Attorneys Disqualified in Fairfield Bay Case

Attorneys Disqualified in Fairfield Bay Case
A sign welcomes visitors to the Indian Hills entrance of Fairfield Bay in this Google Street View image (© Google)

The Fairfield Bay Community Club Inc. and its board members recently scored a legal victory when attorneys for property owners were disqualified because of a conflict.

If you recall, members of the property owners’ association raised accusations in a lawsuit of self-dealing by a former board president. Fairfield Bay is a picturesque lakeside town of 2,100 that straddles the Van Buren-Cleburne county line on the north bank of Greers Ferry Lake.

The property owners also asked for a receiver to be appointed for the FBCC.

The former board leader, David Byard, accused his opponents of lying about him and has filed his own lawsuits, seeking millions of dollars in damages.

And Byard’s attorney, Luther Sutter of Little Rock, asked that the plaintiffs’ attorney and firm, Judy Simmons Henry of Wright Lindsey & Jennings of Little Rock, be disqualified from representing the plaintiffs.

Why? Because of the firm’s client relationship with the FBCC’s auditor, Landmark PLC of Little Rock, which he said would play a role in the case. That would result in a conflict because the firm couldn’t offer services to Landmark and the plaintiffs at the same time, Sutter wrote.

Attorney Jaimie Moss of WLJ responded in a filing and said that WLJ could represent both the plaintiffs and Landmark in the unrelated matters and that both the plaintiffs and Landmark had waived any alleged conflict of interest.

The FBCC and five board members who were named as defendants in the plaintiffs’ lawsuit also later asked that Henry and WLJ be disqualified.

Circuit Judge Susan K. Weaver, however, agreed with the defendants and issued an order on March 9 to disqualify the plaintiffs’ attorney and firm. Henry didn’t return a call for comment.

Plaintiff Robbie Brown told Whispers that “we’re very disappointed to lose some of the best attorneys in the state.” He declined to comment further.

Byard told Whispers via email that he will wait until after the case is over to comment.

But he said he looks “forward to Fairfield Bay continuing to prosper and grow.”

“Despite the negative perceptions created by misinformation, Fairfield Bay is a place that once you visit you don’t want to leave,” Byard said. “It’s a great day in Fairfield Bay!”

Tape recordings cited

Meanwhile, the legal fighting continues between Byard and some of the property owners.

In an amended counterclaim filed March 13, Byard accused Brown and another plaintiff, Greg Duggan, of publishing tape recordings that placed “Byard in a false light and made money in violation of his right to publicity.” Byard alleged that Duggan and Brown hosted a listening party and charged people $100 to listen to the recordings, which were intended to be private and confidential.

Byard is seeking $1 million in damages. Stay tuned.

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