Frank Poff

Frank Poff Mediation

501 Quachita Avenue
Hot Springs, Arkansas 71901

903-277-6331


Child Custody, Child Support Modification, Commercial, Contract, Divorce, Divorce Modification and Enforcement, Family, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury, Probate, Product Liability, Real Estate, Workplace

FRANKLIN A. POFF, JR.

ATTORNEY AT LAW  - CERTIFIED/QUALIFIED MEDIATOR

 

 

MEDIATION EXPERIENCE

 

Frank Poff has practiced law for 30 years, resolving 90+ percent of his cases without trial but handling state cases up to state supreme court level and federal cases to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. He has been appointed to judge trials in municipal, district,and circuit courts in Arkansas, which experiences have solidified his belief that mediation is the cheapest, fairest and least painful process available for resolving disputes. He has been Certified in Arkansas and Qualified in Texas as a Mediator since 2007 and has had continuing education each year since then to remain current on mediation trends, improved techniques and procedures. His Mediation success rate is approximately 90% for the last five years, and cases that do not settle at mediation generally resolve before trial, in part due to the Mediation process.

 

PERSONAL DATA

 

Born September 27, 1956, in Hot Springs, Arkansas; health, excellent; married to Theresa Poff of Texarkana, Arkansas, on August 19, 1978; wife is an occupational therapist; three adult sons:  Lin, Will and Curt.

 

 

EDUCATION

 

HIGH SCHOOL:  1975 Graduate, Hot Springs High School.

Activities and Honors:  Who's Who in American High Schools; National Citizenship Seminar Delegate; Lion's Club Student of the Month; Elks Most Valuable Student Award; Thespian Troupe, President, 2 years; Debate Team, 2 years; Student Council.

 

 

COLLEGE:  1979 Graduate, Hendrix College, BA in History & Political Science.

Activities and Honors:  Carl Babcock Leadership Award; Student Senate; Student Representative to Faculty Advisory Committee; Cheerleader; Freshman Orientation, Co-Chairman; Mo-Ark District Circle K Service Club, Lt. Governor; Athletic Activities Committee, Chairman; Swim Team, Team Captain, 4-year Letterman, All Conference 3 years, national qualifier, 2 years.

 

LAW SCHOOL:  1982 Graduate, UALR School of Law, Juris Doctor

Activities and Honors:  Honor Council, Chief Justice; Student Bar Association, Executive Board, Vice-President; Wright, Lindsey and Jennings Scholarship, Guy A. Moore Scholarship, Harry P. Warner Scholarship, UALR Law School Newsbrief staff member; Advisory Committee to the Dean; Phi Alpha Delta Fraternity; Arkansas Bar Association - Law School Division.

 

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

 

June 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012: Of Counsel, Boyd, Poff & Burgess, L.L.P. Texarkana, Texas; corporate and insurance defense litigation in Arkansas and Texas; some general practice, including domestic relations, probate, court appointed ad litem counsel in child protection cases, and qualified/certified mediator in Arkansas and Texas.

 

January, 2000 to June 1, 2012: Partner, Boyd, Poff & Burgess, L.L.P. Texarkana, Texas; corporate and insurance defense litigation in Arkansas and Texas; some general practice, including domestic relations, probate, court appointed ad litem counsel in child protection cases, and qualified/certified mediator in Arkansas and Texas.

 

April, 1998 to December 1999: Of Counsel, Crisp, Jordan & Boyd, L.L.P. Texarkana, Texas; corporate and insurance defense litigation in Arkansas and Texas;

 

January, 1993 to April, 1998: Partner, Gooding & Dodson, P.C. Texarkana, Texas; corporate and insurance defense litigation in Arkansas and Texas;

 

April, 1990 to December, 1992: Associate, Gooding & Dodson, P.C. Texarkana, Texas; insurance defense trial practice;

 

May, 1982 to April, 1990:  Walker & Poff Law Firm, Little Rock, Arkansas; general practice of law, including domestic relations, bankruptcy for creditors, UCC collections practice and personal injury plaintiff practice, and a smattering of criminal defense work, as appointed.

 

May, 1980 to May, 1982:  Law Clerk, W. J. Walker, Attorney at Law, Little Rock, Arkansas; commercial law, bankruptcy, debtor-creditor, family relations, probate and tort law.

 

 

 

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

 

Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating: “AV” (highest possible rating) since 1990’s.

