Pictured:
Gordon S. Rather, Jr.

WLJ’s Gordon Rather Receives James H. McKenzie Professionalism Award


Wright Lindsey Jennings partner Gordon S. Rather, Jr. is the 2019 recipient of the James H. McKenzie Professionalism award by the Arkansas Bar Foundation. The award recognizes sustained excellence through integrity, character and leadership to the legal profession and the community. It is one of the highest and most prestigious honors bestowed upon a member of the Arkansas Bar. The following is from the firm’s nomination of Rather for this award:

For more than 50 years, Gordon Rather has been a pillar of Wright Lindsey Jennings for his civility, professionalism and advocacy for his clients. 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. In 2012, Gordon took the leading role in petitioning the Arkansas Supreme Court to add the pledge of civility that all Arkansas attorneys now swear. As an instructor at organizations such as ABOTA, Gordon continues to share the value of civility and professionalism with young lawyers around the country. In summary, as was said of Gordon when presented the Outstanding Defense Attorney Award by AADC in 2010, “His word is his bond, his integrity is unmatched and he is always a zealous and effective advocate for his clients. He is the consummate gentleman, both in and out of court.”

The award will be presented at the Bar Foundation’s annual dinner on Wednesday, June 12, in Hot Springs.

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 nationally recognized for and involved in the advancement of effective trial advocacy. Notably, Rather 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. 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 and Mid-South Super Lawyers.