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October 2018

Jason Bailey (J.D. ’15) has joined the Memphis office of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In this capacity, he prosecutes employment discrimination cases in federal court on behalf of the EEOC and provides legal advice to investigators. Bailey recently completed a two-year clerkship with the Hon. Susan O. Hickey (J.D. ’81) U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Arkansas.

Steve Clark (J.D. ’71) is the emcee for Unreliable Sources! the 2018 Northwest Arkansas Gridiron. The show, an annual satirical look at politics and culture, is a joint production of the local chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Association of University Women. Current and former journalists produce and perform the spoof of local, statewide and national news to raise funds for journalism scholarships. The show runs Oct. 12-13 at the Arkansas Public Theatre in Rogers. Tickets are available on the Northwest Arkansas Gridiron website. Clark is the president and CEO of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce.

Clifford M. “Joe” Cole (J. D. ’82) is the author of The Piggott Boys, a newly-released book about the northeastern Arkansas town and its citizens during WW II. Cole, who practiced law in Memphis for years, now practices in his home town of Piggott. He and his wife also operate the Piggott City Market, located on the town square, that carries locally-produced products and crafts. Cole and the book are the subject of Rex Nelson’s Sept. 26 column “The Piggott Boys” that appeared in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

Janie Simms Hipp (LL.M. ’96) has been named executive director of the newly-created Native American Agricultural Fund. The fund was created with a portion, $266 million, of the cy prés funds resulting from the settlement reached in Keepseagle v. Vilsack, a landmark 1999 case filed by George and Marilyn Keepseagle, both Standing Rock Sioux, charging the U.S. Department of Agriculture with systemic discrimination against Native farmers and ranchers. Hundreds of other Native farmers and ranchers later joined the suit. The fund is the largest philanthropic organization devoted solely to Native Americans. Its mission is to promote the continued engagement of Native Americans in agriculture by “funding of business assistance, agricultural education, technical support and advocacy services to Native American farmers.” Read Steve Dubb’s article “The Difficult Birth of a New American Indian Fund" in the Nonprofit Quarterly.

Meredith Lowry (J.D. ‘05) was honored as the Northwest Arkansas Business Women’s Conference 2018 Young Woman of the Year at the organization’s conference held in Rogers on Sept. 18. The award is presented to a woman who makes significant contributions to her community. Lowry is active in organizations and committees such as the ArtinFusion Council at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the development committee of the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of NWA, the planning committee of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce Leadership Fayetteville program and the Alzheimer’s Association’s annual Blondes vs. Brunettes Flag Football game. Lowry is an intellectual property attorney at Wright Lindsey and Jennings.

Khuong B. “Alex” Nguyen (J.D. ’17) has joined the Kansas City office of Shook Hardy and Bacon. Nguyen recently completed a clerkship with the Hon. Lavenski R. Smith (J.D. ‘87), chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit.

Sarah Cotton Patterson (J.D. ’00) has been appointed as an adjunct professor of tax law at the University of Arkansas Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. She replaces Byron M. Eiseman Jr., who retired after teaching at the school for 50 years. Cotton and Eiseman are colleagues and members of the Trust and Estate Planning Practice Group at Friday Eldredge and Clark in Little Rock. Cotton also holds an LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law.

J. Shepherd “Shep” Russell III (J.D. ’78) was honored by the Arkansas Arts Center with the organization’s Winthrop Rockefeller Memorial Award at the annual meeting of the organization held Aug. 20 in Little Rock. Russell has supported the center for more than 30 years and has previously served as president of the board of trustees. He is the managing partner of Friday Eldredge and Clark in Little Rock and focuses his practice exclusively in the area of public finance.

George B. Spencer III (J.D. ’79) will be posthumously inducted into the Fayetteville Public Education Foundation Hall of Honor as the 2018 Student Choice Award recipient on Oct. 11. After practicing law for a short time, Spencer, a renaissance man, found his calling as a high school teacher. He taught chemistry at Fayetteville High School for 30 years. He was known for the high standards he set for his students and for his willingness to help every student achieve the standard. Spencer died Dec. 17, 2017. Read the obituary from Moore’s Chapel.

