IN RE Jerry Hudson SHEPARD, Jr., Application for Readmission to the Arkansas Bar
APPEAL FROM THE ARKANSAS BOARD OF LAW EXAMINERS.
Stuart Vess, for petitioner.
Nancie M. Givens, Executive Director, Office of Professional Programs, for respondent.
KAREN R. BAKER, Associate Justice. Special Justice TIMOTHY GAUGER joins in this opinion. GOODSON, J., not participating.
KAREN R. BAKER, Associate Justice
Jerry Hudson Shepard, Jr., petitions this court for readmission to the Bar of Arkansas following his voluntary surrender of his Arkansas law license in 2006. Because this case arises under this court's power to regulate the practice of law, our jurisdiction is proper pursuant to Arkansas Supreme Court Rule 1-2(a)(5).
Shepard began practicing law in Arkansas in 1997. From 1997 until 2006, Shepard had no disciplinary actions against him. On September 21, 2006, Shepard voluntarily surrendered his license to practice law in Arkansas and this court accepted his voluntary surrender of license on September 28, 2006. In re Jerry Hudson Shepard, No. 06-1084. Attached to Shepard's petition to surrender his license was a list of documents placed under seal. Shepard's petition to surrender arose as a result of events that occurred during his representation of a client, Richelle Allred. On or about July 13, 2005, Allred was charged with first-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence, and obstruction of governmental operations in connection with the death of David Harkrider.
On August 18, 2006, the Circuit Court of Carroll County granted Shepard immunity from prosecution concerning the death of David Harkrider. The court also granted Shepard immunity from " prosecution concerning the bribery of witnesses in this matter; the tampering with witnesses in this matter; the intimidation of a witness in this matter; and the introduction of unauthorized articles into the Carroll County Jail." The grant of immunity arose after Shepard refused to provide testimony to the prosecuting attorney regarding efforts to intimidate George Felice, a potential witness in Allred's murder trial, and efforts to bribe Billy Garland to provide false exculpatory testimony on Allred's behalf. According to a statement Garland gave police, Allred offered him $10,000 " to lie for her" and " her lawyer called [Garland]," because the lawyer " didn't want [Allred] handing [Garland] the money and advised that someone else would call [Garland]." In addition to Garland's statement, Doug Ray Smith told investigators that he went with Garland to meet someone in a WalMart parking lot and that person gave Garland cash. According to the investigator's report, Smith advised that Garland " was in jail with a guy and he knew this girl who was the one who did it and [Garland] went down and spoke to her lawyer and made some statements and they paid him $10,000." The grant of immunity required Shepard to " take the necessary action to voluntarily surrender his law license in both the State of Arkansas and the State of Missouri within thirty (30) days of the entry of this order."
Thereafter, on September 21, 2006, Shepard petitioned this court to surrender
his license. In his petition, Shepard admitted that he had " engaged in conduct that is a direct and serious violation of Arkansas Rule 8.4(b) (criminal act), 8.4(c) (conduct involving dishonesty), and 8.4(d) (conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice)." In addition, Shepard admitted that his conduct was " of a felony nature" and was " clearly 'serious misconduct' as defined in Section 17(B) of the Court's Procedures Regulating Conduct of Attorneys at Law." Finally, he admitted that his conduct " clearly constitutes a 'serious crime' as defined in Section 2(J) of the Procedures." As previously stated, this court accepted his petition to voluntarily surrender his license.
In September 2012, Shepard filed his application for readmission to the Bar of Arkansas with the Executive Secretary for the Arkansas State Board of Law ...