Arkansas Courts

Martha Shoffner
David Goins / KARK-TV

A federal judge has upheld the corruption conviction of Arkansas' former treasurer, rejecting her request to have the case heard by state authorities. Lawyers for Martha Shoffner said the Arkansas Ethics Commission - not federal jurors - should have addressed claims that she accepted $36,000 from a bond broker who did business with the state. A federal jury convicted Shoffner on March 11. The defense team said the federal government wasn't harmed by Shoffner's actions and wanted U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes to dismiss the charges against her.

Another Arkansas judge has been ruled eligible for office after his candidacy was challenged because of a temporary license suspension. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen ruled Tuesday that Circuit Judge H.G. Foster is eligible for the ballot. Foster's candidacy had been challenged because his license was temporarily suspended because of late payment of annual dues. State law says a person must be a licensed attorney for six years to be eligible for a judgeship.

A hearing is set in a lawsuit over how absentee ballots are handled under Arkansas' new voter ID law, five weeks ahead of the state's primary election.

The Arkansas Republican Party has asked a Pulaski County judge to allow it to help defend the state Board of Election Commissioners for adopting a rule that gives absentee voters additional time to show proof of ID. The Pulaski County Election Commission claimed in a lawsuit last month that the state panel overstepped its bounds with the new rule.

A hearing is set for 9 a.m. Monday in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is asking the state Supreme Court to reconsider its decision tossing out a $1.2 billion judgment against drugmaker Johnson & Johnson over the marketing of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal.

McDaniel on Monday filed a petition for rehearing over the high court's decision last month that the state misapplied the Medicaid fraud law in its suit against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceutical Inc.

Two lawsuits have been filed challenging the eligibility of two people running for separate judgeships in Faulkner County.

The lawsuits allege that candidate Angela Byrd and current Circuit Judge H.G. Foster are ineligible for the ballot because both had their law licenses temporarily suspended for not paying annual state-bar fees.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has thrown out a $1.2 billion judgment against Johnson & Johnson in a lawsuit challenging its marketing of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal.

The Thursday ruling comes in an appeal of lawsuit filed by Arkansas against the drugmaker and subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

The state says the companies didn't properly communicate the drug's risks and marketed it for off-label use, calling the practices fraudulent.

Johnson & Johnson said there was no fraud and Arkansas' Medicaid program wasn't harmed.

Jack Gillean
Faulkner County Sheriff's Office

A former University of Central Arkansas administrator remains free on bond pending an appeal after a jury convicted him of six counts of commercial burglary.

The jury in Van Buren County recommended Wednesday that former UCA chief of staff Jack Gillean serve three years in prison. Earlier in the day, the jury deliberated about an hour and a half before convicting Gillean on the felony counts.

Prosecutors accused Gillean of giving master keys to a student so the student could break into professors' offices to steal tests.

The trial of a former University of Central Arkansas chief of staff charged in the theft of tests is scheduled to start.

The trial for Jack Gillean is to begin with opening statements Monday in Van Buren County Circuit Court in Clinton after being moved there from Faulkner County because of pretrial publicity. A jury of seven men and five women plus two alternates was seated last week.

Gillean has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say Gillean gave a UCA student a master key - knowing that the student would use it to steal tests from the offices of professors.

A judge has rescheduled oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging Arkansas' new lethalinjection law.

The arguments were originally scheduled to be heard Friday in Pulaski County Circuit Court, but Judge Wendell Griffen delayed the proceedings until Feb. 14.

Nine death row inmates are suing the state over an execution law that legislators enacted last year. That new law came about after the state Supreme Court struck down the previous one in 2012, saying legislators had ceded too much control over execution procedures to correction officials.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments in Johnson & Johnson's request to overturn a verdict and $1.2 billion fine over the marketing of the antipsychotics drug Risperdal.

Oral arguments are set for Feb. 27 in Little Rock for the appeal from Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel successfully sued the companies, claiming they downplayed and hid risks associated with taking Risperdal.

Pages