QGTB was proud to be a Shining Star Sponsor for the third year in a row of the Arkansas Association of Women Lawyers annual Holiday Brunch & Auction held on December 4. 2010. All proceeds of the brunch go to the Scholarship Fund, which financially supports deserving Arkansas law students who excel in academics, leadership, and community service. Benecia Moore, Jamie Dempsey and Jennifer Merritt all served on the brunch committee. In addition, Ms. Merritt serves on the Board of Directors of AAWL as Development Chair for the 2010-2011 year. This is Ms. Merritt’s second year to serve on the AAWL Board and her third year of service on the Development Committee.
QGTB was proud to be a sponsor of the Arkansas Rice Depot 2010 Annual Luncheon where several Arkansans were honored for their efforts to provide food to the hungry. Christ of the Hills United Methodist Church received the Rice Depot Volunteer of the Year award; Jerry Bedford received the Lifetime Achievement Award; and the first Allison Stroud Humanitarian Award was presented to the first lady of Arkansas, Ginger Beebe. For 28 years, Arkansas Rice Depot has worked to alleviate hunger in Arkansas and each year distributes more than 6 million pounds of food in Arkansas. Sarah Keith-Bolden and Cliff McKinney serve on the Arkansas Rice Depot Board of Directors.
John Tull, Chip Chiles, and Joe Falasco of our Little Rock office obtained a defense verdict for their two pesticide-formulator clients in a recent four-week trial concerning allegations of crop damage due to widespread pesticide drift over several Northeast Arkansas counties. The plaintiffs’ claims concerned the application of the pesticide 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) to rice fields in Northeast Arkansas in 2006. The plaintiffs contended that a portion of large amounts of 2,4-D applied during several weeks in June and July 2006 traveled west over Crowley’s Ridge to the plaintiffs’ cotton fields and caused yield loss to thousands of acres of cotton. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant formulators’ product labels should have precluded the aerial application of the pesticides in Northeast Arkansas during the summer months. The plaintiffs sought more than $4 million in compensatory damages for claims based on allegations of negligence and strict liability. The plaintiffs’ claim for punitive damages was dismissed on directed verdict by the court. After hearing nearly four weeks of testimony, the jury found in favor of all defendants after approximately five hours of deliberation. The recent trial included eight plaintiffs and twelve defendants, with six of the defendants going to verdict. The larger case involves approximately 60 plaintiffs. No trial dates have been set for the remaining plaintiffs’ claims.
Kristine Baker has participated in a number of recent conferences. At the Arkansas Judicial Conference held in Little Rock, Arkansas, on October 15, 2010, Ms. Baker participated in a panel discussion with members of the media and Bar to address recent developments in cases regarding the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. Approximately 120 judges from across Arkansas attended the conference. At the USLAW NETWORK Client Conference held October 7-9, 2010, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Ms. Baker presented a segment entitled Caught Looking: Employer Do’s and Don’ts for Employee Monitoring. She addressed the means used by, reasons for, and legal implications of employers monitoring the internet and computer use of employees. QGTB is a member of the USLAW NETWORK, a national organization composed of over 65 independent, defense-based law firms with over 4,000 attorneys covering the United States and Latin America. The commitment of member firms is to provide high quality legal representation to major corporations, captive insurance companies, insurance carriers, and to both large and small businesses across the United States.
QGTB is pleased to welcome three associates to the firm, R. Ryan Younger, Nicholas E. Kelley, and Lindsey C. Pesek. Mr. Younger graduated summa cum laude from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 2008, and was the top-ranked student in his law school class. He was an Arkansas Bar Foundation Ethics Scholar, University of Arkansas School of Law Presidential Scholar, and served as Research Editor of the Arkansas Law Review. Prior to joining the law firm, Mr. Younger served as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert T. Dawson, United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas. Mr. Kelley obtained his J.D. in 2010 from Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law and received The American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law and the Bureau of National Affairs Award for excellence in the study of labor and employment law. Ms. Pesek graduated magna cum laude from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 2009 where she served as the Articles Editor of the Arkansas Law Review and was the recipient of the Charles Thomas Pearson Ethics Scholarship. Prior to joining the law firm, Ms. Pesek served as a law clerk to the Honorable Bobby E. Shepherd of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. All three attorneys will practice primarily in litigation and be officed in the Little Rock location.
