A publication of the
Arkansas Bar Association
Vol. 43, No.3, Summer 2008 online at www.arkbar.com
2008-2009 Arkansas Bar Association President Rosalind M. Mouser, her husband Kirby and son Owen
Publisher Arkansas Bar Association Phone: (501) 375-4606 Fax: (501) 375-4901 Homepage: www.arkbar.com E-Mail: email@example.com editor Anna Hubbard executive director Karen K. Hutchins Editorial Board Philip E. Kaplan, Chair Judge Wiley A. Branton, Jr. Michelle H. Cauley Milton Fine, II William D. Haught Jim L. Julian Mary Beth Matthews Gordon S. Rather, Jr. Drake Mann David H. Williams Teresa M. Wineland OFFICERS President Rosalind M. Mouser Board of Governors Chair Steven W. Quattlebaum President-Elect Donna C. Pettus Immediate Past President Richard L. Ramsay Secretary-Treasurer William A. Martin Parliamentarian J. Leon Johnson Young Lawyers Section Chair Gwendolyn L. Rucker BOARD OF GOVERNORS Thomas M. Carpenter Richard C. Downing Causley Edwards Robert R. Estes, Jr. David M. Fuqua Charles L. Harwell L. Kyle Heffley Anthony A. Hilliard Colette D. Honorable Sean T. Keith Roy Beth Kelley Harry A. Light Chalk S. Mitchell Danny M. Rasmussen Charles D. Roscopf, Jr. Brian M. Rosenthal Todd M. Turner John T. Vines Eddie H. Walker, Jr. Tom D. Womack Dennis Zolper
LIAISON MEMBERS Zane A. Chrisman Brian H. Ratcliff Jack A. McNulty Karen K. Hutchins Judge Mike Irwin Carolyn B. Witherspoon Judge John Dan Kemp
The Arkansas Lawyer (USPS 546-040) is published quarterly by the Arkansas Bar Association. Periodicals postage paid at Little Rock, Arkansas. POSTMASTER: send address changes to The Arkansas Lawyer, 2224 Cottondale Lane, Little Rock, Arkansas 72202. Subscription price to non-members of the Arkansas Bar Association $35.00 per year. Any opinion expressed herein is that of the author, and not necessarily that of the Arkansas Bar Association or The Arkansas Lawyer. Contributions to The Arkansas Lawyer are welcome and should be sent to Anna Hubbard, Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org. All inquiries regarding advertising should be sent to Editor, The Arkansas Lawyer, at the above address. Copyright 2008, Arkansas Bar Association. All rights reserved.
Lawyer Vol. 43, No. 3
10 Arkansas Bar Association Membership Satisfaction Survey
14 The Arkansas Court Automation Project Tim Holthoff
16 Arkansas VersusLaw Taking it to the Next Level Cathy Underwood
20 2008-2009 Arkansas Bar Association President Rosalind M. Mouser Anna Hubbard
Cover photo by Tasha Chloe, LLC
24 Arkansas Supreme Court Ranks Second in National Study
28 Supreme Court Justice Sam Robinson L. Scott Stafford Contents Continued on Page 2
Lawyer Vol. 43, No. 3
in this issue CLE Calendar
2007-2008 Arkansas Bar Association/ Arkansas Bar Foundation Annual Award Recipients
Judicial Disciplinary Actions
Lawyer Disciplinary Actions
Arkansas Bar Foundation Memorials and Honoraria
columns Presidentâ€™s Report
Rosalind M. Mouser
Young Lawyers Section Report
Arkansas Bar Association
2224 Cottondale Lane Little Rock, Arkansas 72202
HOUSE OF DELEGATES Delegate District 1-SE: Robert F. Thompson III Delegate District 2-SE: Jerrie Grady Delegate District 3-SE: Mark A. Mayfield, Brant Perkins, Teresa M. Franklin Delegate District 4-SE: Kathie A. Kimbrell Delegate District 5-SE: A. Jan Thomas Delegate District 6-SE: Marshall Wright Delegate District 7-SE: Winston B. Collier Delegate District 8-SE: William N. Reed Delegate District 9-SE: Brian S. Miller Delegate District 10-SE: Brandon C. Robinson, Paul Bennett Delegate District 11-SE: C.C. Gibson III Delegate District 12-SE: Timothy R. Leonard Delegate District 13-SE: Matthew Shepherd, James E. McMenis Delegate District 14-SE: Amy Freedman, John Finley Delegate District 15-SE: F. Thomas Curry, Cecilia Ashcraft Delegate District 16-SE: Jonathan D. Jones, Jacob M. Hargraves Delegate District 17-SE: Sam E. Gibson Delegate District 1-NW: Jason B. Kelley, Stephen A. Geigle, Vicki S. Vasser, Tony Juneau Delegate District 2-NW: Brock Showalter, Earl Buddy Chadick, Charles L. Harwell, Tim Tarvin, Debby Thetford Nye, Paul D. Reynolds, W. Marshall Prettyman, Jr., Robert R. Estes, Jr., Charles M. Duell, Troy L. Whitlow Delegate District 3-NW: Stephen C. Smith, Kimberly J. Frazier, Rita Howard, Farrah L. Fielder, C. Michael Daily, Jeffrey D. Rickard Delegate District 4-NW: Patrick C. McDaniel Delegate District 5-NW: Brent Capehart Delegate District 6-NW: Roy Beth Kelley, John C. Riedel Delegate District 7-NW: Stephan M. Hawks, Charles E. Clawson, III Delegate District 8-NW: Jerry D. Patterson Delegate District 1-C: Gwendolyn L. Rucker, Mitchell L. Berry, M. Stephen Bingham, Brian A. Vandiver, Mark T. McCarty, Jay T. Taylor, Judge Beth M. Deere, J. Leon Johnson, Rebecca J. Denison, Michelle H. Cauley, David P. Glover, Jay L. Shue, Jr., Elizabeth Thomas Smith, Joel M. DiPippa, Khayyam Eddings, Christian Harris, Ka Tina R. Hodge, Jeffrey Dale Wood, Gill A. Rogers, Mark W. Hodge, Brett D. Watson, Patrick L. Spivey, Danyelle J. Walker, Alan G. Bryan, Tim J. Cullen, JaNan A. Davis, Jennifer W. Flinn, Anne Hughes White, Brendan T. Monaghan, Tasha Sossamon Taylor Law Student Representatives: Sloane Morgan, University of Arkansas School of Law; Amber Elbert, UALR William H. Bowen School of Law
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by Rosalind M. Mouser
Your Bar at Work Rosalind Mouser’s “President’s Report” portrays photos of recent Association Activities
Committee Meetings in the Exhibit Center at the Annual Meeting at the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs
Board of Governors spring meeting at the Red Apple Inn in Heber Springs
Jeffrey McKinley, 2008 Annual Meeting Chair, with members of the Association celebrating fifty years of service
Rick Ramsay (r) presented Bill Martin with an award for his continuing service to the Association On April 4, 2008, the Law Day Committee of the Young Lawyers Section conducted the first-ever Arkansas Rule of Law Conference. The goal was to assemble the leaders from every major discipline to discuss the importance of the rule of law. The conference was a resounding success and included the first-ever live video conference between Arkansas leaders and leaders in the nation of Ukraine.
Bottom row l to r: Cliff McKinney, David Curran, Grant Cox; Top row: Gwen Rucker, Thomas Wells, Courtney Crouch, Rick Ramsay
Website Oversite Committee meeting in the Board Room of the Bar Center
On 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.
Vol. 43 No. 3/Summer 2008 The Arkansas Lawyer
Arkansas Bar Association Member Benefits The Arkansas Bar Center Space available for: n Meetings n Receptions n Mediations n Arbitrations n Depositions n Visiting attorneys
photo courtesy of Cindy Momchilov
n To reserve call Michele Glasgow at 501.375.4606 or 800.609.5668
Powerful Practice Tools Discounts on Arkansas Bar Association Practice Handbooks including the recently updated: n Arkansas Domestic Relations Handbook n Handling Appeals in Arkansas n Revocable Trusts for the Arkansas Practitioner
Arkansas VersusLaw n Free Access to this online legal research library n go to www.arkbar.com n click on Arkansas VersusLaw and login n select a library to begin searching n Search Arkansas and national legal materials n Developed specifically for members n Searchable Weekly Case Summaries n Free technical support and training
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Weekly Case Summaries Summaries of the significant Arkansas Supreme Court and Arkansas Court of Appeals cases n Available online each week n Decisions updated every Monday n Available on Arkansas VersusLaw & www.arkbar.com
arkansasfindalawyer n The Web site to help potential clients find you n Register to get your name publicized on the Internet n Searchable by practice area and location n Only $75 per year n Worry freeâ€”Association maintains your online listing n Call 501.375.4606 or 800.609.5668 to register
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For a complete listing go to www.arkbar.com & click on Member Benefits 6
The Arkansas Lawyer
Vol. 43 No. 3/Summer 2008 The Arkansas Lawyer
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The Arkansas Lawyer
Young Lawyers Section Report
by Gwendolyn L. Rucker
Building a Different World
A different world cannot be built by indifferent people.
Familiar with Generation X (born 1969-1979) and Generation Y (born 1980-1994)? Most Young Lawyer Section (YLS) members fit into these groups. Generation X (“Slacker Generation”) was dubbed a generation of indifferent teenagers and twenty-somethings who were not bothered with social causes or the general state of humanity. Generation Y (“Dot.Com Generation”) may have fared worse, having been defined as a generation of self- absorbent and transient people. Like many others, I too have probably been guilty of this labeling. After all, who besides my twentyyear-old nephew Bryson, could fix a computer before he was even in the sixth grade, could teach me how to download music to an IPOD? Things are a bit different now since his military graduation in April. I vividly remember the day Bryson was born and knew that one day he would have to leave the nest. But, when Bryson advised us that he had made the choice to enlist, I was undoubtedly concerned but very supportive. I grew up in a military family and recall three of my siblings simultaneously serving in the Army, Navy, and Marines; therefore, I knew what choosing this careerpath meant. On the Wednesday before graduation, we arrived at Fort Benning very early for “Family Day.” The soldiers didn’t get a chance to visit with their families prior to the ceremony, so they eagerly followed the lead of their battalion commanders and
drill sergeants who wanted to show us how they had transformed the men and women into soldiers. Even at attention you could see the sparkle in the soldiers’ eyes as they spotted a family member they had not seen in over nine weeks (about thirteen weeks for us, courtesy of the Ft. Benning brown recluses). Commanders bragged that the soldiers who stood before us were not the same people who’d left us months earlier. They were correct and the transformation was apparent. Following the ceremony, the soldiers were granted their first pass to roam about the city, and I observed the pride and honor they exhibited while in uniform. It was almost 90° in Georgia that day, so they definitely stood out in the crowd. The uniform alone garnered respect, well-wishes, and prayers from perfect strangers. The following day as we celebrated the graduation of our new soldier at Pomeroy Field and awaited his next orders, I could not help but to reflect on the new role in the YLS I was soon to play. With as much pride and honor of those new soldiers in wearing their uniforms and serving our country, I express to you my most humble appreciation for the opportunity to serve as the 2008-2009 YLS Chair. The YLS is synonymous with excellence and service, and I assure you that I will uphold these notions. Generation X and Generation Y certainly do not define who we are, and our actions have proven that. This year will be no different. In addition to its long-standing projects (Mock Trial, Bridging the Gap, Law Day), the YLS will embark on a few new ventures I would like to share with you. Wills for Heros In the aftermath of 9/11, the nation was stunned to learn that so many first respond-
ers did not have wills. To honor their bravery and service, the YLS plans to reach the four corners of our state to provide them with a basic will. If you are interested in assisting us with this project, please contact Council member Brendan Monaghan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ending Hunger in Arkansas Many of you probably watched Oprah’s Big Give, a show where ordinary people were challenged to positively affect the lives of those less fortunate. We do not have Oprah’s money, but we definitely have the spirit to give BIG or go home! If I told you that each month over 19,000 Arkansas kids received backpacks of food from school to ensure they ate at home, would you believe me? What if I told you that those 19,000 kids are in only half of our schools? Staggering, huh? The Arkansas Rice Depot, through its nationally-recognized Food for Kids program, provides these kids with backpacks full of nutritious food they can take home to eat. YLS will help. Reaching Young Lawyers Where They Are Better serving you is never far from the YLS Executive Council’s thoughts. After all, you entrusted us to represent your interests. Further, we all have colleagues who are not members of the Association, and we want to reach them also. The YLS will offer members and non-members alike free programming on a variety of issues that are important to us. More information will be forthcoming. As you can see, we have planned an ambitious year of service—certainly not the sign of slacker and transient generations. As we move forward, can we count on you to help us build that better and different world? ■
Vol. 43 No. 3/Summer 2008 The Arkansas Lawyer
We hear you...
