Second judge 

If Cathi Compton is elected circuit judge next year, as she hopes, she’ll be half of a two-judge family. Legal historians say this is not unprecedented in Arkansas, but it is unusual.

Compton’s husband is U.S. District Judge Bill Wilson. She is seeking the circuit judgeship — mostly a juvenile judgeship — that is now held by Rita Gruber, who is running for the Arkansas Court of Appeals.

Compton’s father was Bob Compton of El Dorado. Now deceased, he was one of Arkansas’s best-known trial lawyers. Cathi practiced with him for 12 years, “then I fell in love and moved up here.” Her law partner now is Tim Dudley, who was a partner of Wilson’s before Wilson ascended to the bench. Neither of them practices in Wilson’s court. “I don’t think I could get a fair shake over there,” she says. Her practice is mostly personal injury, criminal defense and employment discrimination, much the same sort of thing that Wilson did.

Both the bench and the bar have rules requiring a certain confidentiality, but you imagine the rules get tested in a lawyer-judge marriage.

“We talk at home about our work, but very cautiously,” Compton says. “If something is part of the public record, then we talk freely. Other times, we may bounce ideas off each other without identifying any particulars. We’re both ethically bound.”



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Doug Smith

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

More by Max Brantley

  • Darren McFadden arrested on DWI at Texas Whataburger

    Darren McFadden, the former Razorback football star, was arrested for DWI Monday after being reportedly found asleep at a Whataburger drive-through in the Dallas area.
    • Jan 21, 2019
  • News and the open line on King Day

    M.L. King Day: The open lines and a roundup of headlines and comment.
    • Jan 21, 2019
  • Governor lauds King, but there's work to be done

    Gov. Asa Hutchinson has made several public appearances today as part of the observance of King Day and his remarks have included lauding the state's 2017 action (and his own) in ending the dual observance of King's birthday with that of a man who fought to preserve slavery, Robert E. Lee. I have one brief observation on his remarks:
    • Jan 21, 2019
  • More »

Latest in Top Stories

  • Good for the soul

    The return of Say McIntosh, restaurateur
    • Jun 1, 2010
  • Robocalls are illegal

    Robocalls -- recorded messages sent to thousands of phone numbers -- are a fact of life in political campaigns. The public doesn't like them much, judging by the gripes about them, but campaign managers and politicians still believe in their utility.
    • May 31, 2010
  • Riverfest winds down

    With Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm, Steve Miller Band, Robert Cray, Ludacris and more performing.
    • May 30, 2010
  • More »

© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation