July/August 2006 issue

New Judge for 8th Circuit: Bobby E. Shepherd


On July 20, 2006, U.S. Magistrate Judge Bobby E. Shepherd was confirmed as a Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. He will fill the vacancy that will be left by Circuit Judge Morris S. Arnold, when he takes senior status on October 9.

Judge Shepherd is only the second person to move directly from being a U.S. Magistrate Judge to a Circuit Court of Appeals Judge. The first was Barry G. Silverman in the 9th Circuit.

Bobby E. Shepherd was born in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, in 1951. He received his undergraduate degree from Ouachita Baptist University in 1973. He graduated with honors from the University of Arkansas Law School in 1976, where he served as editor of the law review.

After graduating from law school he joined the firm of Spencer & Spencer, where he practiced as an associate until 1981. During this time he also served in the U.S. Army Reserve. In 1981 he became a partner in the firm. In 1984 he established his own practice, where he worked until he was appointed as a Circuit-Chancery Judge for the Arkansas Thirteenth Judicial District in 1991.

In 1993 he was appointed to serve as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Arkansas. During his time on the federal bench he has written more than 2000 opinions on federal topics such as social security, habeas corpus, and civil rights.

Plans for Judge Shepherd’s swearing in and investiture are forthcoming. Welcome, Judge Shepherd!