Board of Governors
Alan L. Lane was raised in San Diego, California and graduated from Coronado High School in 1987. In 1993, he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Finance from Arkansas Tech University and then attended the University of Arkansas to receive his MBA in 1996. From there, Alan worked in the transportation industry for J.B. Hunt Transport and Trism, Inc. specializing in the operation of private fleets for customers in the hazardous materials and explosives industries. Alan earned his J.D. in 2003 from the University Of Arkansas School Of Law and is licensed to practice law in Arkansas as well as U.S. Federal Courts. He is a partner in the Odom Law Firm, P.A. and focuses his practice primarily on personal injury, products liability, and medical negligence. He is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association, the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association, and the Washington County Bar Association. Alan and Terri have two children, Eliza and Ivy.
Alan LeVar was born in Orlando, Florida, but moved to Arkadelphia at a very young age when his father took a job teaching government and Constitutional Law at Henderson State University. After graduating from high school, he spent 2 years as a missionary in Johannesburg, South Africa, then obtained his Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Brigham Young University in 1993. He graduated from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1996. Alan has worked as a deputy prosecutor, public defender, guardian ad litem and municipal judge. In 2013, Alan started his own firm, The Law Offices of Alan LeVar. He is licensed to practice in Arkansas and Texas and his practice is focused on plaintiff personal injury cases including motor vehicle collisions, tractor-trailer collisions, premises liability and dog bite cases. He is a member of AAJ and the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys. Alan currently serves on the Clark County CASA Board and is Chair of the Democratic Party of Clark County. He lives in Arkadelphia with his wife, Erika. They have 4 sons.
Anthony Bryce Brewer was born in Jonesboro and graduated from Jonesboro High School in 1992. In 1996, he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture with an emphasis on agri-business. From there, Bryce earned his J.D. in 2000 from the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law and is licensed to practice law in Arkansas and Tennessee, as well as in the U.S. Federal Courts. He focuses his practice primarily on personal injury, nursing home negligence, social security disability, family law, and criminal defense. He is a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice and the Pulaski County and Arkansas Bar Associations. He and his wife, Beth, have two children.
Bob Edwards grew up in south Lonoke County, in the small farming community of Tomberlin. After graduating from England Public High School, he attended Hendrix College in Conway where he received his B.A. in Biology in 1991. After spending some time in the political arena working for Senator Dale Bumpers, among others, Bob earned his JD from the Bowen School of Law in Little Rock in 1998. Upon graduation, Bob was an integral part of the successful team that helped elect Mark Pryor to the Attorney General's Office. After the election, he went to work for General Pryor, eventually serving as the Chief of Staff in the Attorney General’s Office. Bob was with the law firm of Wilkes & McHugh, P.A. in Little Rock from 2003 to July 1, 2013, when he started his own firm. He is licensed to practice law in Arkansas, Kentucky, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee with his practice being focused primarily on nursing home and tractor-trailer litigation. Bob is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the American Association for Justice. He is also active in AAJ's Nursing Home Litigation Group and Interstate Trucking Litigation Group. In addition to practicing law, Bob has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the England Public School District in England, Arkansas. He currently is a member of the Board of Alumni at the Bowen School of Law having recently served as its President. Bob is married to Tiffany Fitch of Hindsville. They have one daughter, Katharine Grace, and live in Little Rock where they attend Trinity Episcopal Church.
Bob Sexton graduated from Ouachita Baptist University with a double major in Business Administration and Political Science, B.S., 1993. He received a J.D. with honors from University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In 1996, Bob was admitted to the Arkansas Bar. He is licensed to practice in Arkansas state courts, the U.S. District Court Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit and the state courts of Tennessee. He is a member of the Pulaski County, Arkansas, and American Bar Associations. He serves on the Board of Governors for the Arkansas Bar Association, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes board, the Ouachita Baptist School of Business advisory board, Bowen School of Law alumni board, and the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association board. His practice includes personal injury, wrongful death, and general litigation. Bob and his wife Jennie reside in Little Rock with their three children.