Arkansas Bar Association 2008 Membership Satisfaction Survey The Arkansas Bar Association conducted a member satisfaction survey in March 2008. The survey evaluated the satisfaction of the membership with the benefits currently provided by the Association, including service, the annual meeting, continuing legal education, and the Web site. The survey was strictly focused on member benefits and was not comprehensive in nature. Survey results revealed high satisfaction ratings in terms of overall satisfaction, service, and value. The survey was one of the highest priorities for 2007-08 Association President Rick Ramsay. “The practice of law is always changing,” he said. “In today’s ever shrinking world the changes come at a more accelerated rate. One of our main functions is, and always should be, the benefits we provide for our members. This survey is a critical tool to keep our finger on the membership’s pulse. We have established a Long Range Planning Committee with Jim Julian as chair to facilitate our changing with the profession. This survey will serve as the major road map for that committee to use in adapting to our membership’s needs.” Ramsay appointed John Vines, Member Benefits Committee chair, to oversee the survey. Vines worked closely with the Member Benefits Committee, Market Strategies International, and Association staff to create and implement the survey. “The survey results speak for themselves,” Vines said. “To receive such a large response was encouraging and will greatly benefit and assist the Association as we move forward in our long-range planning efforts and as we further strive to maximize the benefits offered to our entire membership.” Vines was reappointed by 2008-09 President Rosalind M. Mouser 10
The Arkansas Lawyer
to continue working as chair to help steer the committee to introduce new, useful benefits for the entire Association membership. The survey was sent electronically to all Association members with e-mail addresses on file. This created a sample of approximately 4330 members out of 5114 total members. The last membership survey was conducted by mail in 1998. A participation rate of 15.2% was achieved with 658 completed surveys analyzed. “We have confidence in the statistical significance of the results of this study, given that we achieved over a 5% completion rate,” said Dawn C. Adams, Study Director, Market Strategies International. “It is also important to note that there was also a near equal representation of all age groups answering the survey,” she added. Geographically, the number of those responding in the Central bar district equaled the number of responses received from the South & East and Northwest bar districts combined. The content of the survey was derived from questions posed by the Membership Benefits Committee, previous Arkansas Bar Association surveys, and surveys from other state bar associations. A group of members from the Executive Committee and governing bodies tested the survey. The main topics the survey addressed were
satisfaction and importance, technology, continuing legal education, and professional demographics. The results were broken down by bar district and the length of time licensed to practice law. The questions were styled as both multiple choice and openended questions. Comments made by members included a need for medical insurance, more CLE around the state, online registration for CLE events, a mentoring program for new attorneys, and additional features in Arkansas VersusLaw. All suggestions presented in the survey have been presented to the Board of Governors, the House of Delegates, the Member Benefit Committee and the Long Range Planning Committee. Methodology Market Strategies International programmed the survey and delivered it on a highly secured site. The Association sent a pre-invitation e-mail to all members advising recipients of Market Strategies International’s e-mail address so they would recognize the survey when it arrived by e-mail on March 11, 2008. All further emails were
sent only from Market Strategies International to insure confidentiality. The survey was made available and accessible from March 11th – March 31, 2008. Reminders were sent via e-mail on March 17th and March 21st respectively. Other notices about the survey were published in The Arkansas Lawyer, the Newsbulletin, and on the home page of the Web site, www.arkbar.com. Long Range Planning “As one of its goals, the Long Range Planning Committee intends to identify the ways in which the Bar Association can continue to provide meaningful benefits and services to its members,” said Jim Julian. “The member survey has provided us with a significant amount of data reflecting the general preferences of the Association membership to the benefits and services offered as well as a way to track the differences in the responses of our membership located in various parts of our state. This data will be used extensively in our attempt to create a long range plan for the Association to follow in the coming years.”
Survey Results Overall Satisfaction
The Arkansas Bar Association received high ratings in terms of overall satisfaction, service, and value. This is noted by over 80% giving a very satisfied or satisfied rating. Less than 3% indicated a rating of dissatisfied or very dissatisfied. Overall satisfaction when reviewed by bar district showed no significant differences among the three districts.
Overall Service Ratings by Bar District
The overall satisfaction of service was also very high with over 83% giving either an excellent or good rating. Those members responding from the Central and South & East bar districts were more likely to give a rating of excellent than those members in the Northwest bar district. Those in practice longer were more likely to give an excellent rating in overall satisfaction of service. Overall Value Perceptions by Bar District
More than 75% of members surveyed believed the benefits they received are valuable. The members of the Northwest bar district were more likely to give a very valuable rating to overall value of benefits received as compared to those in the Central and South & East bar districts. Vol. 43 No. 3/Summer 2008 The Arkansas Lawyer
Member Benefits Relating to Web site
Satisfaction of Benefits
Important Sources of Information
When all members evaluated benefits for satisfaction, CLE Seminars, the Association’s Web site, and the Online Member Directory received the highest overall ratings. However, the satisfaction levels are below 50% for the Arkansas Bar Center, Arkansas VersusLaw, and arkansasfindalawyer. An examination of improving these benefits may be warranted. Further marketing of these benefits will help members realize the value of each of these benefits. Members clearly indicated that the top two member benefits related to the Web site were Weekly Case Summaries and the Online Member Directory. The Association will consider taking this opportunity to improve other benefits related to the Web site, such as arkansasfindalawyer, section list serves, and the career center. The members also clearly indicated that the most important sources of information are The Arkansas Lawyer magazine and e-mail/mail notices. Percent Usage of Benefits
Although satisfaction with the Association’s Web site is high, only about half reported visiting the Web site monthly. This demonstrates that the Web site is becoming a more visible marketing tool for the Association. Benefits provided only through the Web site or incentives to use online benefits could generate even more Web site activity. Arkansas VersusLaw, which is an online legal research benefit provided only through the Web site, was used by 31% of the members as compared to other computer aided legal research Overall Demographic Profile of Survey Respondents
When members evaluated how often they use all benefits, CLE seminars, the Annual meeting, the Online member Directory, Arkansas VersusLaw and Practice Handbooks topped the results. An examination of those benefits where usage is low could provide some insight into what benefits could be more beneficial to our members. It is, however, important to note that only one fifth of the members responding to the survey found the benefits they receive from the Association “of little value.” 12 The Arkansas Lawyer www.arkbar.com
The demographic profile shows 58% of respondents practice in private law firms. Over 45% have been in practice more than 21 years. Over 60% practice law more than 40 hours per week.
First Choice of CLE Forum
Approximately half of all members say they receive their continuing legal education (CLE) hours through the Association. This means that there is an opportunity to provide more CLE hours to members not currently taking advantage of this benefit. It is important to pay attention to feedback regarding this service so the Association offers CLE based upon the needs of the membership. Since the remaining members report receiving CLE hours from varied sources it is important to monitor the content of the course offerings of all CLE providers.
Live seminars were overwhelmingly the choice of those who attend CLE sponsored by the Arkansas Bar Association. Over 79% of members responding to the survey preferred this forum. Continuing development of live seminars based on the subject matter and location needs of the membership should continue to drive our live CLE offerings.
“The survey results speak for themselves,” Vines said. “To receive such a large response was encouraging and will greatly benefit and assist the Association as we move forward in our longrange planning efforts and as we further strive to maximize the benefits offered to our entire membership.”
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The Arkansas Court Automation Project By Tim Holthoff, Court Information System Director Arkansas Administrative Office of the Courts Project History In a Per Curiam opinion issued on November 19, 1990, the Arkansas Supreme Court, in creating its Committee on Automation, noted that
“The ultimate goals of the Arkansas
In recent years, our judicial system has made great use of modern equipment, but our technical systems are incomplete and incompatible with other systems utilized in the courts and state government. Obviously, uniform and effective automation of the courts of this state will increase the cost effectiveness and the efficiency of our courts, as well as improve the quality of justice available to our citizens... It is our intention, ultimately, to develop a comprehensive plan that would provide compatible equipment throughout the judicial system.
the state with the abilities to sup-
More than a decade later, in May 2001, the Arkansas Court Automation Project (ACAP) began with the hiring of a project director funded by the National Criminal History Improvement Project through the Arkansas Crime Information Center (ACIC). The first task of the project was to work with the Automation Committee to develop a strategic technology plan, which was adopted by the Supreme Court in October 2001. The plan proposed to improve public safety, the quality of justice, and public confidence in the judiciary by providing uniform case management to all state courts, and to automate the transmission of complete, accurate, and timely disposition information to other agencies requiring this information. A Request for Proposals was issued by the Automation Committee in January 2002. After a lengthy process of evaluating the responses and negotiating with vendors, ACS Government Services, Inc., was selected as the vendor for the project in June 2002. Because a statewide court case management system had never been implemented in the United States in a state with a non-unified judiciary, the implementation began in a pilot phase to test the viability of uniform case management, the flexibility 14
The Arkansas Lawyer
Court Automation Project are to provide a uniform case and jury management system to all courts in port public access to court information, electronic filing, online traffic ticket payment, and an online interface for Arkansas jurors. ..... The long-term goals of the Arkansas Court Automation project are to improve the accuracy, timeliness, and completeness of judicial information, and to improve public confidence in the system by providing a uniform case management system
to all the courts in Arkansas.
of the software, and to develop processes for implementation of the system in the courts. Faulkner County Circuit Court, Faulkner County District Court, Hot Spring County Circuit Court, Hot Spring County District Court, Montgomery County District Court, Sebastian County Circuit Court and Carlisle District Court were selected as pilot courts. During their pilot court training in 2003, the court representatives realized that, although the software met most of their requirements, customization was required to make the system work well in all Arkansas courts. The software at that time was incapable of dealing with the immensely complex distribution rules for court costs, fees and fines in limited jurisdiction courts. In 2004, the Administrative Office of the Courts contracted with ACS for a multi-year, multiphase customization effort. In 2005, with the first phase of customization complete, the pilot district courts began using the system for small claims and civil case processing. In 2006, Montgomery County District Court and Faulkner County District Court began processing traffic and criminal cases in the system. Finally, in July 2007, the last
pilot district court began processing all cases in the system. During the course of customization and pilot implementation, the Administrative Office of the Courts worked closely with the Office of Driver Services to develop a process to automatically transfer conviction and driver license suspension information. Arkansas’s federal highway funding is in jeopardy because of late reporting of traffic convictions by many limited jurisdiction courts. The State will begin losing highway funding soon if courts do not comply with the federal reporting requirements. The solution to this problem will be found in the automation project. In October 2007 the district courts began automatic, near-realtime electronic transmission of the dispositions in their traffic cases to the Office of Driver Services. The final phase of customization was put into production in December 2008. This phase included an imaging interface that will be essential for circuit court participation in electronic filing. At the end of 2007, the software customization was complete and the circuit pilot project implementation began in Hot Spring County, while continuing deployment beyond the pilot phase in district courts. The ACS Contexte Case Management System is being deployed with a centralized structure using Internet connections from the courts to the system servers. The central hardware is located in the Justice Building on the Arkansas State Capitol grounds. A centralized implementation reduces the overall cost, management and complexity of implementation at the local level; however, it does require sufficient central site support staff to backup, maintain, and upgrade the system. This method transfers most of the costs of automation from the local court to the state level. However, the local courts benefit from having remote redundant servers that will save their information even in Automation continued on page 44
Vol. 43 No. 3/Summer 2008 The Arkansas Lawyer
Arkansas VersusLaw – Taking it to the next level
By Cathy Underwood In the Summer 2004 issue of The Arkansas Lawyer, Tom Daily wrote an excellent article on Arkansas VersusLaw basics. You can review that article on the Arkansas Bar Association’s Web site at www.arkbar. com. (The Web site also contains a Frequently Asked Questions document; this document answers questions about how to obtain access to Arkansas VersusLaw.) Let’s build on Tom’s work, and take your Arkansas VersusLaw searching to the next level. In this article, we will look at determining whether your case is good law, tightening your searches using field restrictions, and using date limitations effectively. Determining whether your case is still good law A fairly recent addition to Arkansas VersusLaw is the All Federal Courts library. With this library, you can search all federal and state cases at once and easily determine whether your case is still good law. Unlike other legal research databases, when you search by citation (conduct a V.cite search) using Arkansas VersusLaw, your results will contain not only the case that appears at that citation, but also all cases that cite your case. By looking at the most recent cases that cite your case, you can easily tell whether your case has been overruled. Here’s how to do it, step-by-step: 16
The Arkansas Lawyer
1. Log on to Arkansas VersusLaw (for questions about logging on or registering to use Arkansas VersusLaw for the first time, see the Frequently Asked Questions document on the Arkansas Bar Association Web site at www.arkbar.com). 2. Choose your library: a. Click on the “All Federal Courts” library. [The All Federal Courts library includes decisions from all U.S. District Courts, all U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.] b. Within the All Federal Courts library, click on the box at the top that says “Include All State Appellate Courts.” [By including All State Appellate Courts in your search, you can search both state and federal courts at the same time; your hit list should contain any case that cites your case, in any jurisdiction.] 3. To begin a search using a citation, click on the V.cite radio button; your screen changes to allow you to enter the citation. 4. Enter your citation in the appropriate boxes. We will search for 317 Ark. 548 (Wilson v. State, 317 Ark. 548, 878 S.W.2d 755 (1994)). [See Illustration 1] 5. Submit your search by clicking on the “submit” button. 6. Analyze your results screen: a. Sort by jurisdiction to see if there are any U.S. Supreme Court cases; or b. Sort by date to easily identify the most current cases. [See Illustration 2] 7. The results list shows one United States Supreme Court case. Click on that case to review it. 8. At the bottom of the screen, click on “First Hit” to take you to the first instance of our citation [See Illustration 3], where we find the following entry: “317 Ark. 548, 878 S.W.2d 755, reversed and remanded.” 9. If your results list does not contain a United States Supreme Court case, review the most recent decisions to see how they treated your case.
Caveat: Arkansas VersusLaw does not claim to be a citator. Results obtained by using the above method will not advise you of how citing cases treat your case. However, with a little creativity and patience, Arkansas VersusLaw can be used as an inexpensive way to gather information about your case. Illustration 3
Vol. 43 No. 3/Summer 2008 The Arkansas Lawyer
Tightening your searches using field restrictions Normally, when you run a search in Arkansas VersusLaw, all words in all documents in the library you selected are searched. You can tighten your searches using field restrictions that instruct Arkansas VersusLaw to search only the fields that you choose and not the entire document. The available fields are: Court Counsel Docket Author [author of Cite the opinion] Parties Dated Syllabus Let’s look at how this works by comparing two searches. We will search for the Arkansas Supreme Court case of Wilson v. State.
