Stephanie Potter Barrett is announcing her candidacy for Arkansas Court of Appeals District 4, Position 2. The office serves 15 counties along the western part of the state including Sebastian, Logan, Scott, Yell, Garland, Montgomery, Polk, Sevier, Howard, Pike, Clark, Hot Spring, Hempstead, Little River and Miller counties.
"I believe my diverse and vast experience in the legal field, both civil and criminal, as well as prosecuting and defense, gives me a well-rounded perspective that will serve well as a Court of Appeals judge," Barret said. "If elected, I will base my decisions on the law and the facts as they apply to the law and refuse to allow politics and result-oriented opinion writing to interfere with the duty at hand. I will be honest, fair and impartial and treat both parties on appeal with civility and decorum."
The citizens of Miller and Lafayette Counties recently elected Barrett to a second term as the prosecuting attorney for the 8th Judicial District South, which serves Miller and Lafayette Counties. She graduated with honors from Arkansas High School in 1991 and from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a Bachelor of Arts in 1995. In addition to her studies at the University of Arkansas, she attended George Washington University where she studied international relations. She also studied foreign language at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, Calif. During law school, she studied comparative law at Oxford University in Oxford, England. She is a 1997 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
Following law school graduation, she served as a law clerk for Judge Terry Crabtree at the Arkansas Court of Appeals until 2000, when she returned home to Texarkana to begin a private law practice. She spent the next seven years in a private general practice, which included everything from family law and criminal defense to contracts and estates. During that time, she also worked as a contract public defender until she went to work as a deputy prosecutor in 2007.
"As a prosecutor, I have handled all types of criminal cases from misdemeanor domestic assaults and drunk driving offenses to felony crimes including aggravated robberies, rape and capital murder. I started my career at the Court of Appeals over 21 years ago as a law clerk and I am very excited about returning to the Court of Appeals as a judge to review cases, interpret law and write opinions," Barrett said. "I would be honored to continue to serve the citizens of Arkansas as the next Court of Appeals judge for District 4, Position 2."
Barrett has served on various community boards, including serving as secretary and treasurer to the Teen Court Board, serving on the Executive Board for the Texarkana Country Club, the Girls and Boys Club Board and the College Hill Elementary Parent Teacher Association Board.
She served on the Planning and Zoning Commission from 2005 until 2010 and served as chairman of the board during that time. She is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Texarkana, member of P.E.O. charitable organization and a graduate of Leadership Texarkana.
She has served as secretary to the Texarkana Bar Association and served as the South/East Young Lawyer representative to the Arkansas Bar Association. She has been licensed to practice law in Arkansas and Texas in state courts as well as federal courts. She is a member of the Arkansas Prosecuting Attorney's Association, the Texarkana Bar Association, and the Arkansas Bar Association. This year she was appointed to serve on the Arkansas Prosecuting Attorney's Association Board of Directors and also serve on the APAA Legislative Committee.
A lifelong resident of Texarkana, Ark., Barrett is married to Shorty Barrett and has two children, Lawson and Mary Elizabeth.