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Saturday, April 19, 2014, 10:10 a.m.
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John Lynch

Stories by John

Arguments made, judge to rule in 2 weeks on gay-nuptials ban

posted: 04/18/2014 3:07 a.m. Comments 11

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza said Thursday that he plans to issue a ruling in a lawsuit seeking to strike down Arkansas’ prohibitions on same-sex marriage within two weeks, but did not give away the direction in which he is leaning.

Justices decline late-dues petition

posted: 04/18/2014 2:32 a.m. Discuss

The Arkansas Supreme Court declined on Thursday to immediately settle the question of how lawyers who pay their annual dues late can be disciplined.

Last defendant in El Chico case gets probation

posted: 04/18/2014 2:27 a.m. Discuss

The last of four defendants arrested in connection with the April 2012 slaying of a waiter during the armed robbery of a west Little Rock restaurant was sentenced to four years of probation Wednesday after cooperating with prosecutors against the convicted killers — two brothers, one of whom is the father of her child.

Suit filers: Voter-ID law contrary to constitution

posted: 04/17/2014 5:16 a.m. Comments 6

The state’s new voter-identification law illegally usurps the authority of the Arkansas Constitution and will keep qualified voters, most of them poor and already marginalized, from casting ballots, according to attorneys who filed a lawsuit Wednesday to have the law thrown out.

Bid to cut $1 million bail fails

posted: 04/17/2014 4:41 a.m. Discuss

A capital-murder suspect’s request for a 90 percent reduction in his $1 million bail was denied Tuesday by a Pulaski County circuit judge who ruled the Little Rock man did not qualify for any amount of bail.

Interim judge also ruled ballot-eligible

posted: 04/16/2014 5:08 a.m. Discuss

Interim Judge H.G. Foster of Conway is a bona fide judicial candidate, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ruled Tuesday in a decision that repeated his earlier finding that an Arkansas court rule that suspends lawyers for paying dues late is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced.

Judge rules Fox eligible for election

posted: 04/15/2014 4:33 a.m. Comments 5

Incumbent Tim Fox is a valid candidate for Pulaski County circuit judge, a specially appointed judge ruled on Monday, rejecting the contention that Fox’s failure to pay his annual licensing fee on time resulted in a suspension that should disqualify him from re-election. Fox is unopposed in next month’s judicial races.

Judge allows GOP defense of ballot rules

posted: 04/15/2014 4:06 a.m. Discuss

Arkansas Republicans can join in on the defense side of a lawsuit challenging the legality of absentee-balloting rules written by a state agency, with a promise to adhere to a fast-track briefing schedule, a Pulaski County circuit judge ruled Monday.

Late-fee ruling put in writing

posted: 04/12/2014 3:15 a.m. Discuss

The state cannot suspend an attorney’s authority to practice law — in essence, the ability to earn a living — without giving the attorney an opportunity to challenge the sanction, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen wrote in an 18-page ruling released Friday to codify his decision this week nullifying a court rule that automatically suspends lawyers who pay their annual dues late.

Beebe’s exemption use goes to judge

posted: 04/12/2014 3:13 a.m. Discuss

A judge preparing to decide whether Gov. Mike Beebe can withhold from public disclosure applications from potential appointees was called on Friday to balance the need for government transparency with the importance of protecting open communication between the state’s top leaders.

Birth-injury suit gets $6.4 million

posted: 04/12/2014 3:08 a.m. Discuss

An Independence County jury has awarded $6.4 million in damages to an 8-year-old Batesville girl who was born blind and brain-damaged, injuries the girl’s lawyers blamed on mistakes by the doctor and nurse who delivered her at the White River Medical Center in Batesville.

Getaway driver in eatery killing gets 2-year term

posted: 04/11/2014 2:58 a.m. Discuss

The getaway driver in the April 2012 armed robbery and killing at a Little Rock Mexican restaurant who cooperated with prosecutors, without asking for preferential treatment in return, received a prison sentence Thursday that will allow for his almost-immediate release from jail.

Suspect asks to defend himself at trial

posted: 04/11/2014 2:47 a.m. Discuss

Capital-murder suspect Darrell Dennis wants to represent himself at trial, and a Pulaski County circuit judge said Thursday he’ll consider allowing it once the 48-year-old undergoes a mental evaluation.

Late-fee rule for lawyers is shot down

posted: 04/10/2014 5:19 a.m. Comment 1

A court rule that suspends Arkansas lawyers who don’t pay their bar dues on time is unconstitutional, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ruled on Wednesday as he rejected a challenge to the credentials of a Conway attorney running for judge.

Plaintiffs: No GOP in voting rule suit

posted: 04/09/2014 4:35 a.m. Discuss

The Republican Party of Arkansas should not be allowed to join the defense of the absentee-voter regulations that are being challenged in court, attorneys for the Pulaski County Election Commission and clerk Larry Crane argue in the latest round of court filings.

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