Brad Hendricks graduated cum laude from Arizona State University and obtained his J.D. from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law in 1980. Licensed in Arkansas, Texas, Missouri, U.S. District Court, Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court, he is a member of the American Association for Justice, the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, as well as the Arkansas, Missouri and the Texas Bar Associations. He is the Chairman of the Arkansas Bar Association Ethics Committee and former Chair of the ABA Tort Law Section and the Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law. He is a tenured delegate of the House of Delegates, which governs the Arkansas Bar Association. He serves on the Board of Governors of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association and serves as a trustee for the political affairs of the organization. He has contributed to legal publications and serves as a CLE speaker on ethics and trial tactics. His trial experience is in medical malpractice. He manages and is the sole stockholder in The Brad Hendricks Law Firm, one of the largest plaintiff personal injury law firms in Arkansas.
Brandon Lacy received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He graduated with honors from the William H. Bowen School of Law in 2003. He worked at Cross, Gunter, Witherspoon, & Galchus in Little Rock before moving to Jonesboro and becoming a partner at Wilcox, Parker, Hurst, Lancaster & Lacy, PLC. He subsequently became a partner at Wilcox & Lacy, PLC, and is now the founder of Lacy Law Firm, with offices in Jonesboro and Fayetteville. His areas of practice include personal injury, commercial litigation, civil litigation, general insurance, long-term and short-term disability insurance, ERISA law, franchise law, and trial and appellate practice. He is licensed in the State of Arkansas, the Eastern District and Western District of Arkansas, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a member of the American and Arkansas Bar Associations, the Craighead County Bar Association, Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association and American Association of Justice.
Breean Walas has a B.A. in American Studies from Cornell University, where she was a four-year starter on the women’s basketball team. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 2005 and that same year moved to North Little Rock to clerk for Associate Justice Donald Corbin of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Breean recently started Walas Law Firm, PLLC. As an ATLA member, Breean serves on many Committees and is a past recipient of the ATLA President’s Award. She also is a member of the Order of the Barristers as well as the Arkansas Bar Association, National LGBT Bar Association, and Public Justice Foundation.
M. Chad Trammell is the founder of Trammell-Piazza Law Firm, PLLC, with offices in Texarkana and Little Rock. Chad is a former partner in the law firm of Nix, Patterson, & Roach LLP. He is a 1991 graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law and received his B.A. from the University of Arkansas, cum laude in 1988. He is licensed to practice law in Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia and is admitted to several federal courts. Chad received an honorable discharge as a Captain from the United States Air Force in 1996 after spending four years as Judge Advocate in Hawaii and Shreveport, Louisiana. His service honors include the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal. Before concentrating his practice on plaintiff’s contingency fee litigation in November 1999, Chad practiced in a number of areas including commercial litigation, nursing home defense, commercial transactions and insurance defense. Chad served as Chair of the American Association for Justice Nursing Home Litigation Group in 2008-09, and as the 2012-13 President of the Arkansas Trial Lawyer’s Association. Chad lives in Texarkana with his wife, Virginia, and their son, Charlie.
Carter C. Stein earned his J.D. from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law in 2003. He earned a B.A. in History from the University Of Arkansas in 2000. Carter joined McMath Woods P.A. in April 2010. His practice areas include injury and wrongful death cases and insurance disputes. He is a member of The American Association for Justice, Arkansas Bar Association, and Pulaski County Bar Association. Carter has been a member of the ATLA Board of Governors since 2008 and was named the 2010 Outstanding Member of the ATLA Young Lawyers Division. He and his wife, Emily, have two sons, Bowman and Charlie.
Connie Grace concentrates her practice in personal injury, insurance law, employment law, products liability, including mass torts involving medical devices, with 100% of her practice devoted to litigation. She is licensed to practice in Arkansas, Oklahoma, U.S. District Court in the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. She received her J.D. in 1997 with honors from the Bill Bowen School of Law UALR. Connie clerked at the Arkansas Supreme Court through 1999 and has practiced civil litigation on behalf of plaintiffs ever since. She has practiced with Gary Holt & Associates since 2005. In 2006, she graduated from the Trial Lawyers College founded by Gerry Spence in Wyoming and has since attended several graduate seminars. She has served as the regional representative of the F-Warrior Board for the five-state area of Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Mississippi. In 2012, Connie was certified as a mediator by the Arkansas Supreme Court. She has been an ATLA Member since 1999.
David Price earned his B.A. from Ouachita Baptist University in 1989, and his J.D. from the University Of Arkansas Law School in 1992. After graduating from law school, he moved to Magnolia, Arkansas, and began his practice. David is a member of the American, Arkansas, and Columbia County Bar Associations and the American Association for Justice. David focuses his practice on personal injury, criminal defense, and medical malpractice. He prides himself on the fact that he has never represented an insurance company. David and his wife, Wendy, live in Magnolia and have two sons. When he is not in trial, he is usually traveling with Wendy.
