Mike Murphy, 50, Conway’s city attorney for 20 years, said on Wednesday that he is a candidate for state district court judge for Division 1 of the Ninth District, serving Faulkner and Van Buren Counties.
The new state judicial district was created by the 2011 Legislature to shift cases from circuit court to district court and reduce expenses.
The Ninth District will have two state district court judges with departments in Conway, Greenbrier, Guy, Mayflower, Mount Vernon, Vilonia, Clinton and Damascus. The judges will be elected district-wide.
Murphy said: “I respectfully ask the citizens of this new judicial district to consider my experience as a prosecutor, background and qualifications, and I most earnestly ask for their vote and support in the May 2012 judicial election.
AFaulkner County native, Murphy attended Conway Public Schools and graduatedfrom Conway High School in 1979. He attended the University of Central Arkansas and the University ofArkansas, receiving a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas in 1983with high honors in political science.
In1986, Murphy received his law degree from the University of Arkansas and waslicensed to practice law. He servedas law clerk for the United States Magistrate Judge of the Southern District ofMissouri in Springfield before opening a private law practice in Conway in1988.
He was a deputy prosecutingattorney for the 20th Judicial District in Faulkner, Van Buren andSearcy counties before being elected city attorney. Murphy maintained a private law practice until 1998, whenthe city attorney position became full-time. Murphy has served as a special judge in both municipal andcircuit court and has taught government courses at the University of CentralArkansas.
“Having tried thousands of cases in district and municipal court during the last two decades, it has been my distinct honor to work closely with the district court in Faulkner County and some of the finest law enforcement professionals in Conway and Central Arkansas.
“Likewise, our office has a proven track record working courteously and professionally with my fellow attorneys, whether in the administration of criminal cases in district court or trying civil cases in circuit court.
“It is my privilege to offer this experience to the citizens of both Faulkner and Van Buren counties in this new district.
“In addition to my experience as a prosecutor, the past 20 years as a municipal attorney provides the diverse caseload and background necessary for presiding over the civil jurisdiction to be established by the Supreme Court for these courts.
“It has been both humbling and heartening to have received the strong urging and positive encouragement from fellow attorneys and friends across our district to be a candidate for this position.
“I want to bring the qualities and values to the bench which have served me well working with the courts, the public and fellow lawyers: Honesty, integrity, respect, knowledge of the law and a commitment to seek justice.
“The 2012 election is a little less than a year away. It is important to me as a candidate to begin early and visit with the people of Faulkner and Van Buren County in order to listen to their questions and concerns about our new judicial district.”
A past-president andcurrent member of the Arkansas City Attorneys Association, Murphy is a memberof both the Arkansas and Faulkner County Bar Associations. Murphy is a graduate of the FaulknerCounty Leadership Institute and a past Foothills District Chairman of theQuapaw Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Hehas served on the board of the Faulkner County Day School and Creative LivingServices, University of Arkansas Alumni Association, Keep Faulkner CountyBeautiful Committee, Independent Living Services and the Faulkner County MuseumCommission.
Ason of the late Mr. and Mrs. Guy W. Murphy, Sr. of Conway, Murphy is a memberof the First United Methodist Church and the father of three children: Katherine, 15; Sarah, 11 and Jackson,9.
(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 505-1234.)