Letter from the President

It’s Nov. 8, 2015, in Oxford, Mississippi. Ole Miss is ahead 52-45 in overtime. Arkansas has the ball 4th and 25 on the 45-yard line. Brandon Allen drops back to the 50 and hits Hunter Henry at the 25-yard line, well short of the first down. Henry catches the ball and is hit immediately at the 27-yard line by an Ole Miss defender. Game over, right? Nope. Henry laterals the ball back 20 yards where it is swatted away from an Ole Miss defender by tackle Chris Stringer from Rancho Cucamonga, California. The ball bounces and is picked up by running back Alex Collins. Every Razorback makes a block, and Collins runs for a first down, and there to protect the ball at the end of the play is — you guessed it — Stringer from Rancho Cucamonga, California. Arkansas scores a touchdown and, with a two-point conversion, wins the game.

 

Fast forward to April 15, 2020. Arkansas courts are shut down by a pandemic and the Arkansas Bar Association’s annual meeting is in jeopardy. In-person meetings are a thing of the past. The Arkansas Bar Center is closed, and everyone works from home. It is 4th and 25, and time is out for the Arkansas Bar Association in 2020. But the Arkansas Bar Association does not give up. On very short notice, a virtual annual meeting is up and running. To protect its members, the Association shifts to virtual events only.  

 

The Association inaugurates its first-ever Board of Trustees and moves forward with an emphasis on serving the people of Arkansas and the lawyers on whom they rely. Social justice, diversity and inclusion take center stage. Children across the state are educated on the importance of our Constitution. A first-rate virtual Mock Trial program is held. Young lawyers hold clinics to assist the poor and to make wills for first responders. An ambitious legislative package is proposed and adopted — for the most part —  by the Arkansas General Assembly. Measures that would hurt Arkansans are opposed and defeated. Lawyers are educated in new and innovative ways. All of this happens because the staff and volunteers of the Arkansas Bar Association did not give up facing 4th and 25 in overtime.

 

This edition of AY About You magazine recognizes some of the Arkansas lawyers who never stopped. At this year’s virtual annual meeting, as president, I will honor the following award recipients for their work over the past year:

Presidential Awards of Excellence:

Joseph F. Kolb

Pulaski County Bar Association

Aaron L. Squyres

 

Golden Gavel Awards

Kandice A. Bell

Beverly I. Brister

Lillian Dee Davenport

Brent J. Eubanks

Prof. Lynn  Foster

Adrienne Morris Griffis

Christopher M. Hussein

Anton Leo Janik Jr.

Sarah C. Jewell

Jamie Huffman Jones

Joseph F. Kolb

Deepali  Lal

Jessica Virden Mallett

Anthony L. McMullen

G.S. Brant  Perkins

Brian M. Rosenthal

George M. Rozzell

 

Other Awards:

Vanessa Cash Adams

Payton C. Bentley

Alexandra C. Benton

Christopher M. Hussein

Sarah Murphy McDaniel

Lindsey Emerson Raines

Ray Slaton

Stuart Larson Spencer

William A. Waddell Jr.

Jennifer L. Zwiegers

 

The Arkansas Bar Foundation and the Arkansas Bar Association will recognize several persons to honor because of their outstanding contributions:

Sherry P. Bartley

Judge Amy Dunn Johnson

Paul D. McNeill

Sebastian County Bar Association

Judge Joyce Williams Warren

 

Congratulations to the following members who have been admitted to the practice of law in Arkansas for 50 years:

Mr. Hubert W. Alexander • Mr. Roy T. Beard III • Mr. Paul B. Benham III • Mr. John R. Buzbee • Mr. David Victor Capes

Mr. John Steven Clark • Mr. J. Michael Cogbill • Mr. James E. Darr Jr. • Mr. John C. Earl • Mr. John R. Elrod

Mr. Dan H. Felton III • Mr. Larry E. Graddy • Mr. William D. Haught • Ms. Ann R. Henry • Dr. Morriss M. Henry

Mr. Sam Hilburn • Mr. W. Wilson Jones • Mr. Dan P. Kennett • Mr. Robert S. Laney • Mr. G. William Lavender Sr.

Mr. James Theodore Magness • Mr. Ronald M. McCann • Mr. Walter W. Nixon III • Mr. Denny Paul Petty • Mr. James M. Roy Jr.

Mr. Robert D. Stroud • Mr. Lonnie C. Turner • Ms. Esther M. White • Mr. Alan Wooten

 

Paul W. Keith

Arkansas Bar Association President, Gibson & Keith, PLLC

Arkansas Bar Association Annual Award Recipients

 

Presidential Awards of Excellence

Pulaski County Bar Association, for years of service to the legal profession. 

Joseph F. Kolb, j. k o l b, Little Rock, for several years of service as treasurer. 

Aaron L. Squyres, Wilson & Associates, PLLC, Little Rock, for several years of service as parliamentarian. 

 

Other Awards

Continuing Legal Education Award: Jennifer L. Zwiegers, Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, Little Rock, for co-planning the 24th Environmental Law Conference.

