Arkansas Legal Overview
The Arkansas Supreme Court is the highest court in the state, with a chief justice and six associate justices. The Court of Appeals was created in 1978, with the first judges being appointed by then Governor Bill Clinton. The Court of Appeals has 12 judges elected statewide in seven different districts. The Circuit Courts have general jurisdiction, while the state and local District Courts have limited jurisdiction over small claims, misdemeanors, local ordinance violations and damage and recovery of personal property worth less than $5,000. Local District Courts are presided over by part-time judges with their own private law practice.
Top metro Arkansas areas for Legal Issues:
1. Capital punishment is legal in Arkansas and administered by lethal injection. The landmark Epperson v. Arkansas (1968) case was filed in the Chancery Court in Pulaski County to challenge the legality of an Arkansas statute forbidding teaching of evolution in public schools. Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the Arkansas statute unconstitutional. This led to Edwards v. Aguillard (1987), where laws requiring creationism to be taught alongside evolution were struck down. Another landmark Arkansas case is Clinton v. Jones (1997), which stripped the sitting U.S. President of immunity from civil lawsuits for acts that predated the President's election to office.
2. A lawyer in Arkansas filed a consumer protection claim against a travel agent who supposedly collected money from people for travel services that were never provided.
3. Settlements have been made with three manufacturers of flat-panel liquid crystal display screens regarding legal claims that the organizations' executives planned to fix the prices of LCD screens in consumers' computer monitors, televisions, and other electronic devices. Arkansas will receive a total of $1.189 million in civil penalties from the lawsuit.
Trending Arkansas Legal Topics: The Arkansas Bar Association was established as a voluntary non-profit organization in 1898. It currently has around 5,700 members and 700 out of state members licensed to practice law in Arkansas. Unlike other state bar associations, the Arkansas Bar Association does not directly license or regulate lawyers and its purpose is more decorative. Bar exams are conducted by the Supreme Court's Office of Professional Programs. Allegations of misconduct against judges are under the jurisdiction of the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission (JDDC).