Kristine Baker has been selected for inclusion in the 2010 “Forty Under 40” class by Arkansas Business. Honorees were selected from hundreds of nominations and are identified by the publication as “up-and-comers that readers of Arkansas Business need to get to know”. Kristine and all of the honorees are profiled in the June 14, 2010, edition.
Quattlebaum, Grooms, Tull & Burrow PLLC sponsored the 112th Annual Meeting of the Arkansas Bar Association held June 9-12, 2010, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Cliff McKinney of the firm will serve as Meeting Chair for the 113th Annual Meeting to be held in June 2011.
Kristine Baker and Benecia Moore have been appointed to the Arkansas Bar Commission on Diversity for the 2010-2011 year by Arkansas Bar Association 2010-2011 President Jim L. Julian. This will be Ms. Baker’s third year to serve on the commission. The Arkansas Bar Association and its members participate in a variety of programs and services for the legal profession and society. Among the purposes of the Association are advancing the administration of justice in Arkansas and fostering high ideals of integrity, learning, and public service among its members.
Associate Nathan Tyler was elected to the Board of Directors for the Downtown Little Rock Partnership at its recent annual meeting. Mr. Tyler will serve a three year term on the board. Downtown Little Rock Partnership is a nonprofit organization representing its members in pursuit of a remarkable urban experience by advocating for planning, legislation, transportation, economic development and numerous public and private initiatives that strengthen the overall downtown business, cultural/entertainment/recreational, and residential community, and enhance the image of downtown Little Rock. Membership consists of businesses and individuals that are located in Downtown Little Rock, and have made a commitment to support the Downtown Little Rock Partnership in its mission. QGTB has been a member of the Downtown Little Rock Partnership since the formation of the law firm in 2000 and Steven W. Quattlebaum of the firm previously served on the Board of Directors.
Quattlebaum, Grooms, Tull & Burrow PLLC recently participated in the Pulaski County Corporate Trivia Challenge, an annual fundraising event for Economics Arkansas. Each year, local community leaders and businesses around Arkansas participate in this fun-filled event where teams compete to match one another’s wit and trivia knowledge. The QGTB team of Joe Falasco, Chad Pekron, Brad Dowler, and Jamie Dempsey prevailed through three rounds to claim Second Place in the 2010 competition. Economics Arkansas is a private, non-profit, non-partisan, educational organization founded in 1962 to promote economic literacy in Arkansas.
QGTB was proud to be a sponsor of DRI’s Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Seminar held in New Orleans, Louisiana, in March 2010. This seminar provided attendees the opportunity to learn about many of the latest scientific, medical, and legal developments impacting toxic torts and the changing legal landscape from nationally recognized lawyers and scientists. DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar is an international membership organization of nearly 23,000 attorneys defending the interests of business and individuals in civil litigation.
J. Cliff McKinney II was recently honored at the Mid-Year Meeting of the Arkansas Bar Association held on January 21 – 22, 2010, in Memphis, Tennessee. Cliff received the Judith Ryan Gray Young Lawyer Service Award for his extraordinary service and contributions directed toward improving the administration of justice and promoting the public welfare on behalf of the Arkansas Bar Association. Judith Gray, namesake of the award, was hired by the Arkansas Bar Association in 1967 and for 40 years dedicated herself to ensuring that each Bar member was respected and valued. She worked tirelessly to better the legal profession and the Arkansas Bar Association. Cliff also served as co-chair of the 2010 Mid-Year Meeting.