David H. Williams focuses his practice in the areas of personal injury, product liability, tractor-trailer crash, plane crash and pharmaceutical and medical device actions. David earned his J.D. from Leflar Law Center, University Of Arkansas, Fayetteville, in 1975. He is a past president of ATLA, an AAJ Sustaining Member and past Secretary of the Council of Presidents of the American Association for Justice. He chairs the ATLA Awards and Legislation Committees, serves on the Amicus Curiae Committee and the Editorial Board of The Arkansas Lawyer for the Arkansas Bar Association. He served on the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee in the American Airlines flight 1420 crash and represented many clients in the Fen-Phen diet drug class action in Philadelphia. He has received awards from ATLA for Outstanding Trial Lawyer, Civil Justice Advocate, Roxanne Wilson Advocacy, and President’s Award. He received the Bar Association’s Maurice Cathey Award for his work as Chair of the Editorial Board of the Arkansas Lawyer. He was voted a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He is a Fellow of the Arkansas Bar Foundation, a member of Best Lawyers in America by Consumer Guide, and the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers by Martindale-Hubbell. David currently holds the Arkansas state half-marathon record for 60 and over: 1:26:41.
Eric Spencer Buchanan is a general civil litigation lawyer with The Buchanan Firm in Little Rock, Arkansas. He specializes in the representation of plaintiffs in all personal injury cases. Eric graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and received his Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law in 1985. Eric spent four years in the United States Army with an honorable discharge as Captain in 1982. He was a staff attorney, Pro Se and Social Security in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas from 1992-2001. He was an associate attorney at Stanislaw, Ashbaugh, Chism, Jacobson & Riper in Seattle, Washington for 1989-1991. From 1986-1989 Eric was an associate attorney at Perkins Coie also in Seattle, Washington. He was a law clerk from 1985-1986 for the Honorable G. Thomas Elsele in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
Fredrick S. "Rick" Spencer received his J.D. from the University of Arkansas Law School in 1975 and graduated top of his class from the Hastings College of Trial Advocacy in 1982. He is a past president of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Representatives, past chair of ATLA's Administrative Law Division, twice the recipient of ATLA's President's Award and a recipient of the Roxanne Wilson Advocacy Award. He has served on ATLA's Board of Governors since 1989, is an ATLA Elite Member at the Champion Benefactor Level, and has been a speaker at many state and national CLE seminars. Rick and his wife, Brenda, have two daughters, Sarah and Heather Grace, and lives in Mountain Home.
George Wise was admitted to practice law in Arkansas in1978. He is a native Arkansan who was born in Batesville and grew up in Forrest City. He attended the University of Arkansas and the University of Arkansas, School of Law. He is a lawyer with the Brad Hendricks Law Firm where he focuses his practice on medical negligence cases. He was the President of the ATLA Board of Governors 2014-2015. His ATLA service includes being an AAJ State Delegate, chairperson of the Publications Committee and serving on the Legislation Committee, and the Amicus Curiae Committee. He is married to Barbara Gilbert-Wise. They have two sons, Charles, a civil engineer, and Dalton, who is a recent medical student graduate from the University of Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. George is also an advocate for environmental justice, serving as Chair of the executive committee of the Arkansas Chapter of the Sierra Club from 2015-2018 and as the current chair of the executive committee of the Central Arkansas Group of the Arkansas Sierra Club.
James A. Simpson, Jr. received his B.A. in 1989 from the University Of Arkansas where he attended on a football scholarship and was a 3-year Razorback Football Letterman. In 1995, he earned his J.D. from the University Of Arkansas Law School and was admitted to the Arkansas Bar that same year. He is a member of Golden Key and the Board of Advocates of the University of Arkansas Law School. He served as city attorney of Bradford for three years before becoming city judge of Bradford and serving for five years. Jim is a former president of the White County Bar Association, a member of the Arkansas and American Bar Associations and the American Association for Justice. He is a past member of the board and past president of United Way of White County. He has served twice as a Special Justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court. Jimmy currently is a commissioner on the Arkansas Claims Commission. He and his wife, Tracy, have two children.
