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Best Lawyers Recognition
Davis, Butt, Taylor & Clark, PLC is pleased to announce that several of our attorneys have once again been listed in the listing of Best Lawyers in America (2020). The process for selection is this group is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which the participating lawyers are not allowed to pay fees for inclusion. We look upon this as a high honor bestowed on these attorneys by their peers who work with them and against them and recognize excellence in the field. The lawyers selected are listed along with their areas of specialty:
William Jackson Butt II is also being recognized as “Lawyer of the Year” in the category of “Trusts and Estates.”
Appointment to ADR Commission
The Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court has appointed Don Taylor to a six-year term on the Arkansas Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission. This appointment is well deserved in light of Don’s reputation as both an accomplished litigator and mediator.
AV Preeminent Rating
Will Clark was recently rated as AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell. Martindale-Hubbell is recognized as the most respected rating service for the legal profession. It has been rating lawyers based upon their legal ability and ethical standards for more than 100 years. The AV Preeminent rating is a great accomplishment that is only achieved by approximately 10% of attorneys.
We are pleased to announce that several Davis, Butt, Taylor & Clark, PLC attorneys have again been recognized by Super Lawyers, a legal rating service of outstanding lawyers that have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nomination and peer evaluations.
The following attorneys were included in the 2018 Mid-South Super Lawyers List:
William Jackson Butt, II (Closely Held Business)
Constance G. Clark (Creditor Debtor Rights)
Sidney P. Davis, Jr. (Personal Injury / Med. Malpractice Defense)
Don A. Taylor (Personal Injury General Defense)
Join us in congratulating Jake Newcomb! He was notified on Friday that he passed the Arkansas Bar Exam and was promptly sworn in as a new attorney at a private ceremony in Fayetteville, Arkansas. We are excited that Jake has joined the firm and is ready to begin the practice of law.
Best Lawyers Recognition
Davis, Butt, Taylor & Clark, PLC is pleased to announce that several of our attorneys have once again been listed in the listing of Best Lawyers in America (2019). The process for selection is this group is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which the participating lawyers are not allowed to pay fees for inclusion. We look upon this as a high honor bestowed on these attorneys by their peers who work with them and against them and recognize excellence in the field. The lawyers selected are listed along with their areas of specialty:
Connie Clark is also being recognized as “Lawyer of the Year” in the category of “Litigation – Bankruptcy.”
On December 4, 2017, a group of firm attorneys and staff attended the December Washington County Bar Association meeting to hear one of our legal secretaries, Brenda Reynolds, perform festive Christmas songs with her a cappella musical group, 4given.
For many years, members of the firm have been listed in “Super Lawyers” published by Thomson Reuters. The selection process includes peer nominations, independent third-party verification and peer evaluation, resulting in a list which includes only 5% of practicing attorneys. Recently, the 2017 list for the Mid-South Region (including Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi) was published including the following members in these designated practice areas:
For many years, members of the firm have been listed in “SuperLawyers” published by Thomson Reuters. The selection process includes peer nominations, independent third-party verification and peer evaluation, resulting in a list which includes only 5% of practicing attorneys. Recently, the 2016 list for the Mid-South Region (including Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi) was published including the following members in these designated practice areas:
- Constance G. Clark – Creditor Debtor Rights
- Wm. Jackson Butt II – Business Litigation
- Don A. Taylor – Personal Injury General Defense
In addition, Don A. Taylor was named to the Top 50 Lawyers in Arkansas, an honor given to only four attorneys in Fayetteville. Congratulations to all of you on this commendation! Additional information and attorney profiles can be viewed here.
