Federal judge reprimands John Goodson for misconduct in class-action case | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Federal judge reprimands John Goodson for misconduct in class-action case

Posted By on Wed, Aug 3, 2016 at 11:30 AM

John Goodson  — the Texarkana attorney, D.C. lobbyist, and husband of Arkansas State Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson — was reprimanded today by a federal judge for his conduct in a class-action case, Arkansas Business reports

Goodson and a number of other attorneys colluded in forum shopping, Chief U.S. District Court Judge P.K. Holmes III found, when they abruptly transferred a class action lawsuit out of his court to a state court where it was immediately settled. Max has been following this case on the blog
The result was a settlement with an auto insurance company with a hefty fee for attorneys but a settlement for insurance policy holders that has been criticized as unlikely to produce much for those damaged.
Holmes today found that Goodson, his law partner Matt Keil, and three other attorneys "abused the judicial process, and did so in bad faith." These attorneys were reprimanded.  

That was the extent of the punishment. Holmes noted that potential sanctions included requirements that the attorneys file notices about their improper conduct if they were involved in future class-action cases, a black mark which could have been damaging to their ability to continue class action practice. Even the reprimand could cause major trouble for these attorneys if they attempt to get certified for class action cases in other states (and will likely up their malpractice insurance bill). 

Holmes explained the lesser sanction, essentially arguing that the reprimand would be a sufficient black mark alerting other courts about the potential for similar misconduct: 
For those Respondents whose misconduct was characterized by bad faith, the Court will still impose sanctions. However, it is likely that a lesser sanction than those injunctive sanctions proposed in the Court’s prior opinion and order will be just as effective a deterrent. Any sanction appearing on these Respondents’ records is going to lead to further inquiry by other courts into the misconduct that necessitated that sanction, thereby putting those courts on notice of the potential for similar misconduct in their own cases. As this was the intended effect of the notices proposed as injunctive sanctions by this Court, those notices will not be necessary, and a lesser sanction will satisfy the purpose of Rule 11 and vindicate judicial authority.
Meanwhile, major victory for the other eleven attorneys involved: Holmes found that ten other attorneys "abused the judicial process, but did not do so in bad faith" and that Stephen C. Engstrom (of Little Rock's Stephen Engstrom Law Office) did not abuse the judicial process. These attorneys received no sanction.  

Here's the full order from Holmes

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by David Ramsey

  • Abuse again at Arkansas juvenile lockup

    A guard was fired after choking a child at the Alexander Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center. It’s the latest in a long history of mistreatment at the facility.
    • May 26, 2017
  • Health care policy FAQ

    What proposed state and federal changes mean for the future of health care policy in Arkansas.
    • May 25, 2017
  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.
    • May 25, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

People who saved…

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Most Viewed

  • Football is king, Bentonville edition

    Good analysis in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette of an unannounced Bentonville School Board vote last week to put $2 million into a football stadium for West High School despite board assurances in last May's tax election that no money would go to a football stadium.
  • But what about the Clintons? Last refuge of Trump, New York Times

    Trying to compare Donald Trump's reaction to the Russia investigation with Bill Clinton's dealings with Kenneth Starr should be a non-starter if the facts mattered. But these days — and to the New York Times — it ain't necessarily so.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Dinner and dancing in Dogtown

    • "Try Capeo for some excellent Italian"

      Always an excellent meal here.

    • on July 23, 2017
  • Re: Saturday open line

    • After Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon, it was not surprising to see Bush Senior pardon the…

    • on July 23, 2017
  • Re: Football is king, Bentonville edition

    • "Damn, the line for the Sonic will be out in the highway" In small-town rKen$aw,…

    • on July 23, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation