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The Arkansas Bar Association Announces New Officers and Award Recipients

June 19,2013

Jim Simpson of Little Rock was sworn in as the president of the Arkansas Bar Association on June 14, 2013. The swearing-in ceremony by Chief Justice Jim Hannah took place during the Association’s annual meeting at the Hot Springs Convention Center. Simpson is a partner with Friday Eldredge & Clark in Little Rock, where he heads the firm’s General Litigation Practice Group.

Other Association officers for the 2013-2014 bar year include:

Board of Governors Chair: Marie-Bernarde Miller, Williams & Anderson, PLC, Little Rock

President-Elect: Brian H. Ratcliff, Shackleford, Phillips & Ratcliff, P.A., El Dorado

Secretary: F. Thomas Curry, McMillan, McCorkle, Curry & Bennington, LLP, Arkadelphia

Treasurer: Shaneen K. Sloan, Hyden, Miron & Foster, PLLC, Little Rock


The Arkansas Bar Association presented the following awards during the meeting:

  • Charles L. Carpenter Memorial Award: Steven S. Zega, Parker and Zega, PLC, Prairie Grove
  • CLE Award: Bilenda Harris-Ritter, Ritter Law, Maumelle
  • Frank Elcan II Award: Vicki S. Vasser, Matthews, Campbell, Rhoads, McClure & Thompson, P.A., Rogers
  • Golden Gavel Award: Brian M. Clary, Saline County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Benton
  • Golden Gavel Award: James E. Crouch, Cypert, Crouch, Clark and Harwell, Springdale
  • Golden Gavel Award: Bob Estes, Law Office of Bob Estes, Fayetteville
  • Golden Gavel Award: Johnathan D. Horton, Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP, Little Rock
  • Golden Gavel Award: Harry A. Light, Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP, Little Rock
  • Golden Gavel Award: William A. (Bill) Martin, Attorney at Law, Little Rock
  • Golden Gavel Award: Mary Beth Matthews, Sidney Parker Davis Jr. Professor of Business and Commercial Law, University of Arkansas School of Law, Fayetteville
  • Golden Gavel Award: Brandon K. Moffitt, Moffitt & Phillips, Little Rock
  • Golden Gavel Award: Gwendolyn Rucker, Law Clerk to United States Magistrate Judge Jerome Kearney, Little Rock
  • Golden Gavel Award: Win Trafford, Trafford Law Firm, Pine Bluff
  • Golden Gavel Award: Dennis Zolper, Dover & Zolper, Jonesboro
  • Judith Ryan Gray Outstanding Young Lawyer Award: Tasha Taylor, Taylor & Taylor Law Firm, Little Rock
  • Maurice Cathey Award: Drake Mann, Gill Ragon Owen, P.A., Little Rock
  • Presidential Award of Excellence: Jim Julian, Chisenhall, Nestrud & Julian, P.A., Little Rock
  • Presidential Award of Excellence: Lynn Foster, Arkansas Bar Foundation Professor of Law, UALR Bowen School of Law, Little Rock
  • Presidential Award of Excellence: Brian Rosenthal, Rose Law Firm, Little Rock
  • Presidential Award of Excellence: Charles L. Schlumberger, Quattlebaum, Grooms, Tull & Burrow PLLC, Little Rock

The 2012-2013 Arkansas Bar Foundation/ Arkansas Bar Association Joint Award Recipients:

  • Outstanding Lawyer Award:  Robert (Skip) Henry, The Barber Law Firm, Little Rock
  • Outstanding Lawyer-Citizen Award:  Joe Benson, Benson & Wood, P.L.C., Fayetteville
  • C. E. Ransick Award of Excellence:  Sean T. Keith, Keith, Miller, Butler, Schneider & Pawlik, PLLC, Rogers
  • James H. McKenzie Professionalism Award:  Jack T. Lassiter, Lassiter & Cassinelli, Little Rock
    Equal Justice Distinguished Service Award: William A. Waddell, Jr., Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP, Little Rock
  • Outstanding Jurist Award: Judge Kim M. Smith, Circuit Judge, Fourth Judicial Circuit, Second Division, Fayetteville


Outstanding Local Bar Associations:

  • Craighead County Bar Association
  • Pulaski County Bar Association
  • Sebastian County Bar Association

The Arkansas Bar Association is a voluntary, statewide organization with 5,000 members. Among its purposes are the advancement of the administration of justice and the fostering among its members of high ideals of integrity, learning and public service.