Best Lawyers Again
The firm is pleased to announce that several of our attorneys have once again been listed in the 2017 listing of Best Lawyers in America. The process for selection is this group is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which the participating lawyers are not allowed to pay fees for inclusion. We look upon this as a high honor bestowed on these attorneys by their peers who work with them and against them and recognize excellence in the field. The lawyers selected are listed along with their areas of specialty:
- Sidney P. Davis, Jr.: Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Labor and Employment Litigation; Medical Malpractice Law-Defendants; Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants
- Constance G. Clark: Appellate Practice; Commercial Litigation; Bankruptcy Litigation; Real Estate Litigation; Workers Compensation Law-Employers
- William Jackson Butt II: Litigation-Trusts and Estates; Trusts and Estates
- Don A. Taylor: Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants
The firm is excited about the recent publication of an article written by Constance Clark in The Arkansas Lawyer, a professional journal published by the Arkansas Bar Association. Connie’s article, “A Practitioner’s Guide to Arkansas’ New Venue Statutes” is written to assist Arkansas lawyers in sorting out the new provisions pertaining to the proper venue for filing litigation in Arkansas. Not only is the article helpful and comprehensive to legal professionals, it’s an excellent example of Connie’s writing skills – and why members of our firm often turn to her when it comes time to brief issues and write appeals. You can access the article through the publications section of the Arkansas Bar Association website, www.arkbar.com or through this link.
We are pleased that Legal Aid of Arkansas has chosen Jack Butt to receive the annual Outstanding Volunteer Service Award for the Arkansas Volunteer Lawyers for the Elderly. The Arkansas Volunteer Lawyers for the Elderly program is a division of Legal Aid of Arkansas that serves clients over the age of 60. The Area Agency on Aging and Legal Aid of Arkansas work together so that senior adults living in Arkansas can receive free legal assistance. The award recognizes outstanding volunteerism and service to elderly residents. Several attorneys at our firm do volunteer work for AVLE, a great program serving our senior citizens.
On Saturday, March 12, friends, family and colleagues gathered at the Fayetteville Country Club to celebrate the retirement of Sid Davis, pictured here with his long-time assistant, Jamie Rouse. Sid obtained his law degree and began working at this firm in 1960. He has been an example of hard work, legal excellence and compassion to all who have worked here and has guided the firm through a half century of changes. One of the items on display on Saturday night, along with his numerous awards, was Sid’s Royal typewriter, which he used for years to pound out letters and legal arguments that produced either pride or fear in the recipients, depending on whether they were on Sid’s side or against him. In the Royal was a sheet of paper containing this message from the attorneys and staff here at the Davis Law Firm: Sid, you have been our wise mentor, faithful leader and dear friend for 55 years. Your legal talents and integrity are unmatched, and your devoted service to the legal profession has earned the very highest respect of your colleagues and clients. We can’t thank you enough for everything you have done for us and will miss you more than words can say. Best wishes for a happy retirement—you deserve it!
The firm has a certified mediator to assist litigants with resolving their disputes without the stress and expense of a trial. Don Taylor is certified as a civil mediator, bringing 26 years of experience in civil litigation and a wealth of knowledgeable in the areas of insurance law, personal injury, products liability, malpractice, premises liability, professional liability, and construction law. Don is available to conduct mediations either in our offices or at other mutually agreeable locations.
On July 31, 2015, Don A. Taylor was awarded the Outstanding Defense Attorney Award, 2014-2015, at the annual meeting of the Arkansas Association of Defense Counsel (AADC). AADC is an organization of lawyers in Arkansas whose work focuses primarily on defense litigation. They seek to elevate the standards of defense trial practice and to develop a high standard of trial conduct and courtroom manners, as well as to work to improve the adversary system in the courts. Don’s award states, “In recognition of his excellence and integrity in the practice of law and in the representation of defendants in litigation matters throughout his distinguished career.” We couldn’t agree more.
At its annual banquet on April 7th, the Westark Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America awarded Jack Butt its Golden Eagle Award. The Council’s Golden Eagle Award recognizes the noteworthy and extraordinary leadership of citizens throughout its 17 county service area, delivering a message to youth that character counts. The lives of Golden Eagle Award Recipients put into place guideposts that serve to inspire youth to lead, to accept responsibility, and to care about principles and causes beyond self-interest. The event also served as a very effective fund raiser for the local District, raising over $15,000.
