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.

November 2018

Brittany Ford (J.D. ’18) is the newest associate of Quattlebaum Grooms and Tull PLLC in Little Rock. The primary focus of her practice is litigation. While at the School of Law, Ford competed on the traveling moot court and trial competition teams and won the 2016 client counseling completion.

Cristen Handley (J.D. ’16) has joined the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch as a trial attorney. Since graduation, Handley has completed two year-long clerkships. Most recently she clerked for the Hon. D.P. Marshall Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Prior to that, she clerked for the Hon. Bobby E. Shepherd (J.D. ’76) of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Andrew “Drew” Myers (J.D. ’18) has joined Lathrop Gage in Kansas City. The firm announced his addition to the Business Litigation team in a press release dated Oct. 8. Myers worked as a summer intern at the firm in 2016 and 2017 and assisted a variety of practice area teams including Business Litigation, Environmental Law and Torts.

Kesney Nichols (J.D. ‘17) has joined Ashmore and Ashmore in Rockwall, Texas. Nichols practices in a variety of areas including criminal, family, employment and probate law.

Jarica Oeltjen (J.D. ’12) was recently named assistant general counsel at BKD CPAs and Advisors and is working from the firm’s Springfield, Missouri, office. She has also been selected by Missouri Lawyers Weekly for a 2018 “Up & Coming Award” in recognition of her professional excellence and positive impact on her community. Missouri Lawyers Weekly recognizes 45 attorneys from around the state, who are 40 or younger and have demonstrated accomplishment, skill and leadership. The honorees were recognized at an awards luncheon in St. Louis on Oct. 12.

David Pieper (J.D. ’98), long-term board member of Peace at Home Family Shelter, was honored with a ‘Courage Award’ at organization’s seventh annual Courage Luncheon on Oct. 26. The luncheon is organized to celebrate individuals who have shown fortitude, strength and dedication to empowering domestic violence survivors and their families. Learn more about the event and the work of Peace at Home Family Shelter from KNWA reporter Katie Davila.

James Redpath (LL.B. ’64) was recently recognized by Continental Who’s Who as a 2018 Lifetime Achiever in the field of law. Redpath recently retired from the Arizona Attorney General’s office after 50 years of service. He specialized in eminent domain law, highway liability and risk management while representing the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Blake Speights (’16) has been named partner at the Hot Springs firm of Crow Durbin and Speights. He has been an associate at the firm since his graduation. His practice focuses on civil litigation, real estate, business, estate planning and corporate law.

Steve Zega (J.D. ’93) was promoted to the rank of colonel by the Arkansas Army National Guard at a ceremony held on Oct. 13 at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock. Zega is an attorney at Springdale-based Crouch Harwell Fryar and Ferner and serves as state military judge, a position he acquired in 2012. He is pictured (right or left) with daughter Haley, left, and wife Ann Elizabeth as they affix his newly-awarded epaulets to his uniform as part of the promotion ceremony.

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.