Search 1: Wilson Arkansas VersusLaw searches the entire database; if the word “Wilson” is contained anywhere in the document, that document will be returned. This search would return hundreds of documents. Search 2: (parties contains wilson) Arkansas VersusLaw searches only the “parties” field, and returns only documents that contain the word “Wilson” in that particular field. Note that you must enclose the search in parenthesis. The above search still returned over 100 documents. (Wilson is a fairly common name.) Let’s tighten it up by adding a first name to the search: Search 3: (parties contains sharlene w/2 wilson) [See Illustration 4] This search returned only one document. The proximity connector (w/2) allows for a middle name or initial. Using date limitations effectively You can further narrow your searches by including a date restriction. Simply type in the date range in the boxes provided at the bottom of the screen. (This is available only in the standard search screen, not in the V.cite screen.) For instance, in Search 2 above, (parties contains Wilson), the results screen listed over 100 documents. If you know that Wilson v. State was decided in 1994, you can use the date restriction boxes to limit the search to cases decided between January 1, 1994, and December 31, 1994 [See Illustration 5]. Now the results list only contains nine documents. Only two of those listed are styled Wilson v. State [See Illustration 6]. 18
The Arkansas Lawyer
Arkansas VersusLaw — Back to the Basics 1. 2. 3.
Select your library Choose your search terms Provide for variations of those search terms using VersusLaw wildcards:
Structure your search using VersusLaw connectors:
5. 6. 7.
And Or Adj
w/* and not
Run your search Analyze the results Edit the search if necessary to obtain better results
Another way to search by date is to use the Dated field restriction. You can use this method to retrieve all decisions from a particular day. For instance, Arkansas Court of Appeals opinions are published every Wednesday. To retrieve all cases decided on May 14, 2008, you would: 1. Choose AR State Content 2. Choose Appellate Opinions 3. Type in the search: (dated contains May 14, 2008) [Remember to include the parenthesis; “dated” must have the “d” and “contains” must have the “s”] 4. The results screen shows all cases decided on that date [23 cases total] To narrow your search for cases on a particular topic, for instance, Workers Compensation cases, add more search terms: (dated contains May 14, 2008) and workers compensation [Note the “and” connector between the two phrases, and the “adjacent to” connector between “workers” and “compensation.”] Now our results list is down to four cases – only the cases that deal with Workers Compensation and that were decided on May 14, 2008. Two of those cases are unreported. You can choose to further restrict the search to return only reported cases using the “AND NOT” connector:
(dated contains May 14, 2008) and workers compensation and not DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION [Note: Simply include “designated for publication” and not “not designated for publication.” Arkansas VersusLaw sees the second “not” as a syntax error; since published opinions do not contain the phrase “designated for publication,” the search works to return only published cases.] Now our results list is down to two cases – only the cases that were decided May 14, 2008, that deal with Workers Compensation, and that are published. Conclusion For Arkansas attorneys, Arkansas VersusLaw is a valuable and inexpensive research tool (free to Arkansas Bar Association members). Using field restrictions, date limitations, and the All Federal Courts library in conjunction with “Include All State Appellate Courts,” attorneys can do much more than look up cases; they can take their Arkansas VersusLaw research experience to the next level. Cathy Underwood is a legal editor and a full-time paralegal instructor at Pulaski Technical College. She has served as Director of Publications for the Arkansas Bar Association and has edited handbooks for that organization for the past twenty years. She also trains Association members on how to use Arkansas VersusLaw. Vol. 43 No. 3/Summer 2008 The Arkansas Lawyer
Rosalind M. Mouser 2008-2009 Arkansas Bar Association President by Anna Hubbard
Standing on the shoulders of giants When you meet Rosalind Mouser, you have to wonder how she so gracefully manages her successful life. Her answer – teamwork. “From day one I was raised in a family where it was not just all about you. It was about family, work, community, church.” Rosalind credits her successes to her family, her law firm, her community, and her church. Her team has helped her give back to the law profession by serving as the Arkansas Bar Association’s 111th president and the Association’s third woman president. “There are so many people who have brought me to this point in my life,” she said. “I stand on the shoulders of so many giants.” “When you become president, you step into a relay race or continuum,” Rosalind said. “You pick up where the other runner left off. There are so many programs in place that cannot finish up in a year. So if anyone comes to this gig thinking they are going to do something really big with their own idea, they miss the mark.” “I think I get it,” she added. “It’s not about me. It’s not even about this one single year. It’s about carrying on the work that was begun before. We have to finish the task that we have in front of us. We’ve got to stay in tune with the members. In addition, we have got to think forward.” Rosalind did not aspire to become a lawyer as a child. It wasn’t that she did not like lawyers, she just was not exposed to any lawyers growing up as a preacher’s kid. Her father was a Baptist pastor. She grew up immersed in the church. She was born in Hope, Arkansas, and is the second of four children. Her family moved to Blytheville for five years when she was two years old before settling in Pine Bluff. Rosalind decided she wanted to go to law school when she was in college, during a time when women lawyers and career mothers were not common. Even so, she knew that her education would 20
The Arkansas Lawyer
“There are so many people who have brought me to this point in my life. I stand on the shoulders of so many giants.” not end at college since her parents and siblings all continued with graduate school. She graduated from Ouachita Baptist University summa cum laude with a double major in English and History and a double minor in French and speech pathology. She graduated in May 1980 with plans to go to graduate school for Speech Pathology. That summer she took Speech Pathology classes at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. After taking those first two classes, she discovered that was not, in fact, the field for her. She decided to pursue law school. Rosalind graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law in 1984. While she was in law school, she worked for Worthen Bank, T.J. Raney and Sons and the Hilburn Law Firm. “I worked all three years and both summers,” she said. “It was tough, but good. I greatly value my working experience. It was as valuable as the schooling.” One of Rosalind’s fondest memories in law school was when Dennis Shackleford, then-president of the Association, spoke to a group from the Student Bar Association. “I don’t know then that it formed in my mind that I would be president one day, but what crossed my mind was that he was the kind of lawyer I wanted to be,” she said. “The kind of lawyer that is not so mesmerized with himself or herself that they can’t talk to students.”
The year after law school she attended Bristol University (Bristol, England) on a Rotary International Scholarship. As an Ambassador, she spoke to Rotary clubs in Southeast England in addition to studying International Law. She was the only American living in the Methodist International House. “It was like a mini UN,” she said. “We discussed our hometown newspapers and watched the television show ‘Dallas’ during the ‘Who Shot J.R.’ days. I tried to explain to the residents that was not how most people in the United States lived or acted.” When she returned from England, Rosalind began her job search. She thought she wanted to be in the securities law field and interviewed with Stephens before interviewing with the Ramsay Law Firm in Pine Bluff. “I was told that if I was ever going to practice law that I should do it first, because you can segue from practicing law into another field easier than going from another field into practicing law,” she said. “So I decided I needed to practice law first, for at least a little while and see what happened.” She has been working at Ramsay, Bridgforth, Harrelson and Starling, LLP in Pine Bluff since November of 1985. “It was the kind of thing that when you go in, you know this is where you are supposed to be, but I had no intention of staying,” she said. “I met my husband, Kirby, in May of 1986 and kind of thought this may be where I end up. And 23 years later, here I am and couldn’t be happier.” Rosalind and Kirby have been married twenty years and have a son, Owen, 13. Owen is a “bar baby” and has attended every Annual Meeting except for the one when he was six months old. In fact, that was the only Annual Meeting Rosalind has missed as well. Rosalind’s first Annual Meeting in 1986 turned out to be the beginning of her leadership track in the Association. She recalls minding her own business at the meeting before being “instructed” by Rick Ramsay to attend a Young Lawyers Section (YLS) meeting. At that meeting she was elected to the Executive Council of the YLS and then later elected as Chair. She has been actively involved in Association leadership ever since. She served as Chair of the Association’s former Executive Council, a Governor of the Board of Governors, and a former member of the House of Delegates. In 1994 Rosalind was awarded the Golden Gavel award for her work as Chair of the Annual Meeting. The Big Picture Rosalind is the fourth of the last five presidents that were raised in Pine Bluff. Rick Ramsay (2007-08), Glenn Vasser (2005-06), and Fred Ursery (2004-05) are all from Pine Bluff. She will be the fifth person from her law firm to be president of the Association: W.F. Coleman (1920-21), N.J. Gantt, Jr. (1940-41), Louis L. Ramsay, Jr. (1963-64), E. Harley, Jr. (1979-80) and now Rosalind M. Mouser (2008-08). “This is bigger than any one of us,” she said. “Our firm and our profession have a tradition of not just doing your job and going home. The really good lawyers are not only good at their job, but they also understand the big picture — which is family, which is community, which is church.” “It’s my turn to give back,” she said. “I think I had
“It’s my turn to give back.” decided at some point in time to run for bar president because of everything that I had been given. Not only from the Association, but from lawyers, too. When you start out, you are so aware of how little you know about the law and procedure, the parties involved, the judges, the clerks. People in the profession were always so willing and kind to teach. I thought that this is an instance where you give back. I wasn’t even aware of other presidents being raised in Pine Bluff. It’s one of those things in life that is really not planned and when you start focusing on the bigger picture, you see some connections that are really kind of cool.” Rosalind primarily practices in the areas of creditors’ rights and banking law. She represents twelve banks and teaches basic lending classes for the Arkansas Bankers Association. “Rick and Mr. [Louis] Ramsay mentored me in this area of the law,” she said. “Mr. Ramsay was a mentor for all of us, just in the manner in which he lived his life and the manner at which he worked the practice of the law.” Rosalind is past chair of the Board of Directors of the Greater Pine Bluff Chamber of Commerce, past chair of the Board of Trustees of Southeast Arkansas College, current President of the Trustees of the Southeast Arkansas College Foundation Board, past member of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Foundation Board, and current Secretary of the Arkansas River Regional Intermodal Facilities Authority. She received the 2007 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award for Jefferson County by the Arkansas Pro Bono Partnership. Rosalind does not appear to be slowing down her pace anytime soon. When presented with the Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award for her twenty plus years of service and for contributing over fifty hours in assistance Rosalind was quoted by the Volunteer Organization of Center for Arkansas Legal Services as saying, “It is an honor to serve these clients and an honor to accept this award.
