Gordon S. Rather, Jr.

Gordon has been recognized as a member of the Lawdragon "Hall of Fame" having been selected as one of 500 Leading Lawyers in America for the last 12 years in a row.

Professional Experience

Gordon Rather has been engaged in active trial practice for more than 40 years. Year after year, he has been known as one of the state’s most effective trial lawyers. Clients have characterized him as a “great trial lawyer” who is “in touch with every detail of a case” in addition to being “thorough and extremely good with juries.” His practice centers on litigation, including complex commercial issues, class actions, product liability defense, toxic torts, admiralty and maritime matters, and insurance defense.

Rather’s more recent experience includes:

  • Lead trial counsel for a major hospital system in Arkansas, defending a class action involving hospital billing practices;
  • Lead trial counsel for the state’s largest health insurer, defending a class action based on the Arkansas made whole doctrine;
  • Lead trial counsel for a major oil company, defending oil field contamination and crude oil release claims;
  • Lead trial counsel for a major U.S. chemical manufacturer, defending product liability claims;
  • Lead trial counsel for a U.S. boat manufacturer, defending product liability claims; and
  • Defense trial counsel in two maritime wrongful death actions arising from an accident that occurred while unloading a river barge.

As a former National President of ABOTA, Gordon works to preserve our civil justice system and the right to trial by jury for generations of trial lawyers to come.


Rather has been nationally recognized for and involved in the advancement of effective trial advocacy. Notably, he served on the faculty of the ABA-ABOTA Trial Academy at the National Judicial College in 2007 and 2010. He also served on the faculty for the ABOTA Trial College conducted at Princeton in 2010 and on the faculty of the ABOTA National Trial College conducted at Harvard Law School in 2012, 2014 and again in 2016.

His professional activities include:

  • National President of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in 1996;
  • American College of Trial Lawyers;
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers; and
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States (Proctor).

Rather has also been named to:

  • The Best Lawyers in America (in five litigation categories);
  • Chambers USA (ranked first in litigation);
  • Lawdragon, 500 Leading Lawyers in America;
  • Lawdragon Legends of the 500;
  • International Who’s Who for Product Liability Defense; and
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers.

He has been named the Best Lawyers’ “Lawyer of the Year” in the fields of:

Gordon S. Rather, Jr. has received a 5.0 out of 5 AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating. www.martindale.com/ratings

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