Jason Hatfield graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1991 with a B.S. in Microbiology. In 1994, he completed a Masters Degree and began law school at the University Of Arkansas Law School. In 2013, Jason opened his own law firm, Jason M. Hatfield, P.A. Jason continues to focus his law practice in the areas of personal injury, tractor-trailer wrecks, car accidents, wrongful death cases, workers compensation, and social security disability. Jason is a serving a fourth term as one of ATLA's Board of Governors. He currently serves on the Legislative Committee and is a member of the Golden Gavel Club. He is currently a Champion Benefactor and was a Champion of Justice for nine consecutive years. He also received the President's Award in 2008 in recognition of his outstanding service and dedication to the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association. Jason served as President of the Washington County Bar Association in 2012.
J.D. Hays, Jr. is the senior attorney in Taylor King Law's Northwest Arkansas office. He is committed to fighting for justice for all people, especially the vulnerable and oppressed. The Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA) awarded J.D. the “2013 Outstanding New Member.” He now serves on the Board of Governors for ATLA and its national parent organization The American Association for Justice (AAJ). In 2017 he was elected to be an officer of AAJ’s New Lawyers Division, which has five-thousand members nationwide. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the legal non-profit Public Justice which handles national high-impact litigation protecting consumers and the environment. J.D. loves traveling to share what he has learned in seminars, workshops, and conventions put on by trial lawyers for trial lawyers. He has presented and taught in over a dozen states and internationally. He is a graduate of the Trial Lawyers College and has accepted an invitation to join the faculty.
Jeff Priebe was raised in Mountain Home, Arkansas, and graduated from Mountain Home High School in 1994. Jeff received his B.S. in Agriculture Business in 1998 and his J.D. in 2001, both from the University of Arkansas. He is a partner in the James, Carter & Coulter Law Firm in Little Rock, Arkansas. He has a general litigation practice with emphasis on election law, personal injury, and nursing home litigation. For many years prior to joining his current firm, Jeff practiced nursing home litigation with Wilkes & McHugh, a national nursing home litigation firm. He is licensed to practice law in Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and before the United States Supreme Court. He is also a member of the American Association for Justice, the Arkansas Bar Association, the American Association of Justice, and the Pulaski County Bar Association. He and his wife live in Little Rock and have two boys.
Jesse Gibson was raised in Lead Hill, Arkansas, and graduated from Lead Hill High School in 1992. In 1996, he earned his B.S. in Business Administration, cum laude, from the University Of Arkansas. He earned his J.D., with honors, in 1999 from the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law. Jesse was also a member of the UALR Law review. He is licensed to practice in Arkansas, as well as U.S. Federal Courts. After obtaining his law license, Jesse worked for Dover Dixon Horne, in Little Rock, until 2002, when he founded the Gibson Law Firm, PLLC. He is focused primarily on personal injury, medical negligence, and general civil litigation. Jesse was named the Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer in 2005 by the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Order and the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association. Jesse and his wife, Amanda, have two children, Jack and Jude. They live in Little Rock and attend Pulaski Heights Methodist Church.
Joey H. McCutchen, II has been an ATLA member for over 20 years and has served on the ATLA Board of Governors since 2003. More than 27 years ago, Joey established the law office of Joey McCutchen, later, McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm in Fort Smith, founded on two unbending principles: first, the law firm would only represent injured consumers and would never represent insurance companies or big business; and second, that every case is taken and prepared as if it is going to go to trial. Joey also fights against all efforts of big business to take away the constitutional rights of the injured, the elderly, and our most vulnerable—the children. Joey is a nationally recognized faculty member and instructor for the Keenan Ball Trial Lawyer College teaching trial strategy nationwide since 2009. His community service includes serving on numerous Boards, the Fort Smith Boys & Girls Club Alumni & Friends Association and previously on the Board of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, but more importantly, spearheading numerous safety campaigns under the firm’s Project Safety campaign, including “Take 25” Child Safety Project, Distracted Driving programs to students and the annual Child Seat Safety Project. He has been selected to the Fort Smith Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame for his sustained mentoring with the youth of the community. He was instrumental in starting the ATLA Docket “Goods Works” column and has been featured in the same publication. For more than 25 years, he has chaired Continuing Legal Education seminars to educate Arkansas trial lawyers about personal injury cases. Joey has raised his family to believe that respect of others is one of their most important duties. Unfortunately, he lost his beloved wife, Tara, in 2017 who devoted most of her adult life to helping students to better themselves. Joey is a devoted father to his daughters Elizabeth and Victoria.