l to r: Rosalind, Chief Justice Hannah, Owen and Kirby Mouser Vol. 43 No. 3/Summer 2008 The Arkansas Lawyer
“I am very big on team work. It’s not about you. It’s about the team and getting the job done. It is amazing how empowering that is to the people around you. It’s not about me being president. It’s about the Association and my carrying of the baton for the over 5,000 members, committees, and past presidents. ” Our job will never be fully completed. I look forward to working with VOCALS for many years to come.” Team Work “To do a multitude of things you have to be very organized, and I am blessed with that capability,” she said. “I continually think. I’m thinking while driving all those miles in the car. I always have scratch paper and am jotting down something.” “The way you do it is, number one, you have good help. Number two, you pray a lot. You have a great team. You have a family that buys into the concept. My partners buy into the concept. Then you just get up really early and you stay up really late and you don’t have a lot of free time. The Bar Association is one of my hobbies. I’m not a good ‘day off’ person.” Rosalind loves to read. She is very involved in her church. She sings in the choir and the ensemble. She teaches Bible study for chil-
Pine Bluff Presidents
dren and adult Sunday School and engages in other special projects like planning dinner receptions for the church. When asked what would people be most surprised to learn about you, she replied, “I love to roller skate. And I really love to roller skate when they are playing easy listening music so then I can sing and roller skate at the same time. I only do it about twice a year. I sign up when the children from the church go.” It also may surprise people that once a month she gets together with a group of ladies to create greeting cards through “Stampin Up,” a decorative line of crafts. She became involved because it is something that the ladies in her office and her church did, it was so far from anything she has ever done recently, and she loves color. “It’s a good way to get around a group of women. I don’t do much of that and need to for my mental health. It is the creative side of me that I don’t use much in the law practice.” Rosalind also plays piano, something she grew up teaching and playing. Her mother had a master’s degree in music and taught all her children to play. Looking Forward “I am very big on team work. It’s not about you. It’s about the team and getting the job done. It is amazing how empowering that is to the people around you. It’s not about me being president. It’s about the Association and my carrying of the baton for the over 5000 members, committees, and past presidents.” “I am going to be committed to the membership, the staff, ongoing projects, and moving the Association forward.” Keeping in line with the team work philosophy, Rosalind plans to hold a “Huddle Up” training day in the fall for Committee and Section Chairs and a “Spring Training” leadership training day for bar leaders. She would also like to conduct a half-day program in partnership with the Arkansas Association of Women Lawyers to talk about stress and time-management issues. “The Membership Satisfaction Survey conducted earlier this year will give us some direction. The Long Range Planning Committee is actively discussing the results of the Survey. The Committee is a great group of people. They speak their minds. I cherish that kind of meeting – where people can disagree and still accomplish goals – very valuable.” In addition, there are two national conferences during this bar year that the Association will help host, the Eighth Circuit Regional Social Security Disability Conference and the National Association for Lawyers Assistance Program Conference. Rosalind’s daily responsibilities of president include meeting with the Committees and Sections, going to local bar meetings, sustaining and increasing membership, and supporting the Association’s Legislative Package. “I plan to travel and meet with members and listen to them,” she said. “To be a good leader I need to be a good listener. I have to follow in order to lead. Lawyers are not known for being as good at listening as they are at talking. Listening is more difficult for lawyers.” “I’ve been given far more than I give back,” she added. “You cannot out give God. There is no way that I can out give more than I have received. There is no way.” ■
l to r: Rick Ramsay, Rosalind Mouser, Fred Ursery, A. Glenn Vasser 22
The Arkansas Lawyer
Ramsay, Bridgforth, Harrelson and Starling, LLP
Photography by Joe Dempsey
Front l to r: William C. Bridgforth, Rosalind M. Mouser, F. Daniel Harrelson Back l to r: William M. (Shane) Bridgforth, Paul T. Bennett, Phillip A. Raley, Spencer F. Robinson, Anthony (Tony) A. Hilliard, David R. Bridgforth
Rosalind is the fifth person from Ramsay, Bridgforth, Harrelson and Starling LLP to be president of the Arkansas Bar Association. W.F. Coleman (1920-21), N.J. Gantt, Jr. (1940-41), Louis L. Ramsay, Jr. (1963-64), E. Harley, Jr. (1979-80) and now Rosalind M. Mouser (2008-09). Vol. 43 No. 3/Summer 2008 The Arkansas Lawyer
Arkansas Supreme Court Ranks Second in Country According to National Study The Arkansas Supreme Court received high marks in a study that was made public last May as part of a University of Chicago Law School working paper series. The study, “Which States Have the Best (and Worst) High Courts?”, was authored by Professor Stephen Choi of New York University Law School, Professor Mitu Gulati of Duke University Law School, and Professor Eric Posner of the University of Chicago Law School. The study examined state high court decisions from every state from 1998 to 2000 and placed numerical values on three measures of court performance: productivity, independence, and opinion-quality. When the three measures of performance were placed in a composite ranking and given equal weight, the Arkansas Supreme Court ranked second in the nation, just behind California. After examining various methods of combining the three performance measures, the study cited Arkansas as one of the “top contenders” for best high court in the nation. Other southern states, including Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama, also performed well. “The strong performance of southern states,” said the authors, “is a bit of a surprise.” In ranking state high courts, the authors attempted to provide transparent, flexible rankings that overcame the defects of previous rankings, such as U.S. Chamber of Commerce studies. The Chamber of Commerce rankings, the authors claim, “probably tell us more about the value of a judicial system for business than about its overall quality.” “Our goal,” the study notes, “is to improve on the existing rankings by providing a broader set of measures than prior rankings. The broadening of measures enabled us to capture more aspects of the job than prior rankings have.” The study measured productivity in terms 24
The Arkansas Lawyer
of the average number of opinions published by each justice per year, while independence was measured by looking at the frequency with which judges voted with other judges belonging to the opposite political party. The number of times a high court’s opinions were cited by courts in other states was used as the measure of opinion-quality. The study explained that this measure was used because it is believed that “a high-quality opinion is more likely to be useful for out-of-state courts.” During the study period, Arkansas ranked third in the number of opinions written by each justice per year, with each Arkansas justice writing an average of more than 49 opinions. This is more than twice the median number of opinions written by high court judges per year and almost five times the number of opinions written by judges in America’s least productive high court. These high marks for productivity led the study’s authors to note that Arkansas is a “traditionally overlooked state” that “may deserve more credit.” Arkansas also ranked well in opinion-quality, ranking fifteenth overall and ahead of New York, “a perennial star on citation counts.” When the rankings were adjusted for factors such as the age, population, and median income level of each state, Arkansas performed even better, ranking fifth in opinion-quality. As to judicial independence, Arkansas remained well above the median, ranking eleventh. More than half of the current Supreme Court, Justices Tom Glaze, Donald Corbin, Robert L. Brown, and Annabelle Clinton Imber, were on the court during the threeyear study period. Ray Thornton and W.H. “Dub” Arnold were also on the court during the study period, as were David Newbern
(1998) and Lavenski Smith (1999-2000). Chief Justice Jim Hannah said, “The court was honored to learn that it fared well in a recent study conducted by the highly prestigious University of Chicago Law School.” “Previously there was only one survey of the states’ high courts, and it was limited to surveying only one special interest group,” he added. “The University of Chicago Law School saw a need to survey the states’ high courts in a more objective manner to reach a more meaningful conclusion. To be considered the second best high court in the nation by a study that used objective standards is a great honor for Arkansas.” “Justice Corbin first brought the study to the court’s attention last May, and we were all very pleased,” Justice Robert L. Brown said. “I think the high production of opinions by our court can be directly attributed to former Justice George Rose Smith,” Brown added. “Justice Smith designed our system of doing business at the court, which emphasized expedited decisions to decide disputes. Of course, being ranked so high as an independent court and one that is frequently cited by other states is especially meaningful to me,” Brown said. He noted that since Arkansas judges are now elected on a nonpartisan basis, the court’s ranking for independence would probably be even higher. Justice Annabelle Clinton Imber agreed and said: “The study was particularly important to me because it was not done by one interest group but was independent and used objective criteria. The study took pains to point out that published opinions generally receive more effort by the judge than unpublished opinions, and our court publishes all its opinions.” She added that the study drew no distinction between elected judges versus judges appointed under merit selection regarding the independence of the courts. ■
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The Arkansas Bar Association presents
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Vol. 43 No. 3/Summer 2008 The Arkansas Lawyer
Arkansas Bar Association/ Arkansas Bar Foundation
David Solomon James H. McKenzie Professionalism Award
Judge David M. “Mac” Glover Outstanding Lawyer-Citizen Award
Danyelle J. Walker Equal Justice Distinguished Service Award
The James H. McKenzie Professionalism Award recognizes sustained excellence through integrity, character and leadership to the profession and the community which garners the highest honor to the profession. Everyone who knows David has no doubt that his word is his bond. As a leader in his profession, he was inducted as a First Fellow of the Arkansas Bar Foundation and later served as its President and was instrumental in its formation and development over the years. His service to the Arkansas Bar Association dates back to the mid 1940’s as he committed his time and talents to various committees and projects too numerous to list. He was also the recipient of the Outstanding Lawyer-Citizen Award given by the Arkansas Bar Association and Foundation. According to a friend in the profession, “David Solomon embodies all that is noble in the legal profession. During more than sixty (60) years as a practicing lawyer, he has demonstrated the great good that can be accomplished by using his intellectual honesty, his compassion, and his extraordinary and practical skills in the practice of law into the betterment of his community, his state, his country and his professional organizations.” His family established the David Solomon Scholarship with the Arkansas Bar Foundation to honor his sixty years of law practice. Several years later, Helena and the surrounding community honored David with an event to celebrate their appreciation for his service to the community.
The Outstanding Lawyer-Citizen Award is given in recognition of outstanding participation in and for excellent performance of civic responsibilities and for demonstrating high standards of professional competence and conduct. Judge David “Mac” Glover began practicing law in public service almost forty years ago. He has served his profession with honor as a citizen, a lawyer, and a judge. Mac also served his community as Malvern’s city attorney. He has given his time and talents to many civic organizations. He has been particularly active in the Ouachita Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and has provided countless hours of free legal assistance to non-profit organizations. Mac has served as a leader in his profession as well. He is a Past President of the Arkansas Bar Association, a Fellow and past officer of the Arkansas Bar Foundation and has served in a variety of capacities on committees of the Association. He has been recognized for his extraordinary service in the past as the recipient of the Outstanding Lawyer Award and the C. E. Ransick Award of Excellence. According to one of his nominators, the following words summarize Mac’s contributions: “Every community needs an individual with wisdom, integrity, creditability, and unwavering determination to make things happen. In Hot Spring County, Mac Glover has always been that ‘go to’ person…Mac Glover has used his legal education and his law license to not only further the law, but to further his community through his involvement and leadership.”
The Equal Justice Distinguished Service Award is given to recognize commitment to and participation in equal justice programs for the poor, including pro bono efforts through legal services programs. Danyelle has dedicated her professional career to fostering equal access to justice for those without the resources to afford legal representation. She promptly became active in the Volunteer Organization of the Center for Arkansas Legal Services (VOCALS), an organization created to assist low-income clients. As a dependable asset to the program, she has accepted 161 cases during her career thus far and continues to serve among a small group accepting bankruptcy pro bono clients. According to her nominator, “While Ms. Walker sees her service to the VOCALS program as a simple way to assist Arkansans most in need of her services, Ms. Walker’s service has been more than monumental – it has been the key in showcasing the model attorney.” Danyelle’s service to the Arkansas Bar Association is instrumental as well. She is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association House of Delegates; she represents and was appointed by the Bar Association to the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission; and, she currently serves as Co-Chair of the Arkansas Bar Association’s Commission on Diversity.
The Arkansas Lawyer
2007-2008 Annual Award Recipients
Robert M. Cearley, Jr. C.E. Ransick Award of Excellence The C. E. Ransick Award of Excellence was created to recognize outstanding contributions to the profession. Robert Cearley has served his profession in many ways, including as a Past President of the Arkansas Bar Association, a Fellow of the Arkansas Bar Foundation and service on various committees throughout the years too numerous to list. During his tenure as President, a portion of which was the same year as the Centennial Celebration of the Arkansas Bar Association, he provided leadership and support for all aspects of this busy and historic year while also making many strides to move the Association and the profession forward. More recently, he was committed in his work as Chair of the Arkansas Bar Association Task Force on Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, leading the group with integrity, perseverance and foresight. A colleague and friend in the profession had this to say about Bob: “Both the bench and bar have great respect for Bob Cearley, and whenever the Arkansas Bar Association called on Bob to lead a specific project or effort, one knew we would have the attention and cooperation of interested judges and attorneys. Additionally, Bob always brought to the table a broad vision of the playing field and a thorough knowledge of the challenges facing the legal profession.”
Ron D. Harrison Outstanding Lawyer Award
J. Mark Davis Outstanding LawyerHumanitarian Award
The Outstanding Lawyer Award is given in recognition of excellence in the practice of law and outstanding contributions to the profession. Ron Harrison’s nominator stated the following about this specific award and its relevance to Ron: “An outstanding lawyer excels in practice, serves his profession, improves the profession, serves his community…” It is evident that Ron Harrison has excelled tremendously in all these areas. Ron serves his clients with integrity, ability and zeal. “Our bar knows that Ron’s word is sterling…Ron is a tenacious advocate for his clients…With grace and energy he does the consummate advocate’s part to see that justice under law is done.” He has been a leader in his profession in various ways, including as President of the Arkansas Bar Association, President of the Arkansas Bar Foundation, and President of the Sebastian County Bar Association. He has served as a bar examiner and a member and then President of the Arkansas Law Review corporate board. He helped establish the Arkansas Legal Assistance Program and led the effort and went to work on the Arkansas Bar Commission on Diversity. For many years, Ron served on the Arkansas Supreme Court’s Continuing Education Board, ending his service as President. In his community, he has served as counsel for his church, given his time to United Way and Habitat for Humanity, and served on the governing board of the Westark Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Ron Harrison truly is outstanding in every sense of the word.
The Outstanding Lawyer-Humanitarian Award is given to recognize outstanding humanitarian service. The Outstanding Lawyer-Humanitarian Award is not given on an annual basis, but rather, when a distinguished attorney who has provided outstanding humanitarian service is brought to the attention of the awards committee. According to his nominator, “Mark Davis has conducted himself as a lawyer and as a citizen-humanitarian in a manner which should make us all proud to be lawyers…Our profession benefits greatly from the unselfish commitment of lawyers such as Mark Davis.” Mark is an active member of The Rotary Club of Little Rock, having served in the past on its Board of Directors and recognized in 2007 as “Rotarian of the Year” as well as named a Paul Harris Fellow for his distinguished service to The Rotary Club of Little Rock. Mark served as Chair of the Miracle Field Project, a specially designed baseball field dedicated for use by children and adults with special physical, emotional or mental needs. The Miracle Field was completed in October of 2006 and is the first facility of its kind in the state of Arkansas. Mark’s community service is not limited to the needs of children. He also devotes considerable time to the Good Shepherd Ecumenical Retirement Center, a non-profit organization with a mission to provide affordable housing to senior citizens in Arkansas. Mark has served on the Board of this organization and as Chair of the Development Committee.