Firm attorneys were honored again to be notified that our partners were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015 (Copyright 2014 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC). Firm lawyers selected are:
- Sidney P. Davis, Jr., Bet-the-Company and Commercial Litigation, Labor and Employment Litigation, and Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
- Constance G. Clark, Appellate Practice, Commercial, Real Estate and Bankruptcy Litigation; Workers’ Compensation- Employers
- William Jackson Butt II, Trusts and Estates and Trusts and Estates Litigation
- Don A. Taylor, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
- “Lawyer of the Year” recognition for Northwest Arkansas was given through the same peer selection process to Constance G. Clark for Appellate Practice
Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Because Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which almost 50,000 leading attorneys cast nearly five million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.
Legal Aid of Arkansas recently announced that Don A. Taylor is being recognized for his outstanding volunteerism in the Fourth Judicial District, which includes Madison and Washington Counties. Legal Aid of Arkansas is a non-profit corporation with a vision to improve the lives of low income Arkansans by championing equal access to justice regardless of economic or social circumstances. Legal Aid provides free legal help with civil matters to those who qualify, and Don donated a significant amount of hours of pro bono service to low income clients during 2013.
The firm is proud to announce that the 2013 “SuperLawyers” publication has selected firm attorneys Sid Davis and Don Taylor for inclusion in the top 50 lawyers in Arkansas. These two attorneys, along with firm lawyers Connie Clark and Jack Butt, were also selected as “Super Lawyers” in the Mid-South region of Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi in specific practice areas. Sid Davis was selected in the area of medical malpractice defense, Connie Clark was selected in the area of bankruptcy and creditor/debtor rights, Jack Butt was selected in the area of business litigation, and Don Taylor was selected in the area of general personal injury defense litigation. Thomson Reuters, the publisher of the select “SuperLawyers” list each year, describes its selection process as a rigorous, multi-stage process in which peer nominations and evaluations are combined with independent research from a variety of online and database sources. For more information, see www.SuperLawyers.com
BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA…still populate the firm—
The firm was honored again this year to be notified that five of our partners were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2014 (Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC). Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Because Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which almost 50,000 leading attorneys cast nearly five million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.” Firm lawyers so selected are: Sidney P. Davis, Jr., Bet-the-Company and Commercial Litigation, Labor and Employment Litigation, and Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants; Constance G. Clark, Appellate Practice, Commercial, Real Estate and Bankruptcy Litigation; Workers’ Compensation- employers; William Jackson Butt II, Trusts and Estates and Trusts and Estates Litigation; and Don A. Taylor, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants.
. . . and singular “Lawyer of the Year” recognition for Northwest Arkansas was given through the same peer selection process to Sidney P. Davis, Jr., for Labor & Employment Litigation. We are certainly honored by the confidence shown by our professional colleagues and peers in this selection.
On June 5, 2013, William F. Clark was appointed by the President of the Arkansas Bar Association to represent District A-2 (Washington County) in the Arkansas Bar Association’s House of Delegates. The Arkansas Bar Association House of Delegates is the policy making body of the Association, and is responsible adopting Association By-Laws and policies, voting to send proposed revisions of pending legislation to the Arkansas General Assembly for its consideration, among other things.
Defense Verdict in Chrisman Redi-Mix v. Industrial Oils Unlimited in the Circuit Court of Franklin County, Arkansas.
Don A. Taylor successfully defended Industrial Oils Unlimited in a two-day jury trial in Ozark, Arkansas, on December 20 and 21, 2012. Chrisman Redi-Mix claimed that Industrial Oils Unlimited had provided it with defective lubrication products which damaged the diesel engines in at least two pieces of its equipment and resulted in thousands of dollars in costs for changing the oil in multiple other engines. The plaintiff had refused to pay for the product which it claimed was defective, and the defendant, through its attorney, Robert Rhoads, made a claim for payment. Defense counsel presented evidence through the testimony of Industrial Oils employees and independent witnesses, contesting that there was any defect in any of its product delivered to Chrisman. At the conclusion of the trial, the 12-person jury rendered a unanimous verdict in favor of Industrial Oils Unlimited and found that the plaintiff should pay for the product delivered to it.