John Patterson focuses his practice on personal injury and aviation law. He also practices in the areas of business litigation, wrongful death, nursing home neglect, tractor-trailer accidents, and defective products. He was born in Searcy and graduated from Hendrix College in 1975 and the University of Arkansas Law School in 1978. John was named to the Hendrix College Sports Hall of Honor in 2002. He was the recipient of the ATLA Roxanne Wilson Advocacy Award in 2009 and has also been named Outstanding Member and a Champion of Justice. John served as ATLA’s president for 2006-2008 and is the only person in ATLA’s history to be re-elected as president for a second term. He currently is Arkansas’ representative on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is active in AAJ's Aviation Law Group. He has previously served two terms as president of the White County Bar Association and served as president of Ring 308 of the International Brotherhood of Magicians for many years. John Patterson and His World of Magic finished 9th in the international competition for stage magicians in 1999 and performed with David Copperfield in his last television special. John is a pilot and enjoys flying, traveling, woodworking, magic, and playing with his grandchildren. He is also a golfer and has won two state championships and competed on the national level. John and his wife, Cara, are members of the First United Methodist Church in Searcy and have been married 38 years. Their family consists of Anna and Aaron Strong, and Amy, Birc, Savannah and Walker Morledge.
Joseph Gates grew up in El Dorado, AR. He attended West Side Christian School when he graduated in 2003 second in his class. After high school, he attended college at Louisiana Tech University. He also attended Ouachita Baptist University for a short while to play college football. After college, Joseph received his J.D. from the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in 2010. After passing the Arkansas Bar in summer 2010, Joseph began practicing law at Taylor King & Associates, PA, in Arkadelphia. On November 11, 2013, Joseph joined the Paul Byrd Law Firm, PLLC, with an emphasis on Products Liability cases and Agricultural Mass Tort cases. Joseph is also a member of Arkansas Bar Association, American Bar Association, American Association for Justice (AAJ), Attorneys Information Exchange Group (AIEG), and Pulaski County Bar Association. As a member of ATLA, Joseph has planned the Personal Injury CLE for the past 7 years, and he is a former Chair of New Lawyers' Network. As a member of AAJ, Joseph is the State Delegate for Arkansas, and he is a graduate of AAJ's Leadership Academy, Class 5, in 2017. Joseph is married to Edith Gates, and they have two daughters, Sofia Marie and Violet Esmeralda. They all live in Little Rock.
Kimberly Dale is a principal in the firm of Branch, Thompson, Warmath, & Dale. Her primary areas of practice include civil and commercial litigation, debtor-creditor relations, employment law, and personal injury litigation. She serves as Counsel for the County of Greene, Arkansas as well as Counsel for Rector, Piggott, Oak Grove, and Marmaduke. Kimberly Dale is a native of Rector, Arkansas and she attended Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law. Kimberly received a B.S. in Corporate Finance and served as a financial analyst while attending the University of Kansas School of Law. Kimberly is a member of the Greene County Bar Association, the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association, and the American Bar Association. She is involved in many community and civic organizations throughout her community and state.
Lee D. Curry is an associate attorney with Gibson & Keith, PLLC, in Monticello, Arkansas. He joined the bar in 2014, and practices across various areas of the law, including personal injury litigation, commercial litigation, domestic relations, probate and estate administration disputes, and criminal defense. Lee is a member of AAJ, the Arkansas Bar Association’s House of Delegates, and President of the Southeast Arkansas Legal Institute, as well as an active member of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association. Lee co-authored Behind the Screen: Truth, Lies and the Internet, an article on internet defamation which was published in the Fall 2015 issue of the Arkansas Lawyer. Lee is an alumnus of the both the Walton College of Business and the School of Law at the University of Arkansas and remains a proud Razorback fan. He is married to Lyndsey Erin Curry. Both natives of Sheridan, Lee and Lyndsey have laid down their roots in Monticello and anxiously await their daughter’s arrival this fall.
Matthew L. Lindsay was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and was raised in Crossett, Arkansas, graduating from Crossett High School in 1995. In 2000, he received his bachelor's degree from the University of Arkansas while also serving as student body vice president. He earned his J.D. from the University of Arkansas in 2003. Upon graduation from law school, Matt joined the Odom Law Firm where he is now a partner. He focuses his practice primarily on personal injury, medical negligence, and toxic torts. He is a member of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association of Justice, the Arkansas Bar Association, and the Washington County Bar Association. He and his wife Courtney have one daughter, Elliot, and reside in Fayetteville.
