Alumni Updates

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University of Arkansas School of Law alumni are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, two territories and 20 countries. The school’s friends broaden its reach further. Here, you can find information on what individuals, corporations and foundations are doing to support the School of Law and its strategic objectives.

June 2018

Robert W. George (J.D. ’98) has joined Friday, Eldredge and Clark LLP as senior counsel. George will work in the firm’s Rogers office as a member of the commercial litigation team. Most recently, George was vice president of litigation and regulatory affairs for Tyson Foods.

Stephen Giles (J.D. ’73) has joined Little Rock-based Dover Dixon Horne. He will focus his practice on real estate law, particularly zoning, land use and development issues.

Sarah Jewell (J.D. ’15) is the 2017-18 recipient of the Arkansas Bar Association’s Judith Ryan Gray Young Lawyer Service Award and the Frank C. Elcan II Leadership Award. The awards, presented at the annual meeting of the Arkansas Bar Association held June 13-15 in Hot Springs, were given in recognition of Jewell’s exceptional leadership skills and outstanding contributions in promoting the public welfare of the Arkansas Bar Association. Jewell is the 2018 leader of the Young Lawyer’s Section of the Arkansas Bar Association and practices with the Daniels Law Firm in Fayetteville.

Shontavia Jackson Johnson (J.D. ’06) is the new associate vice president of academic partnership and innovation at Clemson University. In addition to her administrative responsibilities, she is a member of the faculty of Clemson’s Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice. Her academic specialties include intellectual property law, trademark law and entrepreneurship. Prior to assuming her current duties, Johnson was the Kern Family Chair of Intellectual Property Law and director of the Intellectual Property Law Center at Drake University Law School. Read about Johnson in The Conversation.

Victoria “Tori” Jones (J.D. ’12) has joined the Rose Law Firm. She specializes in labor and employment law, regulatory and administrative law, and government relations. She is a certified occupational safety specialist and has completed general and construction industry OSHA outreach training.

The Hon. Pandora Jones-Glover (J.D. ’00), Orangeburg, South Carolina probate judge, was recently recognized by the Orangeburg Community of Character Initiative for her restraint and self-control while managing her courtroom. The initiative, created in 1999, exists to inspire citizens to take responsibility for their decisions and actions, motivate citizens to make a difference in the world around them, and recognize citizens exhibiting excellence in character. “We deal with different types of people. It’s always important for a judge to maintain control and manage the courtroom and self-control is important in doing that,” Jones-Glover said in an interview that appeared in Times and Democrat. Jones-Glover has served the bench for 14 years and is one of only two African-American probate judges in South Carolina.

Andrew King (J.D. ’07) competed during two recent episodes of Jeopardy! On June 26, he defeated the previous day’s champion, Kelly Griffin of Brookhaven, Mississippi, but fell to Scott McFadden, of Muncie, Indiana, on June 27. King appears (right) with Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek at a recent taping of the show in Los Angeles (photo courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.). King is a commercial litigation partner at Kutak Rock in the Little Rock.

Hugh Kincaid (J.D. ’59) presented a program on the life of early Fayetteville lawyer, and Arkansas’ second governor, Archibald Yell (1797-1847) to the Washington County Bar Association on June 4. The program was delivered in front of Yell’s 1835 law office located on the grounds of the Washington County Historical Society. Kincaid has portrayed Yell in area history celebrations and in Up Among the Hills: The Story of Fayetteville, the 2012 documentary written and produced by Larry Foley, Emmy Award winning professor of journalism at the University of Arkansas. In 1992, Yell’s law office was moved to its current location for preservation. The Washington County Bar Association helps the Society maintain the building through financial support.

Laura Landreaux (J.D. ’99) is the newly named president and chief executive officer of Entergy Arkansas, Inc. She is the first woman to hold the post, which she assumed July 1. Landreaux joined the company in 2007 as senior counsel and has held the positions of vice president of regulatory affairs and finance director during her tenure at the company. In her latest role, she is responsible for the company’s financial and operational results, as well as safety, resource planning, regulatory issues and residential customer service. Landreaux is the daughter of Vincent W. Foster Jr. (J.D. ’71) (1946-93). Read the Entergy announcement at benzinga or read Landreaux’s biography from Entergy’s website.

J. Cliff McKinney II (J.D. ’02) has received the 2018 Arkansas Bar Association Presidential Award of Excellence. The award was present to McKinney in recognition of his work as chair of the association’s governance committee. McKinney is the managing member of Quattlebaum Grooms and Tull PLLC in Little Rock.

