Earlier this month, Chief Justice Jim Hannah announced his plans to retire early from his position on the Arkansas Supreme Court due to health issues. Justice Hannah was first elected as an Associate Justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court in 2000 and later was elected to the Chief Justice position in 2004.
The following is Chief Justice Hannah’s Resignation Statement:
The people of Arkansas elected me to our state’s highest court in year 2000. I will be forever grateful. It is with great pride and pleasure that I have served on the Arkansas Supreme Court for over fourteen years, the last ten in the role of Chief Justice. In recent weeks I have been challenged by a significant health issue. Having the utmost respect for my job as Chief Justice and the business of the court, I have made a decision to tender my resignation effective at the end of August 31, 2015 to focus full-time on addressing my immediate health condition. There is no greater honor that a person can receive than to have another person place his or her trust and confidence in you. I want to thank the people of Arkansas who placed their trust and confidence in me and allowed me to serve them on their Arkansas Supreme Court. I sincerely appreciate the excellent staff that has worked with me. I have been privileged to work with some of the best district court judges, circuit court judges, appellate court judges, and justices in the country. I have also been privileged to work with our excellent Administrative Office of the Courts, its leadership and dedicated employees. Lastly, thank you to my wife Pat for her sacrifice and support.
Prior to his retirement, Justice Hannah was the longest-serving member of the Arkansas judiciary, having served as a judge for more than thirty-seven years.
On Thursday of this week, Governor Asa Hutchinson appointed Professor Howard Brill to complete Chief Justice Hannah’s term on the Arkansas Supreme Court, which ends in 2016. Professor Brill is the Vincent Foster University Professor of Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility at the University of Arkansas School of Law. He joined the law school in 1975. Among his many achievements, Professor Brill is widely known in Arkansas as the author of Arkansas Law of Damages, which is routinely cited by Arkansas state and federal courts. He has also authored Arkansas Professional and Judicial Ethics. Professor Brill has previously served as a Special Justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court on several occasions.