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Trial Experience

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Highlights of Legal Experience of Richard E. Holiman

 1980-1984

Upon entering the practice of law in March of 1980, Rick immediately began representing individuals charged with criminal offenses from misdemeanor to capitol felony murder. In his first four years of practice, Rick worked in private practice and as a Public Defender in both State and Federal Court; he represented hundreds and tried many jury trials. Included in his practice were the following:

State vs. Williams, Ambrozzo and Shank, (Perry County, Arkansas)- Multiple defendant kidnapping and sexual assault defense encompassing the most highly publicized and longest criminal trial in Perry County history at that time. Although the Defendants were convicted, the jury imposed the minimum prison sentences on all counts.

State vs. Perry, (Pulaski County, Arkansas)- Murder trial in reference to charges that the defendant killed his wife. Noteworthy in that the client/defendant also confessed to having committed another capital murder where another individual, Ronald Gene Cardin, and had already been convicted and received two consecutive life sentences. Perry ultimately recanted the confession of the second murder, but the charges against Cardin were dismissed.

State vs. Eckleman, (Saline County, Arkansas)- Capital murder case featured in True Detective Magazine February 1981. Death penalty avoided.

State vs. Nelson, Trout and Grey, (Pulaski County, Arkansas)- Case Notorious case of Arkansas history involving the "beating of Bob Robbins," local disc jockey in cowboy dance club with partner, lawyer Bill McArthur. As a court appointed attorney, Rick represented the assailant hired by co-defendant Trout to "hurt" his business competitor. This case was closely connected to State vs. Mary Lee Orsini, Pulaski County, Arkansas, perhaps the most infamous criminal case in the history of Arkansas and featured in television movies and books including Widow's Web by Gene Lyons.

State vs. Glover, (Pulaski County, Arkansas)- Career criminal charged with Escaping from the County Jail while awaiting trial on other charges. Defense of the case surrounded testimony that the then elected Sheriff Tommy Robinson (later, two term Congressman), allowed the inmates to escape in order to put pressure on officials to fund expansion of the County Jail.

State vs. Robinson, (Pulaski County, Arkansas)- Habitual criminal charged with Capital Murder of convenience store clerk with the murder weapon directly tied to defendant as the previous owner. Although the defendant was a prime candidate for the death penalty, charges eventually were dismissed against Robinson due to investigation by the defense. Information developed by Holiman led to identification of the actual killer who was later convicted at trial.


1985-1990

 1985-1990

After obtaining the experience in the first five years of his practice as a public defender and while practicing in a small firm, Rick continued his career by developing a practice in his own firm. Not only did his criminal defense practice expand, but also he entered the field of plaintiff's personal injury and civil litigation on behalf of individuals in need representation against large corporations. Cases of note during this period include:

United States vs. Galloway- The first case where a Federal appellate court upheld a finding by the trial court that the uncharged "relevant conduct" portion of the newly enacted Federal Sentencing Guidelines was unconstitutional. Although ultimate reversed by an en banc Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, the opinion of the three-judge panel sent shock waves throughout the Federal System. See U.S. v. Galloway 976 F.2d 414 (8th Cir. 1992),

United States vs. McDougal and Henley (USDC Eastern District of Arkansas)-Initial Indictment of saving and loan bank fraud arising out of the collapse of Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan. This was the only "normal" investigation and prosecution of the operators of the failed banking institution, which eventually resulted in the Investigation by the Office of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr. The original indictment by the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas resulted in a verdict of "Not Guilty" on all charges after a ten-day jury trial on the charges brought against McDougal and family members of his wife, Susan. At the time it was the first, and one of only a few, acquittals handed down by a jury of any indictment brought by the Government as a result of the collapse of the savings and loan industry.

United States vs. Lillard et al, (USDC Eastern District of Arkansas)- Multiple defendant, multiple count indictment of complicated bank fraud allegations arising out of the failure of a coal mining investment endeavor known as Southeastern Fuels, Inc. Only six or the original twenty-two defendants went to trial. All were acquitted by either the judge or the jury after a 31 day jury trial.

United States vs. Gibbons and Hopkins, (USDC Eastern District of Arkansas)- Multiple-day bank fraud trial arising out of allegations that a company and individuals schemed to defraud wholesale bond institutions. "Acquittal" on all charges brought against the client.

State vs. Callahan Multiple count indictment and two week trial of owner of a precious metal commodities brokerage firm.


