Sam Perroni Retiring From Courtroom Work

Sam Perroni, the Little Rock attorney who has made several comebacks from medical conditions in recent years, has announced he won't try any more cases.

Perroni suffered a back injury in an auto accident in the spring of 2005 and, even with several surgeries in Germany, he says he can't sit through a trial that could last several weeks.

But that doesn't mean Perroni will be out of the law business altogether. The celebrated criminal defense attorney will be a mentor and is listed "of counsel" to his new firm, Perroni & Koehler, which moved into west Little Rock offices in February.

Koehler is Shelly Hogan Koehler, 31, a former star student of Perroni, who taught white-collar crime law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's William H. Bowen School of Law. (He said he'll continue to teach the class once a year.)

Koehler will practice criminal defense, naturally.

Perroni made his first comeback after spending most of 2000 and 2001 recuperating from surgery to remove a benign tumor near his brain.

And he came back to the courtroom after the auto accident. In 2008, Perroni represented – with mixed success – attorney Barry Jewell, the former law partner of convicted thief, tax evader and extortionist Keith Moser. Jewell was charged with five counts in U.S. District Court. Three of the five counts against Jewell were dismissed before they reached the jury, and the jury convicted Jewell of only one charge, tax evasion.

Perroni has appealed the verdict and Jewell hasn't been sentenced yet.