I went to Little Rock to attend a meeting of the Lawyers Helping Lawyers Committee, a group I’ve been privileged to be a part of for a number of years. In its former iteration it was known as the Arkansas Lawyer Assistance Committee. The current chair is Alice Lightle. img_2066.jpgThe committee is an Arkansas Bar Association committee that supports the work of the Arkansas Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (AJLAP) which was established by the Arkansas Supreme Court. The AJLAP is dedicated to providing non-disciplinary and confidential assistance to any member of the Arkansas bar whose professional performance is being impaired by mental illness, emotional distress, substance abuse or any other disabling circumstance.

This purpose of this particular meeting was the that the AJLAP has been selected by the American Bar Associationpeabody’s Commission On Lawyer Assistance Programs (ABA COLAP), as the location for its 2009 Annual Meeting. The meeting will be held from October 21-24 at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock. In addition, the conference of the International Lawyers in Alcoholics Anonymous will be held in conjunction with the COLAP conference. Our committee has the unique opportunity to host and provide support for these two important conferences. As you might imagine, hosting the two conferences is a big honor for the state of Arkansas, but it’s also a big responsibility, so the LHL Committee met to begin planning.img_2074.jpg

COLAP Schedule

We discussed three things that the committee needs to assist with in addition to finding volunteers to be present during the meetings. The first is quite a bit of fun. The Arkansas LHLCommittee is planning a photo rally for the first two days of the COLAP Conference. Participants who sign up will have to follow clues and photograph different items around Little Rock, like the pin map in the Clinton store or the Peabody Duckmaster’s hat. They will upload their photos, which will be displayed throughout the conference, and the first team to complete their list wins.


Committee members were also asked to help with the Dine Around by signing up to serve as hosts and hostesses for convention attendees to dine at area restaurants. Not only will they serve as meal-time companions, but also be responsible for helping participants get to their restaurants. The third need begins with the start of the ILAA conference. Volunteers are needed to register participants.


At the end of the discussion of the conference, there were a couple of business items. As I mentioned above our committee assists the AJLAP. One of the agenda items was the need for Gail Harber, the director of the AJLAP, to be invited to speak at county bar meetings. She’s has spoken at a few local bars meetings, but unfortunately, there are many places around the state where lawyers aren’t aware of the AJLAP. We also watched a video of a lawyer who shows up to court drunk. It was a real train wreck, and it supports the need for Judicial and Lawyer Assistance Programs.

When the meeting adjourned, I visited with Denise Hoggard img_2077.jpgin her new law firm. She is in the Regions Bank Building on 1st Street and has a beautiful office on the 28th floor. Before I made it up to her office, I ran into another of our alums, John Harriman. img_2075.jpgI had a good visit with Denise, and it gave me the time to thank her for being such a good friend of the law school and for her support of the scholarship programs of the Arkansas Association of Women Lawyers.After leaving Denise’s office, I ran into none other than Phillip Hood, who I’ve mentioned in earlier blogs. He’s a member of the Arkansas Workers Comp Commission (I got a picture of him and I asked Nirmal to put that in the earlier blog post about him, and then there’s a picture of us together). As it turns out, he was in the office of Rickey Honorable, a mortgage loan originator for Regions Bank, who is married to my sorority sister Colette Honorable. Collette was recently appointed to the Arkansas Public Service Commission by Governor Beebe. I visited with Rickey and with Phillip, and then said “farewell” to Little Rock and headed back up the hill to Fayetteville!