May/June 2007 issue

New Bankruptcy Judge for Arkansas: Ben T. Barry


On Thursday, April 26, 2007, Ben T. Barry was sworn in as a federal bankruptcy judge for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas. Barry was appointed by Chief Judge Loken of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. His investiture ceremony took place on May 4th.

Ben T. Barry was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas in 1946. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1969 and his law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1973.

He has been a partner in the Fort Smith law firm Pryor, Robertson & Barry, PLLC and its predecessor firms since 1975. He was appointed as a federal bankruptcy trustee in 1977 and has served as a Chapter 7 trustee until this judicial appointment.

He served as a business law instructor from 1973 to 1983 at Westark Community College (now the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith) and has lectured on bankruptcy law at the UA Law School. He has been a mediator and arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and the National Arbitration Forum. Barry also served as a city prosecutor for Fort Smith in the 1970s and city attorney for Barling in the 1980s.

He was a recent past recipient of the Outstanding Pro Bono Award from Arkansas Volunteer Lawyers for the Elderly. In 2006, he was one of two Arkansas bankruptcy attorneys selected for inclusion in Arkansas Super Lawyers and Mid-South Super Lawyers.

Judge Barry will handle cases in the Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Harrison and Hot Springs divisions. He will occupy offices in Fayetteville being vacated by Judge Richard D. Taylor, who transferred to Little Rock. Congratulations, Judge Barry!