Arkansas Supreme Court

Jack Gillean
Faulkner Co. Sheriff's Office

The state Supreme Court has accepted the surrendered law license of the former chief of staff for the University of Central Arkansas who was convicted on burglary charges for helping a student steal tests.

Justices on Thursday granted Jack Gillean's motion to give up his license in lieu of probable disbarment proceedings. Gillean asked to surrender his license last month because he was convicted of a felony.

Circuit Court Judge Dan Kemp will be Arkansas' next chief justice, winning a race in which conservative groups spent a record amount of money targeting his rival.

Kemp defeated Justice Courtney Goodson in Tuesday's nonpartisan judicial election. He succeeds interim Chief Justice Howard Brill in leading the seven-member court.

Jack Gillean
Faulkner Co. Sheriff's Office

The former chief of staff for the University of Central Arkansas who was convicted on burglary charges for helping a student steal tests has surrendered his law license.

The Arkansas Supreme Court announced Thursday that it has accepted the surrender petition from Jack Gillean. Gillean says in the petition he is voluntarily surrendering the license because he was convicted of a felony, and a hearing to revoke his license "would go badly" for him.

Arkansas' highest court says a Hot Springs man can't sue over a university's $700,000 loan to the Oxford American literary magazine, ruling the funds aren't considered tax dollars.

The state Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a lower court's ruling against James McCafferty, who had challenged the University of Central Arkansas' loan to the quarterly magazine based in Little Rock.

Justice Courtney Goodson says she's loaned another $211,000 to her campaign to lead the Arkansas Supreme Court as she heads into the final week before the March 1 election.

Goodson reported loaning her campaign for chief justice a total of $466,000 since launching her bid last year. She's running against Circuit Judge Dan Kemp for the seat. Tuesday was the deadline to file pre-election fundraising reports.

Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson and Circuit Judge Dan Kemp each report raising more than $100,000 last month in their heated race for Arkansas Supreme Court chief justice.

Kemp on Tuesday reported raising slightly more than Goodson in January, with $111,490 in contributions to Goodson's reported $107,300. Goodson also reported loaning her campaign $80,000 in January.

Goodson outspent Kemp, with $144,273 in expenditures, and ended the month with $74,121 cash on hand. Kemp spent $13,771 and has $256,956 in the bank.

Objecting to the Arkansas Supreme Court ruling that lower-court judges can require that defendants pay their bail only in cash, the high court's chief justice cited a musician seldom thought of as a legal scholar: Johnny Cash.

Interim Chief Justice Howard Brill on Thursday cited Cash's song "Starkville City Jail" in a dissent. He said it was wrong for the majority to deny a Benton County man's objection to a $300,000 cash-only bail set in an assault and battery case.

The Arkansas attorney general's office is asking the state Supreme Court to hold oral arguments in the state's appeal of a lower court's ruling not to dismiss a constitutional challenge to Arkansas' execution secrecy law.

The Supreme Court previously stayed eight executions until the challenge filed by a handful of death row inmates is heard.

Arkansas filed its appeal brief late Thursday, saying the inmates had failed to prove constitutional issues with the law that allows the source of the drugs to be kept secret.

Arkansas' high court says a death row inmate isn't entitled to a new sentencing hearing just because his lawyer may have delivered "one of the worst" closing arguments of his career.

The Arkansas Supreme Court Thursday reversed a Benton County judge's order for a new hearing and asked the lower court to reconsider the request with a more objective test to determine if Brandon Lacy's lawyer performed adequately.

Lacy was sentenced to death after he was found guilty of capital murder and aggravated robbery in the 2007 slaying of Randall Walker.

A nonprofit backed by two former Arkansas Supreme Court justices is urging judicial candidates to disavow "false" communications on their behalf by outside groups in their races.

The Arkansas Judicial Campaign Conduct and Education Committee on Thursday said it was encouraging candidates to sign the pledge before the March 1 judicial elections. The committee's board of directors includes former Justices Annabelle Imber Tuck and Robert L. Brown.