The Hon. Stephen Tabor (J.D. ’81) was appointed as special associate justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court by Gov. Asa Hutchinson (J.D. ’75) on Sept. 17. Tabor replaced Chief Justice John Dan Kemp Jr. (J.D. ’76) who recused himself from the appeal in CV-18-729 – Secretary of State of Arkansas v. Marion Humphrey et al.

In Memoriam

Col. (Ret.) Robert M. Nutt (J.D. ’62) died July 22 in Alexandria, Virginia. The Hot Springs native had a distinguished career in the United States Army, serving 22 years in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corp. He is survived by his wife, Carol T. Nutt; children Mitchell E. Nutt, Chandra Nutt Branham and Lauren Nutt Aigner. Inurnment was at Arlington National Cemetery. Read the obituary from Jefferson Funeral Chapel.

John E. “Jack” Pruniski III (J.D. ’76) of Little Rock died July 11. After graduating from law school, he was a staff attorney for the Arkansas Securities Department from 1976-78. He then practiced law in the North Little Rock firm of Hilburn, Calhoon, Harper, Pruniski and Calhoun for almost 40 years. He loved travel and embarked on adventures such as climbing Kilimanjaro, trekking to Mt. Everest and visiting Africa, Greenland and destinations in Europe. Pruniski is survived by his wife of 46 years, Mary Jane Pruniski, and his children Brian Pruniski, Jeff Pruniski and Elizabeth Barlow. Read the full obituary from Roller-Chenal Funeral Home.

September 2018

Torri Jacobus (J.D. ’05) joined the legal department of the City of Albuquerque as managing assistant city attorney for the Civil Rights Enforcement and Policy Division. In her new role, Jacobus will develop the city’s initiatives related to documenting and addressing reported civil rights violations. She will also provide legal guidance to the city in an effort to develop, promote and implement policies that reflect the city’s commitment to equity and inclusion. Prior to joining the City of Albuquerque, Jacobus served as director of the Center for Self Help and Dispute Resolution for the Second Judicial Court of New Mexico. She developed and managed the settlement facilitation program, arbitration program and services to self-represented litigants.

Lt. Col. E. S. “Vess” Lawbaugh (Ed. D, J.D. ‘83) USMC (Ret.) was awarded the National Commander’s Award for Excellence at the Military Order of the Purple Heart National Convention on Aug. 3. The convention was held in Spokane, Wash. Lawbaugh was wounded in action during the Vietnam War and in 1969 spent four months recovering at the U.S. Naval Hospital on Guam. During his career in the Marine Corps, Lawbaugh commanded five platoons, two companies and the Communications Squadron in the 1st Marine Air Wing.

The Hon. David McCormick (J.D. ’79) and Paul Waddell (J.D. ’87) were honored as judge of the year and defense attorney of the year, respectively, by the membership of the Arkansas Association of Defense Counsel at their annual meeting held July 27-28 in Fort Smith. McCormick is a circuit judge of the fifteenth judicial circuit of Arkansas. His court is located in Dardanelle. Waddell is a principal at Waddell Cole and Jones PLLC in Jonesboro and a past AADC president.

David Bradley Olsen (J.D. ’87) has been named to the 2019 Best Lawyers in America list in the Litigation – Labor and Employment category for a second year. Olsen is an attorney and shareholder at Henson Efron, a Minneapolis-based law firm, where he has practiced in business, commercial and civil litigation for nearly 30 years.

Don Reeves (J.D. ’92) joined Roberts and Roberts Attorneys at Law in Tyler, Texas in June. He will focus his practice on personal injury law. Prior to joining Roberts and Roberts, Reeves worked at Bennett Law Office in Longview Texas for 19 years.

Glenn Ritter (J.D. ’11) has been selected for a one-year term to the Post-Acute and Long Term Services Practice Group Leadership Development Program of the American Health Lawyers Association. Ritter is a partner in the Rogers office of Wright Lindsey Jennings and focuses his practice on healthcare law. Read more about Ritter’s appointment in Arkansas Money and Politics.