LITTLE ROCK — A Hot Springs lawyer who is running for Arkansas' 4th District congressional seat has been reprimanded and fined for his handling of a client's case.
LITTLE ROCK — A Hot Springs lawyer who is running for Arkansas’ 4th District congressional seat has been reprimanded and fined for his handling of a client’s case.
Q. Byrum Hurst said Thursday he believed the penalty was overly severe but he did not plan to appeal the action by the Arkansas Supreme Court’s Committee on Professional Conduct.
Hurst will face state Sen. Gene Jeffress of Louann in a June 12 runoff for the Democratic nomination for the 4th District seat now held by Democrat Mike Ross of Prescott, who is not seeking re-election. The winner of the runoff will face Republican Tom Cotton of Dardanelle in November.
The committee reprimanded Hurst and fined him $1,000 for missing a filing deadline. Hurst had until Jan. 9 to file a transcript in a client’s appeal in a criminal case, and he filed the documents one day later, the committee said.
Hurst said in an interview that a computer program in his office crashed, resulting in the loss of calendar information that included filing deadlines. He said he had a backup calendar, but an employee in his office mistakenly filed the transcript a day later than it was due.
A judge granted a motion to permit the late filing, and the client’s case was not affected, Hurst said.
“I felt like the sanction … was more severe than was warranted and more severe than what happens in most cases where there is a very short delay,” he said. “But nevertheless that’s what they did, and quite frankly I don’t want to take up the time necessary to appeal.”
The committee said it considered Hurst’s disciplinary history, which includes four previous missed deadlines, in reaching its decision.