Vol. 43 No. 3/Summer 2008 The Arkansas Lawyer
Arkansas Supreme Court Historical Society
Supreme Court Justice Sam Robinson By L. Scott Stafford Sam Robinson was one of the more colorful lawyers to serve as a justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. His obituary described him as a cross between the Marlboro Man and Clarence Darrow, and this characterization accurately condenses a life that spanned almost the entire twentieth century. Robinson was born in 1899 in Chicot County. When he was seven, his family moved to Little Rock where his mother found work as a pianist in a silent movie theater. Young Robinson dropped out of school midway through the third grade and took a job making deliveries for the Blass Department Store. When in 1917 the United States entered World War I, Robinson enlisted in the United States Army and was shipped to France as a member of the American Expeditionary Force. During the months he spent in France, he was assigned to a rear area unit that never saw combat. The army sent him to officer training school in 1918, but on the day he was scheduled to receive a commission, the war ended. After his demobilization from the military in the spring 1919, he returned to Little Rock and his job at Blass, but he found the work a bit tame after his wartime experience. He moved to Chicot County and went to work herding cattle and overseeing agricultural work on a plantation owned by George Cracraft, Sr., a graduate of Harvard Law School and the father of George Cracraft Jr., who served on the Arkansas Court of Appeals from 1981 to 1992. Robinson enjoyed his work, particularly the time he spent on horseback, but soon realized that his career prospects as a plantation foreman were limited. He decided on a future as either a cowboy or a lawyer. Reasoning that he could always take up herding cattle if his legal career faltered, he first set out to become a lawyer. In January 1923 Robinson took the train from Lake Village to Little Rock and talked his way into the Arkansas Law School despite his lack of any formal education beyond the 28
The Arkansas Lawyer
third grade. He graduated first in his class a year and a half later and scored the top grade on the 1924 bar exam. He opened a law practice in Little Rock and for the next 16 years developed an active litigation practice with a focus on criminal cases. In 1940 Robinson was elected prosecuting attorney of the 6th Circuit and served in that position throughout the years of World War II. His attempt at a fourth term in 1946 failed when he was defeated by Edwin Dunaway, a young lawyer who had recently returned from service in the United States Navy. As the 1950 election approached, Robinson tried to persuade Jack Holt, Sr., a former attorney general and gubernatorial candidate, to seek one of two open seats on the Arkansas Supreme Court. When Holt refused to run, Robinson himself sought the seat. He ran first in a three person race for the Democratic nomination, and he handily won the runoff election. In the absence of Republican opposition, he was elected to the high court in the 1950 general election. In 1958 he was reelected to a second eight year term without opposition. His 1993 autobiography suggests that Robinson did not consider the time he spent on the court as the high point of his life. Robinson summed up his court experience with the terse statement: “[B]eing a Supreme Court judge would only appeal to those really interested in the law.” During his two terms on the court he authored some six hundred majority opinions and a few dissents. Robinson resigned his seat on January 1, 1966, as soon as he qualified for a state pension. After leaving the bench, he practiced law in Little Rock for seven years during which he frequently represented the Arkansas Louisiana Gas Company. In 1973, after what most observers would consider a highly successful legal career, Robinson decided to pursue the second occupation he had considered a half century earlier. He moved to Ouray County,
Colorado, and started raising cattle. He also purchased a string of horses that he used to lead hunting trips and trail rides into remote areas of the Rocky Mountains. His years as a cowboy continued until 1988 when the high altitude at which he was working, coupled with the fact that he was 89 years old, forced Robinson to return to Arkansas. During the last years of his life Robinson and his wife operated stables in western Pulaski County. He died of pneumonia in a Little Rock hospital on June 7, 1997, at age 98. Sources: Judge Sam Robinson, Winning Against the Odds, Library Research Associates, Monroe, N.Y., 1993. Shareese Harold, “Justice, Rancher Lived 98 Years to the Fullest,” Arkansas DemocratGazette, 10 June 1997, p. 2B. This article is provided by the Arkansas Supreme Court Historical Society, Inc. For more information on the Society contact Rod Miller, Arkansas Supreme Court Historical Society, Justice Building, Suite 1500, 625 Marshall Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201; Email: email@example.com; Phone: 501-682-6879. [This article was the basis of a presentation at the 2008 Arkansas Bar Association Annual Meeting]
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Vol. 43 No. 3/Summer 2008 The Arkansas Lawyer
Judicial Disciplinary Actions Judicial Disciplinary Actions are written and provided by the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission. Full text is available online at www.state.ar.us/jeac.index.html Letter of Reprimand April 2, 2008 Honorable Stanley Ludwig, Springdale District Court 201 North Spring Street, Springdale, AR 72764 RE: Cases 07308, 07310, 07329 Dear Judge Ludwig: During its March 21, 2008, meeting, the Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission decided to issue a Letter of Reprimand to you in complaints #07308, 07310 and 07329. At a Probable Cause Hearing the Commission considered the findings of the investigation, your response to a Statement of Allegations and your letters of admission and apology. The Commission found that you violated Canon 3B(3) and Canon 2B of the Arkansas Code of Judicial Conduct. The Commission found that you were an elected district judge at all times relevant to the matter under consideration. The Commission also found that during the year 2007 you had several lapses in demeanor while on the bench. You subsequently admitted that you used inappropriate language in violation of Canon 3B(3). The complaint also found that you used your judicial letterhead to object to the parole of a prisoner in the Arkansas Department of Correction. The prisoner was the opposing party to a divorce client from your private law practice. You did not have any reason to lend the prestige of your office to the interest of a private client. You stated that you did not realize this was a violation, but conceded it was, in fact, a violation of Canon 2B. It is the judgment of this Commission that you be hereby reprimanded. This public reprimand constitutes adequate discipline and no further action is warranted. This final Commission action is public information. A copy of this correspondence will be forwarded to the respective complainants. BY DIRECTION OF THE COMMISSION. Sincerely, David A. Stewart, Executive Director
Letter of Admonishment April 30, 2008 Honorable Elizabeth Wise, Perryville District Court P.O. Box 612, Perryville, AR 72126 RE: Letter of Admonishment, Case # 06-226 Dear Judge Wise: During the April 18, 2008, meeting, the Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission decided to issue a Letter of Admonishment to you in complaint #06-0226. After careful review of the complaint and accompanying investigation, the Commission determined that you violated the Code of Judicial Conduct. While serving as a part-time district court judge in Perry County (6th Judicial Circuit), you imposed a county wide restriction on a criminal defendant as a condition of his release on bail. Your rationale for this restriction did not comply with ARCP 9.3 and was not properly documented. Your actions gave the appearance of a summary banishment of the defendant. The Commission notes that you have agreed to follow ARCP 9.3 when imposing geographic restrictions on a defendant. Additionally, you have agreed to use forms supplied by the Administrative Office of the Courts to make uniform and proper pretrial release determinations. For your conduct in violating this provision of the Code of Judicial Conduct, it is the decision of this Commission that you be admonished. This public admonishment constitutes adequate discipline and no further action is warranted. Further reprimand may occur if the Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission finds similar violations in the future. This final Commission action is public information. A copy of this correspondence will be forwarded to the respective complainants. BY DIRECTION OF THE COMMISSION. Sincerely, David A. Stewart, Executive Director
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Lawyer Disciplinary Actions Final actions from April 1, 2008, through June 30, 2008, by the Committee on Professional Conduct. Summaries prepared by the Office of Professional Conduct. Full text documents are available on-line at http://courts.state.ar.us/courts/cpc.html. [Note: “Model” Rules refers to the Rules of Professional Conduct as they existed in Arkansas prior to May 1, 2005. “Arkansas” Rules refers to the Rules as they exist in Arkansas from May 1, 2005.] DISBARMENT (INITIATE PROCEEDINGS): OSCAR A. STILLEY, Bar #91096, of Fort Smith, by Committee Panel B Findings & Order filed June 23, 2008, in CPC 2007-062, was referred for disbarment proceedings, with the violation of Rules 3.4(c), 4.4(a), and 8.4(d) in this case arising from a complaint by Sebastian County Circuit Judge Stephen Tabor, directed to be added to the pending disbarment proceeding, No. 08-73. As a result of an Order by then-Circuit Judge James Marschewski in a long-running case in Sebastian Circuit Court called Parker v. Perry, in January 2005, Stilley was found in contempt and sentenced to thirty (30) days in jail and fined $50.00 a day until he complied with the provisions of the earlier orders of that court. In September 2006, the Arkansas Supreme Court affirmed the January 2005 Order in Stilley v. Fort Smith School District, No. 05-666, 367 Ark. 193. After rehearing was denied, the Mandate issued and the matter was back before the Sebastian Circuit Court. In the interval, Judge Marschewski was appointed a United States Magistrate Judge in Fort Smith and Stephen Tabor was appointed in his place as a Circuit Judge. Judge Tabor issued an Order directing Stilley to report to jail on February 15, 2007, to begin serving the sentence imposed by Judge
Marschewski in January 2005. On March 2, 2007, Stilley filed for a Writ of Habeas Corpus in federal court in Fort Smith styled Stilley v. Tabor, and he sought a “stay” of his state jail sentence while his federal habeas action was proceeding. The motion for “stay” was denied. Stilley was released from jail, and filed a Motion to Withdraw Petition in his federal “habeas” case, which was granted on May 16, 2007. State court hearings were conducted in Parker on March 14, 2007 (by Judge Tabor), March 22, 2007 (by Judge Cox), and March 26, 2007 (by Judge Tabor). Judge Tabor then entered his Order on March 26, 2007, finding Stilley in contempt and again remanding him to jail, this time without eligibility for daytime “work-release.” On May 2, 2007, Judge Tabor conducted another hearing in Parker. He then referred this matter to the Committee. At the March 14, 2007, hearing Judge Tabor clearly informed Stilley that matters that were settled in the 2006 appeal would not be relitigated in further proceedings in Parker. While Judge Tabor was out of state after the March 14, 2007, hearing, on March 15, in direct defiance of Judge Tabor’s orders, Stilley caused subpoenas and deposition notices to be issued to compel the appearance of certain persons and officials, including Judge Marschewski, at depositions Stilley planned to take on March 23, 2007, in Parker, for the purpose of relitigating issues that were already
decided and settled in the 2006 state appeal. Judge Fitzhugh granted a motion quashing several of the depositions. Judge Cox heard the motion to quash other subpoenas on March 22, 2007, announced that the subpoenas would be quashed, and Stilley then withdrew his subpoenas in open court. Judge Tabor’s “referral” letter details specific complaints he makes against Stilley arising out of these events including (1) Stilley’s non-compliance with court orders to pay money sanctions and (2) by his attempting to relitigate matters settled by court rulings and appeals, in direct defiance of Judge Tabor’s directives to not pursue such matters, when Stilley had subpoenas issued and served on several witnesses for their depositions to pursue the settled matters that were not to be relitigated. SURRENDER: RAYMOND E. BORNHOFT, Bar #85014, of Fayetteville, petitioned the Court in No. 08-713 (Committee case CPC 2008-025) to surrender his law license in lieu of facing further disciplinary proceedings having the potential of serious misconduct sanctions. On June 26, 2008, the Court ordered the surrender of his law license. According to his Petition for Surrender of his law license, Bornhoft was the sole trustee of the Susan Greene Trust (“Trust”) from March 2001
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Vol. 43 No. 3/Summer 2008 The Arkansas Lawyer
Lawyer Disciplinary Actions until he resigned on January 23, 2006, and was replaced as trustee by Delta Trust and Bank of Little Rock. After 2001, Bornhoft engaged in business operations in Northwest Arkansas as a member of Deep Stream, LLC and of J & J Dollar, LLC, entities with no connection to the Trust, and from which the Trust received no benefit. Starting in late 2003, the LLCs borrowed substantial funds from Great Southern Bank of Springfield, MO, to buy lots and build speculative homes in Benton County, Arkansas. Bornhoftâ€™s personal and family financial situation became distressed during this time frame. In August 2005, Bornhoft signed and caused the issuance of a $117,529.05 Trust check to Great Southern Bank for an obligation owed there by J & J Dollar, LLC. In September 2005, Bornhoft met with Susan Greene and her attorney and reviewed purported assets of the trust and a trust balance sheet he supplied them. The documents were not accurate, and Bornhoft made material misrepresentations of the true financial condition of the Trust and its assets. On October 26, 2005, Bornhoft agreed with Susan Greene that he would resign as the trustee in early 2006. On November 8, 2005, Bornhoft signed and issued a $500,000 Trust check to Great Southern Bank for an obligation owed by J & J Dollar, LLC. Bornhoft admitted he breached his fiduciary duty as trustee to the Trust by these two checks, and that he converted these Trust funds to an unauthorized and personal use. On November 21, 2005, Bornhoft purchased a bare residential lot next door to his residence near Fayetteville for a price of $126,471. To fund this purchase, he had a Little Rock investment firm wire transfer $126,471.52 of Trust funds to the title company. In using these Trust funds, Bornhoft admitted he breached his fiduciary duty to the Trust and that he converted these Trust funds to an unauthorized and personal use. Since this lot was purchased, it has been encumbered by Bornhoft to the point where there is no equity available in it now to reimburse the Trust. In June 2006, Delta Trust and Bank, as new Trustee of the Trust, sued Bornhoft in Pulaski Circuit Court Case No. CV-2006-6671, for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, fraud, and fraudulent concealment, alleging the misuse of around $3,000,000 of Trust assets. After his meeting on October 26, 2005, with Susan Greene and her attorney, and prior to his resignation as trustee on January 23, 2006, without notice to Ms. Greene or any representative 32
The Arkansas Lawyer
