Court overturns Jennings Osborne award | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Court overturns Jennings Osborne award

Posted By on Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 5:40 PM

I forgot to check Supreme Court decisions earlier. A couple of note:

* JENNINGS OSBORNE: The Arkansas Supreme Court today overturned a $3 million verdict medical researcher Jennings Osborne had won against Arkansas Medical Research Testing.

Affiliates of the Stephens financial empire had financed AMRT's purchase of Osborne's business. He claimed his contract had been breached because the buyers didn't act in good faith, as evidenced by failure to produce profits sufficient to make minimum profit targets. The Supreme Court said failure to act in good faith was not a cause of action under Arkansas law. The Stephens affiliates had been dismissed in the lower court, so Osborne had been left with a judgment that appeared to be uncollectable anyway. Osborne has started a new research enterprise.

* ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT: The Supreme Court, in an opinion by Justice Karen Baker, reversed Circuit Judge Philip Shirron's decision to take child custody away from a Grant County mother because she was an undocumented immigrant.

The father, who had temporary status to be in the country, sought custody of the child, now 9, after a request was made for an increase in child support. He contended circumstances had changed since the couple's divorce, particularly dangers he alleged from the mother's immigration status (driving without a driver's license, possible deportation.)

Shirron found for the father, lashing out at illegal immigrants in general in the process.

Neither of these are showing the concern and dedication to comply with this Country’s laws, this Country’s policies and procedure. It’s a great place to live, but you have no obligation to it. I believe that public opinion lashes out at these type conditions, and I believe it’s not appropriate for a Court to condone them. When at least there’s at hand a legally qualified custodial parent, or a person that could be a custodial parent.

In reversing, the court noted the mother's status hadn't changed since the father agreed to the custody arrangement and the father knew the mother's status at that time. The court dismissed other arguments, such as the father's claim of better economic circumstances and the mother's having additional children by different fathers. Custody decisions aren't made to punish or reward parents and the mere fact of greater income is not sufficient to change custody, the court said. I believe, by quoting Shirron's incendiary commentary, the court sent a signal about the tenor of his remarks.

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