WLJ’s Gordon Rather Honored with the Richard S. Arnold Award from the Eighth Circuit Bar Association


Wright Lindsey Jennings (WLJ) partner Gordon S. Rather, Jr. has been honored with the Richard S. Arnold Award for Distinguished Service in the Eastern District of Arkansas. The award was presented by the Eighth Circuit Bar Association at their Judicial Conference on Oct. 29 in Colorado Springs, Co.

Since 2012, the Eighth Circuit Bar Association has presented Richard S. Arnold Awards for Distinguished Service to 10 deserving individuals, based on nominations provided by the chief judges in each district in the Eighth Circuit. The Eighth Circuit includes Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota.

The award recognizes honorees for characteristics that they share with the late Judge Arnold, including:

  • The person has achieved professional excellence in their field.
  • The person has been a leader in the legal community as reflected in the leadership positions held in bar associations and other professional organizations.
  • The person has contributed significant work toward the delivery of volunteer legal services to underserved members of the community.
  • The person has been honored by their peers.
  • The person has served as a mentor or role model for less experienced lawyers or students interested in law.

“For more than 50 years, Gordon Rather has been a pillar of Wright Lindsey Jennings for his civility, professionalism and advocacy for his clients,” said Managing Partner Steve Lancaster. “As one of the top trial lawyers in Arkansas, Gordon has taught generations of WLJ lawyers that you can be a zealous advocate without sacrificing your integrity or commitment to the ethical practice of law. Gordon is an example of how professionalism and dedication to our craft can form the foundation for a highly successful and respected career.”

Rather’s practice centers on litigation, including complex commercial issues, class actions, product liability defense, toxic torts, admiralty and maritime matters, and insurance defense. He has been honored nationally for his legal accomplishments, integrity, character and leadership, including the 2019 James H. McKenzie Professionalism Award from the Arkansas Bar Foundation, the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 and the 2010 Outstanding Defense Attorney Award by the Arkansas Association of Defense Counsel.

Notably, Rather served on the faculty of the American Bar Association-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. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America (in five litigation categories), Chambers USA (Band 1 ranking for litigation in Arkansas), International Who’s Who for Product Liability Defense, Mid-South Super Lawyers, Lawdragon 500 and Lawdragon Legends.