Paul Byrd has been representing deserving injured victims for 25 years. After graduating from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1985, he clerked for the Honorable Tom F. Digby, and then went into private practice in 1988. Paul’s practice has focused on civil litigation with an emphasis on representing consumers in product liability actions. He has tried tire failures and vehicle safety litigation in many states including Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. In November 2000, he was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal due to his work in the case of Brownlee/Whitaker vs. Cooper Tire and Rubber Company. He appeared in a Dateline NBC documentary regarding the same case in January 2001. His work has been mentioned in USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and the Arkansas Times. Paul has represented rice farmers in agricultural litigation regarding genetically modified crop contamination that had global as well as state and local implications. Paul was a past President of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association. His message to his fellow members was “You went to law school to make a difference!” He is currently a Board of Governor member of the American Association for Justice. In 2010, Paul was the recipient of the Roxanne Wilson Award. In 2012, Paul was a co-recipient of the Outstanding Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association. In 2015, he received the Henry Woods Lifetime Achievement Award from ATLA. He is the managing member of the Little Rock, Arkansas office of Paul Byrd Law Firm, PLLC. Paul has served as a Special Justice to the Arkansas Supreme Court by request of the Governor of Arkansas. He has served as Special Judge in many Circuit Court Trials. He has an “AV” rating in the Martindale-Hubble Legal Directory, has been recognized by the Mid-South Super Lawyers in 2011 and 2012, and is a life member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Paul N. Ford is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, obtaining a B.A. in 1984. Paul obtained his J.D. from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, in 1987. After passing the bar exam, Paul joined his father’s law practice in his hometown of Wynne, Arkansas. While practicing in Wynne as a Public Defender, Paul gained his first experience handling capital murder cases. Paul has tried 7 death penalty cases to verdict and has been successful in keeping all of his clients off death row. In 1993, Paul moved his practice to Jonesboro, Arkansas and became a founding member of Ford & Cook. This firm proudly continues the tradition of providing high-quality criminal defense, as well as representing people in complex domestic litigation and child custody matters. Paul devotes a significant part of his practice to representing people who have been injured by the actions of others, including medical negligence, nursing home abuse, construction injuries, and tractor-trailer wrecks. Among his other accomplishments, Paul is the past president of the Craighead County Bar Association; a member of the Arkansas Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions-Civil; a founding member of the Arkansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in January of 2000; and a member of the Board of Governors of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association since 2008. Paul is most passionate about his work in the community with John 3:16 Ministries, a Spiritual Boot Camp for Men with Addictions. In this ministry, Paul has been able to combine his faith and the practice of law to continue his passion for making a difference in the lives of people in need of help. Paul is happily married to his wife, Annie. Together, they have 3 children and 6 grandchildren.
Rob Beard is a trial lawyer with the Rainwater, Holt & Sexton firm in Little Rock. He was born in Jonesboro and earned his B.A. from Henderson State University in 1999. In 2002, Rob graduated with honors from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law School where he was the Assitant Managing Editor of the UALR Law Review. Rob's areas of practice include Personal Injury and Employment and Labor.
Robert Sexton graduated from Ouachita Baptist University with a double major in Business Administration and Political Science, B.S., 1993. He received a J.D. with honors from University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In 1996, Bob was admitted to the Arkansas Bar. He is licensed to practice in Arkansas state courts, the U.S. District Court Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit and the state courts of Tennessee. He is a member of the Pulaski County, Arkansas, and American Bar Associations. He serves on the Board of Governors for the Arkansas Bar Association, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes board, the Ouachita Baptist School of Business advisory board, Bowen School of Law alumni board, and the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association board. His practice includes personal injury, wrongful death, and general litigation. Bob and his wife Jennie reside in Little Rock with their three children.
Ryan Scott grew up in Northeast Arkansas in the small town of Pocahontas. He was the quarterback of the football team and president of his senior class. He graduated from the University of Arkansas, cum laude, with a double major in political science and communication. He was awarded the Athens Award in Communication, given to the top 5 graduating seniors in the department. Ryan also holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Sam Walton College of Business, where he was a finalist in the graduate division of the Arkansas Business Plan Competition. While in law school, Ryan represented the University of Arkansas, School of Law as a traveling negotiations team member, and was named to Dean’s List in the spring of 2007. Ryan currently serves on the Arkansas Bar Association Board of Delegates. Ryan is an avid sports fan (Go Hogs!) and loves competition. He brings this passion to his work every day. As the chief litigation officer for Bailey & Oliver Law Firm, Ryan specializes in legal research and writing, pleadings, motions, and discovery. He is diligently involved in the development, initial evaluation and litigating of catastrophic cases on the Bailey and Oliver trial team. Most of all, Ryan is proud of his family. Spending time with his wife, Sara, and three sons is his favorite hobby.