Kendra Pruitt (J.D. ’13) appeared as guest host on Episode 5 of “Arkansas Times “Rock The Culture,” a podcast created to explore issues important to Arkansans. In the episode, titled “Culture, Cohorts and Cannabis,” Pruitt and host Antwan Phillips discuss the Arkansas chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign, the structure of the leadership of the Little Rock School District and a proposed city ordinance that would require the Little Rock Police Department to make marijuana arrest a low priority offense. Pruitt is an associate in the Regulated Business Practice Group at Mitchell Williams Selig Gates and Woodyard in Little Rock.

Asia Diggs Meador (J.D. ’08) and Michael Meador welcomed Savannah Clara into their family in late May. Savannah weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces and was 19.7 inches long at birth. In a recent email regarding her new daughter, Meador said, “Meet Savannah, future Law Hog!” Meador is general counsel and vice president of compliance and human resources at Meritan, Inc. in Memphis.

Le’Joi Walker Williamson (J.D.’09) and Kristopher Williamson welcomed Karis Aleah in May. “True to her name, Karis ‘Graced’” us with her presence just in time for Mother’s Day!” Williamson is the chief assistant solicitor general for the Richmond County Solicitor General’s Office in Augusta, Georgia.

In Memoriam

Robert Brandon Holitik (J.D. ’94) died May 28 in Little Rock. His desire to help people in need led to a general practice of law, particularly family and class action law, at Hale, Holitik and Young in Marion, Arkansas. He was active in Ducks Unlimited and in organizations dedicated to conservation of wetlands. He is survived by his life partner, Megan Wooster; daughter, Katherine Anne Holitik; and son, Robert Brandon Holitik Jr. Read the obituary from Ruebel Funeral Home.

May 2018

Peter G. Estes Jr. (J.D. ’73) is the subject of a profile article in the March-April edition of Butterfield Life. Estes discusses the importance of family, his love of practicing law and the significance of practicing law with family over the course of his 47-year legal career. Estes is the son of Peter G. Estes Sr. (J.D. ’43) (1916-90) and is the father of Amy Estes Turner (J.D. ’98) and Peter G. “Tripp” Estes III (J.D. ’01).

Allison Elko (J.D. ’98) has been named to the fellows program of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. The organization includes more than 285 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners who are dedicated to building a more open and diverse legal profession. Elko is a partner at Dallas-based Bell Nunnally and Martin LLP and specializes in real estate law.

Bryan Fisher (J.D. ’13) is the newest partner at Neal and Newman in Springfield, Missouri. The firm announced the advancement in March. Fisher specializes in appeals, banking and finance law, business and commercial litigation, business organization and employment law.

Brian Gaither (J.D. ’10) is the host of “What’s the Verdict,” a comprehensive, easy-to-understand, layperson's, “In Your Face” podcast that provides a detailed insight to the legal field, legal concepts, and how these different legal concepts affect the community. Episodes are available on iTunes, SoundCloud and Podbean. Gaither is an assistant solicitor general in the office of the Fulton County Solicitor General in Atlanta.

Michael Hornback (J.D. ’02) has joined Littler as special counsel. He is based in the firm’s Lexington, Kentucky office and specializes in defending companies in a wide range of employment matters, including discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, and issues involving breach of non-compete agreements and other contracts.

Nicholas Jackson (J.D. ’08) has joined the board of Williamsville Sears Management Inc. The company, a diversified holding corporation with a primary focus on real estate, mining, transportation, entertainment and technology, made the announcement through a press release dated April 4. Jackson is the founder of James Edgar LLC, a consulting firm specializing in business planning.

Kasey McCall-Smith (J.D. ’01) has co-edited Linkages and Boundaries in Private and Public International Law, a forthcoming volume from Hart Publishing. According to the publisher, the book, co-edited by Veronica Ruiz Abou-Nigm and Duncan French, is a collection of works exploring the “interface between private and public international law and the synergies that a joint approach brings to topical issues in some key fields of this modern era such as corporate social responsibility and environmental law.” McCall-Smith is a lecturer in public international law at the University of Edinburgh Law School.

Duke McLarty (J.D. ’09) has been named the director of government and community affairs for Aimco, a Denver-based real estate investment trust (REIT). McLarty will manage government relations in the 22 states where the company is active. Aimco is an S & P 500-listed company and one of the largest owners and operators of apartments in the country.

