Copeland Announces Plans to Run for Circuit Judge

Johnnie Copeland
Photo courtesy KTLO

by: Scott McCaulley

Although the election doesn’t take place until next March, a Lawyer and former Judge has announced her intention to run for Circuit Judge Division 4.

Johnnie Copeland, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for for the 14th Judicial District, has announced her intentions to run for the seat currently held by Judge Gordon Webb who plans to retire when his current term expires next year.

Copeland, who also spent time as a District Court Judge in Fulton County, currently handles misdemeanor criminal cases in Baxter County District Court and both misdemeanor and felony cases in Juvenile Court for Marion and Baxter Counties.

The Election for Circuit Judge Division 4, which serves Baxter, Boone, Marion, and Newton Counties, will take place as part of the Presidential Primary Election in March of 2020.

Full Press Release is below:

Today Deputy Prosecuting Attorney and former District Judge Johnnie A. Copeland announced her decision to run for Circuit Judge, Division 4 in the Fourteenth Judicial District. The Fourteenth Judicial District includes Baxter, Boone, Marion and Newton Counties.

Copeland is a partner at the Mountain Home law firm of Ethredge & Copeland, P.A., formerly Osmon & Ethredge, P.A. She started her practice of law in 2006. The firm represents a wide array of interests in the fields of business litigation, family law, estates and estate planning, general civil litigation, personal injury, bankruptcy, administrative law and appellate law. She is an Arkansas native, graduating high school from Blytheville High School.  She achieved a Bachelor’s Degree from Vanderbilt University, before earning a Masters Degree in Communications Studies from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. She received her law degree from the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

In 2015 Copeland became a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the 14th Judicial District. In that capacity she has prosecuted in the Circuit, District, and Juvenile Criminal Courts. Her current position handles misdemeanor criminal cases in Baxter County District Court and both misdemeanor and felony cases in Juvenile Court for Marion and Baxter Counties.

In 2017 she was appointed to the bench by Governor Asa Hutchison to serve as District Court Judge for Fulton County. In speaking about her experience on the bench, she says, “I enjoyed my time as District Judge immensely. When I started at that position there were a few hurdles that needed to be overcome. I feel like I rose to the challenge and that I left the Fulton County District Court in a much better position than I found it. The opportunity gave me a unique insight into how my actions as Judge could effect positive change in the community. If elected, I am excited to bring that perspective to the Circuit Court.”

The position of Circuit Judge, Division Four is currently held by the Honorable Gordon Webb, who will retire at the end of his current term. Copeland says, “Judge Webb has a distinguished history of service, first as Prosecuting Attorney and more recently as Circuit Judge. He has been a model of judicial work ethic, integrity and temperament. It has been a pleasure to practice in front of him. All the attorneys who practice regularly in our Circuit have the utmost respect for him. He will be greatly missed.”

Division Four currently handles one third of the Circuit’s new Civil Division Filings, half of the new Criminal Division Filings, a quarter of the new Domestic Relations Filings, and the administration of the Drug Court Program. “This position handles a wide variety of cases.  I feel as though the diversity of my courtroom experience plus my time on the bench have uniquely prepared me to serve as Circuit Judge.” Copeland adds, “I promise to work hard, be fair and respectful to both litigants and attorneys, and to apply the law in a straightforward and expedient manner.”

Copeland serves on the Arkansas Supreme Court’s Committee on Child Support and is a member of the Baxter County Bar Association. She and her husband Scott are active members of the Twin Lakes Community and have one son.

The nonpartisan judicial election for Circuit Court Division 4 will take place in conjunction with the presidential primary on March 3, 2020.