School of Law
1045 W. Maple St.
Robert A. Leflar Law Center
Waterman Hall
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701

Phone: (479) 575-5601

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University of Arkansas School of Law

Arkansas Law Notes


Arkansas Law Notes returns

Welcome to the new Arkansas Law Notes. The all-new digital version of Law Notes launched in June 2013.

Books for Lawyers from 2006 A Very Subjective View of the Scribes Prize Nominees

In 2006, I shared my notes on the prize nominees for the national Scribes Prize for the best legal book of 2005. No one complained, and I’m doing it again. Waves of new law books are published each year, many of them interesting to […]

“Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go:” The 1993 Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Code and the “Performing Work” Doctrine

In 1993 the Arkansas General Assembly enacted a new workers’ compensation code. This law (Act 796) made major revisions to Arkansas law, especially with regards to whether or not a worker’s injury was covered by workers’ compensation. The new law stated that there was […]

2007 Election Law Issues, Legislation and Reforms

There are a plethora of election law issues, proposed legislation, and possible reforms that have surfaced in the United States and within the State of Arkansas during the past year. While this article will focus mainly on Arkansas election law developments, some national election law trends […]

Presidential Signing Statements: How to Find Them, How to Use Them, and What They Might Mean

The Constitution of the United States provides, in Article I, Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but […]

Books for Lawyers from 2005 A Very Subjective View of the Scribes Prize Nominees

Waves of new law books are published each year, many of them interesting to the lawyer but few of them reaching lawyers’ bookshelves. In part this gap comes from the scope of publishing: it takes valuable time to consider all the new books. And, it […]

HAVA and Arkansas Election Law Reform: Compliance and Promise

The road that the State of Arkansas has traveled in response to the enactment of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) has meandered through seventy-five Arkansas counties. That Arkansas would encounter a number of curves and bumps in the highway, and experience a flat […]

A Guide to Choice of Law in Arkansas

Choice of law questions arise when the parties are from different states or nations or their dispute stems from transactions or events that transcend territorial boundaries. In these situations, the court in which the action is brought may be called […]

Intelligible, Honest, and Impartial Democracy: Making Laws at the Arkansas Ballot Box, or Why Jim Hannah and Ray Thornton were Right about May v. Daniels

There is a long-standing tension in America between the ideals of direct democracy and the rule of law.  In its simplest form, rule by democracy requires that the majority gets what it wants, but the rule of law requires not […]

Bankruptcy Reform: Changes to Chapter 12 – Adjustment of Debts of a Family Farmer

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 became law on April 20, 2005. While much of the new law is directed toward consumer bankruptcy reform, it also includes a number of important changes to Chapter 12 of […]

Statutory Interpretation in Arkansas: How Arkansas Courts Interpret Statutes. A Rational Approach

Over the years courts have announced and adopted a plethora of maxims, rules, and presumptions to guide their attempts to interpret statutes.  Lawyers and judges often seem to be confronted by a large crowd of such mandates, each clamoring for […]

Common-law Exemptions

I am always fascinated by how little I know about the law.  Rather simple-looking legal concepts can turn out to be remarkably complex, and every now and then I discover something new about the law that is roughly equivalent to […]

Update on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals

I last wrote on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in 2001. In this article I am going to briefly discuss some of the Eighth Circuit cases that have come down since then. Since a number of cases have come […]

Thresholds to Filing in Chapter 7 – Means Testing and The Liability of Lawyers

As you now have heard, Congress finally passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. They had been threatening to pass similar bills since the end of the 1990s. I last spoke about these proposed bills in […]

Domestic Relations Lawyers Bankruptcy Reform and the Discharge of Marital-Settlement Promises

I was stuck waiting for an especially slow doctor recently, and was browsing through my redlined Code. As noted in my article on Means Testing, the nice thing about the red-lined Code is that it includes the additional statutory language […]

Why is This Boilerplate in My Real Estate Contract?

“Boilerplate: Standard legal language . . . . It has been baffling to laymen, but has been accepted by courts for so long that lawyers have little incentive to simplify such language.” In truth, standard legal language need not be […]

First Priority? The Neglect of Rural Development by Federal Agencies, and How Arkansas Could Respond

Every agency of the United States is required to promote the location of its activities in rural areas. In 1970, Congress found that a balance between rural and urban development is “essential to the peace, prosperity, and welfare of all […]

Statutory Interpretation in Arkansas: How Should a Statute Be Read? When is it Subject to Interpretation? What Our Courts Say and What They Do

If stacked vertically and animated with even a modicum of athletic ability, the Arkansas Code Annotated would stand 7’6” tall and prove a dominant force in the NBA.  Although it is unlikely the Code will ever make a basket or […]

Some Practical Advice About Taking Security Interests in Gemstones, Accompanied by a Theoretical Discussion of the Negotiability of Goods, New and Used

The theoretical difficulty with taking a security interest in gemstones lies in the emphasized words from § 9-320(a) of the Uniform Commercial Code, which is, of course, Ark. Code Ann. §4-9-320(a): “. . . a buyer in the ordinary course […]

Attorney’s Fee Awards for Unreasonable Government Conduct: Notes on the Equal Access to Justice Act

The “American Rule” of attorney’s fees ordinarily requires each party to pay its own fees in the absence of express statutory authority to the contrary. When one of the parties is the federal government this rule is bolstered by the […]

Time for Another New Business Statute: The Case for the Uniform Limited Partnership Act

Arkansas has always been willing to carefully consider the merits of uniform legislation promulgated by such organizations as  the National Conference of Commissions on Uniform State Law (NCCUSL). Consider our partnership statutes.  In 1941, Arkansas adopted the Uniform Partnership Act, […]

Domestic Relations Contempt Orders and the Bankruptcy Automatic Stay, Property of the Estate and Concurrent Jurisdiction

This article is written for the lawyer who does domestic relations work and not much, if any, bankruptcy work. Those of you who do a lot of bankruptcy work do not need to read this, unless you want a discussion […]

Arkansas Law of Damages, Fifth Edition Chapter 30: Real Property

In the instance of negligently caused damage to land, the initial question is whether the injury is permanent or temporary. Established case law states that if the value of the property destroyed depends upon its connection with the soil, the […]

Towards an Independent State Constitutional Jurisprudence II – Arkansas Supreme Court rules state constitution requires warning prior to “Knock and Talk” searches.

In recent years, the Arkansas Supreme Court’s search and seizure jurisprudence has evolved from one in which no analysis independent of United States Supreme Court Fourth Amendment case law takes place, to one in which the state court may determine […]

Arkansas 1, Texas 0: Sodomy Law Reform and the Arkansas Law

In 2002, the Arkansas Supreme Court led the state to join the majority of states and overturn its statute enshrining the ancient law against sodomy, which made criminal specific sexual actions between consenting adults. The court held that the Arkansas […]