 

Appointed Special Associate Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court, 2002;

 

Admitted to:

 

United States Supreme Court, Washington, D.C., 1987;

United States Court of Military Appeals, Washington, D.C., 1982;

Arkansas Bar and licensed to practice law in Arkansas August 24, 1982; #82-127

United States Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, 1982;

United States District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas, 1982;

Texas State Bar and licensed to practice law in Texas July 6, 1990; #16085800

United States Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, 1990

United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas, 1990;

 

Member or former member of:

 

American Bar Association;

American Trial Lawyers Association;

Arkansas Bar Association, Member, House of Delegates, 2002;

Pulaski County Bar; 1982 to 1990

Pulaski County Bar, GRIDIRON, "Newcomer of the Year", 1984;

Texarkana Bar Association, 1990 to present; President, 2003-2004;

NE Texas Bar Association, 1990 to present;

Defense Research Institute, 1992 to present;

Arkansas Volunteer Lawyers for the Elderly, 1995 to present;

“Pro Bono Attorney of the Year” in Arkansas 2010;

 

 

CIVIC ACTIVITIES

 

Little Rock, Arkansas:

 

Arkansas Leadership Seminar, Inc., Secretary, Legal Counsel;

Hugh O'Brian Youth Foundation, Vice-Chairman, Finance Director, 1985

Little Rock Jaycees, Secretary, Parliamentarian, Legal Counsel, 1984-1985;

Little Rock Breakfast Lions Club, Charter Member, Officer, 1985-1986;

American Heart Association, Pulaski County, Board Member 1986-1988;

Rotary International Delegate to Pakistan, February, 1985 to April, 1985;

West Little Rock Rotary Club 1987-1989;

Rotary District 615 Group Study Exchange Board 1989;

 

Texarkana, Arkansas/Texas:

 

Temple Memorial Rehabilitation Board Member, 1995 to present, Past President;

Texarkana, Arkansas City Director, 2002 – 2004;

Texarkana, Arkansas Planning Commission, 2005 – 2008, Past Vice-Chairman;

Texarkana, Arkansas Historic District Commission, 2006 – 2010, Past Chairman;

Texarkana Volunteer of the Year “Wilbur Award” 2003;

Temple Memorial Rehabilitation Center’s “Phantom Volunteer of the Year” 2009;

Texarkana Resources for the Disabled, 1999 – 2005, Past Chairman;

Easter Seals East Texas, initial President, Delegate to National House of Delegates, 1999 to present; Chairman, National House of Delegates, 2010 to present; ex officio member of National Board of Directors of Easter Seals, Inc., 2010 to present; and currently nominated to a 4 year term on National Board of Directors of Easter Seals, Inc.;

Teen Court of Texarkana, Inc.; Board of Directors, 2002 to present, Past Chairman;

 

HOBBIES

 

Occasionally serving as Special Judge at district and circuit levels for local judges, spending time with spouse, interview coaching of students and pageant contestants, judging pageants, acting in theatre, assisting with ballet, playing sports and participating in civic & philanthropic activities.

 

REFERENCES

 

Sonja Yates Hubbard, CEO EZ-Mart, Inc., Texarkana, TX

Chris Karam, CEO, Christus St. Michael, Texarkana, TX

Lacy McMillan, President, Capital One Bank, Texarkana, TX

Julia Mobley, Owner, Commercial National Bank, Texarkana, TX

Hon. Jeff Addison, County Court at Law, Texarkana, TX

Leon Sanderson, President, HEC Environmental Group, Inc., Texarkana, AR

Hon. Prissy Hickerson, State Representative, Texarkana, AR

Hon. Steve Harrelson, State Senator, Texarkana, AR

Hon. Kirk Johnson, Circuit Judge, Texarkana, AR

Hon. Brent Haltom, Circuit Judge, Texarkana, AR

Hon. Joe Griffin, Circuit Judge, Texarkana, AR

Hon. Wren Autrey, District Judge, Texarkana, AR

Steve Shults, Attorney, Little Rock, AR

Tim Cloyd, President, Hendrix College, Conway, AR

Ellis Arnold, Vice President, Hendrix College, Conway, AR

Merriann M. Metz, Senior Attorney Publix Super Market, Lakeland, FL

Stephen F. Rossman, Chairman Easter Seals National Board of Directors, Miami, FL

Joseph G. Kern, Division Counsel, Darden Restaurants, Inc., Orlando, FL

Richard W. Davidson, President and CEO, Century 21 Real Estate LLC, Parsippany, NJ

Kim D. Dalgliesh, Esq., attorney, Newtown Square, PA

Barry A. Katz, former President, General Refractories Company, Bala Cynwyd, PA

Ronald I. Palmer, Psychiatrist, Oil City, PA

What is mediation?  Who are mediators and what do they do?