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of hers, Bornhoft disbursed a total of about Rules of Professional Conduct, for which the $1,438,000 in Trust funds on the â€œRandy presumptive sanction is disbarment, and that Charette Loanâ€? described in the Pulaski he violated at least Rules 8.4(a) and 8.4(c) by Complaint. This case was settled in May 2007, his dishonest conduct in this matter. Bornhoft when Bornhoftâ€™s professional liability carrier is also licensed in Texas. paid his policy limit of $1,000,000 and he was released personally from further monetary DONNY G. GILLASPIE, Bar #61010, claims of the Trust. The $1,000,000 payment of El Dorado, petitioned the Court in No. Forconsultationcontact: Â‹Â–Â‹Â‰ÂƒÂ–Â‹Â‘Â?Â‘Â?Â•Â—ÂŽÂ–Â‹Â?Â‰ÂƒÂ?Â†ÂšÂ’Â‡Â”Â– did not begin to cover the DanWojcik,AVA full extent of the 08-490Â‡Â•Â–Â‹Â?Â‘Â?Â›ÂˆÂ‘Â”ÂˆÂ‹Â?ÂƒÂ?Â…Â‹ÂƒÂŽÂŽÂƒÂ™Â•Â—Â‹Â–Â• (Committee case CPC 2008-025) total financial loss of the Trust that occurred to surrender his law license in lieu of facing Â™Â‹Â–ÂŠÂƒÂ•Â’Â‡Â…Â‹ÂƒÂŽÂ‡Â?Â’ÂŠÂƒÂ•Â‹Â•Â‘Â?Â„ÂƒÂ?Â?Â‹Â?Â‰Ç¤ Č‹ÍˇÍ˛ÍłČŒÍˇÍťÍ˛ÇŚÍłÍ˛ÍťÍ˛ as a result of Bornhoftâ€™s activities as trustee. further disciplinary proceedings in other Â†ÂƒÂ?Â™ĚˇÂ„ÂˆÇŚÂƒÂ†Â˜Â‹Â•Â‘Â”Â•Ç¤Â…Â‘Â? He acknowledged that his conduct was BusinessValuationsfor pending matters having the potential of â€œserious conductâ€? as defined in the Arkansas serious misconduct sanctions, and because x Â‹ÂˆÂ–Â‹Â?Â‰Â‘ÂˆÂ•ÂŠÂƒÂ”Â‡Â• x ÂƒÂ‹Â”Â?Â‡Â•Â•Â‘Â’Â‹Â?Â‹Â‘Â?Â• x Â…Â‘Â?Â‘Â?Â‹Â…ÂŽÂ‘Â•Â• x Â‹Â˜Â‘Â”Â…Â‡ x Â‘Â?Â?Â‡Â”Â…Â‹ÂƒÂŽÂ†ÂƒÂ?ÂƒÂ‰Â‡Â•
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Lawyer Disciplinary Actions of his extensive prior disciplinary history. On May 1, 2008, the Court accepted the surrender of his Arkansas law license. VANCE BENTON ROLLINS, Bar #75108, formerly of Camden and Hot
Springs, petitioned the Court in No. 08-448 (Committee case CPC 2008-001) to surrender his law license. Rollins was convicted at trial in 2007 in Perry County Circuit No. CR-2007-02 of felony manslaughter (case now on appeal as CACR08-608) and
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thereafter entered a guilty plea to felony drug charges in Ouachita County Circuit No. CR-2007-013-3, and is currently serving his sentence. As a result of his felony conviction, he violated Rule 8.4(b). On April 24, 2008, the Court ordered the surrender of his law license in lieu of disbarment proceedings. SUSPENSION:
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WILLIAM SCOTT DAVIDSON, Bar #81044, of Jonesboro, on a complaint by Yvonne Bray of California, by Consent Findings & Order filed June 3, 2008, agreed to a three (3) month suspension effective on July 1, 2008, for violation of Rules 1.1, 1.3, 1.4(a)(3), 1.4(a)(4), and 3.2. Bray was injured at a store in Jonesboro in April 1999. Shelter Insurance offered her $1,500 to settle her claim, while denying liability for her injury. In January 2000 she employed Davidson, who filed suit for Bray on April 25, 2002, her last day to do so. The case was set for trial on May 11, 2005. A defense motion for summary judgment was set for hearing on April 18, 2005, without the knowledge of Ms. Bray. Something happened that day, as evidenced by Davidson’s call to her. The court file reflects he took a non-suit (dismissal without prejudice). Ms. Bray was not informed of the true nature of the matter. On April 18, 2006, Davidson refiled essentially the same lawsuit. He failed to obtain timely service on the defendants, after having completed service on them in the first suit. He failed to respond to opposing counsel’s August 2006 letter to the judge suggesting that dismissal for failure to obtain service was appropriate. In October 2006, orders were entered granting defense motions for dismissal with prejudice as to all defendants. Davidson did not inform Bray of this action. In November 2006 she was visiting in Jonesboro and went to the courthouse to review her file, after she was unable to obtain information from Davidson. Davidson’s office was closed from November 1 - December 7, 2006, as his law license was suspended in another matter. In the courthouse file Bray found documents showing the dismissal of her case. She wrote Davidson on February 10, 2007, requesting the name of his malpractice carrier. She did not hear from him. In response, Davidson claimed that, after he refiled her suit in April 2006, Bray was told her case was marginal on liability and it was his understanding
Vol. 43 No. 3/Summer 2008 The Arkansas Lawyer
Lawyer Disciplinary Actions that she left it up to him to decide whether to proceed. He claims he decided not to proceed and thus did not obtain service. Bray rebutted this claim, stating Davidson never told her this, and in fact told her that she had a good case. ANN C. DONOVAN, Bar No. 78043, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, was suspended for a period of twelve (12) months and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,400 by Findings & Order filed April 7, 2008, in Case No. CPC 2007-089, for violation of Rules 1.1, 1.3, 1.4(a)(3), 1.4(a)(4), 3.3(a)(1), and 8.4(d). The Committee also imposed a reprimand for her failure to respond to the Complaint. The suspension is “stayed” pending her appeal. Bankruptcy Judge Richard Taylor referred Donovan following a hearing involving her former clients, William and Viola Parks, on a Motion for Attorney’s Fees and a Motion for Turnover. The information developed at the bankruptcy hearing, which Donovan did not attend, was that she had filed grossly inaccurate Petition and Schedules for her clients. She failed to take remedial action to amend the filings. The Trustee waited over a year before filing the Motion for Turnover. Donovan took no action to fix the problems, which included listing the homestead, listing property not owned by the Parks and listing Mrs. Parks as having a large income even though she was on disability. Donovan was ordered to repay the Parks the attorney’s fee they paid to her because she had taken no beneficial action on their behalf. Donovan took no action with regard to the Order until she saw the transcript and realized the Court
had referred her to the Committee. Donovan entered into an Agreement with her former clients and the Judgment remained against her, with an additional $750 owed by her to the Parks. JOHNNY E. GROSS, Bar No. 95156 of Bella Vista, had his law license suspended for twelve (12) months by Committee Findings & Order filed June 23, 2008, in CPC 2008-020, a complaint generated from an Opinion of the Arkansas Supreme Court in Roger Barrett v. State, No. CR 06-1490 issued in September 2007, for violation of Rules 1.1, 1.2(a), 1.7(a), 1.7(b), 4.2, 4.3, 7.3, and 8.4(d). Barrett was charged with capital murder in the August 22, 2000, death of Eunice “Yogi” Bradley, and initially was represented by appointment by Charles Duell, the public defender for Benton County, Arkansas. Gross succeeded to the representation as retained counsel and continued through trial. Barrett did not testify at his trial, and he was convicted and sentenced to life without parole in September 2001. Mr. Gross had been licensed as an attorney for somewhat over five years when he started representing Barrett. At the time Gross had two years of private law practice, very limited criminal law experience, two jury trials, and had never tried a murder case. Another attorney represented Barrett in his direct appeal, which was affirmed in September 2003, Barrett v. State, 354 Ark. 187, 119 S.W.3d 485 (2003). A Rule 37 petition for post-conviction relief, on the basis of ineffective assistance of trial counsel (Gross), was filed. After a hearing on the Rule 37 Petition in February 2006,
the same trial judge (Honorable Tom Keith) found that Barrett was entitled to relief in the form of a new trial. The State appealed. The trial court’s decision granting relief to Barrett was affirmed in No. CR-06-1490 in September 2007. The 2003 Opinion from Barrett’s direct appeal reveals that Barrett and the decedent, Eunice “Yogi” Bradley, were having an affair while Barrett was married to Nola Barrett. On the night of Bradley’s death, she went to the home of the Barretts. All three were later at the Barrett home at the same time. According to Roger’s testimony at the 2006 Rule 37 hearing, Nola left, Roger and Bradley were alone, and Bradley died at the Barrett residence after an “accidental” shooting during her struggle with Roger over his pistol. Roger then went to another residence where Nola was. Roger told Nola and the neighbor that he had accidently shot Bradley. The three then went to the Barrett home, where they found Bradley dead on the living room couch from a gunshot wound. Apparently in the presence of both women, and with the assistance of Nola, Roger then stripped the covers off the sofa cushions and put them in the wash. There was evidence that when Nola called the Barrett residence that night, there were sounds of an argument in the background. At trial, Roger, through counsel Gross, attempted unsuccessfully to keep out testimony, as “confidential information” between spouses, that Roger told Nola he had accidently shot Bradley. In the Rule 37 proceeding, the trial judge found that, as trial counsel for Roger, Gross failed to formulate any kind of trial strategy and did not use reasonable professional judgment;
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Lawyer Disciplinary Actions failed to advise, counsel and communicate with Barrett as to his right to testify at his trial; Gross solicited Barrett’s case away from his more experienced and capital-case-qualified public defender attorney by “badmouthing” the public defender and misleading Barrett; Gross’s trial performance was significantly affected by his conflicting interests with Nola Barrett, Roger’s spouse; and Gross failed to communicate a better plea offer to Barrett and give Barrett an appropriate opportunity to consider and respond to the better, reduced charge-twenty year sentence offer before trial. The Supreme Court found that Gross failed to formulate any kind of trial strategy and did not use reasonable professional judgment for Roger. In his response, among other matters offered, Gross stated that his client, Barrett, gave him five versions of what happened, all being accidental, and another version by the time of the Rule 37 hearing. He stated that other facts in the case caused him major problems with the client’s version that the shooting was an accident. He also stated that Nola gave several stories, was a suspect, and he kept her out of his meetings with his client Roger. He stated that the public defender, Duell, agreed with Gross at trial time that Roger’s “accident theory” was not a viable trial strategy. Gross denied soliciting Roger away from the public defender as a client, through the personal relationship between Gross’s secretary and Barrett’s son. Gross stated he discussed with Roger all plea offers received, and the client rejected all. He stated he had nothing to do with Nola being approached about taking, or her actually taking, the Fifth Amendment at Roger’s trial.
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RICHARD H. YOUNG, Bar No. 94149, of Russellville, had his law license suspended for six (6) months, effective May 13, 2008, then the Mandate of the Supreme Court issued on the Opinion issued April 24, 2008, in Case No. 07-990, Young v. Ligon, on a complaint by Linnie Thomas of Russellville, an appeal of Committee case No. 2006-105, for violation of Rules 1.4(b) and 8.4(c). Young was the subject of an unrelated disciplinary complaint, No. CPC 2003-161, to which he had failed to file a response. That Panel Findings and Order, sanctioning him with a three (3) month law practice suspension, was signed March 3, 2004, and mailed to him that date. Young signed the “green card” for delivery of that mail and Findings and Order on March 5, 2004. He failed to file a request for reconsideration and the Findings and Order became final on March 30, 2004. Young was notified of that fact by mail, as evidenced
by the fact that he filed a Notice of Appeal from that Order on March 31, 2004, with the Clerk of the Supreme Court. While all of the above was occurring, Ms. Thomas and her son Justin Thomas hired Young on March 22, 2004, to represent Justin on felony charges in Logan County Circuit Court. Young was paid $3,000 of his $10,000 quoted fee for the case by Ms. Thomas on March 22-23, 2004. Young never informed Justin or his mother that Young was involved with the disciplinary office and about to undergo an imminent law practice suspension that would prevent him from representing Justin for several months, at a minimum. After Young was suspended, he failed to notify Justin or his mother of that fact. Ms. Thomas learned of the suspension in the local newspaper. When she could not contact Young’s office for information, she finally hired another attorney to represent Justin through his plea, when Young was actually suspended on March 30, 2004, one
TSCHIEMER LEGAL BRIEFING QUALITY, CONSISTENCY AND REASONABLE PRICES: HANDLING ALL YOUR BRIEFING NEEDS ___________ Robert S. Tschiemer, Esq., Ark. Bar 84148 43001 Hwy. 89 N. Mayflower, AR 72106 (501) 951-3303, (fax) (501) 325-1235 email: email@example.com Vol. 43 No. 3/Summer 2008 The Arkansas Lawyer
Lawyer Disciplinary Actions week after he was hired and paid to represent Justin. Ms. Thomas had paid Justinâ€™s new attorney $2,650.00 as of the date of the Committee proceedings. Ms. Thomas asked Young for an itemized billing of his efforts for her son and for a refund. Young wrote her on May 31, 2006, that he would refund her $2,500 and sent her a $200 money order. Young has since made several small payments to her. REINSTATEMENT: JAMES W. STANLEY, JR., Bar No. 75124, of North Little Rock, had his Arkansas law license reinstated on June 19, 2008, in CPC 2007â€“024, as a result of the Opinion and order of the Arkansas Supreme Court issued that date in No. 07-845, which found the Committee had erred in its application of Section 14 of the attorney discipline Procedures (â€œreciprocal suspensionâ€?) in issuing a five year suspension to Mr. Stanley on April 24, 2007. The Court found he had no right of appeal under the Procedures, but did grant his petition for writ of mandamus,
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citing the misapplication of Section 14 to suspension actions by federal agencies (here the Social Security Administration and the Veterans Administration) against Mr. Stanley, and the lack of notice and a hearing to him in the state proceeding. REPRIMAND: DONNY G. GILLASPIE, Bar No. 61010, of El Dorado, Arkansas, was reprimanded and fined $1,500.00 by Committee Findings & Order filed March 21, 2008, on a Per Curiam Order Complaint in Case No. 2007-127, for violation of Rules 1.3 and 8.4(d). Gillaspie represented Jayson W. Carroll in a criminal case where Carroll was convicted of escape and was sentenced to twelve years in prison. Gillaspie filed a timely notice of appeal. The record was to be filed by April 23, 2007. There were no timely requests for extensions of time to file the record. Gillaspie asserted that a Motion for Extension of Time to File the Record was considered at a hearing in Circuit Court on April 12, 2007. At that hearing the judge announced from the bench that the Motion was granted. He made a docket entry reflecting the announced decision and then directed the Prosecuting Attorney to prepare an appropriate Order. Gillaspie admitted that the Order was not entered until after the April 23, 2007, deadline for filing the record. Gillaspie filed two untimely motions for extension of time, which were granted by the circuit court, the last setting the new docketing deadline at August 10, 2007. He tendered the record to the Supreme Court Clerk on August 14, 2007. The Clerk refused to file the record. Gillaspie filed a Motion for Rule on the Clerk, which was granted. The Supreme Court referred the matter to the Office of Professional Conduct. Gillaspie responded that failure to have a â€œtime extensionâ€? order timely filed with the circuit clerk should not be attributed to him, as the duty to file the order rested with the Prosecuting Attorneyâ€™s office. MAX M. HORNER, JR., Bar No. 2001067, of Little Rock, Arkansas, was reprimanded by Committee Findings & Order filed April 1, 2008, on a Complaint filed by Rosemarie Torres-Childers in Case No. 2007-110, for violation of Rules 1.15(a)(1), 1.15(b)(1), and 1.15(b)(2). Rosemarie Torres-Childers and Benjamin Childers paid Horner & Marshall
