2019 Arkansas Bar Annual Meeting Roundup

The 121st Annual Arkansas Bar Association’s Annual Meeting took place June 12-14 in Hot Springs. In addition to offering more than 40 hours of continuing legal education, the event provides a great opportunity for the nearly 1,000 attorneys and judges to celebrate the achievements of their colleagues and mingle outside the courtroom.


Laura H. Smith is the recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Lawyer Award presented jointing by the Arkansas Bar Foundation and the Arkansas Bar Association.

She was joined by family and colleagues at the Annual Fellows’ Dinner for the formal presentation of the award. The event was held at the Hot Springs Convention Center in conjunction with the bar’s annual meeting.

The award was given for her outstanding contributions to her profession. Laura, a partner at Friday, Eldredge & Clark, has served as lead counsel for more than 80 jury trials in her 38 years of practicing law. She is a member of the Medical Malpractice Practice Group and her particular emphasis is on defending catastrophic injury cases.

Attorney Jamie H. Jones received the 2019 Golden Gavel award on Thursday, June 13. The honor was given by ABA President Suzanne Clark for Jamie’s work as the chair of the 2019 Mid-Year Meeting.

The Golden Gavel award recipients are chosen each year by the ABA president for their outstanding work and service to the association.

House of Delegates

Kyle D. Kennedy and Jamie H. Jones have been elected to represent the ABA. Kyle is a member of the House of Delegates, District B and Jamie now serves on the Board of Governors, District B.

Kyle joined the firm in 2017 as an associate in the Litigation Practice Group. His primary focus is on defending companies against all types of personal injury claims.

Jamie is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group and a member of the firm's Management Committee. She focuses primarily on the defense of business and corporate claims, personal injury/wrongful death claims, class actions, and Section 1983 claims.

The House of Delegates of the ABA is composed of the five officers, 81 delegates elected from delegate districts, two law student representatives and four liaison non-voting members. 

Volunteer Work

The ABA’s hosted a community service project during the event. “Feed the Funnel” benefitted The Pack Shack, a nonprofit focused on providing nutritious, easy to prepare to local families in needs.

michelle and jamie ark bar.JPG

Partners Michelle Ator and Jamie H. Jones (along with her husband and daughter) helped the ABA make 10,400 packs of food at the event.


Attorneys Donald H. Bacon, Michelle Ator and Michael S. Moore were presenters at the annual meeting. Don spoke on preventing legal malpractice and Michelle served on a panel discussing the ethics in trial litigation. Michael represented the Arkansas Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program and spoke about the health and wellness of lawyers.

Annual Bar Reception

Friday, Eldredge & Clark is a proud supporter of the Annual Meeting and the host of the annual reception held each year after Thursday’s events. This year an estimated 700 were in attendance. Click here to view photos online.

Untitled collage (2).jpg