Social Media: How to ruin your case in under 60 seconds

By Adrienne Griffis

“Dance like no one is watching; email like it may one day be read aloud in a deposition.” This quote has appeared so many times in so many sources that I cannot accurately access to whom I should give credit. However it originated, this advice applies to all types of electronic communication—not just email. Electronic communication often leads to regret because it can be completed in too short a period of time to allow for appropriate reflection. If our parents or grandparents wanted to send angry correspondence to someone, they at least had the opportunity to reconsider and take the letter out of the mailbox. These days, the damage can be done as quickly as you can press “reply all.” [More]

Owner Beware: Property Owners’ Assumption of a Heightened Duty of Care and Resulting Liability

By Trey Cooper

Property owners should be careful to avoid assuming heightened duties of care and resulting tort liability. Under Arkansas law, a land owner's duty and possible liability are generally dependent on the statue of the person entering onto the land owner's property. A trespasser is someone who enters on the property of another without the consent of the owner and without an invitation. A licensee has the consent of the owner to enter the property, but does so for his own benefit, pleasure, or convenience (social guests, neighbors, and friends typically fall into this category). An invitee enters the property with permission of the owner and for a purpose connected with an activity of the owner or for a mutual benefit of both parties (customer of a business). [More]

Marriage 101

By Adrienne Griffis

I have always thought that the government should offer an informational seminar on the legal effect of marriage before doling out marriage licenses like playing cards at a poker table. It only takes about $60 and half an hour to get married in Arkansas; however, ending that marriage can take months to years and cost thousands of dollars. I have had many clients tell me, “I wouldn’t have even gotten married had I known [insert provision of marital property law which is obvious to attorneys but apparently shocking to some laypeople].” Regrets aside, there are several common misconceptions about ownership of property that are better addressed prior to saying “I do.” Welcome to Marriage 101. [More]

Arkansas Supreme Court Holds Predispute Waiver of Right to Trial by Jury is Unenforceable Under Arkansas Law

By Trey Cooper

On December 7, 2017, the Arkansas Supreme Court delivered an opinion in which it held that a predispute contractual jury waiver clause is unenforceable under the Arkansas Constitution. Tilley v. Malvern National Bank, 2017 Ark. 343. This is important because it is now clear that a party cannot waive its right to a trial by jury by agreeing to do so in a contract. The Arkansas Constitution states that "the right to trial by jury shall remain inviolate, and shall extend to all cases at law, without regard to the amount in controversy; but a jury trial may be waived by the parties in all cases in the manner prescribed by law." Ark. Const. Art. 2, § 7. [More]

State Taxes and Incentives Issues for AgTech Article Published in JMTI

When famers make traditional agricultural equipment purchases – tractors, irrigation systems, and pesticide and fertilizer application equipment to name a few – most states have some sort of sales tax exemption for equipment that aids in the physical work on the farm, and oftentimes additional credits or incentives for soil and water conservation. [More]