PLLC a $2500 retainer to assist their son, Ernesto Vasques Macias, in filing a petition for the establishment of paternity, visitation, and child support. When Ernesto decided not to pursue the matter, Mrs. Childers requested a refund on the unused portion of the retainer. As of July 2007, Horner & Marshall had only earned $93.58 of the $2,500 retainer, leaving a $2406.42 unused balance on the retainer. A refund has been made, but the retainer was never placed in the firmâ€™s trust account. WILLIAM M. HOWARD, JR., Bar No. 87087, of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, was reprimanded and fined $750.00 by Committee Findings & Order filed May 28, 2008, on a Per Curiam Order Complaint in Case No. 2007-131, for violation of Rules 1.3, 3.4(c), and 8.4(d). Howard represented Allen Phillips in a criminal case where Phillips was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to a term of life without parole in prison. The record was timely filed, and Howard then had until July 25, 2007, to file his brief. On July 24, 2007, Howard filed a Motion for Extension of Time, requesting an additional thirty days, which was granted. On the new deadline, Howard filed a second Motion for Extension of Time to file brief, requesting an additional thirty days. The motion was granted but marked as a â€œfinalâ€? extension to September 8, 2007. When no brief was filed by Howard, the State filed to dismiss the appeal, which the Court granted on November 8, 2007. At hearing he requested, Howard admitted to the allegations contained and discussed issues surrounding his conduct in the matter and his prior disciplinary history, which consisted of nine prior sanctions, all involving criminal appeals. Howard testified that he had been a social worker and went to law school to help people. He continued to assist people even when other lawyers would not. He took on more cases than he probably should. He represented Phillips at trial and on appeal. While researching and preparing the brief, Howard stated that he realized Phillipsâ€™ appeal was not going to be successful. He was a solo practitioner with no staff support. He answered the telephone, typed his legal pleadings, and made house calls when necessary. He had two other appeals pending and was pressed for time with the upcoming deadlines. He became frustrated and disillusioned when it became apparent that no matter what was done, he could not prevail on Phillipsâ€™ behalf. Howard told the
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Committee that, when he missed the deadline to file the brief, he believed the court would order him to finish the brief and was surprised when the court granted the State’s motion to dismiss. JOHN MARSHALL MAY, Bar No. 2000039, of Little Rock, Arkansas, was reprimanded, for violation of Rules 1.1, 1.2(a), 1.5(b), 8.1(a), and 8.4(c), and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $750.00 by Findings & Order filed April 16, 2008, in Case No. 2008-002. Larry and Liz Shaw, the complainants, are the parents of Larry Shaw, Jr. They hired May to prepare and file a Request for Clemency Application for Larry Jr. May denied this, asserting that he was hired only to assist and mail the documents. May did not take the action which the Shaws hired him to pursue. After the Shaws and Larry Jr. completed a rough draft of the clemency form, they returned it to May, who signed it, completed other portions of it, left the remaining portion in pencil (which is not allowed by the regulations governing such applications) and mailed it. The Parole Board returned the application to Larry Jr. because it was written in pencil. May was contacted and refused to return any of the $750 fee paid to him. DAVID F. MOREHEAD, Bar No. 89143, of Pine Bluff, was reprimanded and ordered to pay $500 restitution, by Committee Consent Findings & Order filed June 23, 2008, in CPC 2008-022, on a Complaint filed by Leroy Langley, Jr., for violation of Rules 1.1, 1.2(a), 1.3, 1.4(a)(3), 3.3(a), and 8.4(d). Langley employed Morehead in October 2005 and paid him $709.00 ($209.00 for his case filing fee and $500.00 as a legal fee) to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which Morehead filed. Langley’s Petition certified that Langley needed to pay the $209.00 filing fee in installments and that Langley had paid Morehead no funds by that date. His filing fee was due to be paid by the first date set for his meeting of creditors on November 17, 2005. Even though Morehead had Langley’s funds with which to pay the full filing fee, the fee was not paid. On November 25, 2005, Langley’s case was dismissed for failure to pay the filing fee. Morehead failed to communicate this crucial development to Langley. On September 20, 2006, Morehead filed a Motion to Reopen Case for Langley, and paid his filing fee of $220.00. The Schedules Morehead refiled for Langley in 2006 appear to be the same Schedules filed by Morehead originally in 2005, and even recite again that Langley needed to pay the filing fee in installments. Morehead’s statement of 38
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compensation again misstated to the court that he had received no funds from the debtor, when Morehead had received $709.00 from Langley in October 2005. At a hearing in October 2006, the court denied Morehead’s motion to reopen Langley’s case, on the basis that the clerk’s records did not show the filing fee to have been paid by that date. If the fee had actually been paid on September 22, 2006, as the docket reflects, for some unexplained reason Morehead was not prepared at the hearing to show proof of payment and salvage his client’s case. No further action was taken and Langley was still without relief from creditors who continue to pursue him. LINDA R. SCRIBNER, Bar No. 86154, of Bentonville, Arkansas, was reprimanded by Committee Consent Findings & Order filed June 23, 2008, on a Per Curiam Order Complaint, arising from No. CR-06-1141, Robert Lee Sparkman v. State, Opinion issued March 20, 2008, in Committee Case No. 2008-024, on her admission to violating Rules 1.1 and 8.4(d). In March 1997, the Arkansas Public Defender Commission certified Ms. Scribner as qualified to represent criminal defendants in cases at all levels, including as lead counsel in death penalty cases. These certifications, plus her substantial experience in criminal cases as a public defender from at least early 1990, through the time of the Sparkman case, indicate that in 2002 she then had the experience and ability to be expected to perform at a high level in criminal cases. She represented Sparkman in his criminal case in Benton Circuit Court in 2002-2003. In April 2003, she filed a motion to suppress a custodial statement he had made in June 2002, after her appointment to represent him. She failed to allege as a critical basis for challenging the highly incriminating statement of her client that his Sixth Amendment constitutional “right to counsel” was clearly violated by law enforcement in the taking of this custodial statement in the absence of his counsel. Sparkman was convicted of raping a four year old female and sentenced to eighteen (18) years in prison. His conviction was affirmed on direct appeal in 2005. His Rule 37 petition was denied by the trial court, a ruling that was unanimously reversed by the Supreme Court in March 2008. Sparkman has now been granted a new trial at which his custodial statement may not be used by the State. CAUTION: ERNEST L. COCHRAN, Bar No. 2006009, of Texarkana, Texas, was cautioned for
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violation of 1.1 and 1.3, by Consent Findings & Order filed May 16, 2008, in Case No. 2008-005. Mr. Cochran represented Glenda Amerison in civil litigation arising out of an automobile accident. He failed to properly serve the defendant in the matter within 120 days after filing the lawsuit. As a result, the lawsuit was dismissed and she was without the ability to pursue her claims for her injuries from the accident. Mr. Cochran advised Ms. Amerison he would be taking action on her behalf after her lawsuit was dismissed but he never followed through with providing her information about efforts taken. Ms. Amerison hired other counsel who assisted her in obtaining a settlement with Mr. Cochran based on the damages suffered as a result of attorney’s conduct. TERRY GOODWIN JONES, Bar No. 2000090, of Jonesboro, Arkansas, was cautioned by Committee Consent Findings & Order filed March 21, 2008, on a Per Curiam Order Complaint in Case No. 2007-117, for violation of Rules 1.3, 3.4(c), and 8.4(d). Jones represented Jerry Pearson in a criminal case where he was convicted of four counts of rape and sentenced to four consecutive terms of forty (40) years in prison. The record was timely filed. Pearson’s brief was due by May 7, 2007. When no brief was filed, the State filed a Motion to Dismiss.
The Court of Appeals denied the State’s motion, and reset Pearson’s brief due date as July 20, 2007. When no brief was filed, the State filed a Second Motion to Dismiss, which the Court of Appeals again denied, issuing a Per Curiam Order in September 2007, relieving Jones and appointing new counsel for Pearson. Jones responded to the Complaint stating that she spoke to her client after trial, reviewed the merits of an appeal, and Pearson chose not to appeal. However, the notice of appeal was filed. Jones changed her mailing address around this time and any notices or correspondence sent to her by the Clerk’s office or the Attorney General were sent to her old address. When the notices were finally forwarded to her, the time for her to act had expired. She stated that had she known of the orders or deadlines, she would have complied with them. Jones stated that she did not deliberately engage in conduct which resulted in the delay of justice and, had she believed that her client wanted an appeal, she would have followed up in compliance with the scheduling order. JOHN MARSHALL MAY, Bar No. 2000039, of Little Rock, Arkansas, was cautioned by Committee Findings & Order filed March 21, 2008, on a Complaint filed by Daniel Sanders in Case No. 2007-115, for violation of Rules 1.1, 1.2(a), 1.3, and
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3.4(c). May represented Sanders in a case in which he received a forty-five (45) year sentence. A pro se Motion for New Trial was filed, and then denied in May 2007. On May 17, 2007, Sanders wrote to May asking about his appeal. The letter was sent to P.O. Box 1717, Little Rock, AR 72203, and was returned unclaimed. In response to a letter sent him by the Office of Professional Conduct, May wrote that Sanders fired him on March 15, 2007, and informed May that he would instead use the public defender’s office for his appeal. The letter to OPC was from P.O. Box 1717, Little Rock, AR 72203, the same address to which Sanders sent his letter requesting information from May on his appeal. The Rules of Appellate Procedure require trial counsel to continue representation of a convicted defendant throughout any appeal, unless permitted by the trial court or the appellate court to withdraw. May was not relieved by any court, nor did he file a notice of appeal on behalf of Sanders. PAT MARSHALL, Bar No. 2001012, of Little Rock, Arkansas, was cautioned by Committee Findings & Order filed May 13, 2008, on a Complaint filed by Rosemarie Torres-Childers in Case No. 2007-109, for violation of Rules 1.15(a)(1), 1.15(b)(1), and 1.15(b)(2). Rosemarie Torres-Childers and Benjamin Childers paid Horner & Marshall PLLC a $2500 retainer to assist their son, Ernesto Vasques Macias, in filing a petition for the establishment of paternity, visitation, and child support. When Ernesto decided not to pursue the matter, Mrs. Childers requested a refund on the unused portion of the retainer. As of July 2007, Horner & Marshall had only earned $93.58 of the $2,500 retainer, leaving a $2406.42 unused balance on the retainer. A refund has been made, but the retainer was never placed in the firm’s trust account. CHARLES M. MOONEY, JR., Bar No. 83131, of Jonesboro, Arkansas, was cautioned and ordered to pay a $817.85 refund to Barbara Schwartz for violation of Rules 1.3, 1.4(a), 1.4(b) and 1.15(b), by Consent Findings & Order filed June 23, 2008, in Case No. 2007-078. Mooney represented Schwartz through the decree of divorce. One of the issues involved her share of her exhusband’s military retirement. Years later when Ms. Schwartz’ husband was retiring from the military, she learned that there would have to be a clarification of the Decree for her to receive these benefits. Mooney advised that he would help her but then did not do so. Schwartz called him on numerous
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/DZ\HU'LVFLSOLQDU\$FWLRQV occasions but received few return calls and no substantive information. Mooney also held funds in escrow for Schwartz and did not promptly provide an accounting of those funds in spite of her requests. Schwartz hired other counsel who obtained the needed modification to the divorce decree. THURMAN BROWN PATTERSON, Bar No. 84118, formerly of Hot Springs, Arkansas, was cautioned, for violation of Rule 1.3, by Committee Consent Findings & Order filed April 18, 2008, on a Complaint filed by Gerald Lee in Case No. 2007-090. Lee was married to Melody Lee, who owned an apartment home that burned in 2000. She contacted Patterson to assist her in pursuing the insurance claim with Lloyd’s of London. Patterson did not do so prior to Mrs. Lee’s death. After Mr. Lee was named personal representative of the estate of Mrs. Lee, he hired Patterson to pursue the claim, which Patterson failed to do. The statute of limitation expired. Patterson’s insurance company provided a monetary settlement to Mr. Lee. ALVIN L. SIMES, Bar No. 89188, of Forrest City, Arkansas, was cautioned and fined $500.00 by Committee Findings & Order filed June 18, 2008, on a Per Curiam Order Complaint in CPC Case No. 2007-116, for violation of Rules 1.3, 3.4(c), and 8.4(d). Simes represented Mattie Allison in a personal injury matter in which State Farm Insurance was granted summary judgment. The record on appeal was due to be filed within 90 days of the filing of the notice of appeal, unless the time was extended. Simes filed a petition to extend the filing time, which the circuit court granted, extending his filing date to April 24, 2007. The transcript was tendered to the Supreme Court Clerk on April 23, 2007. The Clerk found that the January 24, 2007, Order did not meet the requirements of Rule 5(b)(1) (C), requiring all parties to have an opportunity to be heard on the motion to extend time, either at a hearing or by responding in writing. The Clerk informed Simes that he needed to file a Motion for Rule on the Clerk. State Farm filed a Motion to Dismiss Appeal. Simes filed a Motion for Enlargement of Time with the Supreme Court, stating that, as a solo practitioner, he needed an additional thirty days to respond due to his demanding law practice. Simes’ motion was denied, and State Farm’s Motion to Dismiss was granted, leaving Allison without legal remedies. DONALD E. WARREN, Bar No. 99007, 42
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Tom M. Ferstl, MAI, SRA, J.D. J.T. Ferstl, MAI, J.D. 621 E. Capitol Ave. Little Rock, AR 72201 Phone: 501-375-1439 or 501-376-1439 Fax: 501-375-8317
Expert Witness Testimony Real Estate Related Matters •Tax Appeals •Court Testimony •Condemnation •Divorce 40 Years Experience See Web Site for References www.arkansasappraisers.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, was cautioned by Committee Findings & Order filed May 27, 2008, on a Per Curiam Order Complaint in Case No. CPC 2007-128 for violation of Rules 1.3 and 8.4(d). For Virgil Williams, Warren appealed an award of $20,000 in a negligence suit. Warren’s notice of appeal listed the case number of a different case in which Williams had filed a voluntary non-suit. After realizing his error, Warren filed an Amended Notice of Appeal listing the correct case number. No extension was granted. As the first notice of appeal was filed on June 11, 2007, the record was to be filed by September 9, 2007. Warren tendered the record on September 17, 2007, and filed a Motion for Rule on the Clerk. The Supreme Court denied the Motion, ending Williams’ appeal.
