Friday Eldredge & Clark is deeply saddened by the death of our partner, colleague, and friend, James M (Jim) Simpson, who passed away on January 19, 2023.
Jim was an accomplished trial lawyer who began his legal career at the firm in 1977 and served on the Management Committee and as the partner in charge of recruitment for many years. He developed a national reputation for his expertise and success in the courtroom. Jim had a distinguished career and focused his practice on complex business litigation and personal injury defense matters. A go-to lawyer for many heavy hitters in the industry, Jim represented major product manufacturers and suppliers, defended a major pharmaceutical company in the largest case in Arkansas history to date, as well as several high-profile matters.
Jim's professional achievements include serving as President of the Arkansas Bar Association, a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and President of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He was also a member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 1997.
Jim was a highly respected lawyer at the Friday firm among his peers and colleagues he has been noted as being “clever, tough, but never arrogant.” Colleague Don Bacon says “while known as a worthy advocate, he was recognized by the judges and his adversaries as fair and a gentleman”.
“For those in the firm that did not know Jim when he was younger, he was a lover of good barbecue HB’s and McClard’s, horse racing and traveling. He worked out almost every day and was part of a firm running group for over 30 years. His insightful observations of people and life, as well as a great sense of humor were often shared on these runs. He mentored and taught many of us how to practice law and the importance of civility. He maintained his civility throughout his many years of practice gaining friendship and respect from both sides of the bar. Jim’s nationwide reputation brought our firm great respect. We will miss his intellect, humor, friendship and guidance.” Jim’s colleague and friend Will Griffin recalls.
“Jim was a foundational member of our firm for over 45 years. He was a great lawyer, leader, mentor, recruiter, partner and friend. He will be sorely missed by his Friday Firm family, clients and colleagues. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Karen, daughter Caitlin and the entire Simpson family.” Said Managing Partner Price Gardner.
We are grateful for Jim's dedication to the firm and he will be fondly remembered and deeply missed by his firm family, friends, and colleagues. He leaves behind a legacy of excellence and respect in the legal community.
For more information, Jim’s obituary is available here.