Two selected as Northwest Arkansas “Lawyers of the Year” for 2013
The firm was notified by Best Lawyers that two members of the firm have been named “Lawyers of the Year” for 2013 in Northwest Arkansas. Connie Clark was selected in the area of Appellate Practice, and Jack Butt was selected in the area of Trusts and Estates. The announcement from Best Lawyers provided this information about the process:
Lawyers being honored as “Lawyer of the Year” are selected based on particularly impressive voting averages received during the exhaustive peer-review assessments we conduct with thousands of leading lawyers each year. Receiving this designation reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity. Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year,” making this accolade particularly significant.
Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. For more than three decades, Best Lawyers® lists have earned the respect of the profession, the media, and the public, as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals anywhere Best Lawyers® began designating “Lawyers of the Year” in the U.S. in high-profile legal practice areas in 2009. For more information, see www.bestlawyers.com.
The American College of Trial Lawyers 2012 Annual Meeting
Don Taylor and his wife, Robin, attended the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American College of Trial Lawyers on October 18-21 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Speakers at the meeting included the Solicitor General of the United States, Donald B. Verrilli, Jr.; Director of the FBI, Robert S. Mueller, III; Deputy Chief Justice Constitutional Court of South Africa, Honourable Justice Dikgang Moseneke; and Justices of the Supreme Court of Canada, Honourable Madam Justice Rosalie Silberrman Abella and Honourable Mr. Justice Michael J. Moldaver, among others. The American College of Trial Lawyers was founded in 1950 and is dedicated to maintaining and improving the standards of trial practice, the administration of justice and the ethics of the profession. Fellowship is extended by invitation only and membership can never exceed 1% of the attorneys in the state. Both Sidney P. Davis, Jr., and Don A. Taylor are fellows of the College.
Firm Litigates Charities’ Rights to Inheritance
The firm has successfully completed the pro bono representation of the Fayetteville Public Library Foundation and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
Bernice Dunaway, a patron of the Library and a member of St. Paul’s, died in 2009 leaving a will directing her estate be split between these two charities. Her estate was comprised of her residence in Fayetteville and a modest amount of cash. The estate was administered for 1½ years without any notice to the beneficiaries, during which time Ms. Dunaway’s 2100 square foot house was sold by the executor for $35,000. At the end of administration and months after the house had sold, the Church and Library received their first notice that they were beneficiaries of the estate in the form of a tender of the sum of $13,000 each. This represented the splitting of what was left from the proceeds of the sale of the house after costs of administration and fees for the attorney and Executor.
Firm attorneys made a pro bono informal inquiry for the charities, which showed that the house sold by the estate for $35,000 was carried on the county tax rolls at an appraised value of $160,000, and had been insured by the executor for $200,000. After unsuccessful efforts to resolve the matter, firm attorneys proceeded to file suit on behalf of the Church and Library to recover funds lost by the executor’s failure to perform duties and the purchaser’s unjust enrichment in paying such a low purchase price. Late in the second day of trial, the parties reached a mutual agreement resolving the claims. The terms of the settlement are confidential, but were obviously acceptable to the Church and Library.
The firm was pleased to provide this public service to the Fayetteville Public Library Foundation and its patrons, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and its congregation. Rule 6.1 of the Arkansas Rules of Professional Conduct provides that a lawyer should aspire to render at least 50 hours of legal services without fee per year to persons of limited means or charitable or religious organizations in matters that are designed to address the needs of persons of limited means. Library and Church representatives testified at the trial that any settlement proceeds would be used, in the case of the Library, to further its mission of serving its 68,000 cardholders in the Fayetteville area, and with respect to the Church, to augment its missions in the Fayetteville area for persons having special needs.
The Firm’s attorneys Connie Clark, Will Clark and Jack Butt spent approximately 130 hours providing this pro bono representation, representing legal fees of approximately $25,000 in accomplishing the settlement for these clients.
Sidney P. Davis, Jr., was recently honored as a distinguished alumnus by Henderson State University during its commencement ceremonies. Mr. Davis graduated at the top of his class from Henderson in 1953 with a degree in mathematics. He was also senior class president and a member of Kappa Sigma Kappa. He later attended the University of Arkansas School of Law and began practicing in 1960 at this firm. His younger brother, James Davis, was also honored at the Henderson State commencement ceremonies.