WATCH: Chief Justice of Arkansas Supreme Court Delivers State of Judiciary Address

June 27, 2019
For more information, contact:
Marty Sullivan
Director, Administrative Office of the Courts
(501) 682-9400
WATCH: Chief Justice of Arkansas Supreme Court Delivers State of Judiciary Address
Video is now available of the 2019 State of the Judiciary address delivered by Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice John Dan Kemp during a luncheon hosted by the Arkansas Bar Association.
It can be viewed at:
The chief justice serves as the administrative head of the court system.
The annual State of the Judiciary address is meant to highlight the current priorities for the court system and what to expect in the coming year. Key points include:
  • The Supreme Court is exploring more ways to address the unmet legal needs of Arkansans who are priced out of the legal market and are in need of legal services. One proposed solution is motivating attorneys to work pro bono (free of charge) by giving them credit toward the annual requirement of 12 hours of continuing legal education. 
  • The courts must make lawyer well-being a priority. The results of a study by the American Bar Association shows 36% of attorneys qualify as problems drinkers and 28% are coping with depression. The Supreme Court Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being will be coming out with a report this year of recommendations that it hopes will serve as an important first step toward addressing the issue in a comprehensive and holistic way.
  • A study on specialty courts in Arkansas is due to be released in the coming months. Specialty courts include drug courts, which order treatment to offenders based on rehabilitation instead of sending offenders to prison. The national group conducting the study is working on a comprehensive assessment of the impact these specialty courts are having on Arkansans.
  • The Arkansas Judiciary is working to expand public access to court information and services. In the coming year, it will launch a new Arkansas Judiciary website that will make information easier to locate and will be mobile-device friendly.
  • The Arkansas Judiciary is committed to communicating with and educating the public about our court system. Over the past year, Chief Justice Kemp has held meet-and-greets in twenty-five of the twenty-eight judicial circuits to gather ideas for creating a better court system. He plans to visit the remaining three judicial circuits before the end of this year.
  • The Arkansas Courts and Community Initiative has been making presentations throughout the state to educate students and community organizations about the court system. Eighty-four presentations have been made across sixty-five Arkansas counties over the past year.