Bruce Phillips (J.D. ’93), along with Hall of Fame songwriter Steve Dorff, was at the School of Law on April 27 to talk about song writing and the business of music. Phillips is an entertainment law lawyer based in Nashville and represents clients in the music industry. He has also served as an adjunct law professor at the School of Law. The pair were in Northwest Arkansas as part of the Power of Music Festival, held in Bentonville April 26-29.

W. Kirk Turner (J.D. ’89) has joined Tulsa-based McAfee and Taft as a shareholder. The firm announced the move in a press release dated April 19. Turner specializes in employment law and is a frequent speaker and author on workplace issues. Prior to joining the firm, he served as a director and the leader of the Labor and Employment Law Group at Newton, O’Connor, Turner and Ketchum in Tulsa.

Billy Jack Gibson (J.D. ‘13 ) and Stacy Coonce Gibson (J.D. ’14) welcomed Calvin Graham into their family in March. Calvin weighed eight pounds, 15.6 ounces and was 21.25 long at birth. When asked what they will do if Calvin lives up to his namesake in the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, the couple said “I think that is what we are anticipating.” Billy Jack Gibson Practices law in Malvern. Stacy Coonce Gibson is a lawyer at Sanford Law Firm in Little Rock.

In Memoriam

Terry Ray Ballard (J.D. ’81) of North Little Rock died April 9. He was public defender in North Little Rock, city attorney for Mayflower and an instructor at Pulaski Technical Institute. He is survived by his mother, Daisy Allen Hill; fiancé, Beci Keller; daughter Shawn Ballard; son Chad Ballard. Read the obituary from Roller-Owens Funeral Home.

Fines Batchelor, Jr. (LL.B. ’50) died on April 22 in Fort Smith. He was a resident of Van Buren and practiced law at Batchelor and Batchelor, a firm founded by his father. The Western Arkansas Trial Practice Seminar honored Batchelor for his outstanding service to the legal profession in 2014. As part of the recognition, the seminar made a generous contribution to the scholarship fund at the University of Arkansas School of Law in Batchelor’s honor. The Hon. Jim Spears (J.D. ’73) makes the 2014 presentation on behalf of the WATPS. Batchelor was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth “Betty” Batchelor. He is survived by two daughters: Lee Vlademar of Fort Smith and Frankie Shearon of Poteau, Oklahoma. Read the obituary from Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home.

The Hon. Robert “Bobby” F. Fussell (LL.B. ’65) died May 1 in Little Rock. He was born Jan. 1, 1938, to James V. Fussell Jr. and Dorothy Hall Fussell. He was a U.S. Army officer and an attorney for the National Labor Relations Board in Kansas before opening a private practice in Little Rock, specializing in labor relations. Federal district judges appointed Fussell U.S. bankruptcy judge in 1983, and he soon became the state’s chief bankruptcy judge. When Congress created a divisional bankruptcy court in northwestern Arkansas, Fussell resigned as chief judge and took the new judgeship in Fayetteville. He served as a bankruptcy judge for 20 years, retiring in 2003. He never married and had no children.

David B. Horne (J.D. ’67) died April 9 in Fayetteville. Horne began his career practicing law on the Fayetteville square with Hugh Kincaid (J.D. ’59). He served as city prosecutor and assistant city attorney during the 1960s and the 1970s. Bass Trumbo (LL.B. ’59) later joined the firm, which became known as Kincaid, Horne and Trumbo, and was located in Fayetteville’s historic Walker Stone House. Later in his career, Horne practiced with Darren Gibbs (J.D. ’09). Horne played baseball for the Razorbacks, lettering for two years. He coached softball and Little League baseball teams for his children. He is survived by his wife, Cathy Suzanne Horne; son, Jon-David Horne; two daughters, Sarah Elise Bailey and Cambre Anne Horne-Brooks; and four grandchildren. Read the obituary from Moore’s Chapel.

Michael Joseph Nicodemus (J.D. ’13) died April 19 in Fayetteville. He was the founder of Fayetteville-based Nicodemus Law Firm and specialized in family, estate and transactional law. He is survived by his wife, Lauren Roberts Nicodemus; parents, Joe and Sue Nicodemus, of Springdale; and sister, Jennifer Pianalto, of Springdale. Read the obituary from Nelson-Berna Funeral Home.