunteers to lead their organization and you could help raise funds to support your alma mater’s growth. Every local animal shelter needs help grooming, feeding and 4 walking the pets in its care on a daily basis. The local chapters of Habitat for Humanity need people every Saturday morning throughout the spring and summer to build homes for deserving families. Hospitals and nursing homes need volunteers to visit patients to brighten their days. Literacy groups need volunteers to tutor both children and adults and teach them to read. Since graduating from law school, I have engaged in each of the activities above and I can attest personally that I have always gotten much more than I have given. As another lawyer famously said, “service is the rent we pay for living:” Ms. Wright Edelman got it right—it is not enough that our profession as a whole is one rooted in service; we also have to be individuals who serve. Service to others gives us a fuller appreciation of our own lives. If you would like to volunteer but do not know where to start, please feel free to contact me and I can get you in touch with organizations seeking volunteers. Otherwise, go pay some rent by using your skills to make our community a better place to live. Endnotes 1. For an interesting and opposite opinion I recommend The Ethical Spectacle-Lawyers, July 1997, online at http://www.spectacle.org/797/ finkel.html. 2. Marian Wright Edelman is a Yale-educated lawyer and lifelong children’s rights advocate. The same quotation has been credited to Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman elected to Congress in 1968. Lori L. Burrows is a Staff Attorney for the Arkansas Public Service Commission in Little Rock. She can be reached by phone at 501.682.5875 or email at LBurrows@psc.state.ar.us.