Sarah Jewell joined Hare Wynn Newell & Newton in 2015 as an injury and consumer fraud lawyer in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In addition to the Board of Governors, Sarah serves on ATLA’s Membership, Publications and Program Committees, and Sarah is the ATLA New Lawyers Network Law School Liaison to the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville. As Law School Liaison, Sarah mentors ATLA student chapter leaders, assisting with planning and implementation of ATLA programs, events, and speakers in the law school. Sarah also serves as the Arkansas Bar Association Young Lawyers Section District A Representative, and Sarah is an Associate Editor of TYL, a publication of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. Sarah is also an enthusiastic member of the American Association for Justice, and Sarah serves on the AAJ Law Schools Committee and is a member of the Women Trial Lawyers Caucus and New Lawyers Division. Sarah graduated from the University of Arkansas, School of Law in Fayetteville, after obtaining bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English. Outside the practice of law, Sarah enjoys spending time with her husband Ryan and exploring hiking and biking trails across the state.
Shawn Daniels began his legal career in 1991, in Ardmore, Oklahoma. In only three years, he became a partner in the firm. As a graduate of the University Of Arkansas School Of Law, and being married into a long time Fayetteville family, it was only a matter of time before he wound up back in Arkansas. He joined Hare Wynn to head up the firm’s Arkansas office in 2013. He came to Hare Wynn from a partnership with another Arkansas firm. Shawn represents plaintiffs in products liability, personal injury, wrongful death, and medical malpractice cases. He has successfully represented clients throughout Arkansas, as well as in Oklahoma and other states, and has been lead counsel in several multimillion-dollar recoveries. Shawn is licensed and practices in both Arkansas and Oklahoma. He is a member of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association, the Oklahoma Association for Justice, the American Association for Justice, and the Attorneys Information Exchange Group. Shawn is licensed in the Eastern and Western United States District Courts of Arkansas, the Eastern and Western United States District Courts of Oklahoma, and the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th and 10th Circuits. Shawn holds an AV rating, the highest available, from Martindale-Hubbell, and was recently selected for membership into the National Trial Lawyers Top 100. Shawn is married to the former Dana Lashley, and they are the proud parents of three children. They are members of First United Presbyterian Church, where Shawn has served as an elder and is currently on the nominating committee. In his free time, Shawn enjoys coaching and attending his children’s sporting events.
Steve Harrelson is licensed to practice law in Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana, and his practice areas include personal injury, wrongful death, and litigation involving oil and gas issues. Steve practices throughout the three-state region in state and federal courts. In addition to litigating complex issues inside the courtroom, Steve is also experienced in private negotiations, mediations, and seeking remedies at the administrative level. While Steve enjoys many areas of the legal arena, his passion is preparing for and engaging in the trial by jury. Steve believes in the constitutional right to trial by jury and is willing to protect and preserve this concept on which the American tort system is founded. In addition to his law practice, Steve served a stint in the state legislature in Arkansas from 2005 through 2012. He served as House Majority Leader and chaired the House Judiciary Committee before serving in the Arkansas Senate. Steve is very familiar with the inner workings of state government and earned a certificate from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2008 for Executives in State and Local Government.
Taylor Chaney graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2005 with a B.A. in psychology. He graduated from the University of Tulsa College of Law in 2009. He joined his father, brother, and sister-in-law in practicing law in Arkadelphia, Arkansas in January 2010. Taylor has been a member of ATLA since birth, and a member of AAJ since 2011. He has served in the Arkansas Bar Association’s House of Delegates since June 2014, and on its Board of Governors since June of 2015. Taylor is also active in his community, serving as a board member of the Clark County Community Foundation from 2011-2017, currently serving as a board member of Downtown Arkadelphia and serving as a City Director of Ward 1 in Arkadelphia. Taylor represents injured people through the challenges of being hurt through no fault of their own against large insurance companies with unlimited resources. Taylor's experience in trying cases, handling appeals, and service to his community as well as the legal profession provides him with a unique perspective benefiting all his clients.
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