Constitutional law, whether state or federal, is of particular interest to the firm. We established and award a scholarship annually to a University of Arkansas graduate student who demonstrates excellence in the study of constitutional law. Our firm has also been a supporter of and contributor to Street Law, Inc., an organization that educates the public about law, democracy, and human rights.
We have represented clients in constitutional law cases before the Arkansas Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of the United States. We are often called upon to testify before the legislature on the constitutionality of proposed rules regarding such varied areas as wage and hour, education, bond legislation, and property rights. Firm attorneys have appeared as trial and appellate counsel on a variety of issues, including the constitutionality of Arkansas Tort Reform and the constitutionality of the Arkansas education system. We represent clients in matters regarding legislation, initiated acts, and constitutional amendments.
Our firm has written legislation and worked with various parties to make certain that appropriate constitutional amendments were written. For example, when non-bank retail merchants and consumer lenders in Arkansas sought relief from the state’s usury law cap and subsequent exemptions made to it, commercial banks in the state faced significant legal disadvantages. Our lawyers brokered a compromise, resulting in a state constitutional amendment that relieves interest caps on consumer loans and government bonds without harming the state’s commercial lending environment.
We have written much of the bond legislation in Arkansas for the last 40 years. We have handled numerous lawsuits through the Arkansas Supreme Court testing the constitutionality of such legislation. Examples of Supreme Court cases include Wayland v. Snapp, 232 Ark. 57, 334 S.W.2d 633 (1960), which successfully tested Arkansas’s industrial development revenue bond statute, and Pulaski County v. Jacuzzi Bros. Div., 332 Ark. 91, 964 S.W. 2d 788 (1998), the most recent case upholding our industrial development revenue bond statute.
Civil Rights and Constitutional Law Cases
We represent the Little Rock School District and school districts throughout the state in cases involving constitutional law and civil rights, including Little Rock School District v. Pulaski County Special School District, a federal court inter-district desegregation case and Lakeview School District v. Huckabee, a case in the Arkansas Supreme Court involving the constitutionality of our Arkansas education system.
Other significant cases include:
Defense of a constitutional challenge to landmark Arkansas legislation permitting racing franchise holders to conduct electronic games of skill involving wagering.
A successful pro bono challenge to federal term limits, a challenge that was affirmed by the United States Supreme Court in a landmark case.
Defense of contractor clients in a challenge that Act 961 of 1997 and Act 1626 of 2001 violates the Arkansas Constitution because both allow for state construction projects to be entered into without competitive bidding.
Amici curae representation in an Arkansas Supreme Court case to determine whether check cashing fees were usurious and whether the Check Cashers Act violated the constitutional mandate requiring separation of powers.