Robert Cortinez II of Little Rock is the most recent attorney to announce plans to seek the Sixth Judicial Circuit judgeship being vacated by Mackie Pierce next year.
The circuit is headquartered in Little Rock and is comprised of Perry and Pulaski counties. Cortinez, 59, joined Cortinez Law, the 50-year-old firm founded by his father, Robert "Bob" Cortinez Sr., in 1991. He has practiced family law, personal injury, workers' compensation, criminal defense and civil rights cases, and has successfully argued before the Arkansas Supreme Court, state Court of Appeals and the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
"After 30 years practicing law, I want the opportunity to give back more to my community, while helping ensure a just and fair result to all who come before the court," Cortinez said in his announcement.
Cortinez said he's made a priority of donating his services through the Central Arkansas Legal Services, the non-profit law firm that provides free civil legal services to low-income residents.
A married father of three, Cortinez is a graduate of Central High School, the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the Bowen School of Law in Little Rock.
His announcement comes after family law attorney Brooke Augusta Ware declared that she will run for the same seat in next year's election, which coincides with the March 2024 political primaries.
Pierce is stepping down after 24 years on the circuit bench due to state law that penalizes circuit judges by requiring them to forfeit their retirement if they start a new term after turning 70.
Not ready to retire, Pierce will run for the Little Rock District criminal court judgeship now held by Melanie Martin, who is running for another circuit judge post. Prosecutor Jill Kamps has also announced plans to run for that district court position.