Special to The Banner News
El Dorado attorney, John Thomas Shepherd, has announced his intention to seek election as Fourth Division Circuit Judge in the 13th Judicial District. The El Dorado-based judicial seat handles civil, criminal, and probate matters in Calhoun, Cleveland, Columbia, Dallas, Ouachita, and Union Counties.
Shepherd, who has practiced law in El Dorado since 2013, stated, "I have been encouraged by friends, family, and colleagues to seek this position. I believe my private practice experience, as well as my experience as the Prosecuting Attorney and a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney make me uniquely qualified to serve in this important position."
Shepherd is a partner at Law Offices Shepherd & Shepherd, P.A., located in El Dorado, where he maintains a diverse practice. Shepherd concentrates his practice in the areas of civil litigation, business and corporate law, oil & gas, probate, and real estate. Shepherd routinely represents individuals and businesses in both state and federal court, where his clients include individuals, non-profits, small businesses, and large corporations. Shepherd currently serves as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in the 13th Judicial District where he handles all manner of felony criminal cases, as well as civil asset forfeitures. Shepherd previously served as Prosecuting Attorney for the 13th Judicial District after being appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson. During his time as Prosecuting Attorney, Shepherd oversaw the prosecution of all criminal cases in the 13th Judicial District. Prior to his time in the Prosecuting Attorney's office, Shepherd handled criminal defense matters in both state and federal court.
Active professionally and in his community, Shepherd currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Club of El Dorado and El Dorado Habitat for Humanity. He also serves as game chairman for the Murphy USA Classic and as a Commissioner on the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. He is an active member and deacon at First Baptist Church of El Dorado.
A native of El Dorado and graduate of El Dorado High School, Shepherd received a football scholarship to Rice University in Houston, Texas, where he was a three-year letterman as a quarterback for the Owls football team. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Rice in 2009 before returning home to attend the University of Arkansas School of Law at Fayetteville. While in law school he served as Managing Editor of the Arkansas Law Review, and received his Juris Doctor magna cum laude in 2013. Shepherd resides in El Dorado with his wife, Molly, and their three children.
The seat is for a term that will begin in January 2025. The nonpartisan election will be held Tuesday, March 5, 2024.