FRIDAY I Feature: Attorneys Honored at the Bar's Annual Meeting

The Arkansas Bar Association's Annual Meeting took place Wednesday, June 14 through Friday, June 16 in Hot Springs. The Annual Meeting is the largest event of the year for the association and the schedule is full of educational opportunities, national and local speakers and award presentations among other events. The firm's attorneys who were honored at this year's meeting are: 

Bill Waddell - Outstanding Lawyer Award

Bill Waddell received the Outstanding Lawyer Award at the annual Foundation Fellow’s Dinner Wednesday evening. The award is given in recognition of excellence in the practice of law and outstanding contributions to the profession. Jeffery McKinley, president of the Arkansas Bar Foundation, presented the award. "Bill is a laywer's lawyer," she said. "He has handled numerous trials, appeals and corporate law and governance issues. He represents major corporations in sophisticated commercial litigation and the downtrodden and the poorest of the poor. From my own experience, Bill is an exceptional lawyer."

Bill has completed more than 200 pro bono adoptions and provides pro bono services monthly as a volunteer at Clarendon Mid-Delta Medical Legal Partnership. He has also served as the President of the Arkansas Access to Justice Foundation and recently authored a children's book that celebrates access to justice in rural communities.

He has served as the Chancellor of the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church and now serves as legal advisor to the United Methodist Council of Bishops. 

"Bill Waddell has changed the way we see the world and the way the world sees our lawyers,"  McKinley added. 

Bill is a partner in the firm and heads the firm’s Commercial Litigation and Regulation Practice Group.

Bill was joined by his family at the awards presentation. 

Fred Ursery - 50 Years of Service

Fred Ursery was honored for 50 years of service to the legal profession at the annual meeting. He received his law license in 1967 and spent his first two years in Vietnam before joining the firm in 1969 (the firm name then was Smith, Williams, Friday & Bowen). Fred was only the 18th lawyer in the firm at the time, but it was still considered the largest in the state. "The secretaries had the new electric typewriters but they used carbon paper for copies and 'white out' for corrections," he remarked on those early years. "Many of the older lawyers dictated their correspondence to their secretaries who took it down in shorthand."

Fred's practice is focused on litigation for clients in a broad variety of industries. He is currently of counsel with the firm. 

Jamie and Fred are presented their awards by Denise Hoggard, Arkansas Bar Association President. 

Jamie Jones - Presidential Award of Excellence

Jamie Jones received the Arkansas Bar Association's Presidential Award of Excellence for her work on the Drafting Task Force. Jamie is a partner in the Business and Class Action Litigation Practice Group. She focuses primarily on class actions and appellate procedure in the defense of class actions, constitutionality issues in class actions and commercial disputes.

Jordan Broyles - House of Delegates

Jordan Broyles was elected as a new member of the Arkansas Bar Association's House of Delegates. Voting took place in April and the newly elected members were announced at the meeting. Jordan is an associate in the firm’s Medical Malpractice Practice Group. Originally from Fayetteville, Arkansas, she joined the firm in 2015 upon graduation from the University of Arkansas School of Law.

The House of Delegates of the Arkansas Bar Association is composed of the five officers, 81 delegates elected from delegate districts, two law student representatives and four liaison non-voting members. Jordan joins current firm attorneys Jamie Jones and Kimberly Dickerson Young who are already members of the House of Delegates. 

Annual Bar Reception

The Annual Bar Reception, hosted by the firm, took place at the Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs on Thursday evening. More than 300 were in attendance. Click here for photos of the event.