1991-Present

 1991-Present

Most of Mr. Holiman's practice has centered on plaintiff personal injury/products liability and continued concentration of white-collar criminal defense. Some of the noteworthy cases:

Allen et al vs. Entergy; Multiple claimant age discrimination case tried before a jury in the Federal District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas, Judge James Moody resulting in a verdict for five longtime employees of Arkansas Power and Light and Entergy Corporation. After a trial of 32 days the jury returned verdicts resulting in judgments totaling in excess of 1.5 Million dollars.

Sitzes and Clark vs. Sunnyside Corporation Two individuals received third degree burns over most of their bodies as a result of using a one-gallon can of lacquer thinner in a kitchen-remodeling job. Proceeding on a theory that the container design that is common in hardware stores is flawed and inherently dangerous when they are known by the manufacturer to be used near ignition sources, a settlement of 2.3 million dollars was reached with the manufacturer and supplier of the product.

Gault vs. Duvinage Spiral Stair Co. Client was employed as a foreman for an electrical subcontractor and fell from near the top of a spiral staircase installed backstage in a performing arts auditorium. No one saw the plaintiff actually fall and he did not recall the accident or why he fell over the railing. Several prominent firms rejected the case and Mr. Holiman was employed only three days before the statute of limitations was to run. The case proceeded on a theory that regardless of why or how the plaintiff toppled over the rail, with the rail being only 32 inches high, but for the rail not being a minimum of 36 or 42 inches more probably than not the injury would not have occurred, a settlement for the equivalent of 1.3 Million dollars was reached just before the hearing on the defense's Motion for Summary Judgment based upon Daubert.

W. W. Food vs. Henny Penny Corp. (USDC Eastern District of Arkansas, Hon. Susan Webber Wright, Judge) Verdict of $250,000 from a Federal Court Jury on behalf of a restaurant equipment supplier pursuant to the defendant's violation of the Arkansas Franchise Practices Act after terminating the plaintiff's distributorship.

Culbreath vs. D'arbonne Construction Company (Ashley County, Arkansas) Jury verdict after five-day trial of compensatory and punitive damages totaling 1.6 Million Dollars from a head-on collision between the plaintiff's vehicle and the defendant's log truck. Ultimately affirmed on appeal by the Arkansas Supreme Court, this case is the first in Arkansas affirming a punitive damage finding by a jury in a vehicular collision that did not involve drinking or racing. See D'Arbonne vs. Estate of Tony Culbreath et al; 123 S.W.3d 894 (2003).

IN RE ARKANSAS GRAND JURY INVESTIGATION OF KENNETH STARR (1994-1999). Mr. Holiman represented former Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan compliance officer SARAH HAWKINS, who was threatened by Whitewater Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr with prosecution on 78 counts of bank fraud as a result of her work in the institution. Though innocent and never indicted, she was the first Arkansas citizen not to succumb to the Office of Independent Counsel's pressure to cooperate in their investigation of the "Whitewater" matter. Ms. Hawkins' case was documented in many national publications and television productions including CBS Sixty Minutes, the Charles Grodin Show, the Los Angeles Times and by journalist Jane Mayer in The New Yorker Magazine. (April 22, 1996) Ms. Hawkins and Mr. Holiman were present on November 19, 1998 when Kenneth Starr appeared as the only witness before the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives in seeking Articles of Impeachment of President Clinton.

Mr. Holiman also counseled and represented other individuals in reference to this investigation including WALTER KAYE, retired New York insurance executive and prominent donor to the Democratic National Committee in reference to the Arkansas part of Mr. Starr's "investigation." Mr. Kaye was required to give testimony before the Arkansas grand jury by Mr. Starr.

U.S. vs. Susan McDougal: Mr. Holiman testified as a defense witness in the Criminal contempt trial of Susan McDougal on charges brought by the Office of Independent Counsel (Kenneth Starr) for her refusal to testify before the grand jury on matters relating to their investigation. Defense attorney Mark Gerrogas called Mr. Holiman as the first witness concerning the abuses of Mr. Starr's office he observed in his representation of Sarah Hawkins. McDougal's defense also called among others, Julie Hyatt Steele for the same purpose. The jury acquitted Ms. McDougal on most charges and deadlocked on others. Mr. Starr elected not to retry the case. See http://www.ardemgaz.com/prev/clinton/acxsusan040699.html