JIMMIE L. WILSON, Bar No. 73128, of West Helena, Arkansas, was cautioned and fined $750.00 by Committee Findings & Order filed April 1, 2008, on a Per Curiam Order Complaint in Committee Case No. CPC 2007-101, for violation of Rules 1.1, 1.3, and 8.4(d). Wilson represented the McCoys in a civil appeal, No. 07-807, from a $87,603.57 judgment against them for wrongful cutting of timber. Wilson tendered the record late, his motion for rule on the clerk was denied, and his clients lost their right to an appeal. ■
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Automation continued from page 14
the event of a local disaster such as flood, fire or tornado. Because the State of Arkansas has licensed the application and database software, and is responsible for the ongoing costs of maintenance and upgrade, the local courts are responsible only for providing local computer and printing hardware and reliable Internet access in order to use the new system. Project Status The ACS Contexte Case Management System is currently in use in four district courts. The next district court to go online is the Independence County District Court. The judge and employees from that court participated in training in May and are scheduled to go-live on June 23, 2008. System implementation is in progress in the Hot Spring County Circuit Court. The business analysis is nearly complete, the system is being configured, and preparations for training have begun. Hot Spring County Circuit is expected to go live this winter. Hot Spring County will be the first in the State to have both the district and circuit court online. Although the system has been configured and heavily used in pilot district courts, the complexity of circuit court cases requires careful supplementation of the configuration to effectively support circuit court cases. One module of the system, the ACS Jury Management System, has been installed in nearly one-half of the counties in the state. The jury project team is currently working on development of the E-Juror module to allow jurors and potential jurors to interact with the courts over the Internet. This software, like the case management software, has been customized several times to improve its functionality in Arkansas courts. A separate but parallel project is also being conducted in Pulaski County Circuit Court, the largest circuit court in the state. The court’s existing system is being phased out by its vendor, as it is one of only two courts nationwide using that version of the vendor’s software. Because of the urgency to move from the current vendor, the court is currently working to extract data from that system to convert into the ACS system. Because of the complexity of the data conversion, ACAP hopes to begin bringing Pulaski County Circuit online next year with both jury and case management. The size of the ACAP project team has grown considerably since its inception in 2001. The project has been incorporat44
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ed into the primary responsibility of the Court Information Systems Division of the Administrative Office of the Courts. The CIS Division staff has grown to more than 30 full-time and contract positions, with more than one-half dedicated to the implementation and support of the ACS software. The project’s funding has been steady over the life of the project. The initial two-year funding for the project was $4.5 million to license software, purchase hardware, and begin the project. The primary source of ongoing funding is the state’s half of the $5 monthly installment fee assessed on court fines. Currently, more than one-half of the operating expenses are being used to pay the ongoing software support for the ACS and Oracle licenses for all the local and state court users. Impact Upon the Bar While members of the bar are usually supportive of projects which will improve the court system generally, it is important to note that, when fully implemented, the system will provide significant direct benefits to practicing attorneys. The court’s docket will be available on line and includes the ability to interact with the court and court staff to schedule court proceedings or view events which have already been calendared. The system fully supports the addition of an e-filing system, such that pleadings can be transmitted directly from the attorney’s office to the court and filing fees paid, either on account with the clerk or with the use of a credit card. For those clerks who, either now or in the future, use document imaging, the system supports an interface with the imaging system to allow remote access to the case file. Because the data files reside in a central state file, attorneys have access to all courts and all counties which are on the system – not just to a single county’s files. Many attorneys have experienced times when, for whatever reason, the delivery of pleadings or judgments failed or was delayed by weeks, months or years. In rural counties, easy access to the court file is difficult for the non-resident attorney. When the records are electronic, such information is transmitted and available immediately. When fully implemented to include district, circuit and appellate courts, records for appeal will be able to be transmitted electronically – all in one comprehensive, uniform system. Project Future The ultimate goals of the Arkansas Court Automation Project are to provide a uniform case and jury management system to all courts in the state with the abilities to
support public access to court information, electronic filing, online traffic ticket payment, and an online interface for Arkansas jurors. The future of the Arkansas Court Automation Project is entirely dependent on the availability of funding. Because of limited project funding, and the need to complete the pilot phase in circuit court, without additional funding, the rollout of the new system in all courts will take a considerable amount of time. By comparison, the State of Missouri is still rolling out the ACS system in a project that began in 1997 – and they have approximately five times the annual funding that Arkansas has available for the same type of project. In addition to seeking additional permanent funding sources, the Administrative Office of the Courts is actively working on grant fund requests to create project teams to implement the ACS Contexte Case Management System in more courts. A recent grant request with the Office of Driver Services has as its goal to increase the average conviction reporting compliance rate to 80% over the next three years by implementing the system in twenty additional district courts. The AOC is also exploring grant opportunities to complete an interface with the Arkansas Crime Information System and increase the quality and currency of the criminal history data. As with the Driver Systems interface, the ACS case management system will be able to automatically transmit disposition information to the ACIC criminal history. Conclusion The long-term goals of the Arkansas Court Automation project are to improve the accuracy, timeliness, and completeness of judicial information, and to improve public confidence in the system by providing a uniform case management system to all the courts in Arkansas. A centralized case management system will be the foundation to provide additional services including online juror access, electronic filing, online traffic ticket payment, and online public access. The project is driven by the Supreme Court’s vision of uniform and effective automation of the courts of this state. Although the project has, at times, seemed to move at a snail’s pace, the progress towards these goals has been steady and the goals remain reachable. The final success of the project will have even broader implications as we work to make Arkansas the first non-unified judicial system in the country to be uniformly automated. ■
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Vol. 43 No. 3/Summer 2008 The Arkansas Lawyer 45 msfrost.com or 501.376.9241
In Memoriam his bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Arkansas in 1967. He completed his military service with the United States Army in 1970 and was a graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1973. He practiced law in Fayetteville for 28 years. He was a member of the Arkansas Bar Association where he served on the Family Law, Intellectual Property Law, and Solo, Small Firm & Practice Management Sections. He is survived by his brother James Michael and his sister Charlotte Marion. Linda Dianne Shepherd Linda Dianne Shepherd of Little Rock died May 5, 2008, at the age of 59. After earning a juris doctorate from the UALR School of Law, she specialized in family law, making a difference as an advocate for children, families, and individuals, according to an obituary in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. She was proud of her professional accomplishments which included recognition by the Arkansas Times and her work on the landmark Arkansas Supreme Court decision, Tortorich v. Tortorich. She was a member of the Arkansas Bar Association where she served on numerous committees and sections, including the Family Law Section, Solo, Small Firm and Practice Management Section, Continuing Legal Education Committee, Committee for a Modern Judiciary, Judicial Article Implementation Task Force, Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, Women in the Profession Committee, Judicial Nominations Committee, Law Practice Management Committee, and Editorial Board for Handbooks. Judge Richard Boggs Calaway Judge Richard Boggs Calaway of Little Rock died April 24, 2008 at the of 60. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and his juris doctorate degree from Duke University and an L.L.M. from Georgetown University. He spend the majority of his legal career serving as an Administrative Law Judge for the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission. He was a member of the Arkansas Bar Association where he served on the Workers’ Compensation Law Section and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section. He is survived by his wife Margarita Eloina Zavalza Calaway and his daughter Ana Malissa Calaway. Charles Sandy Howard Charles Sandy Howard of Fayetteville died March 28, 2008, at the age of 63. He earned 46
The Arkansas Lawyer
Philadelphia. Following law school he served many years as a United States Postal Inspector and after retiring went into law practice. He was a member of the Arkansas Bar Association where he served on the Lawyers Assisting Military Personnel Committee. He is survived by his children Brandi and Chris and stepfather Robert Kerby. Paul Johnson Paul Johnson of Little Rock died April 7, 2008, at the age of 67. He graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the University of Texas School of Law. He was a member of the Arkansas Bar Association, Pulaski County Bar Association and Texas Bar Association. He is survived by his wife Martha C. Johnson; son, Colin Johnson; and daughter, Susan Johnson. Eddie Spitzer Eddie Spitzer of Hot Springs died March 18, 2008, at the age of 61. He graduated from the University of Arkansas and practiced law for 36 years in Hot Springs. He was a member of the Arkansas Bar Association. He is survived by a brother, March Spitzer.
Paul Sullins Paul Sullins of Bella Vista died April 21, 2008 at the age of 95. Mr. Sullins was the secretary and general counsel for The Crossett Company until 1962, and served in a similar capacity with Georgia Pacific Crossett Division following GP’s acquisition of the Crossett Company until his retirement in 1976. He was a past director and officer of Tri-State Mill Supply Company, the Public Utilities Company of Crossett, and the First State Bank of Crossett. He was a member and former officer of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees from 1952 to 1963, appointed by Governor Francis Cherry, and was a past president of the University of Arkansas Alumni Association. He was an active member of the Arkansas Bar Association and the American Bar Association and was a member of the Garland County Bar Association. He served as a past president of the Arkansas Young Lawyers Section. He was a fellow of the Arkansas Bar Foundation. He is survived by his wife, Doris Crane Naylor Sullins; two sons, John Paul Sullins and Thomas Neal Sullins; and daughter Jane Olson. Clark C. Evans Clark C. Evans of North Little Rock died March 27, 2008, at the age of 66. He graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and attended law school in
Robert Dwain Ross Robert Dwain Ross of Little Rock died June 29, 2008, at the age of 75. He was the principal in the law firm Pope, Ross PLC. He earned his juris doctorate from the University of Arkansas School of Law. Between college and law school he served with the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany. Ross clerked with the Arkansas Supreme Court Justices Frank Holt and Neil Bohlinger before joining the Pope firm in 1963. He was a member of the Arkansas Bar Association where he served as the secretary/treasurer, chair of the executive committee, and a tenured member of the House of Delegates. In 1994 he received the Presidents Award for his work on the Arkansas Judicial Nominations Committee. He served on several committees, including the Website
Oversite Committee, Technology Committee and Editorial Board for Handbooks. He was a fellow of the Arkansas Bar Foundation. He chaired the committee on Professional Ethics and Grievance for the Pulaski County Bar, and frequently provided legal services to those in need through VOCALS. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Frances Roots Mitchell Ross; and their children, Mitchell Ross, Ginny Ross Deuschle and Mary Starr Ross; and six grandchildren. Judge Richard Mobley Judge Richard Mobley of Russellville died July 4, 2008 at the age of 91. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas and his juris doctorate from the University of Arkansas School of Law. Following graduation from law school, he served in World War II. Major Mobley completed his military obligation serving with the occupation forces in Japan. After the war was over, Judge Mobley went to Russellville
and joined his father-in-law, Reece Caudle, in his private law practice with Bob White. During the early 1950’s, he completed an unexpired term as chancery and probate judge, and then in 1962, he ran for a full term as chancellor of what was then the Ninth Judicial Circuit. After state-wide redistricting in 1979, Judge Mobley became chancellor for the Fifth Judicial Circuit where he served until his retirement in 1990. “Throughout a distinguished career that spanned six decades, first as an advocate and later as judge, Richard Mobley devoted his life to respect for the rule of law, the impartial administration of justice, and a career in public service marked by honesty, integrity, and tireless effort,” according to an article in the Ozark Spectator. He was a member of the Arkansas Bar Association where he served as chair of the Family Law Section, chair of the Editorial Review Committee for the first Arkansas Domestic Relations Manual. For this leadership, he received a golden gavel award. He is
survived by his daughter, Margaret Mobley Burgess; his son, Richard Reece Mobley; and four grandchildren. Robert C. Taylor Robert C. Taylor of rural Crawford County died May 9. 2008, at the age of 78. Self educated until enrolling in Tulsa University in 1952, he earned his juris doctorate from Tulsa University School of Law. He became trust officer and assistant vice president of First National Bank of Tulsa then graduated from Southern Methodist University Banking School in 1964. After moving to Fort Smith in 1964, he was vice president and trust officer of City National Bank. He was licensed to practice law before the Supreme Courts of Arkansas, Oklahoma and the United States since 1968. He was a member of the Arkansas Bar Association. He is survived by his wife of over 54 years, Barbara. ■
Arkansas Bar Foundation Memorials and Honoraria The Arkansas Bar Foundation acknowledges with grateful appreciation the receipt of the following memorial, honorarium and scholarship contributions received during the period April 1, 2008, through June 30, 2008. In Memory of Richard Boggs Calaway W. Christopher Barrier B. Jeffery Pence In Memory of Jon W. Coleman Oldham & Coleman, PLLC In Memory of Sam Heuer Steve Bauman In Memory of Paul Johnson B. Jeffery Pence In Memory of Ruth Lindsey Fred S. Ursery In Memory of Judge Richard Mobley Judith Gray
In Memory of Linda Shephard Judith Gray Edward Oglesby B. Jeffery Pence In Memory of Virginia Tackett Judith Gray B. Jeffery Pence In Memory of Edward L. Wright, Jr. W. Christopher Barrier Honorarium and Scholarship Contributions Ruth Huskey and John Bruson Scholarship Fund Jacqueline S. Walker Sebastian County Bar Association Scholarship Fund Sebastian County Bar Association
In Memory of Robert D. Ross Judith Gray Fred S. Ursery
Vol. 43 No. 3/Summer 2008 The Arkansas Lawyer
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The Arkansas Lawyer magazine is the flagship publication of the Arkansas Bar Association. The quarterly publication communicates the news o...