Recent Arkansas arrival plans race for Arkansas Court of Appeals | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Recent Arkansas arrival plans race for Arkansas Court of Appeals

Posted By on Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 9:34 AM

click to enlarge JOB SEREBROV: Planning judicial race
  • JOB SEREBROV: Planning judicial race
A  lawyer back in Arkansas just since April is planning a race for an open Arkansas Court of Appeals seat for which Mark Klappenbach of Fordyce has already announced. This is the seat vacated by Robin Wynne, who rose to the Supreme Court.

He is Job Innocent Serebrov, who moved to Arkansas in June to take a job in the Hutchinson administration as director of quality assurance at the Department of Human Services.

Here's his background on LinkedIn.

Some points in that resume: He got a master's in agricultural law at the University of Arkansas in 1989-90. He was a law clerk in 2004-05 for 8th Circuit Appeal Court Judge Lavenski Smith, an Arkansas native and Republican appointee who rose out of the Huckabee administration. He was a Bush administration undersecretary in the Agriculture Department. He worked as a counsel for the American Farm Bureau Federation. For the last six years he's been presiding appellate judge for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in Highland, Calif.

Serebrov lives in Sheridan according to his statement of financial interest, which puts him in the district to run for the seat.

I caught him briefly on the phone this morning, long enough to confirm his intentions. I hope to talk to him further.

I don't think it is a stretch to look at his resume and figure that, like Republican Cody Hiland who's seeking another Appeals Court seat, and Republican Shawn Womack, who's running for an open Supreme Court seat, he'll get backing from the business lobby. It has been successful in recent years in electing judges friendly to the tort reform agenda, or limiting damages in lawsuits. Efforts to achieve that in the legislature or by constitutional amendment have been less successful.

Indeed, the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce has formally indicated it will back Hiland and Womack and that it will NOT endorse Klappenbach, no matter who he runs against. The chamber had backed Robin Wynne.

UPDATE: Serebrov's name turned up in a New York Times article about a panel that investigated voter fraud. Serebrov authored an original report that found little evidence of voter fraud, but the report was altered by others to make the threat of voter fraud seem greater.

A number of election law experts, based on their own research, have concluded that the accusations regarding widespread fraud are unjustified. And in this case, one of the two experts hired to do the report was Job Serebrov, a Republican elections lawyer from Arkansas, who defended his research in an e-mail message obtained by The Times that was sent last October to Margaret Sims, a commission staff member.

“Tova and I worked hard to produce a correct, accurate and truthful report,” Mr. Serebrov wrote, referring to Tova Wang, a voting expert with liberal leanings from the Century Foundation and co-author of the report. “I could care less that the results are not what the more conservative members of my party wanted.”

He added: “Neither one of us was willing to conform results for political expediency.”

UPDATE: I spoke with Serebrov's wife, Mari, who said though the family moved back to Arkansas last April, they have long Arkansas roots and had lived in several places in the state, including Little Rock and Siloam Springs, where children went to school, before they went to Washington. They planned a move home, but it was delayed by her treatment for cancer. They moved to Arkansas as soon as she completed the treatment, she said.

Mari Serebrov said her husband didn't come home with the intention of running for a judgeship, but had decided that he'd make a race if no one qualified for the ballot by the petition method. No one did, and they took that as a sign, she said. They had not lived in Sheridan previously,

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