IN RE WASHINGTON D.C. GRAND JURY, KENNETH STARR Commonly referred to as the "Monica Lewinski Matter," Mr. Holiman represented WALTER KAYE who appeared at the Washington portion of Mr. Starr's investigation. Mr. Kaye was the individual who recommended Ms. Lewinski for an intern job. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/stories/kaye012998.htm

REPORTED CASES

 ALLEN v. ENTERGY CORP., INC., 193 F.3d 1010 (8th Cir. 1999),EQUITABLE LIFE ASSUR. SOC. OF U.S. v. CRYSLER, 66 F.3d 944 (8th Cir.) U.S. v. GALLOWAY, 976 F.2d 414 (8th Cir. 1992), U.S. v. TAYLOR, 907 F.2d 801 (8th Cir. 1990); U.S. v. CRAWFORD, 837 F.2d 339 (8th Cir. 1988); STATE v. PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, 316 Ark. 514 (1994); HOLIDAY INN-WEST v. COLEMAN, 31 Ark. App. 224 (1990); FORGY v. STATE, 16 Ark. App. 76 (1985); STOCKER v. STATE, 280 Ark. 450 (1983); PERRY v. STATE, 280 Ark. 36 (1983); LOVELACE v. STATE, 276 Ark. 463 (1982); VEASEY v. STATE, 276 Ark. 457 (1982); GLOVER v. STATE, 276 Ark. 253 (1982); WILLIAMS v. STATE, 5 Ark. App. 20 (1982); JOHNSON v. STATE, 274 Ark. 293 (1981); STATE v. HOFFMAN, 273 Ark. 111 (1981); CAMERON v. STATE, 272 Ark. 282 (1981); McINTOSH v. STATE, 340 Ark. (Janaury 13, 2000.) D?ARBONNE vs. ESTATE of TONY CULBREATH et al; 123 S.W.3d 894 (2003).



 

State vs. Williams, Ambrozzo and Shank

 State vs. Williams, Ambrozzo and Shank, (Perry County, Arkansas)- Multiple defendant kidnapping and sexual assault defense encompassing the most highly publicized and longest criminal trial in Perry County history at that time. Although the Defendants were convicted, the jury imposed the minimum prison sentences on all counts. 

State vs. Perry

 State vs. Perry, (Pulaski County, Arkansas)- Murder trial in reference to charges that the defendant killed his wife. Noteworthy in that the client/defendant also confessed to having committed another capital murder where another individual, Ronald Gene Cardin, and had already been convicted and received two consecutive life sentences. Perry ultimately recanted the confession of the second murder, but the charges against Cardin were dismissed. 

State vs. Eckleman

 State vs. Eckleman, (Saline County, Arkansas)- Capital murder case featured in True Detective Magazine February 1981. Death penalty avoided. 

State vs. Nelson, Trout and Grey

  State vs. Nelson, Trout and Grey, (Pulaski County, Arkansas)- Case Notorious case of Arkansas history involving the "beating of Bob Robbins," local disc jockey in cowboy dance club with partner, lawyer Bill McArthur. As a court appointed attorney, Rick represented the assailant hired by co-defendant Trout to "hurt" his business competitor. This case was closely connected to State vs. Mary Lee Orsini, Pulaski County, Arkansas, perhaps the most infamous criminal case in the history of Arkansas and featured in television movies and books including Widow's Web by Gene Lyons. 

 Mr. Holiman has also served as a Special Judge in many circuit and municipal courts in Pulaski County, Arkansas, including sitting on both jury and court trials. Of note was the initial trial judge on the first criminal case in Arkansas where the State attempted to use DNA evidence requiring expert testimony and proceeding pursuant to the Frye Test on admissibility of new and novel scientific evidence. Although the original case presided over by Holiman as judge resulted in a mistrial, the defendant was ultimately convicted and on appeal, the Arkansas Supreme Court allowed the use of DNA evidence. See. PRATER v. STATE, 307 Ark. 180, 820 S.W.2d 429 (1991). 

 Mr. Holiman also presided as judge over the preliminary hearing of the felony case of State vs. Butler. David Hale, then sitting Pulaski County Municipal Judge, had brought an investigation and ultimate charges against a former court clerk for allegedly "fixing" parking tickets of legislators. Though the State's attorney elected to proceed with the charges, after a lengthy hearing, Holiman determined there was no "probable cause" for the matter to proceed to circuit court and dismissed the charges. The complaining witness, Hale, shortly thereafter became the primary impetus for the institution of the "Whitewater" investigation of Independent Counsel, Kenneth Starr. See http://www.arktimes.com/white01.htm.