 

Mediation is a term that was coined to describe a process of conflict resolution.

 

A MEDIATOR is a neutral person who seeks to help people resolve differences by working with the parties in conflict.

 

Arkansas and Texas have both recognized a need to have trained mediators assist parties in the "peaceable resolution of their disputes". Both states have passed laws which codified how conflict resolution by alternative dispute resolution (ADR) would be applied.  Frank Poff is Qualified in Texas and Certified in Arkansas as a Mediator under each State's laws.

 

The cornerstone of all mediation is confidentiality. The mediation statutes provide that everything said and done in mediation is off limits at the courthouse. When parties agree to mediation, it's like calling "kings x" to any pending or proposed legal proceedings. The parties come together, normally with their attorneys, and meet under a veil of confidentiality to discuss ways to settle or resolve their differences. It is not even necessary for a law suit to be filed before the ADR law will protect the proceedings.

 

The parties are allowed to air their differences as fully as they desire, secure in the knowledge that whatever they or their attorney says during the mediation will not come back to haunt them at the courthouse.

 

How legally secure are the confidences revealed at mediation? Very secure. Texas law provides that the mediator is exempt from all legal processes. A mediator does not have to answer a subpoena. A mediator cannot testify in a proceeding at all. Positions revealed and words said while in mediation cannot be used in a court of law by an attorney, party or witness.

 

The whole idea behind mediation is to allow all of the parties in conflict with one another to be absolutely certain that if mediation does not succeed, then the "kings x" will remain in effect. The Judge presiding over a case cannot and will not permit mediation conversations to become a part of any court trial. Not even the Judge hearing a dispute will know what happened in the mediation.

 

How does mediation work - what is the process?

 

The parties come together at one central location and attend an opening joint session that is presided over by the mediator. The mediator does not give advice or take sides. His role is to act as a middle person and to help the parties come to a negotiated resolution to their dispute.

 

Opening session: The mediator explains the ADR process and then permits an open and frank statement by the parties and/or their attorneys. Each party has the opportunity to make a full and frank disclosure of their respective position. Every one is allowed to have their say if they so choose.

 

Private caucus: The mediator then divides the parties into separate meeting places and begins the process of trying to learn what the party or their attorney believe to be the real interests of the persons who are in dispute and what the parameters are for resolving the case.

 

Shuttle diplomacy: The mediator goes back and forth between the parties to bring offers of settlement and suggestions on how to narrow the differences in the dispute. Parties committed to resolving a dispute begin to narrow the gap between their opening positions with the assistance of the mediator.

 

When should mediation be considered?

 

When you want to hold down litigation costs.

When you wnat a prompt resolution to a dispute.

When a trial cannot provide the remedy you seek.

When you want to end a dispute without destroying a relationship.

When your dispute is private and you want it to remain private.

 

What are the advantages of mediation?

 

It can be scheduled very quickly.

It is inexpensive.

It can usually be completed in one day.

Unlike a court trial, mediation is private and confidential.

ADR is informal and is conducted in a relaxed atmosphere compared to a trial that is formal and often filled with anxiety and trauma for the participants.

ADR affords the parties an opportunity to fashion a creative resolution to their differences which a court of law could not provide.

When ADR is successful, it ends the dispute.

 

What are the disadvantages?

 

None really. Even if the dispute is not resolved the parties come away from the mediation more well informed and focused on what their range of options are.

ADR provides the potential for a win-win situation because if you go the courthouse ultimately a decision is going to be made on who wins and who loses; ADR can and does present the opportunity to preserve a relationship

 

What disputes are most suitable for mediation?

 

Virtually all disputes lend themselves to ADR condsideration, but the following are particularly suitable for consideration:

 

complex business litigation

family law cases involving custody and property issues

employemnt discrimination cases involving gender, age and race

civil rights cases

claims of sexual harassment

legal and medical malpractice

personal injury

will contests and estate division

class action cases

Phone:  1.903.277.6331
Email:  [email protected]

501 Ouachita Avenue
Hot Springs, AR. 71901