Continuing Legal Education Award: Sarah Murphy McDaniel, Mackie, Wolf, Zientz & Mann, P.C., Little Rock, for planning of the 2021 Debtor/Creditor Conference.

Continuing Legal Education Award: Stuart Larson Spencer, Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C., Little Rock, for co-planning the 24th Environmental Law Conference.

Judith Ryan Gray Young Lawyer Service Award: Payton C. Bentley, Clark Law Firm, PLLC, Fayetteville, for his extraordinary service and outstanding contributions to the Young Lawyers Section.

Continuing Legal Education Award: Vanessa Cash Adams, ARlaw Partners, PLLC, Little Rock, for the planning of the 2021 Debtor/Creditor Conference.

Continuing Legal Education Award: Lindsey Emerson Raines, Friday, Eldredge & Clark LLP, Little Rock, For the planning of the 2021 Debtor/Creditor Conference.

Maurice Cathey Award: William A. Waddell Jr., Friday, Eldredge & Clark LLP, Little Rock, for contributions to The Arkansas Lawyer magazine. 

Frank C. Elcan Award: Christopher M. Hussein, Legal Aid of Arkansas, Springdale, for his commitment and dedication to the Young Lawyers Section. 

YLS Award of Excellence: Alexandra C. Benton, Blair & Stroud, Batesville, for her work taking the lead on the Domestic Violence Handbook update and the trivia night last fall that she planned and ran. 

YLS Award of Excellence: Ray Slaton, Hyden, Miron & Foster, PLLC, Little Rock, for his work on the Wills for Heroes project. 

 

Golden Gavel Awards

Kandice A. Bell, Office of Gov. Asa Hutchinson, White Hall, for work as ABCDI Chair. 

Beverly I. Brister, The Brister Firm, Benton, for work on Constitution Day Video. 

Lillian Dee Davenport, Simmons Wealth Management, Little Rock, for work as Mid-Year Coordinator. 

Brent J. Eubanks, Humphries, Odum & Eubanks, Little Rock, for work as PAC Chair. 

Prof. Lynn  Foster, Professor Emeritus of Law, UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, Little Rock, Legislation Chair.

Adrienne Morris Griffis, Dover Dixon Horne PLLC, Little Rock, for work on the virtual Mock Trial Competition. 

Christopher M. Hussein, Legal Aid of Arkansas, Springdale, for work as Young Lawyers Section Chair. 

Anton Leo Janik Jr., Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C., Little Rock, for work as The Arkansas Lawyer magazine Chair. 

Sarah C. Jewell, McMath Woods, P.A., Fayetteville, for work as the Annual Meeting Co-Chair. 

Jamie Huffman Jones, Friday, Eldredge & Clark LLP, Little Rock, for work as the Annual Meeting Co-Chair. 

Joseph F. Kolb, j. k o l b, Little Rock, for work on the ABCDI Survey. 

Deepali  Lal, UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, Little Rock, for work on the ABCDI Survey. 

Jessica Virden Mallett, Law Offices of Peter Miller P. A., Little Rock, for work as the Chair of Sponsorship Committee. 

Mr. Anthony L. McMullen, Associate Professor of Business Law, University of Central Arkansas, Conway, for work on the Virtual Mock Trial Competition. 

G.S. Brant  Perkins, The Perkins Law Firm, P.A., Jonesboro, for work as the By-Laws Drafting Subcommittee Chair. 

Brian M. Rosenthal, Rose Law Firm, Little Rock, for work on the ABCDI Survey, and a second Golden Gavel for his work on the Sponsorship Committee. 

George M. Rozzell, Miller, Butler, Schneider, Pawlik & Rozzell, PLLC, Fayetteville, for work on the Sponsorship Committee. 

 

Arkansas Bar Foundation and Arkansas Bar Association Joint Awards

 

The Arkansas Bar Foundation was established in 1958 to support efforts at improving the administration of justice. The foundation’s mission is to promote educational, literary, scientific and charitable purposes, and it is classified as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. 

 

Founded in 1898, the Arkansas Bar Association is the premier legal association in the state. As a voluntary organization of more than 5,000 members, the Association’s primary mission is to: support attorneys; advance the practice of law; advocate for the legal profession; foster professionalism, civility, and integrity; and protect the rule of law.

 

The Arkansas Bar Foundation and the Arkansas Bar Association have selected the following persons to honor this year because of their outstanding contributions. Those selected are:

Outstanding Jurist Award: Judge Joyce Williams Warren, Little Rock, for excellence in the practice of law and outstanding contributions to the profession.

Outstanding Lawyer Award: Paul D. McNeill, RMP LLP, Jonesboro, for excellence in the practice of law and outstanding contributions to the profession.

C.E. Ransick Award of Excellence: Sherry P. Bartley, Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C., Little Rock, for outstanding contributions to the profession. 

Equal Justice Distinguished Service Award: Judge Amy Dunn Johnson, Circuit Judge, 6th Judicial District, 15th Division, Little Rock, for her commitment to and participation in equal justice programs, including pro bono efforts through legal services programs. 

Outstanding Local Bar Association: Sebastian County Bar Association

 

READ MORE: Arkansas’ Best Lawyers 2021